Archive for the ‘Role Models’ Category

I had a discussion recently with a colleague regarding the importance of leadership in safety.   Too often leaders want to preach safety but send a conflicting message by violating safety rules themselves.   Leaders need to WALK THE TALK!   When employees see a leader violating a safety rule or regulation, they are basically being told that it is OK to do this.    I read a safety story about 15 years ago that sticks with me relating to the non-verbal messages that leaders send employees.   The story goes something like this:  An employee was standing on the top rung of a ladder and did not have a spotter (two safety violations).  This employee’s supervisor was late for a meeting and walked by the employee on the ladder on their way to the meeting.  The supervisor chose not to stop and correct these items and continued on to the meeting.   A few minutes later there was a panic call over the radio that an employee had fallen from a ladder and was being rushed to the hospital.   The employee was killed that day by head injuries sustained from the fall.    By walking by and choosing to do nothing – the supervisor was “non-verbally” telling the employee that it was OK to be standing on the top rung of the ladder and that it was OK to not have a spotter.    How do you think the supervisor feels knowing that they could have prevented this death by just stopping and correcting the situation?

It is so important that leaders WALK THE TALK.   Employees are constantly looking at leaders for direction and guidance.   Leaders need to completely understand that their non-verbal communication is just as important as their verbal communication.    I am going to reinforce the importance of WALK THE TALK at our next safety leadership meeting – what about you?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434

ENTHUSIASM is the fire that burns in the belly of our ambitions.  Without ENTHUSIASM our ambitions wilt into pale and lifeless wishes.  ENTHUSIASM and success go hand in hand, but ENTHUSIASM always comes first.  ENTHUSIASM inspires confidence, raises morale, and builds loyalty.   ENTHUSIASM is contagious. You can feel ENTHUSIASM by the way a person talks, walks or shakes hands.   ENTHUSIASM is a habit that one can acquire and practice.  ENTHUSIASM and desire are what change mediocrity to excellence.

Many decades ago, Charles Schwab, who was earning a salary of a million dollars a year, was asked if he was being paid such a high salary because of his exceptional ability to produce steel.   Charles Schwab replied, “I consider my ability to arouse ENTHUSIASM among the men the greatest asset I possess, and the way to develop the best is by appreciation and encouragement.”

“Nothing great is ever achieved without ENTHUSIASM.”  —Ralph Waldo Emerson (Essayist, lecturer, and poet)

“A mediocre idea that generates ENTHUSIASM will go further than a great idea that inspires no one.” —Mary Kay Ash (Businesswoman and founder of Mary Kay Cosmetics)

“You can do anything if you have ENTHUSIASM.  ENTHUSIASM is the yeast that makes your hopes rise to the stars. With it, there is accomplishment. Without it there are only alibis.”   —Henry Ford (Industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company)

“I studied the lives of great men and famous women, and I found that the men and women who got to the top were those who did the jobs they had in hand, with everything they had of energy and ENTHUSIASM.” —Harry Truman (33rd President of the United States)

“If you do not feel ENTHUSIASM for what you are doing, it will show.” —Catherine Pulsifer (Author, inspirational speaker and editor)

“The real secret of success is ENTHUSIASM. Yes, more than ENTHUSIASM, I would say excitement. I like to see men get excited. When they get excited they make a success of their lives. ” —Walter Chrysler (founder of  the Chrysler Corporation)

“Every memorable act in the history of the world is a triumph of ENTHUSIASM. Nothing great was ever achieved without it because it gives any challenge or any occupation, no matter how frightening or difficult, a new meaning. Without ENTHUSIASM you are doomed to a life of mediocrity but with it you can accomplish miracles.” —Og Mandino (Author of the bestselling book: The Greatest Salesman in the World)

I have ENTHUSIASM for safety – what about you?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434

I read multiple blogs, newsletters, e-mails and magazines each week related to safety.   One I look forward to each month is by Matt Forck.   Mr. Forck has a way to relate a real life situation to safety.   His e-mail this month I found very moving.  I cut and pasted his e-mail story below – it’s called  PLEASE SANTA:

“They are a traditional and rather successful small town American family. Mom and Dad had raised five boys and four girls, now all adults with families of their own. Dad was an electrician, and started his own business back in the late ’50s. All of the boys grew up working in the business, first as grunts, then apprentices. Four of the five earned their journey electrician card. Today, three still work for ‘the business.’ Of the two that do not work for the family, one started his own business in a near-by town and the other recently passed away. It was the death of one of the brothers that made this Thanksgiving holiday a little harder than most.

