Be responsible - a life depends on it

The Friday before last, was probably one of the worst days in my life

Conrad Egbert, Editor.
Conrad Egbert, Editor.

The Friday before last, was probably one of the worst days in my life.

A close friend had a near-drowning experience at an apartment swimming pool in Dubai... while I watched.

Here’s the story: four of us friends including Sam (the victim) jumped into the deep end of the pool late Friday afternoon. Sam was last in.


As three of us lazily made our way to the shallow end of the pool engrossed in idle afternoon chit chat, Sam began to drown… quietly.

As we hung around the shallow end, we saw Sam flailing his hands, in what seemed at the time as a rather poor joke. I couldn’t decide whether to go along with the joke or actually say something. We got back to our conversation.

A minute later when the waters at the deep end were eerily calm, I asked his sister, who was reading a book, where he was. “Haven’t seen him,” she said. I could feel my heart begin to pound furiously against my ribs.

My other friend Chris dived under and a few seconds later surfaced carrying an unconscious Sam. We hurriedly yanked him out of the pool and Chris began pumping his chest. “Blow into his lungs,” he shouted still pumping frantically.

I had never taken those ‘lame’ First Aid classes in school, always bunking-off instead, so what was I supposed to do I thought, let alone having to perform CPR? Luckily, I learn quickly. After thirty seconds of a shockingly haphazard CPR performance, Sam began to show signs of coming around.

Needless to say, everyone was in shock. Many people think it’s a wonderful feeling to have somebody’s life depend on you. I tell you, it’s not. And heaven forbid, if on one sunny afternoon you fail to perform what you chose not to learn; If the shame of ignorance doesn’t kill you, guilt most definitely will!

The incident only reiterated the importance of self-regulation – something that this magazine has stressed on numerous occasions.

Successfully training workers in health and safety is more than half the battle won; getting them to implement and self-regulate is the remaining challenge.

Health and safety seeps into every aspect of our lives, leave alone on a construction site. So train and instill self-regulation and responsibility… the rest will work itself out.

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Construction Week - Issue 767
Sep 01, 2020