Forty years ago as I began working outside the railroad industry I sat down and made a little survey. I was seeking an answer to the question, “What industry is the most hazardous?” I just figured I would try to concentrate my efforts in the areas where I might do the most good. Mining, Power, Petrol, Construction… these were just a few of the leaders. Automotive was right up there too. In addition to concentrating on national and state safety associations I soon began to work a great deal in the petrol and power industry with some construction companies thrown in for good luck. Then I found my way to the automotive industry. It wasn’t long until I was flying from state to state and in time I scratched off every state and most of the Canadian Provinces. The last two to get scratched off my list were Hawaii and finally Alaska and I have now made frequent visits to both of those states.
And what have I learned? I learned that there are safe and unsafe pockets in every industry. And I have become locked-in convinced that the attitude of leaders plays a major role in what happens in the safe performance of group of workers. There is a ton of lip-service paid to safety by corporate leaders in every industry but until the commitment is genuine then we cannot expect genuine results.