There is just nothing more important than the safety of our family. Put another way, if you and those you care about are not safe then nothing else matters – not how wealthy or poor or powerful you are or what your religious or political affiliations might be – nothing matters more than making sure those we love are safe and well. Once they are safe all things are possible.
I worked for a great company that based its entire team building and team identifier on this function of safety. Safety as a focus in the workplace has been fairly common for decades. Construction, mining, and manufacturing enterprises have been measuring and working to prevent accidents in the workplace. We have all seen the signs “ XX Days Since Last Accident” posted proudly at these places. Jacobs Engineering took the safety of its employees to an entirely new level. They promoted safety at home, sports, and hobbies in addition to workplace safety. Jacobs’ “Beyond Zero – A Culture of Caring” really demonstrated their commitment to their employees in a way I had never encountered before. I had worked for a wonderful company for almost 30 years prior to joining Jacobs who made the cliche of “Our People First” a reality demonstrated by the culture as well. EDS’ leadership training was the mechanism that delivered on their promises to their people. Jacobs’ took that same kind of commitment to their people but integrated this Safety focus that was truly impressive to observe. No matter what discipline, organizational position, or business context, everyone at Jacobs was united around this concept of 1) Understanding Risks; 2) Maintaining Motivation to take action, and 3) Rigorous systems and practices to maintain safe operations and projects. And this included promoting safe practices beyond the workplace. Jacobs’ culture taught me to recognize that the vast majority of risks to ourselves and our families are preventable or at least can be mitigated in terms of the impact they have. As I said it was impressive, empowering, and unifying. I am grateful for what I learned there.
I have shared these materials earlier in various ways. I added this branch of thought and caring to our Jacaranda Tree in hopes that it may provide help for those that I love ( and those that they care for as well) to enjoy a safer life. I am going to use this platform to promote family risk appreciation and awareness as well as provide tools to enable actions to mitigate those risks for you and your family. The areas that I will focus on are Personal and Family Safety. As I learn things in either one of these focus areas’ I will add to this content.
– What I can do to mitigate risks to my health and well-being?
Ultimately, it is the decisions we make as individuals that govern how safe we are to a large degree. If we elect to enter the Bomb Disposal business, we have decided to take on perhaps unique risks but you do not have to be in Bomb Disposal business to make risky choices. You are the one who decides to climb the ladder or lift the heavy box – alone or ask for help? Also, you are the only one who truly knows how you are changing as you age. You have to be the one to decide if that task you did so easily 20 years ago is still within your grasp. Awareness of what is happening around you is perhaps your best tool for being safe. Being prepared to be safe is a handy habit to have or start at any age.
Do you know what happens when a first responder comes to your aid? They start observing and guessing. Unless you have done something to help them, they will guide their treatment of your situation by a series of educated guesses based on what they can observe. You can choose to change those decisions into informed decisions by completing a Vial of Life.
– What can I do to prevent accidents or mitigate the impact of predictable risks to my family – in and around our home; where we play and where we work or go to school?
These are the risks and actions that are best managed at the family level. They are functions that are governed my the specifics of your family’s life. Where you live, the features of the house the family lives in, the geography, and various predictable natural and manmade risks that your family can mitigate at least in terms of impacts.
Family Evacuation Planning and Kit
Sooner or later your family may be asked or ordered to evacuate in 15 minutes or less. How prepared are you to do that? Does everyone in the family know what they should be doing in that short period of time? Do you have the things that you will need to be safe and start over should your home be lost or organized? The time to think about those questions is not during the last 15 minutes you might have in your home before evacuating.