Scared Straight

  • Published
  • By Bob Dusanic
  • 17th Training Wing Safety Office

Usually I write these messages with a humorous positive slant.  Well, I hope they were written that way.  The sole reason they were written that way is because people react to positive messages more than negative messages. It’s true.  Am I right?  However, let us switch gears and call this message the “Safety Scared Straight” message.


Do you ever wonder why safety is so important?  Let us talk seriously about that for a few paragraphs.


When someone is injured on the job, during training or off duty, it affects them. I’m not talking minor injuries but debilitating injuries.  A serious injury could change a person’s entire life.  It could change them not only physically, but professionally, financially and socially.  The injury can affect the life of the injured and change the lives of people around them including families, co-workers and friends.  We’re talking collateral damage here.  These people, especially the ones caring for the injured, could also be changed professionally, financially and socially. Fact of life. The injured person is the most important reason to create and sustain a safe work environment.  We don’t need injured persons.  We don’t need collateral damage.  They are the main reasons everyone at Goodfellow Air Force Base must lead, follow and remain ever vigilant in the safety process.


Another item to ponder is saving taxpayer money.  Repairing an injured worker costs the government time, which turns into monetary cost.  Compensation is a cost.  Medical response is a cost.  Medical procedures are a cost.  Running back and forth to therapy and the hospital is a cost.  Lost productivity is a cost, not only when the worker is initially injured, but also when fellow workers stop work to respond to the mishap. Also stuff doesn’t get done that was supposed to get done. In the end, products aren’t made, students aren’t trained and planes aren’t flown. The mission isn’t getting accomplished as required.  The mission, that’s what we are here for.


All the negative items I just mentioned highlight the importance of safety.


On the positive side, keeping safety important means you will have a safe workplace in which workers are happy, healthy and whole.  Yes, you’ll always have the unhappy workers, and I get it, but take care of safety items important to those workers and you will build trust and confidence.  If you involve those workers in safety meetings, inspections and committees they will feel a part of the team.  It’s a proven fact - happy workers produce, they will like their employment more, remain loyal and do great things!  Remember that, once seeded, enthusiasm will grow.


Well, I started this out as a negative “Safety Scared Straight” message.  I reverted back to positive because it works. Keep the safety message strong, and safety important, and there will always be positive results.


Stay safe my friends.