Short for…You Only Live Once…
I only recently was introduced to the acronym/phrase and its conventional meaning, that being a “live life to its fullest,” “go for the gusto” approach to life and living – and there’s nothing wrong with fully enjoying our short time on this earth.
The acronym/phrase immediately struck me, however, with its potential as a powerful reminder to all of us why it’s important to live and work safely…YOLO…You Only Live Once.
Nobody cranks up the circular saw out in the garage or climbs into a scissor lift on the job site intending to get hurt, yet it happens hundreds and hundreds of times every day in this country. It doesn’t matter if you or someone else is hurt (or worse) due to distraction, haste, lack of training, complacency, failure to identify a hazard, no job procedure, pressure to get the job done or any other reason. The resulting physical and emotional pain and suffering can have lasting and life altering impact on the person injured, his/her spouse, children, siblings, uncles, aunts, godparents, cousins, coworkers and friends…YOLO…You Only Live Once.
So, think YOLO…You Only Live Once before you act if:
You are asked to perform a task for which you aren’t trained and where you might hurt yourself or others.
You are about to overextend from near the top of a 16’ extension ladder to reach that last pesky bunch of soggy leaves in the gutter.
Your foreman tells you to disconnect 480-volt wiring on the line side of a circuit breaker and says he’s sure it’s de-energized.
You are late leaving work for your daughter’s basketball game and about to drive too fast through rush hour traffic.
You think you can enter that confined space to do a quick inspection before air sampling and permitting is completed.
Your smartphone “dings” the arrival of a text while you are driving.
Short for…You Only Live Once
Short life…then you are gone forever.
About the author: Brent Senette has worked in the oil and gas industry in a variety of engineering and management positions for the past 35 years. He is an engineer, a certified project manager and a relentless advocate for and practitioner of the principles of process and personal safety leadership.