I simply spoke these words, “I will never trade your health and well-being for getting the lights back on or generating electricity.”
I don’t know exactly where those words came from. I didn’t plan to say them. They weren’t formed during an executive off-site strategy session and I certainly didn’t write them out for a speech. I think it was from an early, deeply personal influence in my life that until that day was hidden deep inside me. Those words finally found their way to the surface.
Before that day, people hadn’t seen my commitment and they hadn’t seen how much I truly cared about their safety. After saying those words, I knew they would hold me accountable. They did something better than hold me accountable. They put up a sign out in front of the plant with those words on it for everybody to see. Now it has become a pledge for all of us. We live by the words on that sign.
If they put up a sign with your words on it out in front of the plant, what would those words be? What would be on your sign?
As a safety professional or leader in your organization, your role is to develop, implement and oversee the safety programs within your company. You are also responsible for what’s most important in the company – the people and their health and well-being. That makes you a very powerful person.
You have a real impact on the quality of people’s lives. Think about it. At the end of the day, when everybody’s headlights are pointed toward the gate and they are heading home, what condition will they be in? How will they feel? What will their attitudes be? You play a very important role in determining those outcomes. That makes you a very important person.