How long is 30 seconds?

In my 20 years of working within the mining industry throughout the Pilbara in Western Australia, Health and Safety was always at the forefront of my mind. I had instilled good safety habits into my daily life, which always flowed into home life.

Now I’ve always loved the great outdoors and particularly gardening at home.

There was never a time when mowing and whipper snipping my lawns without wearing steel cap boots, ear muffs, safety glasses and gloves; however, since leaving the mining industry in 2015 and relocating to Perth, it was easy for old habits to creep back into my life.

Last week in Perth, there was an extreme cold front forecast, which was going to bring strong winds and heavy rainfall, so I thought I would do a pre-storm tidy up and tie-down. It’s funny how some other habits don’t go away as easily, such as getting ready for cyclone season. Whilst this was only a cold front, I never take chances when it comes to the weather after living in the Pilbara. Better to be safe than sorry as they say. I’ve lost count of how many trampolines I’ve seen fly over fences or across roads since being back in Perth.

So I’m starting to bring the outdoor chairs back under the alfresco area but in order to do this, I had to move our outdoor lounge further under the alfresco area in order to squeeze a few other chairs in. In my mind, I was telling myself that before I put my hand underneath the lounge leg, I should go to the shed and put my gloves on in case there were any spiders. So carefully thinking about it for…3 seconds…I decided that this was an overkill and a waste of…30 seconds.

Oh boy! It’s bad when I reflect, it’s terrible when I verbalise it but it’s embarrassing when I have written it. Just 30 seconds to go to the shed to get my gloves.

Anyway, I moved the lounge without gloves and as I knew, nothing happened. I reached under the outdoor lounge to lift it and moved it without any problems. Well that’s what I thought at the time!

The following morning I woke with what I thought was a small splinter in my small RH finger. It was red and quite sore but thought if it was a splinter then I would just do as I normally do and let the body reject it over the next day or two, for I couldn’t see anything that resembled a splinter.

By the end of the day, the red area was now swollen and very sore. It was hot, weeping and it appeared to have spread further up my finger.

My finger by the next day was twice as bad again. It was swollen to the point that I could no longer bend my finger. The red area had spread even further up towards the base of my finger and there were patches of white and what appeared to be dried blood throughout under the skin. At this stage it was extremely painful.

After six days since being bitten, it is much better than what it had been. It is still red, slightly swollen and sore to touch but hopefully in another few days it will be back to normal.

So what was it you ask?
It was a Redback Spider bite.

What have I learnt?
It would have taken me 30 seconds to walk to my shed, put a pair of gloves on and I would not have been bitten.

On reflection, it opened my eyes that whilst I have been out of the mining industry for over seven years now, I still need to keep the values of Health and Safety when at home.

Had I not bypassed a small but effective safety habit and done the right thing, then I could have saved myself this grief.

dont hurt yourself, michael weston, perth, redback spider, stay safe
Previous Post
Don’t know what you got until it’s gone
Next Post
Wheels in Motion – May 2022 – How long is 30 seconds?

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.