Mike Hourigan, Safety Motivational Speaker
Safety Motivational Speaker
A Safety Silo is not a Disney Ride
One of the highest purposes of my life is to be a motivational safety speaker. Speaking on safety is personal to me, because of the early years of my career. Long before I went into sales and became a keynote speaker, I worked in factories and steel mills. I saw far too many injuries that could have been avoided.
“If you have to keep a secret it’s because you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.” ― Writer, David Nicholls
Need to Know Basis
One of the stock expressions from back then, was the saying, “That’s on a need-to-know basis.” Back in those days, it wasn’t so important to me personally when the marketing guys kept secrets from the production guys.
What bothered the hell out of me, was when information was withheld from one shift to another about faulty equipment or sub-standard materials or a forklift with a problem. I also saw it at job sites, truck terminals and food processing plants.
In those cases, the “need to know basis” had worked its way down from the big-shots to the workers. It was wrong then, it’s wrong now, only we have a new way of putting it: silo thinking.
Have you ever seen silos dotting the countryside? One may be filled with corn while another filled with wheat or another grain may be next to it. Obviously, each silo stands alone, never mixing one grain with the other. By the way (and its important to this discussion), silos can be dangerous as hell in the case of an inexperienced worker.
“Silo Thinking” is the new description for how management experts now view departments and organizations where departments try to “stand alone” and not interact with one another.
As a keynote speaker and breakout session trainer on workplace safety, I am sorry to report that workplace accidents in 2021, across the board, had not dropped. In fact, the accident rates due to falls, vehicular collisions, serious injuries and such, have been virtually flat for the last five years. Sadly, 2021 saw nearly 540 workplace fatalities. To experience a co-worker, suffer a catastrophic or fatal injury, is beyond tragic.
When we fail to look out for one another, when we fail to commit everyone in the organization to safety, we all lose.
Truth is, “Safety Silos” not only occur between management and labor; between divisions or departments but each individual on the team. Safety is highly personal and silence about an unsafe fellow employee, a faulty piece of equipment, bad brakes, overloaded circuitry, a rickety ladder or exposed steam-pipe can lead to terrible outcomes. There is nothing fun about the Safety Silo.
We are all responsible for one another. We’re all interconnected. We are not silos and we can’t encourage silo thinking. Whether your organization moves materials, builds skyscrapers, medical equipment or processes food, danger always lurks. The difference-maker is that we care for one another. Silos serve an important purpose but never when it comes to safety.
To contact Mike Hourigan, Safety Keynote and Breakout Speaker, for a virtual or in-person presentation, please call Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.