Mike Hourigan, Safety Motivational Speaker
Why is being a safety motivational speaker so important to me? Earlier in my career, long before I was an executive and dressed in suits, I worked in production on the factory floor. I saw first-hand what happened to workers who took safety for granted. I am passionate about being a national safety speaker on safety topics and challenging organizations to reduce workplace injuries.
More Aware, but Not Enough
On April 6, 2019, the National Safety Council published the latest statistics on workplace injuries. Given OSHA regulations, mandatory safety training speaker sessions, posters and online information, we might think that injuries are a thing of the past. The numbers don’t agree with that conclusion.
Across the nation, from 2017 to 2018, about 4.6 million injuries occurred on the job with more than 104 million production days lost due to workplace wounds and accidents. The top three reasons for accidents resulting in about 86 percent of serious injuries were due to overexertion, contact with heavy or sharp objects, and falls and trips. Some of those injuries were disastrous. Despite the “awareness,” the accidents occurred in every sector of the labor force including service jobs, transportation, manufacturing, installation and construction. After analyzing the data, the National Safety Council reported that most of the injuries were avoidable.
If the more than 104 million production days that were lost were avoidable, how come they weren’t avoided?
In 2018, a major insurance company did an analysis of why injuries occur and came up with 10 Tips to Prevent Workplace Injuries. Most of the suggestions were predictable. For example, they advised companies to devise a comprehensive safety and wellness plan and to continuously educate employees and management on safety techniques. They warned companies not to take safety shortcuts and to wear protective equipment. However, most companies are already doing those kinds of things and accidents are still occurring. Therefore, most of the “avoidable injuries” were not prevented by meetings and action plans.
Creating a Safety Story
At the end of the day, the injury statistics are nice to know, but they represent an overwhelming picture. To the individual worker, the most important aspect of safety isn’t about the millions of hours lost due to injury, but making it home to family and friends, and that’s the problem.
Most safety meetings are held to meet a requirement where complacent speakers lecture bored workers. Information is dispensed as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Signs and posters may be required by law, but flooding a work area with them is often overwhelming. Boring safety lectures or generic signs are strings of words without a story.
What does it mean to tell a story? To the production worker, truck driver, police officer or firefighter, the construction or installation crews, the story is what connects them to the why. For example: “Why do I want to learn the proper way to pick up a heavy object? Because if you hurt your back you won’t be able to pick up your new baby or play golf.”
Avoiding an injury is best accomplished by personalizing what will happen if an injury is sustained. It is motivating the worker to care enough to learn the proper safety procedures so that he or she can care for their own well-being and the well-being of friends and families.
Those who lead workplace safety classes to all of the way up the ladder to the CEO need to remind themselves that workers aren’t statistics, but men and women who are unique stories as well as valued employees.
Let me help your organization tell its safety story.
Safety Topics below.
- Are You Communicating Safely?
- Hard Hats, Safety Glasses and Respirators Can’t Protect Workers From Stress
- Hiring for Safety
- Successful Teamwork: How to Manage a Multi Generational Workforce
- Millennials, Management & Me: How to Develop a Millennial Management Mindset
Your topic “Finding the right people for the right job at the right time” was exactly what we needed in these times of low unemployment and intense competition for superior talent.
The way you involved our fire safety audience with industry specific humor and ribbing was something that kept everyone on the edge of their chairs, and at the same time presented real-world examples to illustrate your points.
-President of the NAFED
Contact Safety Motivational Speaker
Mike Hourigan, Safety Motivational Speaker
For more information on Mike Hourigan’s Safety Motivational keynotes and break-out training, call him today at: (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.