A Beautiful Lift

“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle, and so gorgeous at the end.”
~ Robin Sharma

The “Rule of 7” is a marketing principle that states people must experience (hear or see our touch) your message at least seven times before they take action.  Some people learn through words, others learn through visuals, and others learn through doing.

In the past year we have focused heavily on safe lifting and rigging practices. We have bought equipment and tools. We have updated policies and role expectations. We have created videos, posters, communications, and other media. We have developed some great practices that are real and applicable tools to help us execute lifts safely. You can see a summary of those practices in the attached Lifting Focus poster.

Yet, a recent jobsite visit revealed to me that we still have work to do. Why? Because we are changing behaviors, and change is hard. For example, we still have the instinct to reach out with our hand versus using a push pull stick or tag line. After the Superintendent stopped his crew, we discussed the necessity for using our tools versus our hands. When discussing my observations with our craft, I recognize that change is hard and we are in the messy middle. Thus we must continue to reinforce our expectations while also improving the tools are teams have to safely execute a lift.

So why change? The equipment we lift is powerful and mighty. One false move – a body in the line of fire, a hand in a pinch point – can result in significant injury. One false move can affect your life, and the lives of your loved ones. Conversely, a coordinated lift of true moves is a beautiful sight to behold. Visualize the perfect lift – people in their right place filling their roles, communication is constant yet disciplined, tools being used to maneuver the equipment into place. The lift goes as planned, all are safe. That my friends is gorgeous, as illustrated by the attached picture taken at one of our recent jobsites.

Today, and every day, STOP & FOCUS on safe lifts, routine and non-routine alike.  Remind your teams of every safe lifting practice as often as you can, and commit them to memory. Visualize the perfect lift, then go out and execute it safely.

- APM President, Jake Locklear