Motivational Safety Materials

A rather well known "management consultant" back in the 70's and 80's was Forrest H. Kirkpatrick and Mr. Kirkpatrick wrote a poem about leadership that hangs on my wall in my office.  It pretty much sums up what being a safety leader is all about - even though Mr. Kirkpatrick meant for it to be a message to all managers.  Bottom line, it is one thing to "preach" safety and an entirely different approach when one "LIVES SAFETY".  

Safety Professionals MUST LEAD by EXAMPLE in ALL that we do, both at work and at play , but especially at work.  Mr. Kirkpatrick sums it up all to well in these 10 lines:

One morning in 1888, Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite, the man who had spent his life amassing a fortune from the manufacture and sale of weapons, awoke to read his own obituary. The obituary was printed as a result of a simple journalistic error. Alfred’s brother had died, and a French reporter carelessly reported the death of the wrong brother. Any man would be disturbed under the circumstances, but to Alfred the shock was overwhelming because he saw himself as the world saw him—"the dynamite King [the weapon maker]," the great industrialist who had made an immense fortune from explosives.

As Asiana Airlines Flight 214 flew into San Francisco International Airport on Sunday July 7, the Boeing 777's 291 passengers didn't know that the man at the controls had never landed this kind of plane at this airport before.  Does it matter that the pilot at the time - aviation veteran Lee Kang-kuk - has only 43 hours of flying time in the 777?  South Korea's Asiana Airlines says Lee has flown the model nine times.  It's "highly significant," former Department of Transportation Inspector General Mary Schiavo said Monday, particularly, how he came across the water and over the seawall, she said.

If the pilot were going to avert danger, Schiavo said, he needed to take action well before the plane reached that seawall. Lee knew how to fly.  An experienced pilot for Asiana, Lee had more than 10,000 hours in other kinds of aircraft, the airline says. (Source,  This pilot was very experienced generally but was conducting a non-routine activity (landing a plane that he had very little experience with at a location for the first time, even though he landed other types of planes there before).

This is exactly the situation that experienced workers may find themselves in when one or more aspects of a particular job changes and the new risks are not adequately managed.  When the workday is going smoothly, and the work processes and tasks are being completed successfully, the hazards associated with them are somewhat predictable.  However, it is just as important to ask, “What if…?”

  • What if the process breaks down?
  • What if the job suddenly changes?
  • Have all the possible hazards been identified?

It is critical that we think pro-actively and find the hazards BEFORE they become an accident.  Predicting the outcome of all possible scenarios is impossible. However, taking the time to ask “What If…?” questions may uncover hazards that would not be identified during the routine tasks.  

Routine Work is a work activity that takes place on a regular frequency: the employee is always familiar with the job steps, work environment, PPE required, potential hazards and critical actions necessary to work safely. 

Non-Routine Work is a work activity that:

  1. Takes place infrequently: the employee has not performed the work often enough to be completely familiar with the job steps, PPE required, potential hazards or critical actions necessary to work safely.
  2. Takes place outside the employee’s normal work area or in an area to which the employee is not very familiar.
  3. Takes place while job conditions change, for example, an industrial process that includes various metal forming and cutting machines works well when all machines and systems are operating properly.

The hazards associated with the machines, including machine guarding, are fairly predictable.  But, what hazards MAY occur if the machine gets jammed, parts fail, or machine modifications are needed? Regardless of the work classifications described above all workers must ensure that all tasks are assessed and performed safely.

Methods of Controlling Hazards & Risks

A Job Safety Analysis (JSA) is a structured approach to identify and address the potential hazards of a specific job.  A JSA considers all job steps, special PPE required to safely perform each step, the potential hazards of the work and the critical actions necessary to eliminate, reduce and manage hazards to safely do the work.  

JSAs are developed for Non-Routine Work or High Risk Work. JSAs can be used immediately before performing Non-Routine Work or High Risk Work, reviewed routinely to maintain familiarization with job hazards or used as a task training aid for new and refresher training. Field JSAs may be developed on the spot to address Non-Routine Work or High Risk Work where a Formal JSA is not available.  Once the work is completed a Field JSA may be converted to a Formal JSA if it is likely that the same job will take place again.  

