As she presented, I was thinking about how we are very different people with very different work perspectives. However, most safety people, whether private or public sector, are looking for the same thing – to improve and sustain safety. In her description of one incident, she became emotional as she spoke on the tragic outcome of the event. Her emotions showed a truly human response to a bad human event that didn’t have to happen. That is where our perspectives joined on the same path. To this day, I still get very emotional if I happen to talk about the investigations of some tragic events that didn’t have to happen. Talking to a 14-year-old daughter whose father will never return home is imprinted in my mind forever. Seeing a wife and her two young children scurrying around a humble home while I talk to her husband as he sits in his wheelchair, knowing their life will never be the same again, can be emotionally draining. I realized that she and I are very different people, but our mission is the same. This is the absolute beauty of being involved in these meetings.
If you are not regularly attending these monthly meetings at the Black Bear Diner on the first Tuesday of the month, you are really missing out on an opportunity to share what you bring to the table and to learn from what others bring. These meetings give us a chance to meet people who have different perspectives and a variety of experiences. I find that attendees have different backgrounds, training, education, experiences and skill level. I see that they come from a variety of entities such as public and private sectors. We have attendees from schools, government, manufacturing, insurance, service, non- profits and many other types of organizations. Each brings a potential for supportive professional relationships that help us to become better at what we do and, yes, maybe we help others become better champions of their professional efforts. This is the beauty of these meetings; we are all on the same mission, but we can always learn from different perspectives that will show up at these meetings.
I hope to see you there in future meetings – I can’t wait to hear your perspective at improving and sustaining safety! It just feels like it’s a place where safety people belong.
President, ASSP – Southern Oregon Chapter
With over 20 years in occupational safety and health, Chris Lawrence is a retired US Air Force Safety Professional who is the
Regional Safety Manager for Boise Cascade