Posted by Howe Q. Wallace on Friday, December 7th, 2012
Our plant manager Shane Tuck from Selma sent this poem to me. I thought it said it all.
I CHOSE TO LOOK THE OTHER WAY
I could have saved a life that day, But I chose to look the other way. It wasn’t that I didn’t care, I had the time, and I was there. But I didn’t want to seem like a fool, Or argue over a safety rule. I knew he’d done the job before, If I called it wrong, he might get sore. The chances didn’t seem that bad, I’ve done the same, he knew I had. So I shook my head and walked on by, He knew the risks as well as I. He took the chance, I closed an eye, And with that act, I let him die. I could have saved a life that day, But I chose to look the other way. Now every time I see his wife, I’ll know I should have saved his life. That guilt is something I must bear, But it isn’t something you need share. If you see a risk that others take, That puts their health or life at stake. The question asked, or thing you say, Could help them live another day. If you see a risk and walk away, Then hope you never have to say, I could have saved a life that day, But I chose to look the other way. – Author Unknown
Taking a personal safety risk is not an isolated decision. It affects family, colleagues, and friends. It compromises the financial health of our organization.
By all means, we should be personally accountable. But this poem reminds us that we should be accountable for confronting the behavior of our colleagues who take those risks.