January 20, 2019

What’s your “safety perspective?”


Our perspective on life forms and changes based on the people we interact with and the experiences we have, both good and bad. Our perspective reflects who we are and reveals why we act the way we do.

Whether or not we are aware of it, we all have a perspective on safety, from as routine a thing as using a kitchen knife or driving to the job, to the hazardous skilled work we perform every day.

Over the course of your life your perspective has been shaped by parents, siblings, loved ones, teachers and co-workers. Take driving. If you were held accountable for safe driving by a parent, that shaped your perspective on the topic.

Some of us have had our perspective shaped by tragedy or injury. Your safe driving today could be the result of luck the day you walked away from a severe accident and decided to no longer speed or text while behind the wheel.

Entering the safety profession I did not anticipate that my perspective would change so significantly after working in construction. For the last 12 years I have seen more injuries and accidents than I thought I ever would. Each presents a unique lesson, often on details we missed or seemingly minor things we let slide until the day they caught up with us. Unlike classroom training, this training comes with great hardship for co-workers, companies and loved ones.

Don’t get me wrong: freak accidents do happen but they are not the norm. The majority of accidents are preventable. As a group we need to shape our perspective so all of us can continue to return home each night to the ones we love.

For those of you who have had your safety perspective shaped by accidents or tragedy, I hope you do not forget the lessons learned. For anyone who hasn’t had their perspective changed by an event, learn from those who have and be pro-active with safety lest you become a statistic. Share your perspective with loved ones and co-workers and help shape what they believe and how they act.