What’s Wrong in this Picture?

 In 2023, Tip of the Week

To understand the picture, we need to give you some context. The ladder is standing in a corner of an office building corridor. The corridor is on the top floor of the building. The doors to the right of the ladder lead into an office, the exit is down the hall to the left. The bucket under the ladder was probably placed thereto catch water from a recent rainstorm. We presumed that the ladder was in use by the building maintenance person to repair the leak. As we took the picture, we did not see the maintenance person in the area.

Whats wrong in the picture?

As far as we could tell, nothing was wrong. There was no one walking in the corridor at the time, so the ladder was not an obstruction at that moment. It was not blocking the doorway to the office on the right. Unless we saw the building maintenance person we didnt know if the ladder was tall enough for him to stand on to reach the leak which is most likely a few feet above the top of the ladder, above the ceiling tiles.

But we had questions. How tall was the ladder in relation to the work that needed to be done? Would the maintenance person need to stand on the top of the ladder to reach the leak? We didnt know. But the picture demonstrates a common problem.When you think about the tools that are needed to get a job done, having the right tools makes a difference. A phrase we use when discussing safety is this Dont give an employee a six-foot ladder to do an eight-foot job. If the ladder is not tall enough, the person using it will stand on the top rung -because as we know, safety is not first, production and getting the job done is first. And the safety rule for using ladders is to not stand on the top rung.You want your waist to be about the height of the top of the ladder, not your feet.

Your weekly challenge is this. Look around your workplace. What tools do you and your employees use that are not really the correct tools, but thats all you have, so you improvise? Talk to your staff. Share a story of when you or someone you know may have used the wrong tool. What do they think of that? What can you do differently?

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