Mike Hourigan is your Safety Event Speaker
‘Tis the Season for Safety
As a safety speaker who started his career in a manufacturing environment, I have been around a lot of holiday parties. The parties have changed over time, and that’s a good thing; no company wants to serve alcohol at a company party and then have some fool get in a car and drive home.
Most company parties are not all that memorable however, after giving a talk on safety not long ago, I was invited to stay for a company party where we all heard one of the finest “safety talks” ever given.
Work teams were brought in from the field to feast on a catered lunch. The president of the construction company was the kind of person you had to admire. An immigrant, he came from nothing, built a great business, made lots of money, but never forgot where he started and who helped him get there. He made a funny speech, thanked everyone, and gave each worker a modest bonus.
Somehow the conversation left harmless topics such as NFL football, kids and the weather, and it circled around to gratitude and the topic of safety. The party joviality and kidding stopped when a worker with the build of a defensive lineman stood up and said:
“I want to say something.”
I learned the guy was not much with words. He was bearded, tattooed, intimidating, scarred and “raw” the way people who work outside are raw. He looked down at a wirily built co-worker and started talking.
“Last Spring, I almost died,” the big man said. “This skinny SOB over here saved my ass. I never thanked him good enough.”
“Sure, you did,” said the much smaller man. “It’s over and done with.”
I won’t give you the exact words the big man said in response, but it was pretty salty followed by shut-up.
We might have all laughed but it was apparent the big man’s eyes were “watery.” He explained that while up on a scaffold, his safety harness inexplicably broke and he was about to take a major fall. The other man, seeing this, scampered up the intimidating scaffold like an Olympian, attached the big man to another harness, and helped him down.
“I made it home to my wife and kids. We had a great Christmas, thanks to you.”
The room became quiet. All I could hear was Christmas music. Unbeknownst to me, the man who saved him, had a child who was battling cancer.
“Look,” said the big man, “sometimes, maybe all the time, we gotta look out for each other. Thanks for keeping me safe.”
With that, the big man signed-over the back of the bonus checked and handed it to the other man.
Grown men and women; tough as nails men and women, looked away. More than a few wiped their eyes. The president of the company unashamedly wept (it is said that on the quiet, he issued the big man another check).
The Hold of Safety
As a safety event keynote speaker, I know that the seriousness with which the people in that room regarded safety, is exactly how it should always be. Far too many people suffer serious or fatal workplace injuries because no one is watching out for them and no one cares.
I ask that you remember this story all year ‘round. On any job site, in any situation, people must be there for one another and by extension, to their families. We are all connected, and our common safety goal must always be to honor that connection.
To contact Mike Hourigan, Safety Event Keynote Speaker please call Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.