Everyone takes a shortcut at one time or another. You cross the street between intersections instead of using the crosswalk or jump a fence instead of using the gate. But in many cases, a shortcut can involve danger.

If you have the habit of taking dangerous shortcuts, break it. At work, it can be deadly. An iron worker who tried to cross an opening by swinging on reinforcing rods, slipped and fell 20 feet onto a concrete floor. If he had taken a few moments to walk around the opening, he’d still be tying rods.

If you are told to go to a particular work area, your employer expects you to take the safe route, not the shorter, hazardous one. If there isn’t a safe way to get where you need to go, let your supervisor know. The supervisor will see to it that you are provided a safe means of access. It’s your responsibility to avoid dangerous shortcuts and to warn against anyone else you see taking them.

Even if the job will only take a few minutes, it isn’t worth risking your safety and health for those few minutes. Wear personal protection to safeguard your body parts. Use proper, well-maintained equipment. Don’t improvise to save time. Ladders, steps, and walkways are built to insure your safety, as well as for your convenience. Use them. Don’t go from one elevation to another by climbing a column or sliding down a rope. The safest way isn’t always the shortest way, but it’s the surest way.

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The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for medical advice or legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations or standards.

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