I've Been Doing It This Way For The Past__Years! - 11/17/2014

Safety E-QuickTips

U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.

Monday, Nov 17, 2014


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!


This past week I had 2 phone calls where I heard the saying "I've been doing it this way for the past __ years and we haven't had any serious accidents." Well it has been a while since I've heard that statement, so I thought just maybe everyone had stopped saying it. When I was thinking about what I was going to write this week, those 2 calls went running through my head. I remembered writing something in a previous Safety E-QuickTip, so I went searching.

Lo and behold, I found it back in a 2010 issue, so I thought I might share it with you again today.

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 roof.

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 without any serious accident," be your excuse for not accepting new ideas and implementing new ways to improve workplace safety.

As I said back in 2010, "This simple change in attitude may be the difference between enjoying your retirement or not."

Have you just received your first Safety E-QuickTip or just want to take a look at past issues? Check out our Safety E-QuickTips Archive Page on our website.

Thanks for Reading and Please - Work Safe This Week!

Contact Information


U.S. Compliance Systems, Inc.
Phone: 1-888-475-5353
Fax: 1-888-925-5353
Website: www.uscompliancesystems.com
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