All too often complacency can set in at the workplace. Maybe you have never been hurt before. Maybe you have just been lucky. Safety rules start to be seen as a hindrance, safety reps as the bad guys shaking fingers and slowing you down.
It is often the illusion of invincibility that can drive workers to take chances, to ignore their gut feelings and walk stupidly into a hazardous situation. Maybe you didn't hurt today - but did you let someone else.
You can make a difference everyday no matter the type of job you do, no matter the circumstances, no matter your title or scale of pay.
This poem is a poignant reminder to all workers that safety is about you - and the other guy, the one with the new baby, the one two years from retirement, the woman about to be married, the one who has your back...and to all the family and friends at home waiting for you.
I Chose to Look the Other way
By Don Merrill
I could have saved a life that day, But I chose to look the other way. It wasn't that I didn't care, I had the time, and I was there.
But I didn't want to seem a fool, Or argue over a safety rule. I knew he'd done the job before, If I spoke up, he might get sore.
The chances didn't seem that bad, I'd done the same, He knew I had. So I shook my head and walked on by, He knew the risks as well as I.
He took the chance, I closed an eye, And with that act, I let him die. I could have saved a life that day, But I chose to look the other way.
Now every time I see his wife, I'll know, I should have saved his life. That guilt is something I must bear, But it isn't something you need share.
If you see a risk that others take, That puts their health or life at stake. The question asked, or thing you say, Could help them live another day.
If you see a risk and walk away, Then hope you never have to say, I could have saved a life that day, But I chose, to look the other way.