When you think about martial arts, you're most likely NOT thinking about any correlation to work safety. These two practices typically aren't paired together, but the foundational aspects of Aikido show that some martial arts principles can be applied to your safety mindset to help you stay safe on-the-job. In the video below, Safety Specialist Phil Aldridge discusses a specific principle and how you can put it to work right away.
"Hey there, this is Phil from ORR Safety and I'm coming at you with another quick safety chat. Today I want to talk about one of the most underrated principles in workplace safety, the principle of Aikido.
Aikido was a martial art developed in the first half of the 20th century. The founder of Aikido, Ueshiba Morihei, was a deeply spiritual man and he believed that the perfect technique in martial arts is one in which both the recipient of an attack and the attacker don't receive any injuries. This led to Aikido becoming a technique that developed with the foundational aspect of it was not being present when an attack occurred.
Obviously we can't just ditch work to avoid injury, but I think the principle carries some value in the workplace. I saw the perfect example when I was driving around today. I'm going to flip the camera around here and check this out."
Minimize Hazard Exposure
"Check out these work trucks. Notice where these workers parked, way at the back of the parking lot away from where everyone else is. This gives these workers a much better view if they need to back up or pull out of their spaces, it minimizes the risk of their trucks getting dinged by other people parking, and these trucks are off by themselves so that any other cars can easily see them. Perfect, right? Instead of having to be really great defensive drivers up at the front of the parking lot these workers can just avoid the whole mess way back here.
This has application in many areas. Here in Louisville at the ORR headquarters, we don't go in the warehouse unless we have a valid work reason to be there. That way we don't have to dodge the forklifts and the falling boxes and whatever else.
So, next time you're at your office, your warehouse, your factory, your refinery, your railroad, or anywhere that you work, as you're walking around make a mental note of all the different processes and places that carry an inherent risk of injury and be thinking of ways that you can avoid them all together. Be thinking of ways you can re-engineer workflow to keep people out of harm's way so they don't even have to worry about it."
PPE is Your Last Defense
"At ORR we sell PPE: hardhats, safety eyewear, fall protection and all that stuff but never forget: PPE is a last resort. The best defense against a hazard is to not be there when one presents itself. That's going to do it for me today. I appreciate you watching the video. I appreciate you joining me. Make sure you subscribe to the safety blog so you can get regular updates and regular safety tips and tricks, and I'll see you next time for another safety chat. Make it a safe day!"