Those of you who have been following my Blogs over the past year will recall my frequent references to my father and his experiences during his working career as a tool and die maker. While he experienced many near misses over those years, he was “lucky” to survive the sometimes-hazardous working conditions he was exposed to. Unfortunately, no one survives old age and after having lived a long and happy life he succumbed after 96 years. Yes, I am grief-stricken but ever so grateful for having had him as a parent, friend, and mentor for so many years.
Few things compare to the pain of losing someone you love. I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose a parent at a young age due to a workplace accident. I have an acquaintance who lived through just that. What is remarkable about her loss is that she turned it into a lifelong commitment to helping prevent such losses by becoming a health and safety ambassador, educator and agent for safer workplaces. Can she quantifiably confirm that her work has saved lives? I don’t know but am certain that her passion for what she does is in some way healing.
Health and safety professionals are not just trainers, consultants or policy writers. They are “in it” because they have that same passion as my friend, to ensure that spouses, partners, parents, children, friends or others return home safely at the end of the day. Some have seen horrific workplace accidents and some simply believe that there must be better ways to work smarter and safer.
Health and safety professionals have meaningful careers that directly improve the lives of people in their own communities. What is interesting is that many of these professionals didn’t choose this path, but the path chose them. Many safety professionals bring a unique background and skillset to the table as a result of:
- starting on a safety committee or,
- being small business owners who know safety is important but must sift through the good and bad advice of what is and is not a true OHSA regulation or,
- perhaps being the most experienced aerial lift operator (as an example) and becoming the company’s trainer, then being tasked to give toolbox talks, becoming the Outreach Trainer for their organization, and ultimately falling in love with the role, leading them to take classes to get their safety designation.
Safety professionals want to stop problems before they start. Remember the old adage “a stitch in time saves nine”? (My age is showing here.) The essence of this saying is basically that decisive preventive action taken now will prevent problems later.
We must always remember that people will do anything their leadership asks of them no matter how much it hurts because they need the paycheck. Safety professionals want to ensure that employers, managers and supervisors understand this and provide a work environment where the pain isn’t brought home with the paycheck.
We, at Mentor Safety understand the need for advocating for safer workplaces and are passionate about helping companies protect their people as if they were our family. We understand what can harm them and do everything in our power to assist leaders in providing safety protection.
A great resource for families who are grieving the loss of a loved one because of a workplace accident is Threads of Life. This organization works to heal families and bring an end to workplace tragedies.
Have you been affected by a workplace tragedy and live in Central Canada? Join other families October 22-24, 2021, at the Family Forum.
Watch for next month’s Blog published in the first week of November.
Consultant and Editor for Mentor Safety Consultants Inc.