What is Safety to me? By Abbi Taylor
What does Safety mean to me?
I think I get lost in all the Health and Safety standards and procedures that are on site. I haven’t ever worked on site before and I can totally understand when the guys feel policies and procedures have ‘got in the way’ and make simple tasks complicated. They are deemed a waste of valuable time.
An example of this I heard recently from a guy on site who needed to change a light bulb. Simple Task. He had to follow the new procedure and log the ladders in and out of use. Now from his point of view I see that this is simple task we do at home and not something we would really give a second thought to.
Examples like this may seem trivial but the steps are there for the workers and those around them. The main reasons is to help monitor and protect, a simple job like changing a bulb could in fact have life changing repercussions if you weren’t to follow the safety steps.
Safety is and always will be a problem until we make it personal which my dad (Jason Anker) always tries to drill in to the guys on site when delivering his presentation’s. We need to start doing it by the book not because we are told to but because we choose to. Those precious ‘5 seconds’ my dad always talks about during his presentation are vital and can be the difference between having an accident and going home safe, it is all that was between my dad and his life in a wheelchair.
So many times, I have sat and listened to my dads talk and the discussions during when guys share the reasons they take shortcuts or don’t do things safely e.g. pressure to get the job done on time, money pressure to complete the job, pressure from home, but the only thing that should matter is you going home safely. Not one excuse or reason is enough for anyone to risk their safety.
Take it from me, I was 3 years old when my dad has his accident and I’m now 28 years old and that choice he made that day because he didn’t dare speak up is still affecting me and my family today.
You would think with time it would get easier, but it just continues. My dad missed out on so much with me and my brother growing up due to his disability and now he is having to relive that all over again as a grandad.
I’m lucky that my dad has found such resilience and enjoys the good that he has in his life rather than focusing on what he can’t do or hasn’t got which is utterly inspiring to me.
I have so much admiration for my dad and how strong he is but I still want to make it my personal mission alongside him to make people fully understand the implications a wrong decision can have and make sure it won’t happen to anyone else.
I have now been working alongside my dad for 5 years and I haven’t looked back once. I am attending alongside dad (Jason) at an event in Inverness talking to the guys at Network Rail in October where I will also be speaking alongside him and telling the guys some of the effects his accident had on me – I am very nervous as every time in the past I have done this I end up crying!
I think I always end up getting upset because obviously it is so personal to me, but I can’t stress hard enough to the guys how important it is to take safety seriously and put it first above anything else same with your own health and wellbeing. At the end of the day it is all that matters.