Managing Safety Performance NewsFlash

Saying Something

It’s a rule anyone who’s ever learned to change a tire knows well: before jacking up a vehicle, put it in park and set the parking brake. For good measure, chock the wheels.  But just because someone knows the rules doesn’t always mean they follow the rules.

Here’s a case where that rule wasn’t followed, with tragic consequences.

But there’s more to this story than a rule not followed. The repair technician was out on assignment, working at the customer’s site. There’s no indication that he had a helper, but those working for the customer did see him working under the forklift.

Would they have known whether the vehicle was in park or the brake was set? Probably not. Could they have seen that the forklift was not chocked? Probably. Had they taken the time to look.

But even if they suspected there might be a problem, would they have said something?

An eyewitness put it this way: “She didn’t say anything…..because the service guys usually growled at anyone that asked if they were ok or needed anything.”

It’s easy to come up with a long list of reasons not to say something in situations like this. There’s only one reason to say something: to help keep someone safe.

Something to think about the next time someone says something to you.

Paul Balmert
August 2021

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