I was leaving the plant I was visiting that week and noticed a second shift operator preparing to start his day.
I went over to say hi to the young man. He was a nice fellow… he had one of those contagious smiles on his face and seemed very happy to be at work which I found refreshing.
I asked him what his plans were for the evening and he explained the tasks he had before him in a cheerful and extremely positive manner.
I said good-bye to young man and went about my way.
A day I will never forget
The next morning, as we pulled up to the plant, I could tell something was wrong. Very wrong.
There were police all around and TV camera trucks everywhere.
As it turned out the worst possible thing that could ever happen in a manufacturing organization occured.
You see, the young man I spoke to just a few hours before had been killed as a result of a workplace accident.
It’s not my intention to get into the details of what happened or what could have prevented the accident.
Instead, the reason I am sharing this sobering story – one that has forever changed the way I look at workplace safety – is to drive home the fact that nothing, and I do mean nothing, is more important than ensuring all employees go home safely at the end of their work day/evening.
5S or 6S?
A few weeks ago I asked if we should call it 5S or 6S… many of you left excellent comments.
And while I am actually indifferent as to whether an extra S should be added to 5S… one thing I am not indifferent to is how important safety actually is.
So, the next time someone rolls their eyes and explains why the “safety police” are so annoying… I’d encourage you to remind them of how awful it would be to have to call someone’s significant other in order to explain why their loved one is never coming home.
What about you?
What events have shaped you as it relates to workplace safety? I pray nothing terrible like my story.