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Truth be told, I’m tired so I couldn’t think up anything wittier to title this post. Daylight Savings can bite me.

In any case, since I’m just getting off the ground with this new blog and a new book which (if all the stars align) should see publication sometime later in the year, I figured it would be worth spending some time explaining a bit. My name is Jason Maldonado. I’ve worked in Industrial Safety for the past 15 years. Before that, as you may have gathered from my first post IT’S A GIANT SLINGSHOT, SIR!, I served in the United States Air Force. 

The reason I mention that is not simply to identify as a Veteran or get likes. It’s because that period of my life taught me the majority of the best lessons in leadership that I’ve had the pleasure to learn. In actually some of the best examples of great safety performance were demonstrated during my time in the military as well. Sadly, when I transitioned to civilian life, I walked into a world of regulation, interpretation, numbers games, politics, and gray areas. The difference between safety performance in the military vs. safety performance where I work now was incredibly simple, yet deeply profound: we were safe when we served because we had to be to live. That statement holds just as true in civilian industry, but our people just don’t believe it. 

I’m not going to throw shade on every man and woman out there trying to make a difference in the lives of the workers, I have seen and worked with some truly amazing safety practitioners throughout the years. But even the best of us send the wrong message more than we should. We are on a tightrope with a balancing pole that caries mandated regulations on one side and meaningful work on the other. For too long the safety profession has tried to sell OSHA to the people when we should have been finding ways to comply while creating momentum and excitement for why and how the job gets done. We should have been building safety in, not making it a checklist to mark off during a pre-shift. What we’ve been left with is “Safety” as an extra, burdensome, bureaucratic thing that gets in the way. 

So that’s what this blog is about: Challenging the status-quo state of our profession. I know there are many out there seeking and even achieving greatness beyond the bureaucracy, so I’m not alone in this. It’s time for safety as a function to get better, relentlessly.

If you liked this post check out THIS ARTICLE by the always engaging Phil La Duke.

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4 Comments

  1. Dear Jason – As with many things – OSHA was required at one time for all. However, many companies have moved way beyond OSHA, but unfortunately many companies have not.

    For the companies that have moved beyond OSHA, safety is still tolerated as it is required by many major companies. For a the top 10%, Safety is seen as it should – as a revenue generator. However, I have also seen where within those top 10% where Safety is taken a little to far. I have found that Safety, Quality and Production must be balanced.

    Unfortunately, if you visit one of our Safety Conventions, protecting companies from OSHA is still a major selling point from lots of vendors. Or as I have commented on a recent trade show – it was 90% about PPE instead of protecting our employees from their work exposures.

    I am curious to see where your blog heads. Good Luck

    1. Great perspective Michael. I’ve often spoken those same blasphemous words about balance. Safety, quality, and production are the three legs of a stool. It doesn’t make any sense to make them different lengths.

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