PROFILES IN SAFETY - RICK ANDERSON
- Industrial Safety Blog
Rick Anderson is a third-generation union Sprinkler Fitter who has been in the industry for 15 years, entering the field right after High School graduation. “I receive great job satisfaction in knowing that the products and systems I install are the first line of defense to life and property safety in the event of a fire,” said Anderson.
Some of his jobsite tasks that require PPE include overhead drilling and shooting of hangers, ladder and lift work, fabrication, and installation of pipe, material handling, and maintaining and installing valves and pumps. Associated risks and hazards of these tasks include trips and falls, hearing loss, and bodily injuries of the back, head, shoulder, elbows, knees, hands, and pinch points.
To protect from these hazards, Anderson’s go-to PPE include work boots, hand protection, hard hat, safety glasses, hearing protection, and hi-vis clothing. Anderson first heard of Radians while working at a high-rise where electricians gave him an extra pair of Radians® AXIS® work gloves. Radians first heard of Anderson when he sent us an email about those gloves.
Hi, my name is Rick, and I've been a Union Sprinkler Fitter since 2006. I just wanted to share a quick story about one of your products. Early in the morning at work, I ruined my last pair of work gloves with some old sprinkler water.
Luckily, I'd befriended some of the electricians; and they gave me a pair of your Axis RWG562 to finish out my day before I went to the hardware store to restock my gloves.
I came to my last task of the day, which required cutting off a short piece of material that was too long. I figured I'd hold onto it and cut it like I've done hundreds of times in the past. I made my measurement, plugged in my bandsaw, and started my cut. Within the blink of an eye, the bandsaw jumped, and my hand was in the blade.
The incident was alarming, to say the least, and I was surprised and thankful that there wasn't a scratch on me. The blade grabbed hold of the glove, took the excess fabric with it, and bogged down the saw before I could take my finger off the trigger.
I certainly know that worse hazards and risks exist, but this incident was a great reminder of how fast injuries can happen in the field. Thankfully, I went home the same way I came into work. I walked over to the Sparky's and thanked them for saving me a trip to the ER by giving me a pair of their Radians gloves. Thank you, Radians, for making a high-quality product that does exactly what it's supposed to do. It provided me all the protection I needed when I needed it.
Anderson believes a good safety culture has PPE readily available for all employees all the time. “But not just any PPE. The safety gear available at jobsites should be reliable, durable, and comfortable,” said Anderson who believes that workplace safety is a commitment to yourself, your family, and your company.
“PPE helps you beat the odds, allowing you to go home like you came to work,” said Anderson, who appreciates the weekly toolbox talks he participates in at work. These talks discuss how to improve mobility, safety, and efficiency while performing new and routine tasks at the jobsite.
He thinks one of the biggest challenges facing construction workers and jobsites today is complacency. “Far too many people take safety for granted and do not believe that accidents can happen to them. After my bandsaw incident, I am more mindful than ever about the importance of wearing PPE.”