Equipment of any kind needs to be accompanied by training, evaluation, inspection, follow-up and, most importantly, an operator who understands the potential hazards and carries out their duties in a safe manner. Personal Protective Equipment Some people think they’re safe simply because they are wearing their PPE—helmet, safety glasses, gloves, ear protection and safety toe boots. However, as vital as PPE is for your team, PPE does nothing to physically prevent an accident from occurring in the first place. For example, we see this on display every day on the roads—safety features alone don’t prevent accidents. Cars are equipped with protections such as anti-lock brakes, blind spot monitoring, front-wheel drive and more, all to make driving safer. Some might even equate a properly working airbag as a form of PPE for the driver. The question to consider is, “Did the airbag do anything to physically prevent the accident?” Absolutely not. The same is true with PPE, which is designed to minimize the injury or prevent death once the accident has already happened. This point is crucial to understand—PPE does nothing to physically prevent the accident. Its purpose is to minimize the effects of the accident. The only device that is powerful enough to prevent an accident from happening is the human mind, fully engaged in understanding the task at hand. You and your team need to be diligent and in the right mindset at all times. Take the appropriate precautions to prevent an accident from ever happening. Perform visual hazard analysis and maintain a physically safe workplace. As conditions change at the worksite, you must adjust to maintain safety. This awareness is key to keeping everyone safe. Mobile Equipment Today’s mobile equipment is safer than ever before. Yet, distractions, impairment or improper training can cause an incident. Before anyone operates mobile equipment, these conditions must be met: Has the operator been fully trained and authorized to use the specific equipment? Are they using the right PPE? Are they diligent to look for pedestrians? Do they adjust for the changing workplace conditions? If operating an aerial boom lift, do they understand the reality of catapulting when using a mobile elevated work platform? Is the operator in the required state of mind to perform and operate the mobile equipment? Only when the mind is fully educated and actively engaged with safety protocols will the mobile equipment be safe to operate. Educate the Mind To Prevent Accidents Safety is everyone’s responsibility throughout the entire organization, and everyone needs to be fully and thoughtfully engaged. Donning a pair of safety glasses or a pair of gloves isn’t enough. Proper training, culture and mindset is the key to success and lower incidence rates. Find opportunities to build your health and safety culture every day. Looking for help building your safety program? Discover resources available through ABC’s STEP Safety Management System and other health and safety topics at abc.org/safety . For more information or assistance, please reach out to Joe Xavier or Aaron Braun .