Workplace Safety Speaker
How Many Days Has It Been for You?
My work as a Workplace Safety Speaker has taken me to many manufacturing, trucking and construction companies.
Recently, the president of a company invited me to see the operation before I delivered a safety speech. Before I ever thought about becoming a keynote speaker on safety, I worked in construction, manufacturing, and transportation, so it always feels good to “come back home.”
As I pulled up to the administration building, I noticed a large LED display sign proudly proclaiming:
“We’re Proud to be 782 Days, Accident Free!”
“Wow,” I thought, “that’s nearly three years’ worth of workdays. Good job, guys!”
Around the Back
It was an odd time of day, and all of the beautiful visitor’s spaces were occupied, so I found a space a decent walking distance from the building.
As I parked the car, I couldn’t help but notice three workers leaving the fabrication plant. Two workers were helping a third who was “limping to his car.” Given my own background in manufacturing and construction, I figured the worker either slipped and took a hard fall or wrenched his back trying to lift too much.
“I’m proud as hell of our safety record,” the president said.
“I’m sure you are,” was my flat reply.
The company was no different than many others. Management was lured into a false sense of security. The worker who fell was afraid to report it, and as a matter of fact, the worker’s boss never kicked a comp claim “upstairs.” They carried on with business as usual.
As safety speaker, I have seen many, similar examples: workers getting “sick” because cleaning solutions weren’t properly neutralized; lacerations of the hands because a worker lacked the correct safety gloves; steam burns from working around pipes and numerous warehouse accidents (you would not believe some of the dumb things people do with forklifts). And none of these ever made it to the statistics due to fear, cover-ups, and hidden policies.
Where It Leads
Safety violations, accidents and “cover-ups,” are never one and done. No one is doing anyone a favor by breaking a mythical streak on a board whether the so-called streak is for 10 shifts or 10,000. In the end, numbers are meaningless if they don’t represent the true picture.
Sloppiness, dangerous work conditions, substance abuse, erratic behaviors, workplace harassment and bullying – of any kind, the full range of potential safety hazards, always lead downhill. Dangerous situations never spontaneously correct themselves. My experience is that they get worse.
When the CEO, not just the safety officer, neglects to treat worker safety as their top priority, it is a sure-fire sign that the factors are in place for a catastrophe.
I am much more interested in safety awareness, the concern that one worker has for another, the safety culture and pride that comes from one worker making sure that her or his co-workers return safely home.
How many days has it been that your organization has been truly safe?
Book Mike Hourigan, Safety Keynote and Breakout Speaker, for a presentation. Contact Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.