How lucky are you

KANDAHAR AIR BASE, Afghanistan -- Exactly how lucky are we to be in the American environment? It isn't like a lot of people have a choice ... you might have just "came out" that way, right?

Talk to people who have lived in other countries and they can provide some very enlightening perspectives on how hard life was for them. While most of us can't fathom the amount of effort it requires to gain citizenship, there are many benefits Americans take for granted on a daily basis.

With American citizenship comes opportunity. Not just in money, freedom or the nicer things in life. Safety is something that can be considered a luxury to many people who don't have a choice. Some workers in other countries can see things falling down from the ceiling, open electrical plugs, or they have to use the wrong tools for the job, and they probably don't have a choice.

Look around your workplace, what can you find that relates to your personal safety? Starting from day one, there are programs, controls and personnel put into place to protect you from hazards that may be present. It's not by accident. A lot of these requirements cost money, but mishaps to personnel can cost much more than dollar signs.

The U.S. put emphasis on workplace safety, and it's not because of money; it's for the people who accomplish the mission.

People are the key resource in every business. These safety standards are not regulated to military workplaces alone. Each business in America must identify, plan and create a safe working environment for workers, visitors and customers.

From a safety standpoint, it's remarkable the situations where I see many violations, and not all are a result of a lack of availability, knowledge or time. There are many options in getting the proper tools, support and training.

Safety of personnel is the number one priority. Supervisors should be on the lookout for mishap avoidance, and all personnel hold a responsibility to each other to make the workplace a safer place.

We should all feel lucky that there are minimum guidelines and support lines regarding safety in our country. If you don't believe it, talk to someone from or raised in another country and you may realize the extent of how you can count your lucky stars this isn't a normal workday scenario for you.