Hang in there

Erik, maintenance foreman for a Bend, OR paving company, told session three of the Leadership Development Lab

“I was working at a brand new, enormous, state-of-the-art shop with two huge overhead cranes that ran the length of the shop. They ran on high voltage tracks mounted on top of huge I-beams. I was in a scissor lift about 25 feet in the air cleaning out an oil furnace with a shop vac. I was high enough that I was above the path of the cranes. I was vacuuming out the heater when I felt something hit my lift with tremendous force. The scissor lift began tipping over. I had to make a split second decision, either ride this thing to the ground or bail out. I bailed out!

“As the scissor lift tipped over I jumped out diving for the big I-beam I was closest to. I’m sure I looked like Superman flying through the air. With all the adrenaline rushing through me, I almost over shot my landing. I hit the I-beam across my chest and my legs were dangling in the air. I pulled myself up to safety as I watched the lift crash down to the floor. I could’ve been killed, if not from the fall then from the 440 volts running down the side of the I-beam that I somehow avoided touching.

“When I began work that day, I hadn’t thought about the big picture. I locked out/tagged out the big furnace I was working on. But I didn’t think about other things I should have tagged out. I didn’t blame my co-worker for running the crane into me. It wasn’t his fault I didn’t lock it out. He felt really bad and was embarrassed. I reassured him it was my fault.

“The lesson I learned from this experience is to carefully survey my entire work environs as I move into the day’s work routine.

“The action I call you to take is take a second to look at your entire surroundings. Make sure everything is secure and safe. You never know when your job is going to interfere with someone else’s work. Tell those around you your plan of action and be sure you always have an escape plan in the back of your mind. Look at the whole picture, when you screw up don’t blame other people for your mistake.

“The benefit you will gain from seeing the big picture through a ‘wide angle lens.’ is a safe and secure operation. You will avoid the dangers inherent in the work you do. You will enjoy a long, pain free career.”

Larry Dennis and Turbo Leadership Systems are moving to Loganville, Georgia March 4th.

You can reach Larry at larry@turbols.com
cel 503-329-4519