Starting the Dialogue about Safety and Health

Safety First

When do you start a dialogue about safety and health on the job? Is it ever too early to start the relaying the message of safety and health?

For Sauer Incorporated, jobsite safety and health is a family affair. It started when Mr. Lee Pryor, who is one of the managers of safety and health for the company, found that his eight year old son had drawn a picture of him at work and that the picture included safety equipment. The drawing made him realize just how much working safely each day impacts not only the jobsite, but each employee’s family as well. Knowing that his son was aware that working safely meant that his father would come home each day made a huge impact on his commitment to safety, and he knew that his fellow employees would feel the same way.

Mr. Pryor had the picture his son drew made into a larger sign and then he brought it to the next job wide meeting. His message was clear- a commitment to safety and health on the job by all employees and management would mean that for the employees’ children, their “hero” parent would get to come home each day. The mission for the employees, go home and talk to their families about safety and health, and then ask their children to draw pictures that the parents could bring into work as reminders of what was waiting at home.

The response was huge and the posters that were created by the employees’ children have made a lasting impact on the perception and understanding of jobsite safety and health.  In fact, the posters caught the attention of the Commander of the US Special Forces at the MacDill Air Force Base, who wanted to know why there was a child’s picture hanging up near the company flags. When he heard the story behind the pictures, he applauded the commitment to not only jobsite safety, but also the company’s commitment to the future.

The posters created by the children are displayed at the entrance to the company building to serve as a reminder that someone is waiting at home for each employee to return safely.