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The Spirit of Safety

January 27, 2013 Leave a comment

The Spirit of Safety

Our plant had a group return last week from a week long trip to Austria. The group’s focus was to understand the ins and outs of a new oven for our plant expansion. They brought back stories of beer in the workplace cafeteria, cigarrettes on the factory floor, and quick excursions to abandoned castles on their way to and from work.

The stories that really caught perked my ears up were the stories of safety protocols…or lack thereof. I was told of employees using makeshift tools that would never make it past today’s US OSHA standards.

The stories made me think of our good friend the OSHA cowboy. This picture is a classic in safety and pokes fun at OSHA’s perceived overkill to drive the safety industry.

I look at our risk-reduced cowboy here and find myself grateful for the job OSHA is doing. There is no such thing as too safe. Risk will never be obliterated. Keeping the US workplace as safe as possible, well that would require such silly things as hearing protection, safety glasses, and the like.

Not all employees in the world are guarded by the spirit of safety like the American worker. I have heard first-hand accounts of some foreign production facilities that have extra employees in the wings waiting for an industrial accident so they can work.

So here’s to you OSHA cowboy. I am glad you are around.

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