Thursday, September 29, 2011

Let's talk about footwear.

Stonemad is an online forum I belong to that focuses on all kinds stone-related topics. It is very informative and discussions are usually quite serious and mature. Every now and then though things get pretty silly.

Let's talk about footwear.

JSR-
I have been in construction for over 25 years and had to put up with some pretty uncomfortable work shoes and boots. I have lots of thoughts about this subject, and I don't mind being alone in my confusion, I mean conclusions. Mostly I think it is a subject that allows some exploration into the apparent trade off between safety and common sense that certain rules and safety regulations impose.
Ok it's your turn now

Doug-
I saw him climb the exterior of the Pierre Motel in Barre in crocks.

Todd-
yes, and eat them
Still I can't see snacking those polyblend croaks or crocks that John tiptoes round in. What if scurvy was setting in?

John S-
This is a hot, sweaty topic. I teach at a college and have to extra-think about safety every day....anything we build or tour, I spend hours thinking about what could possibly go wrong, then try to prepare for that. There are more uncertainties than a jobsite and it's taken me years to figure this out. Anyway, every year something does sneak through that I didn't see coming...and it blows me away what they'll come up with. You just can't prepare for everything.

I think we masons protect ourselves three ways: by our experience and familiarity of the job (to reduce the surprises), by our personal safety stuff (to soften the surprises) and our state of mind (to react to the surprises). To some extent, these are all related...if I'm well rested and confident with my scaffold, I am less concerned about falling and more aware of what's around me and can focus on what needs doing. Steel toes give me that sort of confidence..less worry about feet, more focus on job. However, I'm positive that if your feet are uber-comfy, you are likely more mentally alert, so you are more aware. JSR is on to something here.

On one federal job atop a scaffold I remember telling telling my labourer to put on his hardhat, but he claimed the scaffold protected his head and he didn't have to. Not long later we both watched (in horror) a 200lb sandstone jumper fall off an adjacent 70' scaffold as labourers overloaded a lift, and destroy the sidewalk below. He said "you see? If that stone landed on me, a hardhat would not have saved me...I'd be dead inside a hardhat." I had to agree with him (philisophical labourers). He then turned around and walked straight into the end of a putlog and was knocked unconcious. The hat would have deflected that. A rubber shoe on his head would've been better. On the other hand it was nice a quiet for a while.

So, to make a short story long, while rubber shoes sharpen your state of mind, steel covers you for those unplanned things. Unless an annoying labourer is hurt in a comical way....then it's all good.

Todd-
John, thanks for the thoughtfulness, truly. I'll be wearing Crocks on my head from here on out!

John S-
I think the ankle strap will stretch under your chin Todd. JSR- have you tried this?

JSR-
StoneMAD-HATTER

Alan-
This could worn in lieu of secret handshakes so that upon entering a town we would be reocognised as stonemasons/wallers etc. by our colleauges

JSR-
very very funny Alan, I love this idea!

John S-
John, the fireplaces and walls are ok, but this is your finest work. Great idea Alan...no one will ever figure this out. I've never been more proud to be a stonemason. Too late on the head protection though...obviously the damage is already done. Beautiful!

JSR-
stoneMAD!
Doug-
Almost wet my shorts

John S-
Doug- put a rubber shoe in your shorts. JSR- Have you tried this?
JSR-

Colleen-
My mother once told me things like that might stick. HA HA one for the scrap book
JSR-
Never mind Hard Hats, what about "soft hats"? Now why didnt anyone think of that before? Much more comfortable

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