In former Green Bay Packers General Manager’s Ron Wolf’s book “The Packer Way” he uses four basic cornerstones for measuring success. They are: Expect Certain Devotion. Expect Certain Dedication. Expect Certain Work Ethic. Expect Certain Results.

As safety professionals we all strive for the same basic standards – don’t we?

We all expect our fellow employees to adhere to the basic principals of safety which requires a certain level of devotion, a certain level of dedication, a certain work ethic along with expected results.

If these four basic standards are applied to the everyday work arena, things flow rather smoothly don’t they?

Think about your personal safety in the most basic of ways – when you walked to your car this morning with your cup of coffee in one hand and the keys to the ignition in the other you expected when you placed your key in the auto’s ignition that your car or truck would automatically start.

When you connected your seat belt (I hope you wear a seatbelt) you expected it to be made of materials that will keep you safe and perform in a manner that’s expected in case of an accident.

You probably never thought about the airbags this morning or the air pressure in your tires. What about the oil, transmission fluid, the integrity of the frame? You make basic assumptions about your personal safety everyday of your life never realizing how involved in the word of personal protective equipment or PPE you really are.

The assumptions you make are based upon personal experiences. What would happen if we woke up tomorrow morning and because we wanted to reduce costs and our overall operating budget – that same scenario we discussed above took place in a different tomorrow:

Rather than using that nice heavy insulated coffee cup we now use a Styrofoam cup and find as we turn the first corner we spill all over ourselves ruining our newly purchased slacks.

Instead of using the regular key for the ignition we now use a lesser quality key, which we thought would perform in the same manner but now find it breaks off in the ignition.

What if the auto manufacturer used a single ply seat belt that just barely met the standard?

What if we didn’t budget for a new set of tires and we drove to work with the treads worn out? What if we never checked the oil? What if the frame was made out of plastic instead of steel?

How comfortable would we be in this scenario? I think I would rather walk.

You get the point. Although absurd, that’s reality. On a personal level we wouldn’t tolerate substandard products that just meet specifications. Although costs will always be a factor in the overall PPE world, we must also understand that loss of one finger, one eye, one life, cannot be expensed as a liability on a spreadsheet.

Yes, my friends, safety is the responsibility of all parties. We should all expect a Certain level of Devotion - A Certain Level of Dedication - A Certain Level of Work Ethic and Certain Results.