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  • Writer's pictureTroy Marble

Your Most Important Decision

Updated: May 5, 2022

The most important thing we do is work safely and send our people home without injury. What's the longest streak that you've been a part of where everyone is going home safe? Can you identify anything that stands out from that time period?

Currently, how many days have you gone without an incident? How is your training protocol? How often are you checking in with your crews? Is there a positive emphasis on why you are training and filling out JHA's? Or is it something that has to be done because corporate said so? Are you leading by example?

Most importantly, what are you planning to do today to continue this success?

Every year, we bring in our new hire engineers for a 2 day orientation meeting in our district office. Every year, I start off with the same list of questions.

The first question is, “Do you think that you can work the entire year without an injury?”

I ask for a show of hands and every year, 100% of the engineers raise their hands. Yes, they can work the entire year without an injury.

The next question is, “Do You think that everyone is the room, combined, can work the year without an injury?” The percentage usually drops down to about 70%.

The final question is, “Do you think our entire District can work the year without an injury?” Again, the hands go down, maybe to 30%.

Why is it that we feel confident that we can work safe as individuals but we don’t trust that others can do it?

Try this with your crew and you will probably get the same results. If the crew is close and they look after each other, the percentages will be higher. The truth is, only we can control our actions. We can watch out for each other, we can develop good safe work practices, we can perform good JHAs, but when the work starts, it’s up to each of us to make sure we are safe.

I don’t think anybody comes to work thinking that today is the day that I’m going to get hurt. I do think that people who take shortcuts, use the wrong tool or use a tool incorrectly aren’t helping themselves, each other, or the company. Are you really saving time? Or are you lazy?

Please do me, your family, your co-workers and your friends a big favor. Stop and think before you do anything, take the right precautions, and decide to make sure you and everyone else goes home safe today.

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