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Safety is Attitude
by Mike McKinley

Over the years as a professional speaker, I have been asked to do many safety awareness programs. Many of these requests have come from the construction or manufacturing industries. My audiences have included all levels of employees.

Most of the organizations I speak to have safety programs and safety directors, but I am hired to make sure that the environments and standards of their businesses are constantly reminding employees that a safety-oriented attitude is key.

Safety has always been an important part of my life. When I was in the 7th grade, my father's right leg was crushed in a construction accident. Fourteen years later, he had a career-ending accident in which both his legs were broken.

Having been directly involved in manufacturing for 15 years of my work life, I know that too many times hastiness, carelessness, ignorance, sloppiness, or just plain stupidity causes someone to get hurt.

After you read this, look around your home and workplace for potentially dangerous situations or areas where safety is breached. Hindrances to a safe environment can be both visible and invisible (i.e., both physical and mental).

If safety is not constantly taught, if management is not totally providing leadership, and if there are no repercussions for unsafe behavior, you WILL have accidents.

Consider the following to ensure a proactive, safe environment:
  • If someone thinks something is unsafe, it is.
  • Problem-solving skills and safety go hand in hand.
  • Recognize the repercussions when people choose to be unsafe.
  • Safety is not a training session; safety is a way of life and the way we do business.
  • Adopt an emergency plan, and plan for an emergency.
  • Usually, quality and safety are compromised when leadership decides that something has to be done in a hurry.
  • Safety and job security are relatively the same thing.
  • Truly, an attitude of safety is our best life insurance!


Michael McKinley, CSP, CPAE, is a professional speaker who builds and delivers personalized presentations on business topics for corporations and professional associations. He owns McKinley Companies, Inc., whose Thinking Publications division publishes resources for speech-language pathologists. Mike's Alive! Alive! Associates division markets his speaking and consulting services.

Copyright Michael McKinley. All Rights Reserved.

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