Originally Posted by Brutus the Pimp
It's not like Kelly told him to go up there knowing there were 50 MPH winds. The issue is that Kelly decided to have practice, and since no one thought to say differently, everyone went about their daily routine as normal. No one told Sullivan to go up there. No one had to because Sullivan does it every day. That's the routine.
If Kelly had told Sullivan to go up there, specifically after knowing about the safety risks, then I would feel much more strongly about that decision. But that's not the case... the problem is that no one thought of the issue of the winds knocking down the tower.
Here's the problem with that... As an employer/supervisor, rule of thumb is "if you see it or know it is happening, you own it."
In other words, even if the ND staff didn't specifically say, "kid, get up in that man-lift or else," surely somebody there saw the kid up in the thing or was aware that those video assistants were still airborn that day.
I agree entirely that as employers, we want people who will be aware of safety hazards and will do anything to avoid them. And further, will point them out to someone who can fix them. But as supervisors, we can not assume this is happening.
I'll give you a for instance of a recent accident at a local steel mill here in town.
Big box where scrap metal is stored. Needs emptied. Crane with a magnet attachment begins emptying. Scrap metal jammed in at the bottom of the box won't come loose with just the mag. Employee on the ground climbs in the scrap box. Jagged edge of metal through the bottom of his boot, ambulance, hospital, etc. etc. etc.
Common sense tells most folks "hey, jumping in that scrap box is a foolish idea." But guess what? There was no written safety procedure saying not to hop in the scrap box. Common sense loses. So did several supervisors.
Of course, the ND incident is even more galling because there were written procedures (manufacuters specs) saying not to use the lift with winds above whatever MPH. And people of authority knew those kids were up there and it happened.
The part that will get really ugly, methinks, is that I'd bet Sullivan and the other kids that were using those lifts have minimal safety training in using them. They are pretty simple to operate and I'm betting they were shown how to raise and lower themselves and that's about it. If that's the case, ND is in a world of hurt.