By Jeff Sonnenberg on Jan 24, 2020 9:35:40 AM
People are “committed” to different things, right? Some folks are committed to their sports team - baseball, football, basketball, college, or pro! If you’re married, committed to your spouse. Committed to your faith. Committed to your job...does that include a commitment to safety?Safety takes Commitment!
Many people view safety as just another “thing” they must endure at work, like:
- The annoying co-worker that chomps their gum or clicks their pen all day long
- The copier that constantly jams
- Coworkers who reply to all about everything
- The person who heats up really strong-smelling food
- Unreliable internet connection
- The very-contagious cougher/sneezer....why are you here?!
Just something we have to put up with!
I often hear that when referring to safety rules, safety training, wearing PPE (personal protective equipment), following safety procedures, or filling out permits. "It's part of the job, let’s just get through it as quickly as possible."
Is that a productive way to look at safety?
Considering that doing those safety "things" could save your life one day, I think not! In many jobs these days, safety is a necessity, not a luxury. Many companies and industries are seeing that putting “Safety First” is the only way to make it work and the only way to keep their employees safe. According to the Bureau of Labor, in 2018, 5250 workers were killed on the job. That’s 14.4 workers every day!
Were those workers committed to safety? The sad truth is that many of them were not. Many ignored safety training, safety procedures/policies, failed to wear PPE, intentionally bypassed safety devices, or thought nothing bad could happen to them. The old saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” comes to mind. Many of these employees killed on the job were trained! They knew the hazards and the risks. Their training was documented and complete, yet it did not save them. If co-workers don't have a personal commitment to safety, who can save them? Is the safety guy going to be around all the time? Is the supervisor going to look over their shoulder every minute of the day? Will there always be a co-worker around to help? No, No, and No!
At some point we have decisions to make:
- Is safety important to me?
- Am I going to take the warnings and training seriously?
- Do I want to go home at the end of the day with my life and limbs intact?
It sounds dramatic...it is! Consider that at the end of today, 14 people won't go home to their families, partners, or pets.
Safety takes a personal commitment!
At some point, we will all be in situations that allow/require us to make a choice.
- Follow the rules or don’t
- Wear PPE or don’t
- Fasten the seatbelt or not
- Replace batteries in the smoke alarm or not
No one can do it for us. It is our choice. Most times, YOU are the person most in control of your safety. What will you choose?
Make that commitment to be safe, follow the rules, and be an example. Safety for life because safety protects your life.