It is in our human nature to just jump straight into a physical job that may be easy to manage without the use of safety gloves, goggles, helmets, etc. only to regret it later when someone gets badly hurt. In Hydrobiology Singapore, our staff are trained and briefed thoroughly about the importance of safety whether we are in the office or out in the field. We take pride in our work, and safety has a part to play.
We should always prioritize safety as it can protect us from potential threats or danger because we should always expect the unexpected. For example, we encountered a water snake caught in some of our sampling equipment, and a fishing hook snared in a deployed rope; both were noticed during retrieval. If proper gloves were not used, or a safety partner observing, both could have caused a nasty wound.
All these small incidents can sometimes lead to bigger consequences if we neglect safety. Let us not take safety for granted just because we want to feel comfortable or because it makes our physical appearance ugly. Let us not regret making bad decisions when we could have made a good one. Let us enjoy work with good safety practices.
Please work safely – it is our responsibility!
Images: Hydrobiology staff member Wayne Bannister collecting in-situ water measurements using the YSI ProDSS Sonde and the Van Dorn Water Sampler; whilst ensuring safety is a priority by wearing a life vest, safety helmet, latex gloves, and face mask. Additional photos include some of the other threatening encounters we experienced out in the field!