Digital Didn’t Stop that Fall
Safety Speaker: When I was recently delivering a safety keynote speech in the capacity of a Workplace Safety Keynote Speaker, a VP of Manufacturing, and an old friend of mine asked: “Mike, remember all of those goofy safety posters? Where did they go?” As a workplace safety keynote speaker, I smiled and said: “Everyone’s going digital now.”
It’s true, the “face” of workplace safety is changing. Instead of safety posters, many manufacturing and transportation companies have installed monitors where safety announcements can be shown on screens all mixed-in, I suppose, with notices about the company picnic or the latest intramural basketball scores.
And, instead of needing to go to thick manuals or attend talks on the latest respirator or safety harness, all of that information can be sent to hand-held devices and personal computer screens. I should also mention that safety podcasts can, of course, be accessed while workers are wearing their earbuds.
As a workplace safety keynote speaker, I should be ecstatic, right? The world of safety has “escaped” ugly paper posters, spec manuals that seem to be outdated a day after they’re printed and joy upon joy, no one has to listen to someone squawking safety over a squawk box.
Sorry, not sorry
While I am not old-fashioned in my safety speaking (for I remember many production accidents from back when), I am unimpressed with the complacency and “contentment” that seems to have entered the work place, whether a job site, warehouse terminal or food manufacturing retort areas.
People aren’t watching the monitors. While they should be working and learning, many employees are accessing their smartphones for online betting, sports news or TikTok videos. While they should be focusing on the tasks at hand, the earbuds are causing decibel damage on their own, or blocking out the backup signal on the forklift that is three feet behind them.
So, everyone, I’m sorry but not sorry for shrugging my shoulders when I am told about how great safety messaging has become. I am much more interested in looking at the frightening statistics. As a safety keynote speaker, I have to live in the inconvenient world of truth.
The overall statistics are still frightening and the adjusted numbers are flat. That hard information greatly troubles me for I worked in manufacturing and I saw the real-life results of falls, slips, back injuries, bad lacerations and accidents caused by alcohol and drugs.
May I reinforce something I have spoken of many times in my motivational safety talks? When OSHA reports a fall, they are not talking about a slip on the ice; when a burn is reported, it is not a splash from a bowl of chili; when a vehicular accident is conveyed it is not a fender-bender in a parking lot.
Accidents affect families, friends and companies.
When a worker suffers a bad injury – or worse, it is a fault in the messaging, system, department and many of the co-workers who might have seen something and said nothing. There is no safety workplace advantage to digital if tragic and totally avoidable accidents continue. Nothing replaces safety awareness. It is a message everyone needs to embrace, digital or on-paper, everyone in the work place must look out for one another.
To contact Mike Hourigan, Workplace Safety Motivational Speaker, please call Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.