“It’s About People – Not Machines”

December 24, 2018 No Comments

Yesterday I received an email from John Conover, Jr.   He is the Environmental Health & Safety Spec. at the University of Richmond.  John wrote some very thoughtful comments about my November 13th article on Dan Petersen.  I’d like to share what he had to say –

“Thanks for the reminder to all of us about Dan Peterson.  I began reading his books early in my safety education (in the early 90’s).  Both he and Scott Geller were influential in my career, as I moved from a “write ‘em and cite ‘em” OSHA inspector to a culture-oriented ‘safety guy.’  

I wish I’d known about Dr. Geller when I was at VA Tech (thinking that I was actually going to veterinary school), but it has been great to meet him at several conferences.  He and Dan Petersen realized that keeping people safe is about people, not machines, gravity, or chemicals.  To that end, I have sincerely befriended many of the people in our Facilities Department.  I work closely with faculty, staff, and each student in our sciences to ensure they know that I truly care that they are not harmed in the lab.  I get a lot better return on the investment of my time. 

My philosophy is:  “I’m not really worried about them remembering to wear safety glasses when I’m standing there.  Anybody can do that.  What I really want, is to know that they WANT to wear their safety glasses, when they KNOW I’m 500 miles away.”  That can’t be accomplished unless we all see each other as ‘people’ first, and truly CARE about each other.”

John, thanks so much for sharing your wisdom with us!

Safety Articles

Translate This Page