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  • Watching Out for Each Other is a Daily Routine

    It’s still cold in Wisconsin, and forecasters are predicting another wave of arctic air for today and the rest of the weekend with high winds. So, as a safety advocate I checked out my PPE. I stepped out into the morning air. It was 4 degrees and the wind is coming out of the northwest. It takes me about 30 minutes to walk to work. The forecasters were right; maybe I should have worked "On Line” This morning

    As I’m walking my mind does wander a bit, and I’m thinking about a blog topic. I live in a small village in northeastern WI, where everybody knows everybody. As I turned the corner and headed into the west wind I could hear the snowplow. Looking up, I could see a “Hi-Vis arm reach out of the window and wave hello and honk the horn. I continued my crossing guardjourney. It’s about this time that the early morning church goers are heading for home, and the school bus driver is making her rounds. We wave every day, acknowledging the routine like a daily safety meeting. I do join the Church goers on Wednesdays just to keep my head screwed on straight. It’s like meeting with management. I’m almost there, and a car pulls up to see if I need a ride. I have to admit I was pretty tempted, but if I wanted a doughnut at the bakery I needed to finish the walk. The last person I see and exchange Hi’s before I get to the office is the lady crossing guard. She’s been on that corner for as long as I can remember; helping others cross the busy main street on their way to school. We’re both praying for spring to get here soon.

    It was then that I realized that looking out for each other is a part of what we do. This includes safety, and acknowledging others as we pass through our day at work, whether its manufacturing, the office, teaching, public agencies, or in the hospitality industry, it is a very important part of developing the safety culture that we keep referring to. Behavioral safety starts with you, the minute you roll back your eyelids when the alarm clock goes off. This type of human partnership reduces stress in the workplace, at home, and yes on vacation. Ok I’m here now my glasses are fogged up and I’m thinking about finding tickets to someplace warm. Maybe I’ll get a doughnut and a cup of coffee first.

  • Safety, It's Not a Spectator Sport

    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:

    “Safety is no joke when you have to stand in front of a widow.”safety is everyones responsibility

    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.

    If you looking to revamp your safety program in 2015, let the safety experts at SafetyInstruction.com help. Contact us and we can help you make 2015 a safer year!

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