Why Don’t Safety Day Events Work?
“People often believed they were safer in the light, thinking monsters only came out at night. But safety – like light – is a façade. – Author, C.J. Roberts
As a motivational safety keynote speaker and safety consultant, allow me to answer my own question, though I doubt many executive leaders or their safety officers will like my answer. What is the problem with safety day events? They are boring, and why are they boring, because people don’t think anything will happen to them.
In fact, take away the refreshments, pizzas and those club sandwiches with the salami and cheese, as a safety speaker I will say with certainly that if the event wasn’t mandatory, no one would show-up.
It all relates to the quote I led with above.
Don’t take this personally take it very personally
Safety isn’t a corporate issue, no matter how many posters, videos and droning presentations are put “out there.” And I recognize all of you executive leaders and safety officers have the best of intentions. However, if people don’t take it personally, safety just does not happen.
I can display any number of safety tools to an audience of bored workers, show them how they’re used, and the best way to use them. However, unless I can describe how a hard hat once saved my life (and it did) or unless I can relate how a tipsy office worker managed to slip and fall on a slick factory floor breaking a hip bone (and I saw this), I haven’t reached the audience.
It’s all personal.
My career as a safety speaker was well established before I completed college. I worked my way through school in steel mills and tanneries. I saw awful wounds that could have certainly been avoided. I heard of drivers high on “substances” get into horrific accidents and I have known careless workers who got burned and injured around poorly protected machinery. I knew of workers not wearing safety harnesses who literally broke their backs. Safety is all personal to me, and that is the way it must be regarded throughout your company.
The safety intention starts with self, and then it extends to every other worker and all the way up the corporate ladder to the CEO. No one in the company is exempt from safety, including HR who try their best to make sure people are safe.
As the quote says –
For the most part, most workers do feel they are “safer in the light.” They can’t imagine anything could possibly happen to them, and that leads to complacency. The minute workers become content about safety is the time they get injured. For “satisfaction” is an illusion.
A one, or even two-day safety event does send the message that the organization does care, and this is important. However, making sure the employee digests the safety message and puts it into play should always] be the key objective.
Poorly defined Safety Day events don’t work. What works is a sense of self-motivation and urgency that the worker embraces when they come home to family and friends. Unless Safety Day becomes a “take time for me, and then to you, day,” almost nothing will improve.
To contact Mike Hourigan, Safety Motivational Speaker and Consultant, please call Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.