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Diary of an angry Mom – safety matters!

By Dylan’s Mom

I was just telling my colleagues that I’m an angry mom. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not angry about everything and I love my kids dearly, but when it comes to their safety we’re talking two different languages and my frustration keeps escalating.

My 19 year-old son thinks talking about safety is ok at home, but no way will he talk to his boss about it. He’s not willing to look like he has ‘issues.”  He doesn’t want to look silly and he thinks he has nothing to worry about. That doesn’t mean he’s never been hurt, in fact this summer he spent most of it limping with a purple toe after dropping a crate (yes, a crate) on it. Did he, by chance, let anyone at work know that he’d dropped the crate? Was anyone helping him move the crate?  Is there a chance someone else will drop a crate on their toe? Can this be avoided?… of course not.

My son’s idea of a great safety talk is suffering in silence.

So how can we get around this huge source of frustration?

I think the key is to keep working at it. My son’s safety is important to me, so there’s no chance I’m going to stop worrying about it. I’ve also learned not to push too hard and stick to some safe messaging like:

  1. When you’re moving the heavy stuff, get a coworker to help you. It’s faster and no-one gets hurt.
  2. Make sure you understand how things work. It’ll save on being embarrassed or doing it wrong.
  3. Your boss will appreciate you staying safe and helping others.

These aren’t brilliant suggestions. In fact, I found the more ordinary the discussion, the less resistance I receive from my son. He’s keen to do a good job, he does not want to hurt himself or others and he wants his boss to like him. By sticking to informal conversations that help him think safety is a way to achieve all of those things, he may have a chance of making it a way of life.

What you want to avoid is scaring kids into thinking they WILL get hurt at work. I want my son to understand he can be safe at work in some simple easy ways: by asking questions, seeking help or taking extra care.

One conversation won’t do it, so I keep coming back to the topic informally and frequently. I know he will learn…in time.

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