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is a written step-by-step procedure for completing a given task, whether low or high risk.  SOPs may include instructions related to operations, maintenance or other types of work. An SOP is used to provide a consistent approach to performing a specific task.
SOPs should be referenced to identify job steps and potential job hazards when developing JSAs.  SOPs can be reviewed immediately before performing the work, reviewed routinely to maintain familiarization with job procedures or used as a task training aid for new and refresher training.

Always Think Incident-Free and Perform Self-Assessment before Task.   Evaluate all tasks before starting work by reviewing and taking action on the:

  • Planning
  • Proper Tools and Equipment
  • Training
  • State of Mind

Hazard Identification

Inspect the work area prior to the start of the work shift or prior to the start of a job assignment. These inspections focus on identifying unsafe conditions in the work area.  Personnel (typically equipment operators) perform inspections of mobile or major stationary equipment using a formal checklist to identify unsafe conditions or functional deficiencies.  Other pre-use inspections should be made on all tools and equipment with a focus on unsafe conditions or functional deficiencies.  

Mental Attitude

For some persons, safety only becomes an important consideration when they are doing a “dangerous” job or task.  They rationalize that safety procedures can be bypassed or ignored when the task is simple, small, routine and seemingly presents little risk of injury.   Unfortunately, this type of thinking is why many routine, and apparently safe tasks or jobs, end up resulting in the most serious of accidents.  

Safe work habits should not be limited to those projects or tasks that are the most difficult or “dangerous”.  

Safe work habits must be part of your everyday work routine.

If safety is not incorporated into every job or task you do, it’s really only a matter of time before an accident occurs.

Think about the job you’re on now and the tasks you and other employees do each day.

Maybe the project is just starting, or nearly finished. Both situations clearly make for less risk than at other times during the project, or do they? Or maybe it’s the size of the project.

The so-called “smaller” projects present less safety risks, or do they?

In both cases, the answer is NO. Safe work practices are required whether your project is just starting, or nearly finished.  Safety is critically important no matter the size of the project. Smaller projects should not encourage you to take safety shortcuts.  Another temptation is many times on smaller projects, often no one, including the supervisor, is around to see you.  It also doesn’t matter that you may have done a particular task a thousand times without incident.  If you’re not doing that task safely, it’s only a matter of time before an accident will occur and your number may be up.  Safety is an attitude – and that attitude should be positive with no exceptions.  

Do the right thing the right way and follow safety rules every day no matter the size or the stage of the project you’re on.

“We cannot hold a torch to light another’s path without brightening our own” Ben Sweetland

A little boy went into a drug store, grabbed a stool at the counter and pulled it over to the telephone. He climbed onto the stool so he could reach the buttons on the phone and proceeded to dial someone. The store-owner observed and listened to the conversation.

Boy: ‘Lady, Can you give me the job of cutting your lawn?’

Woman: (at the other end of the phone line): ‘I already have someone to cut my lawn.’

Boy: ‘Lady, I will cut your lawn for half the price of the person who cuts your lawn now.’

Woman: ‘I’m very satisfied with the person who is presently cutting my lawn.’

Boy: (with more perseverance): ‘Lady, I’ll even sweep your curb and your sidewalk, so on Sunday you will have the prettiest lawn in town.’

Woman: ‘No, thank you.’

With a smile on his face, the little boy replaced the receiver. The store-owner, who was listening to all this, walked over to the boy.

Store Owner: ‘Son… I like your attitude; I like that positive spirit and would like to offer you a job.’

Boy: ‘No thanks.’

Store Owner: ‘But you were really pleading for one.’

Boy: ‘No Sir, I was just checking my performance at the job I already have. I am the one who is working for that lady I was talking to!’

How is your performance these days? Take time, every once in a while, to gauge your job performance. Too many times we blame others for our mistakes or the situations in our life rather than ourselves. We need to take a close look at who we are and how we do what we do. And it pays to have the valuable input of those we work for and with. Then, once we have identified our strengths and weaknesses, we can consciously work on both as needed. Honest, hard work and dedication always pay off in one way or another. Even if our efforts go unnoticed by others, we have the pride and satisfaction of knowing we’ve done our best!

