First Things

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Memories Of A Former Kid

Today’s topic is the bottom line, but we’re not
talking profit and loss statements … we’re talking safety. Now more
than ever, the business world puts a high priority on safety. The
old iron hobby would do well to take a page from that book. What,
after all, could be more essential and more integral to the future
of the hobby?

Many basic truths surround the topic. One that ought to send ice
water coursing through your veins is this: When it comes to shows
and public events, if you don’t ensure a safe environment, someone
– whether it’s a unit of government or your insurance carrier –
will see that you do. Give either entity a reason to get involved,
and rest assured, they will. Chances are, you won’t like it. Run a
preemptive strike by making sure that your show facilities are as
safe as they can be for exhibitors and guests alike.

Protecting show-goers from themselves is an increasing
challenge. You’ve done a super job of putting out the welcome mat,
and your show is attracting crowds … crowds of people of literally
all ages … babies in strollers … school kids freed from more
restrictive routines … people using wheelchairs, motorized chairs
and walkers … little red wagons hauling small fry … and more and
more four-legged spectators. Shows attract an incredibly diverse
crowd, and safety measures must take that in to consideration.

Another basic tenet of safety: When people get tired, they get
sloppy. If you’re working long hours in the shop to finish a
project in time for a show, you’re statistically vulnerable to
injury. When you’re tired, when you’re under the gun of a
self-imposed deadline, you’re much more likely to take
ill-considered shortcuts, whether it’s related to donning safety
gear or proper bracing or chemical use and handling. Know when to
say when.

Yet another: Haste makes waste – and worse. For the next several
months, vast tonnage of old iron will be loaded onto trailers,
strapped, chained and tied down. Drivers will then put in countless
hours behind the wheel, hauling loads all over the country, often
in unfamiliar territory, often on heavily traveled interstate
highways and often in particularly foul weather. You only have to
watch a tractor fall off a trailer once to fully appreciate the
danger inherent in loading and unloading. Take extra care at every
step of the process; check and recheck at every stop.

This is a hobby, to be sure: But when it comes to safety, make
sure your approach is all business!

Leslie McManus, Editor

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment