Be sure to listen to your workers

Once upon a time, there was an employee who worked at a well-established company, which was known throughout the industry. The employee had worked very hard throughout his career with the company.
Then one day, it came time for the employee to retire. The retiree was a well-respected wise man, retiring after 30 plus years of service. A top-level manager of the company congratulated him and asked, “Any comments, my friend, or words you would like to express?”
The man responded, “Yes!”
The man paused as he collected his thoughts. Then he said in a compassionate voice, “I have worked here a long time. In that time, I have worked with a lot of great and incredible people. I have seen many good things, and many things that were not so good, things that were not right.
“I had ideas; I spoke of them many times throughout my career. But no one listened. You had my working hands for over 30 years. You could have had my mind, and my ideas, for free!”
The top-level manager was surprised at what he heard. Then he realized—and understood—what the wise man was saying. Don’t ever forget that people are the most critical element in the success of a company.
Not only are people critical, but they also are an invaluable resource and an element in the success of any workplace health and safety program.
People can make a difference. When workers have an idea, or make suggestions on how to improve safety in your workplace, how is your hearing? Are you listening to the wise advice?
Remember, if you never need what you learn about personal safety, you have lost nothing. But if you never learn what you need, you may lose everything . . . your family and your life!
Safety—it starts with you!
Tyler J. Moffitt served with the OPP, as well as 15 years as a firefighter and emergency responder.

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