Tuesday, February 16, 2010

a reminder...

It's snowing again. A week ago I was up to my nuts in snowdrifts on deck, and here it's starting again. My truck is sitting in the parking area at the head of the quay, with four feet of snowbank resting on the front bumper... my truck's certainly not going anywhere until this snow melts a little more. Thankfully, today should only bring snow showers, anyhow.
We're having a stand-down day today, the first I can remember since New Years... I think that there was another almost-full day of rest back there somewhere, but tempus fugit, so who can say? Anyhow, yeah, snow showers.
After I woke up, I headed out to the generator room to do a walk-through in the course of my morning ritual of eyeballing every valve, line and gauge on board. My boots are drying out nicely after a day of non-use (really, getting wet boots to dry 100% is harder than you might think when you're working 12+ hour days), so I put on a pair of sneakers, and promptly slipped and slid down the catwalk stairs as soon as I stepped outside. I made my way down to deck level, sliding on my ass, landing safely on deck.

I landed on my ass, sort of sideways, on my hip, which was aching a touch when I woke up anyways.
In cold, wet weather, my hip is always a little sore, courtesy of the bumps and bruises we all get in the course of time. Landing ass-first on a cold deck failed to improve the feeling.
Anyhow, wet ass and all, I made my rounds, slipping and sliding the while.
Kind of makes me wonder what the hell I was thinking. I push my tankerman mate to think safe 100% of the time, and here I am, wearing the same shoes that already lost traction when I have a nice set of almost-dry deckboots under my chair. In the meanwhile, I could have slipped an fallen again.
Rather than expound, I'm just going to say that I was being willfully foolish, and am lucky to have only ended up with a damp bung for it.
I'm sharing today out of guilt, I think, because I'm a careful person, at home and at work, and not the type to make stupid mistakes when it matters. I think that I tend to follow my own rules fairly rigidly. To wit:

1) Be safe in all things, always.
2) Work hard, play fair, everyone gets paid and goes home safe.
3) Not one drop of oil on deck.
4) Situation awareness at all times.
5) Sleep light, but sleep enough.
6) Ask for help before you need it.

All common sense, right? Then why why why, in the name of the seven mad gods of the sea, did I walk onto a snowy catwalk with sneakers on? The same reason that people lose eyes, fingers or take unscheduled swims.

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