When is 100-Percent the Same as 0-Percent?

Mike Hourigan, Workplace Safety Keynote Speaker

“Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable”.Mark Twain

In my professional role as a workplace safety speaker and workplace safety consultant and author, I am pleased beyond measure to speak in front of thousands of manufacturers, safety officers, executive leaders and, of course, those who run the machinery, work the production lines, load the trucks in warehouses and drive the big rigs.

Though I earned my degrees and dedicated my speaking career to talking about workplace safety, for many years to support myself in school and after, I worked in steel mills, tanneries and warehouses. I love the people I talk to as a workplace safety keynote speaker and workplace safety consultant. It is never an act with me. I have seen bad injuries and safety violations.

Behind the scenes: fear
As a workplace safety keynote speaker, I am not a “blue collar” versus “white collar” kind of guy. I have little use for those who play one side against the other. I have been on both sides of the “safety curtain,” the funny part about the safety curtain is that it’s not like the “Wizard of Oz.” Sometimes a shop foreman will talk to me about safety statistics and sometimes the CEO who suspects something has been going on, but has no proof.

Truth is, that behind the scenes, sometimes the 100-percent, perfect safety record is more like 50-percent or lower. Workers get injured and are afraid to report it, sometimes a supervisor will slip them a few bucks (to shut-up) and tell them to go back to work.
Executive leaders are not always to blame. I need to make that point crystal clear. Sometimes injuries, illnesses from exposures, or from burns, faulty equipment, slips and falls are covered up like you wouldn’t believe, because bonuses and incentives might be lost. A lot of it comes from a lack of communication, sometimes from fear, and most unfortunately, because of a complete lack of disregard for safety. I know this and honestly, I saw it in action.

Let me please ask
Here’s another question that I must ask, blue collar and white collar alike: is an injury to a marketing assistant who had “one too many” and badly slipped on the ice following the office Holiday Party, treated any different from the temporary factory worker who “ran into” an exposed steam pipe (that was reported as a violation) 6-weeks earlier? Then, of course, the follow-up: was the reputed, perfect, 100-percent safety record affected?

As a workplace safety keynote speaker and workplace safety consultant I will state that if, somehow, the statistics were unaffected, or if the marketing assistant was lavished with benefits and bedrest and the temporary help was forgotten, the organization has a major safety problem.

Safety is everyone’s business. Either the organization looks out for everyone equally, or no one, and is truly up to everyone. When blue collar and white collar alike, stop looking out for each other, 100-percent and 0-percent are the same and everyone loses.

To contact Mike Hourigan, Workplace Safety Keynote Speaker, please call Mike today at (704) 875-3030 or fill out the form below.

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Safety Speaker Mike Hourigan

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    Mike does much more than present one-of-a-kind keynote speeches - he provides fun and fact filled breakout sessions as well as dynamic training programs for numerous organizations like Marriott, Disney, Harley-Davidson and even the U.S. Army.