I really get annoyed when people tell me to do as they say, rather than as they do.
How about demonstrating leadership behaviors that show us that you are serious?

How many violations can you find in this gem?
How many violations can you find in this gem?

It is incumbent on all of us to commit to a safer workplace. That means leadership by example. If you wear your PPE out in the shop, your employees will get the message that  wearing PPE  is important for them too.
As for the safety culture at wherever this photo was taken, well, lets just say that “I’m glad my son or daughter do not work there.”
Please do not try to stage photos like this for fun. but if you have a favorite “Don’t do as I do” Safety Photo, I’d love to share it with our readers.

Getting back and forth to work may involve greater hazards than those we face on the job now that Orange Barrel Season has arrived.

Safety Awareness is just as important on the drive in to work and on the way home these days.
Safety Awareness is just as important on the drive in to work and on the way home these days.

While many of us take comfort in the fact that we can drive on autopilot- as long as we have had the first cup of coffee before inserting the ignition keys– the fact is that we need to be on the alert for changes that just might put us at greater risk than anything that we might face on the job.

Excavations, construction workers, construction equipment, and high horsepower vehicles are all hazards that might ‘ambush us’ now that Orange Barrel Season is upon us and in full swing.

I have a half mile of orange barrels after turning out of my neighborhood onto the state road- not even a quarter mile from my driveway.

“Safety First”  in Orange Barrel Season means being on the lookout for driving hazards  “Before getting to work!”

Four of every five victims in a work zone crash are motorists, not highway workers, which is why it is particularly important for drivers to remain alert while driving through work zones. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has taken steps in the past several years to improve work zone design, strengthen enforcement near work zones, and heighten awareness among drivers for bringing the number of work zone fatalities to record lows.

Orange Barrel season is the opposite of Hunting Season.

No points for this!
No points for this!

“It’s a bad outcome if you “bag one!”

FHWA Statistic

Orange Barrel Season

Damaged Orange Barrel

Presenteeism (coming to work while ill) is estimated to cost employers more than $150 billion per year.

We’ve seen estimates that $10 billion in lost productivity is a result of people working less effectively while suffering from flu in the workplace.

Providing and encouraging flu shots is one step to take to help reduce flu among our workforce.

Here are 5 more steps to take to intelligently manage the risk that this year’s flu outbreak can have on your crew:

1) Make it clear to your employees that coming to work sick is not acceptable. Infecting coworkers is not a “Yay team” moment.

Presenteeism- Yay, team- NOT!!!

2) Safety first- instruct employees to use medications that do not cause drowsiness. If the warning says do not operate equipment, that means if you are taking that medication, don’t come to work!

3) Instruct your janitors and housekeepers to use virus killing products on publically shared equipment– copiers, microwaves, refrigerators, etc.

4) Provide disinfecting wipes so employees can minimize their (and their co-workers) exposure.

5) Communicate! Explain to your team- supervisors and crew leaders especially- about the risks  and costs of flu and the need to not bring it to work. Sit down with your HR people to figure out how to intelligently manage this for your shop.

The average flu related absence  lasts almost three days- do you really want that first person to come in and spread the flu and cause loss of work to the balance of your team?

It is 2012. We can figure this out.

It’s a difficult balancing act to promote attendance while discouraging presenteeism…

It’s a difficult balancing act to promote attendance while discouraging presenteeism.


Balancing act

Safety- What You Can Do Today To Make Your Company The Most Money?
No one can afford the wasted money and lost time that result from accidents and injuries at work.
No one wants the increased scrutiny by officials that is sure to follow a serious accident.
No one wants to see anyone senselessly hurt.
3 Things You Can Do Today:

  1. Hold your people accountable to work safely. Starting with you. Wear your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) when you are out in the shop. Why be a hypocrite? Don’t turn a blind eye when you notice them without their PPE. Let them know that their safety is important to you.
  2. Train your people to understand the hazards, know when to get assistance, and why the guards and precautions are needed. Follow up to make sure that they understand. And listen to, and then take action,on their feedback.
  3. Confirm that your procedures are up-to-date and being followed. Lockout/Tagout, Hazard Communications, and Housekeeping are high frequency violations. Would your shop pass an audit of these three areas if I were to visit right now?

Note to operators- nobody wants you to get hurt.  Your talent, knowledge, diligence, and professionalism are the foundation of our industry’s success. And why our car’s brakes work. And the landing gear deploys on the airplanes we fly. And why the electricity gets safely to our homes.Your work makes other technologies work. Safely.Work smart, don’t take risks. No shortcut is worth losing a body part. Get training-not hurt.

Safety first when working at home too, guys!
Safety first when working at home too, guys!

All of us are creatures of habit, doing the things each day that we habitually do.  We need to let the power of these habits work for us. Let’s make safety first a habit that keeps our shops and people both safe and productive. Making safety first is ‘What you can do to make your company the most money.’
Safety first!