Always take a few minutes to review the task at hand before starting any work. Consider how to complete the task safely by using the right Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), tools, and equipment for the job. Take the time to make a Safe Plan of Action (SPA) for every task. STOP is a good formula to follow for all your work, home, and recreational activities.
Stop: Step back and review the task. Are there any pinch points? Jagged edges? Hot surfaces? Are machine guards in place? Have all energy sources been locked out?
Think: How am I going to safely accomplish this task? What can possibly go wrong? Do I have all the right tools to do this job? Do I have the experience to do this job safely? Where will my hands be while doing this work and will I be able to see them at all times? Do I have the correct PPE?
Observe: What are the “not so obvious” risks? Will my work create a safety hazard to others? Will their work create a safety hazard to me? Are there other process or environmental conditions that need to be considered and addressed before starting the work? Who else needs to be notified before starting this work?
Proceed: Begin your work only after completing a SPA to eliminate all known and potential hazards and that controls are in place to complete the task safely.
“Who can hope to be safe? Who sufficiently cautious? Guard himself as he may, every moment is an ambush.” – Horace