Thanksgiving, as with all of the major holidays, was a time for the family to come together at the farm and celebrate. And, Thanksgiving was a special treat for the children as Santa Claus always made a stop near the end of the day. Each child would sit on Santa’s lap and reveal the wishes and dreams they held for the next Holiday.

So, as the fall sun slowly sank upon the farm the children eagerly awaited Santa. They were restless and eager and finally, when it seemed that he would never arrive, he did…appearing in the doorway out of nowhere sounding off a loud “Ho Ho Ho, Merry Christmas.” The entire family gathered around. Santa seated himself in the same kitchen chair that he had last year and for many years past. There, one by one, he welcomed each child to his lap…all twenty-seven of them.

When it was Ben’s turn Santa seemed a little uneasy, for it was Ben, age five, who had lost his dad earlier in the year. Ben was shy of the big bearded man dressed in red and talked slowly and quietly. He told Santa that he wanted a Spiderman and backpack. He said he wanted a Shrek DVD…his voice trailed off and he finally looked into Santa’s giving brown eyes and said, “Please…Please Santa, I just want my dad back…”

The room fell silent. For a long moment the only sound was the drip of the kitchen sink. Ben’s mother finally pulled him from Santa’s lap and hugged him tight. Santa, with over a dozen children waiting in line said, “Ho, Ho, I’ll be right back” As he stepped quickly for the door he uttered something about needing to check the reindeer.

Once outside, Santa pulled off the white beard and fell to his knees. He wiped his tears on the sleeve of his red velvet jacket. By day Santa was Uncle Jack; he was a brother and co-worker to Ben’s father. All that Ben knew was that his father was killed in an accident. But Santa knew the truth. He and his dad were in a hurry. They cut some corners and broke some safety rules; but it was okay, it was no big deal. After all, they had done it before and wouldn’t be hurt. But, this time it was different and things went wrong. Ben’s dad was killed and Jack watched it happen. He could have stopped it…he should have stopped it, if he had only stopped it.

Santa couldn’t give Ben his father back. It was too late. There was nothing he, or even the real Santa, could do now. That was the horrible truth…Santa wiped his tears, put his beard back on his cheeks, stood and walked back into the house. “Please Santa” would ring in his ears forever…

Matt Forck, CSP & JLW is a noted safety speaker addressing today’s most urgent topics including culture, accountability, leadership and employee engagement. Sign up for Matt’s FREE safety resources at”

We all make choices – choices to be safe and choices to break the rules.   In the PLEASE SANTA story – two men who knew better made the choice to cut corners and break the rules.    I never want to hear a story like PLEASE SANTA in real life – what  about you?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434

ROLE MODELS.   I was reading about Mike Rowe in a safety magazine this morning.   Mike Rowe is the star and host of “Dirty Jobs” on Discovery Channel and recently has been hosting Ford commercials.    A viewer of “Dirty Jobs” called him out for not wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE) on the show.  Here was Mr. Rowe’s response:   “It is not the objective of Dirty Jobs to conform to any particular set of safety standards, other than those dictated by the people for who I happen to be working at the time. I take my cues from them.”   Really?

Rowe went on to say that safety is important, but not more important than getting the job done.  “Making money is more important than safety — always”.   I had to re-read this again:  “Making money is more important than safety — always”.  Really?

Rowe then said: “When a business tells you that they are more concerned with your safety than anything else, beware, they are not being honest.  They are hedging their own bets, and following the advice of lawyers hired to protect them from lawsuits arising from accidents.”   Really?

Come on Mike Rowe – wake up!   Following the advice of lawyers?   Making money is more important than safety — always?  When a business tells you that they are more concerned with your safety than anything else, beware, they are not being honest?   Mike Rowe, or any anyone else who is a role model, needs to set an example – especially as it relates to workplace safety.

Come on Ford – wake up!  Is this the guy that you want representing your company?  Does Ford share the same opinions as its spokesman – Mike Rowe?   Is making money more important than safety at Ford?   I thought Ford took pride in its  vibrant safety program.  “Pulling together the leadership and resources of Ford, ACH, the UAW and MIOSHA creates a powerful team as we work together to improve our already-high standards of health and safety in our plants,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford Motor Company vice president, North America Manufacturing. “Ford is proud of its history in Michigan – particularly of our record of significantly reducing serious on-the-job injuries in recent years. We know that safety always must be top-of-mind…”

Safety should always be our first priority.  Above profitability, above productivity, above quality ….safety always comes first.   If it’s not safe – don’t do it.    I hope Mike Rowe realizes that he misspoke and publically apologizes for his boneheaded statements – what do you think?

STAY SAFE!     **  Jeff  **   214-215-2434