September 7, 2023 | Susan Napier-Sewell

How far away is death? One wrong step

one wrong step

Some people are not blessed with great coordination — I may or may not be referring to myself (okay, true story, it was me) and the one wrong step I took in the garden a few weeks ago.

I watered the hinoki, the camelia, the boxwoods — all the plants between my garden gates — wound the hose up, shut the gate, turned around and fell on the edge of a flagstone, slicing my left shin open to my knee — all because of one wrong step.

Later, I wondered if the slippers I was wearing played a part in the fall.

With that one wrong step, I knew immediately the injury was bad; blood had already soaked the lower half of my clothing.

I remembered I didn’t have any large bandages or hydrogen peroxide. I did have my cell phone with me. With blood spurting from my left leg, I applied pressure and made a quick decision: I’d do a delivery order via my phone and make it “priority,” a faster delivery. I also called a doctor friend to get some advice while sitting on a garden bench and applying pressure to the wound.

Trying to remain relatively calm, I wondered if I should call 911 but then the medical supplies arrived.

I limped to the front door to get the bags of supplies, grabbed some paper towels, and applied the hydrogen peroxide.

The next day at the orthopedic injury clinic where I learned the left leg was cut to the bone. The clinic doctor distracted me with cheerful conversation while he cleaned the leg and wrapped in a castlike bandage with tons of padding.

In the back of my mind, I was considering that my job is writing how to be safe on the job and, in part, emphasizing the importance of avoiding accidents, slips, and falls. (After all, OSHA’s Fall Protection Standard has been at the top of its Top 10 Safety Violations list for 12 years.)

And, here I was, limping along, still not knowing exactly what made me fall.

So, now I advise you from personal experience to be as careful and thoughtful about your execution of daily tasks as you, hopefully, are on the job. It can save your life.

Circumstances can crop up anywhere at any time if proper and safe sequence and procedures are not planned and followed. We encourage you to learn and use the TapRooT® System to find and fix problems.

TapRooT® has a team of investigators and instructors with years of extensive training ready to offer assistance worldwide. We also offer ongoing support to our clients through free newsletters and root cause tip videos, the root cause analysis blog, and our annual Global TapRooT® Summit.

Register for one of our TapRooT® courses. We offer a basic 2-day course and an advanced 5-day course.

Contact us to discuss training your employees on-site. You may also call us at 865.539.2139 to speak to an instructor, schedule an executive briefing, or book on-site training for your team. We’re here to find solutions for you.

How Far Away Is Death?
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