I've Been Doing It This Way For The Past __ Years - 12/13/2010
U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Safety E-QuickTips is a weekly email designed to help Employers and Employees
start their week with a short thought about safety in the workplace.
I've Been Doing It This Way for the Past __ Years
When it comes to changing how we handle safety, many of us put a lot of effort into
justifying why there is no reason to change how we are doing it.
One reason I've heard time and time again from experienced employees is "I've
been doing it this way for the past __ years and I'm still here." Sound familiar?
How do you respond when people say this? They do have a point, don't they?
Here's what I say . . .
For the past 11 years, I have helped businesses when they have received OSHA
citations, and more often than I prefer, I have dealt with fatalities. One Friday
afternoon, I received a call from a client's Superintendent. He told me that an
employee of their roofing subcontractor had been blown from a flat roof. The
man was only 20 years old.
The Superintendent went on to say that before lunch he had advised the
subcontractor's Foreman that winds were supposed to pick up in the afternoon. The
Foreman needed to make sure that materials like roof panels were secured properly
and that the people on the roof were properly tied off.
When he received the call on his cell notifying him about the incident, the
Superintendent was at lunch. He went back to the site and found that the young
man had been working near the edge of the roof without being tied off properly.
High winds had blown a piece of unsecured decking upward knocking him off the
At this point in my story I usually stop. I might hear something like this: "Young
people today don't understand how they need to protect themselves. Since I've
been doing it this way for the past __ years that would never happen."
That's when I move to another story about an employee that was 2 weeks away
from retirement when he fell off a roof to his death.
Don't let "I've been doing it this way for the past __ years" be an excuse for
not accepting new ideas to ensure on-the-job safety. This simple change in attitude
may be the difference between enjoying your retirement or not.
Thanks for reading and please - Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!
U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
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