There was an article in the newspaper this weekend describing an explosion at a chocolate factory in Pennsylvania.
At least seven have died. There are still a few people missing. Another ten are at the hospital. One building collapsed. Another is badly damaged. The officials are still investigating to determine how this occurred.
One thing is certain: Things won’t be the same.
The newspaper was asking questions too. They uncovered several employees who said they noticed the smell of gas. They said they told the managers. The gas company that provides the gas service said they had no record of anyone calling about a potential gas leak.
Let’s discuss this for a minute:
In our company, let’s agree that when we smell gas or see anything that is a risk to our team, we must speak up immediately. No exceptions. The stakes are too high.
In our company, let’s agree that no report of risk can go unattended. We have an obligation to investigate. We have an obligation to correct. We have an obligation to bring in experts. We have a duty to chase down a resolution until everyone is satisfied that we’ve contained the risk.
In our company, let’s agree that when there isn’t an urgent response to an identified risk, we all have extra powers:
- We can shut down operations or stop working until the issue is addressed.
- We can go to a higher authority if our boss doesn’t respond promptly.
- We can report colleagues that are causing a risk.
- You can call me at (863) 581-1190. I’ll promise to get some action.
Don’t be the teammate who didn’t speak up.
Don’t be the leader who was slow to – or failed – to act.
Don’t be the one who sat on their hands because you didn’t want to cause a problem.
There’s too much at stake. Too many who count on us.