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Safety Wars

The Galactic Empire has its priorities all wrong, and I'm not just talking about its proclivity for the dark side. With needlessly hazardous and inefficient workplaces, it’s no wonder they haven’t been able to bring order to the galaxy or quash rebellions. Not only do they repeatedly build astronomically (pun intended) expensive Death Stars with the same fatal flaws, they seem to be completely blind to the simplest practical engineering controls like guard rails.

Just take a look at what the average Stormtrooper is wearing, you couldn’t have a better example of an over reliance on personal protective equipment (PPE) when anyone who follows this blog knows PPE is always a last resort. In a galaxy fraught with peril, you can't always eliminate a hazard but engineering and administrative controls can go a long way in creating a safe work environment where employees feel valued and aren't just waiting to become "famous singers" as the joke goes in Family Guy. Safety shouldn't be a battle between employees and employers.

It's clear the Galactic Empire needs to change its company culture, but does yours? Maybe the choking hazard in your workplace isn't named Darth Vader, but workplace violence isn't something limited to a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Ask yourself, “Where does safety rank at my company?” and "Who are the safety leaders in my company?"

You have the makings of an epic failure if safety is viewed as the responsibility of just one person or as a separate compliance task rather than safety being the responsibility of everyone to integrate into every task. Hazards arise when complacency sets in and personal responsibility is abdicated. As Obi-Wan Kenobi said, "Who's more foolish? The fool or the fool who follows him?"

Safety training is not something to be done once upon hire and forgotten, it is an ongoing process that continuously improves the workforce and workplace. As Yoda said, "If you end your training now–if you choose the quick and easy path, as Vader did–you will become an agent of evil." And an agent for unnecessary harm to yourself and your coworkers.

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