Safety Wayne

I have to say goodbye today

For a rule I broke and now must pay

This rule was called an absolute

They said it boldly and with resolute

To lock it out was nothing new

But I had many more things that I must do

To waste so much time seemed such a sin

Just a quick little fix and I will win

The absolute was Lock Tag Try

I didn’t impress our safety guy

I’m starting to realize my life will change

My income now is not the same

And now I have this daunting task

To tell my family why Daddy is back

At least I’m alive for this story to tell

So don’t cheat safety and I bid you farewell

                                                 Russ Baxter

You matter to me my friend and I hope I matter to you

If either of us gets injured we’ll both be feeling blue.

Sometimes workers are tired as they perform their daily task,
If you saw them cut corners, you’d speak up, right? Sorry, I had to ask.

And if you were to see co-workers rushing to get a task done,
Would you dare to Speak Up before they hurt someone!

You know, when I get frustrated I may forget to do things right,
So if you see me taking short cuts please intervene, I want to make it home tonight!

Along with the Harsco video (The Cost of Accidents) this video may be the most impactful safety video to date.  Both video's take a look at how accidents can AND do impact the injured worker(s), their loved ones, friends, and even the co-workers they were working with when the accident happened.  I hope you will take the 18 minutes and view this video and you will then feel the desire to have ALL the workers you work to protect view the video.  Much like the Harsco video I would offer this simple suggestion... show the video in small groups.  After the video let it sink in for a few seconds with "dead air" leaving the lights out for those few seconds longer.  Then begin a conversation about what the workers just watched and seek their open participation in the discussion.  What can we do better?  What hazards are out there going unchecked?  What can I do as the safety leader to better serve the safety needs of this facility?  What can we all do to better address the risks and hazards we are faced with every day?  Do you understand why we take YOUR SAFETY so seriously?  These are some questions that will stir debate and discussion after the video.  So prepare to spend 45 minutes total with the group and we may just win over some of our most harsh safety opponents and as I call them the "non-believers"!  MANY THANKS to Dave Collins @ for sharing this with us!  Dave is also a Twitter user and can be found @Riskex.

Ref: Carl Potter and Deb Potter, 3 Myths about Workplace Injuries

“You cannot create an injury-free workplace”.  It is shocking how many people believe that no workplace can be made free of injuries.  Certainly situations change over time, sometimes even very quickly, making it difficult to identify and control hazards. It requires discipline and diligence to recognize and mitigate every hazard. When we understand what it takes to create an injury-free workplace, we are able to hit the target more than not.  

Hazards are the reason people get hurt, without the hazard there is no injury. 

When we fail to follow safety procedures and or wear our personal protective equipment we increase the risk of an injury.

A hazard-free workplace is created by actively identifying, evaluating the risk and applying controls to physically protect ourselves.

Being safe takes too much time and money

When people say that it takes too much time or money to be safe, they obviously don’t understand the power of a cost/benefit analysis.  Have you ever considered the direct and indirect cost of even a minor injury?  And, the thought of pain and agony that an injury causes should be enough to make anyone do everything they can to stay safe.  If you feel that being safe takes too much time and money, you have an attitude problem.  A personal injury impacts the productivity of the company, the earning power of the individual who is injured and takes valuable quality time away from families.

Accidents just happen

Research shows that over 99% of all accidents are preventable. If you think that accidents just happen, then what allows you to drive down the road, walk down the sidewalk, or even live in your home without great fear?  The reality is that you have a great deal of control over the circumstances around you.  In the work environment it is vital that workers understand the importance of knowing how to prevent personal injuries.  Any worker who thinks that working safe is a matter of fate is a danger to themselves and co-workers.  Fate is the hunter, but the worker who prepares by learning everything they can about working safe is less likely to be injured.  When conducting a job briefing the fates are dismissed by taking time to identify any hazards.  

When the worker believes that they have no control they are likely to miss a hazard and in turn miss preparing themselves to hit the goal of nobody gets hurt. Safety is an action word, but most of the time we treat it as something passive. Be safe, have a safe trip or make safety your first concern.  To make something safe takes action and requires one to do something.  That something is to recognize what can cause an injury (hazard) and then take steps to control it in a manner that ensures nobody gets hurt.  Creating a workplace that targets zero-injuries is not a gimmick or a new safety program – it is a workplace where everyone cares enough to engage in the safety process.  To create such a workplace the organizations need leadership and leadership is at all levels.  

