Wednesday, July 19, 2017
This morning, around 9:00 my supervisor at work came round to tell us that there would be a mandatory plant-wide meeting in the break room. "This can't be good," said one of my workmates. There's usually a meeting like that every 90 days without an injury - that comes with a special meal as a reward and incentive- but we're currently only at 84 days without injury.
The news was indeed, not so good. Our plant manager announced to us that overnight there had been a fatality in one of the other company plants in Oklahoma. He didn't have any real details to share with us - other than the fact that the plant where the death occurred is laid out differently than ours and that thier issues would not be our issues specifically. But he did use the opportunity to remind us to follow the safety procedures, and the OSHA regulations, and to wear our protective items properly.
We've come a long way from the beginning of the industrial revolution when workplace accidents were common and laborers were cheap; we've come a long way from incidents like the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 (resulting in the deaths of 146 garment workers).
Maybe the plant where I work only emphasizes the need for safety so as to avoid lawsuits and expensive settlements; maybe thier motive is purely fiscal. But I don't think that's the case. There seems to be a genuine interest in making sure that we are safe.
So don't take shortcuts. Don't grumble about the encumbrance imposed by OSHA and the Department of Labor. Look twice before crossing the street, and always wear your helmet and seat-belt. Make sure everyone goes home alive at the end of the day.