Is Safety an Option, a Burden or an Obligation?
My passion as a workplace safety speaker has led me all across America to deliver keynote addresses and break-out training sessions as a keynote speaker and breakout speaker on safety to construction companies, food processing, pharmaceutical companies, manufacturing, trucking companies and similar organizations.
I have seen the results of what happens when safety is ignored. As a workplace safety speaker, I frequently like to ask the question you see above: Is safety an option, a burden or an obligation? Almost always, I am left with blank stares.
All of the Above? Or, None of the Above?
To those who say, “Safety is an option,” I ask, “What is the other option, dangerous work conditions?” Dangerous work conditions lead to major lawsuits, shut-downs, injuries and deaths. Who in the company is prepared to go to the family of a badly injured or dead worker and explain: “We had the option of safety training, but we choice another option?”
If the answer is: “Safety training is nothing more than a burden,” it implies that because it is a burden, “we spent as little as we could, did as little as we could just to satisfy the minimum requirements and we didn’t want to be burdened with the outcome.” Who then, in the company will tell a grieving family member that instead of investing in the safety of an employee, “we cut every corner we could?”
Finally, if we were to say to executives, insurers, family members or even injured parties who were injured as a result of a careless worker, “Well, safety training was nothing more than a lousy obligation to us. We didn’t really believe in it or liked to be bothered with it, we just held our noses and pounded through it, so we didn’t care, what does that make us?”
The answer must be, none of the above. Yet, as a workplace safety speaker, I will tell you that many companies (though they won’t admit it), believe that one, or all three are correct.
What is the answer?
The answer is simple: Workplace safety is our highest purpose. Workplace safety is not a game, not an option, not a burden and never an “obligation” to satisfy a legal requirement.
Workplace safety must be incorporated not only into everything we say in posters or banners or in training sessions but in everything we do.
Workplace safety MUST be taken as seriously by the CEO as it is by the newly hired framer; as seriously by the executive vice president as by the person who loads the truck and every bit as seriously as the safety trainer as the payroll supervisor walking across the factory floor to get a document signed.
The highest purpose must be safety, for if it isn’t, then every person I just mentioned must be ultimately prepared to go to the family of an injured worker and apologize on behalf of the organization. If we have any option, burden or obligation it must be to anyone who puts their life on the line for the rest of us.
I’m Mike Hourigan, and workplace safety speaking is my highest purpose. Call me.
Book Mike Hourigan, Workplace Safety Keynote Speaker today, for a virtual or in-person presentation. Contact Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.