Workplace Safety Keynote Speaker
Is Your Circle of Safety too Small?
As a workplace safety keynote speaker, I often share with my audiences that I did not “come up” in industry in the typical manner. I like to speak on safety because I worked in steel mills, construction and manufacturing. In fact, not long ago, I was introduced to a manufacturing group by the CEO who called me “the working guy’s best friend.”
At first, I was embarrassed by it, but she had a point. I am passionate about delivering safety keynote speeches because I was witness to terrible accidents. I speak about safety from the heart.
Circle of Safety
Chances are, if you work in any phase of construction, transportation, manufacturing or mining, you are familiar with the phrase “Circle of Safety.” The circle of safety is an expression we usually use around large pieces of heavy equipment. Large pieces of heavy equipment have the risk of blind spots. Most serious injuries or sadly, fatalities around heavy equipment, come as the result of equipment operators or workers not paying attention to the “360 degrees of threat” a piece heavy equipment presents.
However, I would be wrong – at best – if I didn’t point out that any equipment, whether a semi-, forklift, steam kettle, crusher or you-get-the-picture, carries a “360-degree risk.” Safety-wise, there is no point in being safety conscious around a crusher and then putting out your back by lifting a piece of heavy piece of equipment in the tool shed.
This leads me to a life-saving statement: your circle of safety is probably too small.
Stones in a Pond
When we throw a stone into a pond, we all know that the biggest point of impact is the place the stone hits the water. But the ripples keep widening. Safety is just like that. In fact, I know from experience that safety isn’t about being careful around one piece of equipment and then ditching all common sense by slipping on an oil spill, falling off a broken ladder, getting a bad burn on a steam pipe or allowing a co-worker to drive home drunk.
The ripples in a pond run together, they don’t stop and start with the immediate area around earth moving equipment or crane. The “360” extends not only to every kind of apparatus and every action on the job.
I would also be wrong if I didn’t mention that every worker on the job is connected. It is our duty to not only look out for ourselves, but to watch out for our co-workers.
Safety doesn’t begin when a worker drives to the job-site, mine, factory or terminal. It begins with a attitude of “I’ll look out for you, if you look out for me.” Safety is a negotiation that says our job is to make sure we will all get home safe to our families.
The ripples in our safety pond may focus on the impact of a heavy piece of equipment and its Circle of Safety, but we should never ignore unsafe conditions or dangerous behaviors far away from the center of the circle.
This year, let’s all commit to making our Circle of Safety wider than it has ever been before.
To contact Mike Hourigan, Safety Motivational Speaker, for a virtual or in-person presentation, please call. Contact Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.