Will you take action to engage and challenge the people you work with or are you just talking about safety?

“I think of attitude as an inward feeling expressed by outward behavior." -John Maxwell

Plastic, wood, an arm here, a leg there... the shredder in this story doesn't really know the difference.  Turn it on... it shreds, and shreds.  The horrific injuries suffered by a shredder operator earlier this year are a stark reminder to employers and employees alike, that workplace health and safety must be taken seriously. 

This accident happened to a guy who had done the same thing over and over (albeit, the wrong thing), for a long time... a routine that he falsely believed was not going to hurt him.  Sadly, it did. It's a safe bet that this machine operator no longer believes, "It Can't Happen To Me".  Company X employee Christopher X had his legs and an arm amputated after he was dragged into the cutting discs of the company’s green waste shredder.  A service manager for the company described the machine as “a disaster waiting to happen”. There was insufficient guarding to ensure operators could not access the dangerous parts of the machine while it was operating. This was exacerbated by the fact that it was often necessary for operators to enter the hopper of the shredder to unjam the cutting discs.  While attempting to clear a machine jam, the man got his foot caught in the rotating cutting discs, and was dragged into them.  Fellow employees heard him calling for help and raised the alarm. The shredder was able to be stopped, however Mr X was trapped in the cutting discs for more than an hour.  Two of his limbs had to be amputated in order to free him.  “While there were a number of methods which could be used for removing a blockage from the cutting discs, the injured employee thought that the only way to unblock a jam was to get into the hopper of the shredder while the cutting discs were going and try and move the blockage with his feet, which was clearly not a safe practice,” a company official said. He advised the investigators that he would climb into the hopper of the shredder while the cutting discs were operating ‘about every other time’ he used it.  With the best of intentions, Mr X appears to have adopted this extremely dangerous work method by default, as he could see no other way of unjamming the cutting discs.  There were no documented guidelines or procedures for clearing blockages, which should have been a given for this type of operation. Accident Causes:

1. There was no lockout-tag out procedure in place to facilitate the task.

2. There were no posted or written standard operating procedures on the proper operation of the equipment.

3. There was a poor safety culture facilitated by the management of the organization.

4. There was a culture of complacency adopted by workers .

Safe Work Practices:

1. Guard your equipment properly, to prevent someone from placing body parts in front of moving equipment parts

2. Develop, test and post standard operating procedures that identify the safety features of machinery.

3. Train employees on the proper use and shut down procedures of machinery before conducting maintenance tasks

4. Employees should speak up about practices that are ultimately unsafe.

5. Repair safety features when called-out. Respond quickly to safety related work orders.

6. Never get complacent around equipment. Machines hurt people. It CAN happen to you.

“Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself” Leo Tolstoy

Most of us have had to endure life experiences that are painful, but many learn lessons from those experiences that change our behavior and our lives for the better. Unfortunately, some of us never get that second chance, or even worse, we don’t learn from our mistakes and have to endure painful life experiences that can also be tragic.

So it is with seatbelts. Consider this one person’s testimonial about seatbelt use. “When I first learned to drive, seatbelts had been installed in cars and trucks but I can honestly say that I can’t remember wearing my seatbelt very often. That is until a day back in October of 1986. I was driving alone and another driver, who was at fault, turned their car directly in front of me.

Thankfully, both vehicles were not going fast. Nonetheless, I was thrown into the windshield because I was not wearing a seatbelt. After a hospital visit and crowns to replace the teeth that were smashed on the windshield, I had learned a very painful lesson. n the nearly 20 years since that accident, my family has had to endure three other serious car accidents of note, all the fault of the other drivers, where seatbelts have literally kept our family healthy and alive.

Each accident involved the other driver cutting in front of our vehicles. Each accident resulted in our vehicle being extensively damaged, and most importantly, each one of my family members involved in those accidents walked away unhurt.

They walked away unhurt from those accidents for just one reason – each was wearing a seatbelt.

We got our second chance and used it again and again and it’s made a difference in our lives.”

