The Essential Safety Meeting Topic!
Addressing “It will never happen to me”
So, I pull into the parking lot of a popular local coffee shop to catch up with a friend over a cup of hot green tea. As I’m closing the car door, I notice a yellow No. 2 pencil on the asphalt. Don’t want to slip on that, I’m thinking, so I step over it and onto the curb.
At just about that moment, my brain sends a paralyzing thought throughout my body and I can’t move forward.
The thought…”What if someone else slips on that pencil?” A quick debate takes place in my head.
Selfish brain cells say “Don’t worry about it, not your responsibility and besides you’re going to be late…to which my conscientious brain cells yell, “No way I am going to be responsible for a life-changing injury to someone else.”
I back-track, pick up the pencil and pop it into the nearby trash receptacle.
I’m glad I picked up the pencil but in some ways I’m recognizing that it was a close call.
Why is it so easy to blow off safety? Perhaps because we think the odds are that accidental injury, death, or disability will never happen to us.
Well, it’s happening to someone. Every day in America, 12 people go to work and die on the job. And each year, over 3 million people suffer a workplace injury from which they may never recover.
Former Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, commented, “These are preventable tragedies that disable our workers, devastate our families, and damage our economy”.
The critical takeaway here is that when we create, ignore, or add to an unsafe situation, we rarely injure ourselves…statistics show it’s usually someone else who gets hurt!
And likewise, our risk of injury is in the hands of those around us.
What if we all just pick up the pencils!