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March 1, 2004 7:20 AM CST

Safety Training Hits Home

By

Let's face facts. All businesses are regulated by the government, but perhaps none so heavily as construction when it comes to safety. Don't you cringe when OSHA visits your jobsites? Although you have trained, preached, prodded, and sometimes even disciplined, your employees, aren't you're left feeling less than 100% sure they actually are doing everything they should to be safe in a day's time? You can't be beside each of them every minute of the day and neither can your foremen. So, it often leaves us wondering, why do we keep doing those safety trainings and meetings week after week?

Safety training impacts employees more than just on the jobsite. It benefits employees personally at home as well. I would like to tell you a little story about the personal impact of safety programs. While attending the Jamboree in the Hills in St. Clairsville, Ohio, the super bowl of country music with around 60,000 people present, a guy came up to me. I didn't know who this guy was at first. He came right up and tapped me on the shoulder. So, I looked at him and noticed he had a long ponytail, cut-off shorts, and no shirt. He was a roughlooking fellow. Imagine my surprise when he looked at me and said, "Hug me." I looked at him strangely. Didn't have a

clue who he was or what he wanted. "Go ahead," he urged, "Just give me a hug. Come on! You'll be proud of me." And then it dawned on me. He's George, a guy who worked for me a few years ago. So, I thought, why not? We're all having a good old time and I gave him a big hug.

Then he said, "I want to tell you something. I've been looking for you. Two months after I left your company, I was watching my two-year-old son. Suddenly, I noticed that he wasn't around and I went out back near the swimming pool to find him. There he was face down in the swimming pool. I pulled him out of the pool and administered CPR on him. You offered CPR training a couple months before I quit Lang Masonry. You even made us practice with dummies. I'm certain that class is what saved my son's life." By this time, George was all teary-eyed and I have to admit that I was too. "I want to thank you for teaching me safety," he added. Then he turned and disappeared into the crowd as quickly as he had come.

And believe me, we continue to teach them CPR. That story is one of which we are awfully proud. Safety training makes a difference on and off the jobsite. That's why we continue to do it week after week. Safety saves lives.


About the Author

Damian Lang is a mason contractor in southeast Ohio and inventor of many labor saving masonry systems and products. Lang has served as the Marketing Committee Chairman for the Mason Contractors Association of America. He is also author of the book Rewarding and Challenging Employees for Profits in Masonry. To network with Damian on contractor tips or tips you have and would like published, contact him at dlang@langmasonry.com or 740-749-3512.

 

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