If You See a Safety Issue, Say (and Do) Something in Business and at Work


On a recent business trip to New York City, and frankly on every local CDTA bus I pass on the road, I saw this phrase everywhere:

If You See Something, Say Something

As you may already know, it’s the safety slogan for the current Department of Homeland Security’s publicity campaign to encourage citizen awareness of suspicious activity that may lead to potential terrorist activity.

As part of my workplace safety training over the years, we were trained to do environmental scans constantly to identify potential workplace dangers, such as removing garbage / debris lying in warehouse aisles (even when I was 9 months’ pregnant, I’d carefully reach down and pick up the trash – debris hit by a forklift truck can become a dangerous projectile and/or cause the forklift truck to crash, for example); placing wooden skids flat on the ground rather than standing upright (a wooden skid standing upright is dangerous, as it can tip over and fall on someone); and identifying malfunctioning machines by using proper lock-out / tag-out procedures.

Here in the Albany, New York area, a young 23 year-old man was killed on his first day on the job after becoming caught in a wood chipper.  The Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) addresses the training of new employees using wood chippers: Employers should closely supervise newly-hired employees to ensure that they are safely operating the chipper and should reinforce training through regular safety talks and unannounced site visits.

Was the young man mentioned above trained and closely supervised on his first day using the wood chipper? If not, did anyone working with him see it and say something?

When you see a safety issue, how do you say (and do something) to prevent accidents, injuries and death in business and at work?

wooden skid

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