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Brad Hurtig learned about workplace accidents early in life. Brad was a junior in high school playing middle linebacker for his school football team when one night he was asked to cover a shift working at a factory. In one evening his life changed. While operating a 500 ton power press Brad noticed a piece was slightly off from the desired template. Brad made an impulsive decision that resulted in both of his hands being crushed. For many workplace injuries like this would have changed their life for the worst, not for Brad.

After recovering from the accident he was welcomed back to his high school football team, though this time as a kicker. One day, at the end that practice, he was thirsty and noticed a bottle of water at his coach’s feet. Brad asked his coach for a drink and his coach responded in a way that most of us wouldn’t have. “When you are thirsty enough, you will find a way.”

This statement changed Brad’s life.

Brad later went on to do just that. He went from thinking he would never play football again to finding a way. He keeps this mantra in mind in every decision and action he makes. His senior year, he went from kicker back to middle linebacker and had 111 tackles, earning him all state honors. He did exactly what his coach told him to do.

Now Brad gives motivational speeches to companies and schools alike. Brad shares his story about safety and how no matter who you are, if you want something enough, you will find a way. Today we are going to take a closer look into the safety side of his talks and give you some safety tips for your employees, as well as some tips for the employers.

Workplace Safety Tips For Employees

Safety Equipment Failure

It can be easy to trust the safety equipment fail-safes built into the machines to protect you. However, like with Brad, the safety equipment can fail. Brad was slim enough that he was not detected by the light curtain, which then resulted in his accident. Safety systems can be set up correctly and still fail. The reality of the situation, safety systems are intended to cause employees to be more mindful of what they are doing. Taking safety equipment for granted, by improper use or abuse, puts employees in a vulnerable position.

Here are some bonus tips for workers of different levels of seniority.

Younger or less experienced employees: being newer or younger, than most of the senior level employees, you might find yourself trying to balance the nervousness of starting a new job with the sense of being indestructible. This happens because you might not know of any real life instances where an accident has occurred. Without a personal incident to relate to you might think, “this can’t happen to me.”

Brad gives this advice for new employees, “be humble and coachable. There are principles and guidelines and rules put in place for a reason.” Though some of the safety procedures may seem time-consuming or unnecessary, they have a purpose.

Senior level employees: those who have been with a company longer, “keep your mind fresh and on your task. Do not get stuck in a routine to where you feel too safe.” Start your day by reminding yourself of the consequences and risks that are at play when working on the tasks for the day.

Communicate With Your Co-Workers

It is easy to assume that if you are standing close to someone to think that they can see you. Regardless, as Brad learned, you need to communicate. You should have a regular communication that happens before doing any action. Brad says that, “if I had simply said to my friend ‘I am going to move that part,’ I would still have my hands.”

Take two minutes and try to communicate with those around you when moving around the factory/warehouse. Even the simplest of tasks can lead to a tragic accident.

Take Time To Think

“Move your eyes first before you move your body.” This statement is one that Brad feels is mission critical. Impulsive reactions are a leading cause of workplace accidents — really any accidents for that matter. If you engage your mind, slow down, and move your eyes before you move your body you will be able to prevent some accidents before they occur.

Workplace Safety Tips For Employers

Create A Safe Environment

Your employees want to work in a safe environment and it is up to you, the employer, to provide them with the confidence that they are safe. Brad says, “it is proven that employee morale and productivity increases when your employees feel safe.” And everyone loves that! Nothing better than having happy, productive employees. When your employees are happy they are more likely to stay longer on the job, which means less onboarding is needed, which in turns keeps money in your pocket!

What Can You Do?

  1. Share these tips with your employees.
  2. Create and implement a safety program at your company.
  3. Schedule Brad to come speak to your employees.

Brad hopes that by sharing his story that people will be reminded to pause, slow down, think before they react. Click here to learn more about having Brad come to speak at your company. His talk is not only informative, but inspiring.



creating a mindset for change

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