Deidra here, with a confession to make: this past February, I made a rookie safety mistake.
I was visiting Sedona for the week, and in a burst of confidence and energy, I decided to head out on an afternoon hiking trip…solo. I know, I know—but it gets worse! Because in my excitement, I somehow forgot to tell anyone where I was going.
And then my cell phone lost service.
And then I lost the trail.
I was completely alone in an unknown area.
Fortunately, after a little bit of bush-whacking (cactus-whacking?), I came across a dried-up creek bed and started following it down, hoping that it would lead to the river I crossed when I started my hike. As it turns out, I was only a short distance from where I was supposed to be, and the story ends with laughter. It could have gone a lot differently, though. It’s embarrassing to think about the trouble I could have been in and how easily I could have avoided it—if I had just taken 20 seconds to text a friend before heading out on the trail.
You know, and I know, how important it is to let someone know where you’re going if you plan on hiking solo. So why didn’t I do it? And I’m not the only one: why do all of us make rookie safety mistakes in our personal lives, when we so deeply know and understand the importance of safety in the workplace?
I think we’ve all heard some version of this story before, because we’re all inclined to take on new challenges and adventures without adequately preparing for or thinking about them. From Crossfit exercise to extreme backpacking, we’re surrounded by new opportunities to stretch ourselves and take on new things. Challenging ourselves and expanding our horizons is a good thing—after all, that adventurous spirit is part of what helps us succeed as business owners and entrepreneurs! But let’s pause here for just a moment, and remember that “adventurous” and “risky” don’t have to go together.
Summer is a time of exploration, and you may have some adventures of your own coming up, whether here at home or off in the world. We want to encourage all our readers to take proper precautions before you set off. You know what to do at work, and you know what to do at home, too—so let’s make sure we’re setting a responsible example for our family, friends, colleagues, and communities by being safe in our adventures.
How? Think about how you would approach your summer adventures if they were work opportunities: you’d assess any hazards, talk to experts, and learn all the ins and outs before ever getting started. You’d “measure twice, cut once.” This same basic process and attention to detail can help keep you and your family safe this summer.
At work, we’re all legally obligated to refuse unsafe work—and the same should go for our off-hours adventures. Evaluate the potential safety concerns of a situation before you dive in. When I was in Sedona, I watched from the bottom of a gigantic cliff as visitors scaled their way straight up…and then got stuck at the top, because there was no way down. I’ll admit it was tempting to follow them—the view up there would’ve been incredible—but can you imagine that kind of scenario passing the safety requirements on a jobsite?
Have fun this summer, and stay safe! And give us a call if you’d like to revisit or review your safety program before the fall rush. (Or if you want to talk about Sedona…it’s a fantastic place!)