Yes, seatbelts are required to be worn by the company. They’re even required by law. Yet many of us still don’t wear them.  Furthermore, insurance statistics state that the two groups “guilty” of not wearing their seatbelts most often are:

1. Drivers between the ages of 18 to 24  
2. Drivers of pick-up trucks; (And what kind of vehicle do many construction & industrial workers drive?  You guessed it – pick-up trucks!)

We can never “choose” when a vehicle accident will occur, so you’ll never know when you’ll really need that seatbelt.

If you’re one that still doesn’t wear your seatbelt, your second chance starts now. Wear your seatbelt each and every time you drive.

Tell everyone in your family to wear their seatbelts. It can make all the difference in the world.


“The difference between school and life? In school, you're taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.” Tom Bodett

Workplace safety is a concept that involves creating a safe working atmosphere, securing and safeguarding the lives of the employees or workers.  Workplace safety is of prime importance since there are professions, which involve risks that could turn out to be fatal.  There are people who are in close proximity to huge electricity flows, deep waters, huge machines, sharp objects.  There are a wide number of natural forces as well as mechanical equipment, which could be lethal in case of failure to follow safety instructions.
• Just because you always did it that way, doesn't make it right.
• Safety is something you learn from the start - Being accident free is doing your part.
• Chance takers are accident makers.
• The door to Safety swings on the hinges of common sense.
• It's better to lose one minute in life... than to lose life in a minute.
• Safety is like a lock - But you are the key.
• Open the Door to Safety: Awareness is the Key!
• Safety is a full-time job, don't make it a part-time practice.
• A danger foreseen is half avoided.
• A fugitive from the laws of averages - that's you if you don't use your safety gear.
• A safer you is a safer me.
• Accidents hurt - safety doesn't.
• Alert today. Alive tomorrow.
• An accident can ruin your career.
• Be alert, be aware, be alive.
• Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
• A safe workplace sets the mood for a high achievement attitude.
• Work safely today and every day.
• An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
• Safety is a state of mind - Accidents are an absence of mind.
• Know safety - No injury, No safety - Know injury.
• Shortcuts cut life short.
• Don't be safety blinded, be safety minded.
• A good scare is often worth more than good advice.
• Safety- you either have it or you have a concussion.
• Safety- it's cheaper than a trip to the ER.
• Life did not begin by accident - Don't let it end as one.
• Working without safety is a dead end job.

Always remember that no matter what profession you are in, workplace safety is of utmost importance.  Workplace safety is a concept, which must be taken seriously and followed meticulously.

"Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity." Aristotle

“Don’t make mountains out of mole hills”. Good advice and how many of us knew that we could actually control the outcome?  Many small things influence our lives, and not paying attention to them can sometimes have disastrous consequences —especially when it comes to safety.   Fortunately, most of us have been trained to keep an eye out for the “big hazards” that could cause injury.  But, sometimes, it’s the little or unnoticed hazards that can cause us the greatest harm.

We all become very concerned when our accident frequency starts going up. We are even more concerned when we are one of the accident victims.  Then, we begin to look for the reasons: the systems, the equipment, or materials that are the causes. We start to pay attention to everything that could cause accidents especially:

  • any high-hazard operations
  • heavy equipment
  • dangerous machinery
  • poor ventilation, or
  • hazardous or toxic materials

Most of our investigations show that hazardous operations are not the ones causing the injuries.  The machines have guards, everyone is following safety procedures, and those working with hazardous materials are using their training and wearing their protective gear.  So, what is cause the upswing in accidents? We have found out that most accidents are caused by “little things” –things that were ignored until an accident happens.  Here are some examples of those “little things”:

  • Walking past a tripping hazard and assuming that because “we made it” that everybody will too
  • Lifting or moving heavy items by yourself and not asking for help
  • Climbing on whatever is close by to reach something in a high place (standing on a chair instead of using a ladder)
  • Leaving items in a walkway “for just a second” while we hurriedly work on getting something else done.

All of these are accidents waiting to happen and they will happen if they are ignored or overlooked.  Remember that shipping carton that someone left on the floor? It didn’t appear to be a real problem, so everyone just walked past it.  Nobody worried that it might cause a problem; everybody could see it sitting there – so nobody did anything about it.  Other times, we might have good intentions about fixing or reporting those “little things”.  But, too often, we get busy and forget about fixing the problem or reporting it so somebody else will fix it.  One company became very concerned when its accident frequency showed a large increase over a three-month period.  Management began an in-depth check of systems, equipment, and material that are considered to be high hazard:  heavy machinery, ventilation, toxic substances, machine guarding, etc.

