Safety Challenge

I have not updated this blog for the last month due to business commitments and a much needed vacation.  I want to get going again by issuing a “Safety Challenge” for all of you, and hopefully you will pass it on to friends and family.

Over the last month it has come to my attention from some observations, that many people have no consideration or idea whatsoever that there are consequences for their physical and mental actions.  In every post I have indicated that “Safety is NOT what we talk about, it is what you actually DO”.  I must tell you about three recent encounters to make my case.

While driving on an Interstate highway, I observed a vehicle swerving back and forth across three lanes.  I thought the driver must be tired (driving while impaired is indeed dangerous to both the individual and others on the road), but as I got closer I saw a person texting while driving instead.  Although the State had laws prohibiting this practice, the individual simply ignored them.  I can only conclude the person had no consideration that there were consequences to their physical and mental actions taking place.  The danger didn’t matter, the other drivers and road conditions didn’t matter, and even the safety of the baby in the back seat didn’t matter.  Only telling someone “I’ll be home in 10 minutes” or something else insignificant and the possibility of a ticket mattered. No one cares when you’ll be home!  They do care however, if you cause an accident and there are deaths, injuries, and damages.

While at a resort with beautifully manicured grounds (kept that way by 20 to 30 groundskeepers), I observed an individual working on their golf swing choosing a different spot each day.  This person didn’t have the slightest notion that each swing produced a divot making the manicured grounds look like the “practice tee” for all paying customers, especially non golfers to enjoy.  Perhaps this person was just special, and rules and even common sense just don’t apply to their mental and physical actions.

My last example came from a recent airplane ride where an individual chose to listen to music, all the way through the landing, rather than turning off the electronic device when instructed to do so.  What song could be so important that the safety of hundreds of people on the airplane didn’t matter?  Was it just a rebellious act, or was it simply that the person didn’t believe there were any consequences to the physical and mental actions taking place?

Now for the challenge:  “Start thinking in terms of the potential consequences of your mental and physical actions“.  There wasn’t an accident that I know of, but looking into your lap to text (so the police officer won’t know) while driving takes your eyes off the road.  Good drivers actually look out the window using all the skills they learned to get from one place to another without incident.

It’s true the grass will grow back, but the people expecting to enjoy their holiday and the myriad of groundskeepers were disappointed.  Not much danger involved here, unless someone decides to take issue with the golfer in the form of throwing something from a fourth floor balcony, or starting a fight over the mess being created.  In tropical locations groundskeepers even carry machetes!!!  That could be trouble!

As I am writing this from my office, clearly the airplane didn’t fall from the sky.  If the music doesn’t matter, the airlines would say so.  As they deliberately state over the loud speaker that “all electronic devices must be turned off and stowed at this time”.  Don’t make a flight attendant confiscate your device, or have some other passenger rip the ear buds from your silly head (darn I had a window seat).  Simply follow directions so everyone can be safe.

Perhaps we’ve been trained by video games to believe there are no consequences to our actions.  If you drive the video game car off the road or into a wall, we just hit the reset button, and start over.  It’s not that way in real life.  Vehicles running off the road or into walls usually produce death and destruction.  So the challenge is to start thinking of what might happen instead if thinking nothing will happen.  What can happen if you remove the guard from the saw?  What can happen to the baby in the back seat if you look into your lap to text while driving?  What can happen to the on-board computers because they pick up electronic emissions from music devices?  When you modify your perspective, amazing changes can take place.  Remember Safety is NOT what we talk about, it is about what you actually DO.


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