Let’s Make 2023…a Safer Year
Last week, speaking in Charlotte, North Carolina in my role as a workplace safety motivational speaker, a sales person in the trade show area casually asked why everyone always made “such a big deal” about common sense stuff.
“After all,” he said, “stupid mistakes get rid of stupid people, and there’s too many as it is.”
Rather than challenge him, I nonchalantly asked him about his background.
“I sold office supplies,” he said, “and before that, office furniture.”
“So, you never worked in production, transportation or construction,” I noted.
“You wouldn’t catch me dead, working with my hands.”
I walked away realizing how clueless he was.
The joke of it all
The topic of safety (and I know this as a safety speaker) is often seen as a “class thing.” The man in the trade show booth had no idea that prior to my decades long career as a safety speaker I actually worked in production, transportation and construction. Maybe my business suit, business card or my manner of speech fooled him. However, the joke of it all, was that when working with my hands, so-to-speak, some of my happiest memories were with the co-workers who believed in safety and who looked out for one another.
As a workplace safety motivational speaker, there are many truths I have learned over the years, none of which is more important than workplace safety is everyone’s business. Many examples come to mind.
In 2020, during the worst of the pandemic lockdown, there were more than 38,000 traffic fatalities. Many accidents were reported with sales people and in fact, 2020 showed a 7-percent increase in traffic fatalities over 2019.
Here’s another interesting fact: in 2022, violent crime rose in 7 of the top 10 states where people feel the safest, versus 3 of the states where people feel least safe. This carries right into executive offices, where complacency reigns supreme.
In 2022, workplace violence rose, drug abuse rose and sexual harassment and abuse were near all-time highs.
Of workplace injuries in the past year, in the office as well as “in-the-field” injuries included infectious diseases (COVID, RSV, Influenza), severe slips and falls, transportation incidents, severe lacerations and serious back injuries were all recorded in the office environment.
No matter where I speak
No matter where I work as a safety speaker, be it the Raleigh-Durham-area, Cleveland or Los Angeles, people express their concerns not only about the issues I raised above, but many safety concerns that are far less obvious, including a lack of stress management; retaliation after making a safety complaint; physical fitness issues; lack of modern safety equipment; improper training especially with handling volatile fluids; a lack of gang-lifting; rushed deadlines and maybe the worst of all, safety cover-ups.
No matter where I speak on safety, and despite all of the assurances that “the workplace has never been safer,” the fears are real, and just right under the surface. To ignore these safety fears in 2023, is to ignore your most valuable assets, your people. Let’s strive to make this a safer year. As a workplace safety motivational speaker, I am here to help.
To contact Mike Hourigan, Charlotte Safety Motivational Speaker, please call Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.