Health & Safety in the workplace, ah, that saying that could bring shivers down your spine, yet making you show the thumbs up and a wink to the person that mentioned it.
Let’s be honest, as South Africans, who are they to tell us about health & safety? We cook our meat over open flames, dodge taxis in traffic as if we were driving stock cars around a race car track, and face fearless striking workers on a monthly basis.
We’ve always been pretty capable of amazing things! One could just take a step back and look at our history to see the proof of that!
“It’s fine, or don’t worry about it, or I’ll just take the employee to the hospital, or easy peasy”, is the response most of you have when asked what you intend to do when blood hits the fan. And yes, some of you could argue that there are no real risks at your workplace, and that could very well be the case for you.
But for the majority of the workplaces in South Africa, risks, hazards and injury hang over each workers head like a bad rain cloud waiting to shower it’s victim with misery.
The question you have to ask yourself is, how big a cloud is hanging over your employee’s heads, and do you have enough buckets, or deep enough buckets to catch the down pour of rain.
I challenge you to an adventure! ‘Klap’ on a pair of steel capped safety shoes, a ‘lekker’ hard hat, and venture forth into the jungle of your workplace. Take heed of the dangers you might find there, you’ll find dangers lurking around every corner, ones you can see and ones you cannot see. And Murphy ’s Law will have it that the ones you cannot see, will be the most dangerous.
However, you will not be alone in your quest. During your expedition you’ll encounter the amazing people of the jungle called the Employeelites. These brave warriors head out in the treacherous forest to hunt, gather, and work the land for their families’ survival. Some of them make it through the days unscathed; whilst others perish into the forest lost to the eyes of their loved ones, or are left stranded by their house unable to work due to a lost limb or two.
Take note of all you see in your forest, the dangers, the people, the bad fruit and the revitalizing streams. Take this knowledge you have back to your place of safety and leadership. Use it to make your very own “Safe way through the Forest Guideline” for the brave Employeelites sweating away at your instruction. We cannot get rid of all the dangers yes, but you can remove or minimize them, or alternatively teach your Employeelites to manage them and to work around them.
Don’t be the typhoon that sends his Employeelites home with an arm or a leg missing. Don’t take away the freedom of playing rugby or soccer with his son. Or take away the ability to bake their first cake with their daughter.
You have the power within you to be the greatest leader of your workplace, to rise up and outshine all those equal to you. To be worshiped in the eyes of the Employeelites. All you have to do, is do, and not ignore. It’s as simple as that.
So I say again, health & safety in the workplace?
Sounds different now, doesn’t it?