Mike Hourigan, your Virtual Safety Motivational Speaker
In a Virtual World, Nothing is as Real as Safety
My roots as a virtual safety motivational speaker go all the way back to when I was working in factories and loading trucks. Though right now a lot of people are working virtually, to the men and women on the factory floors, in warehouses, construction, over-the-road, in ag or on heavy machinery, safety is a real thing. I know, I’ve been there.
When I give my virtual safety keynote talks to executives, managers, foremen and the guys doing the work, I stress that safety is a real-life negotiation. To the guys on the job, there is no “virtual.” Safety is the difference between going home after a shift or going to the hospital in the middle of a shift.
Safety is a Negotiation
As a virtual safety motivational speaker, I explain that the safest workplace is one where there is a constant safety negotiation. The negotiation must take place with everyone on the team, from the executive vice president to the janitor sweeping the floor.
Many years ago, safety expert Terry Bragg writing for EHS, the occupational health and safety magazine, talked about the safety negotiation by saying that “Perception is Reality.” He was right when he said, “People act upon what they perceive to be true. To improve your negotiation skills, learn to create perceived value in the minds of the people in which you are negotiating. Point out the value and benefits of doing what you want done. Educating others is a critical negotiating skill.”
My goal as a virtual keynote speaker on safety is to create in the minds of my audiences that there is no higher “people” mission on the job than to stay safe. As Bragg said, “Find common ground with the other party. See negotiation as a common search for solutions to problems.”
To keep safety in the workplace we always need to find that common ground. How do we go about doing that?
The Important Safety Negotiation
Educational materials, posters, lectures, warnings and reprimands are – at best – quick fixes. The total effect of all of the “lecturing” is a temporary bump in poor safety “behaviors,” but don’t be surprised if the next day, the mistake will happen again.
The important part of the safety negotiation is the human part. A machinist might walk past a safety poster 50 times a day and not remember a word. A warehouse worker might walk around a puddle in the floor five times and not give it a second thought. A plumber might be working with a faulty piece of equipment for several hours and not think twice about it.
Then sooner or later, the machinist gets hurt because she didn’t follow the instructions on the poster; the warehouse worker slips and breaks his hip after going through the puddle on the sixth time, or the plumber gets badly burned while using the faulty equipment.
We must find common ground in the safety negotiation, and that common ground is to see the humanity, the human part of the equation in each other.
As a virtual keynote speaker on safety, my objective is to humanize the safety negotiation. For example, if you ever want to play in the fastpitch softball league again, you better understand that using that equipment the wrong way, may result in you breaking your arm; if you break your back after a bad slip you could be bedridden for a year; if you badly burn yourself, you could not come home at all.
At the end of the day, as co-workers on the job, we must work together to keep each other alive and well. We have to be in it together.
Mike Hourigan, Virtual Safety Motivational Speaker, offers virtual podcasts, live video conferencing and in-person events on workplace safety. For more information on Mike Hourigan, call today at (704) 875-3030 or by filling out the form on this page.
Virtual Safety Motivational Speaker Mike Hourigan
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