Sign & Digital Graphics

Recognized Supplier Guide ’19

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8 • March 2019 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S Oh, Brother, Big Brother Rick Williams owns Rick's Sign Company, a commercial sign shop in Longview, Texas. He has been in the sign industry since 1973 and documenting the sign business since 1986. Contact him at B Y R I C K W I L L I A M S In the Trenches rather go kicking, screaming and grabbing for something on the dad-blamed way down! Now, I know there are rules, and I sure don't mind being safe on the jobsite. But protecting me from risks that don't exist, at least on that day, seemed like a foolish waste of time. However, I took a break from work for a while, and instead went shopping in town for another lanyard. And before coming back I made sure to swing by the shop and retrieve my bright green hardhat, though all it was going to do on that job was give me a bad hair day… which it did. Of course, there are no exceptions when Big Brother is mak- ing up the rules, and having a company safety guy standing there watching over me should have been expected. But, just to save time, I almost wished I had my OSHA issued "Silver Idiot Card" to reach for in my truck, which would carry a little weight by stating, "The Holder of this Card, though he may look like an idiot, has worked for more than 25 years without a lost-time accident, and he knows what he's doing." Though closer to my timeframe would be the OSHA "gold card," given to those "who by luck, skill or Providence, or a combination of the above, has worked for more than 50 years without a lost- time accident. Leave him the heck alone." Now, you know I'm just teasing, and I certainly do not wish to jinx however many working years I have left, working years that I intend to be as event free as four decades-plus that I've worked so far. I really do believe that safety is job one, especially at this stage of the game. But it was at the beginning stages of the game that I needed a safety guy watching my every move. Back then, my motto was, "What could possibly go wrong?" And on a few occasions I proved that to be a multiple choice question. "How many ways could this job go wrong?" would have been a more appropriate question. Well, I'm older and wiser now… much older… and a little bit wiser. Somehow, I've gone through years and years of sign installs and other projects with nothing more serious than a scratch or two. And yes, I'm thankful, and know who to be thankful to. Providence is just one of His names. Well, I hope you've been as fortunate as I've been, or more so. And when you go out to work, I hope you have all your PPE equipment with you, and you don't need a safety guy to keep you out of trouble. But if, if like me, if you're a bit leery of tying off to the Titanic, well I'm not saying nothin'. T he company I was to work for had a large field office sev- eral miles away, straight down the highway that runs by the shop. Their business is oil and gas pipelines, and recently they'd been bought out by a big player in that industry. This meant work for me since every sign that had their old name and logo on it had to be changed. At that location there were several small directional signs, some safety message signs, and one lighted 4x8 sign on two short posts, which overall was not even 10 feet tall. As I posi- tioned my bucket truck in place to remove the two acrylic faces, my con- tact there, a man roughly half my age, came rushing out and stopped me in my tracks. "You know you will have to get your fall harness and lanyard on to do this job, and you'll need to put on a hard hat, and wear your safety glasses. Be sure you do all that before you get started." Well, I was prepared to get started right then, but that was just wishful thinking. He was calling the shots, as I was working on their property, and I am sure he was reading me the rules according to OSHA and who knows what else. Yes, I know safety is priority numero uno, but the short signs I would be working on meant my head was the tallest thing around, especially if I was in the bucket, and unless I was concerned about a bird dropping a greeting from above, I can't imagine what I needed a hard hat for. Though I was doing no grinding, drilling or any action to need them, I didn't mind wearing safety glasses, but I knew already that someone had "borrowed" the lanyard to my fall protection harness and that was going to be a problem for sure. Funny, I have never been that fond of that danged harness, nor the idea that if my manlift or bucket truck was falling to the ground, like the captain of the Titanic, I should go down with the ship. Slamming me into the ground with my rig seems like certain death to me, and if death is the enemy here, I'd

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