Over the last couple of years, we’ve discussed a lot of safety topics relevant to work and play, employer and family, occupation and hobbies. Still the one quote that stands out in my mind is from a safety director in Florida named Jim. Jim was also in charge of news releases, and making arrangements for unsafe acts that went horribly wrong. In 2013, The United States Department of Labor reported 4,405 workers died on the job. Jim said these sobering words:
In my personal life I’m a Father of six, and a Grandfather. I’ve also been in the United States Army Reserve USAR, and finished a short career there as a recruiter along with a close friend. Jack and I would visit schools and families looking for warm bodies to join us. This was during the Vietnam era, so we didn’t have a very welcoming crowd. We did however, find that the younger the audience, the more impressed they were with our uniforms, message and story.
In our Church I’ve been a volunteer instructor for a long time, nobody is keeping score so I don’t know for how many years. I know my hair wasn’t the grey color I’m sporting today. These young minds are like sponges, they are full of life and anxious to learn. Last night my 6th graders arm wrestled with the pastor. As a father, it seemed when the kids were younger they were more ready to listen and learn, of course they had to wait till they were 16 to learn to drive a car, although there was a blurred line there.
My experience tells me that skills need to be taught early and often. I would urgently request that as safety advocates, instructors, and providers, we need to continue to search for ways to convey the message, or preach the gospel, and make it stick. Safety is not a spectator sport!
The safety industry offers so many more alternatives today for organizing and training, starting with behavioral training both online and in the classroom and up to date videos including gory stories. Safety training now reaches into our schools and hospitality industry. We need to remind and encourage our learners to take their skills from the classroom not just into the plant, school or place of employment, but home to their families where you are your children’s first and most important teacher. Don’t allow yourself or a member of your family to become a 2015 statistic.