Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

No Laughing Matter!

Safety is serious business, but that hasn’t stopped some from poking fun at the way those of us who work for a living get hurt. Before he became famous as a Cajun chef, Justin Wilson worked as a safety engineer in Louisiana. He changed careers, became a comedian, telling stories based on real life incidents that he investigated. 
 
That was fifty years ago, but some things never change. Case in point: a cable news report on a recent event involving a dropped object. During a repair to a tower. On a college campus.
 
The reporter thought the event was a laughing matter. So, she did comedy. So did some of the university leaders. Feel free to laugh: 
 
 
Do you think that’s what the two people working in that bucket lift were thinking, when they unexpectedly found themselves in harm’s way? Or for that matter, their supervisors, who were responsible for what went wrong?
 
Hardly. Somebody could have gotten killed! 
 
Which makes a point about near misses: whether it’s a hit or a miss, the causes are the same. So, take them all seriously.

Paul Balmert
December 2018

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