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Toolbox: It Can’t Happen To You?

Have you ever heard someone say “It can’t happen to me”? Maybe you’ve even said it yourself.

If we haven’t said it out loud, most of us have at least thought it at some time or another. We think it just before we do something that is a little unsafe—or maybe quite a bit unsafe. We know better. We know the safe way to do it. But we take that chance. We are, in fact, saying “I know this could result in an accident, but it can’t happen to me.”

Why can’t it happen to you? What makes you so special? Why take that chance? Sooner or later, the person who keeps saying “It can’t happen to me” will wind up saying “If only I had …”

  • “If only I had worn my safety glasses, I wouldn’t have lost my eye.”
  • “If only I had walked instead of run, I wouldn’t have tripped and broken my leg.”
  • “If only I had taken my ring off, I wouldn’t have lost my finger on the machine.”

The next time you find yourself saying “It can’t happen to me,” remember that anything can happen to anybody, anytime, if they act in an unsafe manner or are exposed to an unsafe condition.

All of us should remember that a person with an “It can’t happen to me” attitude is dangerous. He or she may escape injury from unsafe acts or conditions, but may expose those around him or her to injury. So someone acting in an unsafe manner needs to be told about it. An unsafe condition needs to be reported. But don’t leave the telling and reporting to somebody else. Take those necessary actions yourself. After all, safety is everybody’s business.

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