In the last few years it seems like we’ve discussed everything safety that can be discussed. The challenge is always relevance or the topic du jour. We discussed bike safety, cold, hot, electrical, first dates, crossing guards, and ladder safety in the woods. We discussed drugs and alcohol in the workplace and its overall effect on not just the work environment but the dangers it presents behind the wheel, and at home. Not to mention the precedent setting laws created to appease a minority. Whoops I almost got political. I’ve tried to avoid political topics even though it can be a safety issue.
In the last years we’ve seen a rise in “Gun Violence”. The issue has polarized the country and challenged us to act to a point where as a safety company we are developing an “Active Shooter Awareness” training. What a sad day. The second amendment, “The right to Keep, and Bear Arms” doesn’t mean wearing a short sleeved or a sleeveless shirt or blouse. I don’t mean to diminish the issue because it truly has touched a lot of lives. It seems everyone has an opinion and to try to make everybody happy would create turmoil, in a system that was meant to be simple, by creating “what ifs” and “exceptions”. That’s a lawyer’s pay day.
Yes “Everybody’s Life Matters.” So as safety advocates what can we do short of metal detectors at the gate? We’ve said it before. We must create a culture of safety. Employ “Behavior” based programs using “on line training”, classroom and production floors or wherever it is appropriate. Where everyone is not just responsible for his or her own safety but for recognizing the safety of those they work with, and treating them with respect. Employers need to be involved. It starts at the top. They must challenge their HR and Safety departments, and supervisors, to be vigilant, and proactive in their training and making good choices, while exercising fairness.
I don’t mean to oversimplify the problem. This is a problem that is not going to go away anytime soon, because it is as complex as is our society is in general, with instant access to…(you fill in the blank here). We do need to break the problem down into its simplest terms, and remember it’s not a competition; “We VS. Them” so you can read the results in the sports news tomorrow. It’s a matter of taking care of each other, while recognizing individual needs. Its Basic Living 101, and respecting the rights of all. This isn’t a new concept it’s been around since the dawn of man. Need one more example? Read the story of the “Good Samaritan” You can search it on line or you can find it in the Bible Luke 10:25-37. We need to restart somewhere and soon. Please consider being a part of the solution. It starts at home.