The Drug-Free Workplace Program: Lose the Drugs, Keep the People
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A true story about attitudes, behaviors and consequences! This is a true account of an actual incident. It contains valuable safety lessons for any organization and drives home the importance of developing a true culture of safety.
John Martin was a risk-taker and everyone knew it. When John and others took shortcuts to be more productive, it created tension among co-workers who were perceived as being slow. Employees who followed safety rules were teased and called names. By ignoring the situation and even calling on the risk takers to ""get the job done"" when production pressure was highest, management condoned and encouraged their risk-taking behavior.
On the day of his injuries, John Martin was asked to service a large pump that was underneath a 250,000-gallon cooking vessel containing Black Liquor, a hot, caustic liquid used to cook wood chips in the paper industry. Production pressure was mounting and John was called on because he had a reputation for getting the job done fast. John was teamed up with Harry, a normally safe worker who had received teasing and criticism for being slow. When John insisted they skip the normal lockout procedure and accept the word of a production engineer that the up-line valve was closed and secured, Harry grudgingly went along; he was tired of being called a slow poke. Harry is still haunted by his failure to stand up for his own safety.
The valve that controlled the flow to the pump was operated remotely from a control room located several stories above the pump. Both the valve and control room were out of sight from the pump. As John and Harry worked on the pump, an inexperienced operator opened the valve, blasting John with thousands of gallons of the hot, caustic liquid. John was burned over 70% of his body and his eyes were badly damaged. John was not expected to survive his injuries. Harry received less severe burns and eye damage.
John Martin did survive and has overcome his burn injuries and over 60 eye surgeries. He started sharing his story, first at his own facility, and now nationwide. By examining the various actions, attitudes and behaviors that contributed to his incident, John helps others find ways to improve their own safety. This program will benefit all employees, managers and supervisors. This program facilitates much discussion about risk-taking, bullying, production pressure, proper supervision, procedures, attitude, PPE and much, much more.