To everyone's surprise, none of these things was the cause of their accidents.  Chemicals were properly labelled and stored; machines were in good repair and properly guarded; the exhaust fans, sprinkler systems, respirators, etc., were all in good working order.  Instead, accidents stemmed from a variety of "little things" that had been ignored until an injury occurred.  For example, they found that serious falls had been caused by:

  • A puddle of oil on the floor from a leaking forklift. No one had poured absorbent on the spill because it was "too small to worry about."  It wasn't too small, however, to make a passing employee slip and fall when he didn't notice it. (Furthermore, the leaking forklift needs to be repaired so this accident won't happen again.)
  • A box of supplies that had been left on the floor in front of a shelf, instead of properly stored. It had been walked around dozens of times before someone finally tripped over it. 
  • A ladder that was placed in front of an outward-opening door "just for a minute" to change a light bulb. It was knocked over by another worker coming through the door, and both he and the worker on the ladder were injured.  

All these "accidents waiting to happen" had been ignored because they didn't really seem that dangerous to the workers involved.  Employees all knew about, and carefully avoided, the major hazards found when repairing energized electrical equipment or bypassing machine guards.  We often intend to report a defective tool, extension cord, or stepladder to the maintenance department but don't take the time, or forget about.  It is important to follow through on our good intentions, since these are just the sort of "little things" that can result in a serious injury to us or to other workers.  Little things do count and if we take a few minutes to pay attention to all the potential hazards around us we can prevent injuries from happening to ourselves and other employees.  It’s like that molehill that turned into a mountain. Little things do matter – especially when someone gets hurt because of that “little thing”.

I know that if everyone took the time to pay attention to all of the potential hazards around us – and then fix it or report it – we could prevent some of these workplace injuries – even some of the more serious ones.  If you are walking near one of those “little things” or even a serious safety issue, ask yourself, “Would I want someone else to report this if I knew that I might be injured because of it?”  If the answer is yes, then take the time to report it!

“Servant-leadership is more than a concept, it is a fact. Any great leader, by which I also mean an ethical leader of any group, will see herself or himself as a servant of that group and will act accordingly." – M Scott Peck

View 's profile on LinkedIn

wreck it all 

Members Usage Guide


 Please Support My

Partners in Safety!








Our Key Clients...

advancedfoodproducts.jpg appleton.png averydenn.png benjamin_moore_logo.jpg bostitch.gif citybrewing.png cityofcleveland.png cstberger.png dawn.png dell.png dp&l_logo.jpg dukeenergy.gif dupps.png emerald_performance_materials-logo.gif enclogo.jpg epa_logo.png federal_process_logo.jpg gander.png gaylord_logo_new.gif ge.png genon.jpg georgia_pacific_logo.jpg goodrich.png graeterslogo.jpg gte.png hartz.png heeter.png hillshire_brands_logo.jpg ipl.gif john morrell logo.jpg johnsmans.png koch.png littlefordday.png logo_flint_hills.gif lopez.png loreal_logo.jpg lubrizol_logo.gif marathon.png marathonpipelinellc.jpg mi-jack-products-logo.jpg michels_corp.jpg mmccorps.jpg ncs30.jpg nestle.png novartis_logo100.gif oh_epa.jpg osha.png propal.png rumpke_logo.jpg sabic-ip.jpg saralee_logo.png sargentgreen.png shawlogo-small.png shepherd-color-logo.jpg sherwin.png simplot-logo.jpg smart.png solutia_rgb_ingenuity_jpg.jpg st.marys.png stanley.png sugarcreek.png sumco.png thompson.jpg ticona.jpg topy america.jpg tyco.png udf.png unwin.jpg walker.png

What They Are Saying About Us...

Recently, Bryan performed some PSM related consulting work at one of our power plants. He has also done work for us in the area of confined space and emergency response consulting and training. To say that Bryan has an extensive knowledge of these three topic matters completely undersells him. He...

A.J. DeRose, CSP Sr. Health & Safety Administrator - Corporate
Aug 12, 2011