How Many Lives?

…but no one has ever sent me a life saver’s award.

I have a Distinguished Service to Safety Plaque from the National Safety Council dated 2002 and the metal plate fell off of it. I took it to the frame shop for advice and then stopped over at a friends repair shop.  He looked it over and then asked, how many lives did your program save during your career in safety?  Heck of a question. My answer was this, “I have no idea. They  just count the dead ones.”  It sure started me thinking.  I know that a lot of organizations called me in for a presentation right after a tragedy.  They would have a fatality and then hold a big safety meeting where I would talk and win a signed commitment from everyone in an organization but, although many of them called me later and told me about their excellent new safety record I never heard any of them say that someone was alive today because of my efforts. That is probably true of any safety person reading this today.  I’d sure love to carve a thousand notches on my microphone representing lives saved.  I have heard of instances of positive interaction which interrupted an unsafe act but no one has ever sent me a life saver’s award. Maybe that is why it took me 54 years of service in the field to win this award. Well, I got some fresh tape that is guaranteed never to dry out and the plaque is probably good for my lifetime anyway, such as it is.

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