3 Simple Ideas to Make Safety Personal

Achieving a top notch safety culture within your organization is best done by making safety personal for each of your team members. I recently had a conversation with John Wayne Farber, Special Projects Manager for Hoppe Tree Service in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He shared with me a couple of ideas he recently learned about that I feel can be a powerful addition to your safety program. Here are three simple ideas that can make safety personal for every employee on your team.


1. This is Why I am Safe Patch – Tim Walsh from Davey Resource Group, shared this idea at the 2018 ISA Conference in Columbus, OH. They hand out a fabric sleeve that has a plastic window in it for their employees to slide a picture of someone or something that matters most to them. This sleeve has Velcro on the back so it can be attached to their gear, saddle, bag, etc. so there is a constant visual reminder of why they need to work safe.


2. Safety Picture Board – Inside the Columbia Energy Center a power plant located in Portage, Wisconsin, there is a picture board that employees put pictures of loved ones in. This board hangs on the entry way into the power plant. Seeing the faces of family members of all of their co-workers has made a huge impact on safe work practices. Being reminded that you are not only trying to be safe for your family, but also those of your co-workers puts safety even more at the forefront.


3. Safety Coins – Total Safety, a safety and compliance company located in Houston, Texas, gives every employee a heavy duty coin to keep in their pocket during the work day. The coin is a little larger than a half dollar and much heavier so the employee can feel it in their pocket as they walk around. You could use this idea by having each employee pick up a coin to start the day and drop it off at the end of the day. Any close calls or near misses can be jotted down when the coin is turned in for the night to help with the next tailgate safety meeting. (To read the article on their coin visit: https:/ /www.ehstoday.com/safety/total-safety-coins-safety-commitment)


Getting every employee home safe each night must be a priority for every tree care business. Doing that is easier when all employees feel personally attached to the importance of safety. There are a lot of great ideas out there to help build the safety culture that you desire, these are just three that I wanted to share with you. If you have others that you’ve seen work well, I’d love to have you share those with me and the rest of the tree care world. #untilwereallsafe

Written by: Eric Petersen