Blind leading the blind:
The infamous “out of sight, out of mind” phrase…These sayings are ones many of us tend to recognize; my favorite is one I have heard all throughout my life since childhood, “See no evil. Speak no evil. Hear no evil.” This fascinates me to no end, because it can be misrepresented, influenced, and/or exploited for many justifications from individuals, organizations, and corporations. However, for this blog post we will stay with the simple individuality paradigm and not get too philosophical. I admit I am enjoying this blogging and I on occasion use the terminology of “out of sight, out of mind” concept myself. To me it is a great mantra for trying to block thoughts of returning to smoking cigarettes. Hands down cigarettes will kill you and once you start there is just no stopping the “out of mind” part.
So, let’s consider job-related safety….Whether an employee is a supervisor or the janitor, safety comes first. All too often, businesses, particularly those which cater to the public, put the business first, and safety second, or perhaps a distant third or fourth…. I’ll use two hypothetical scenarios here. Some background first: If you are in charge of a business which caters to the public (i.e., leisure / recreation, vacation spots, etc.), safety is paramount; revenue can still be the number one goal, but safety should be the number one priority. When working with the public, particularly in outdoor / indoor activities (think water sports, physically demanding activities such as rock climbing, etc.), keep in mind individuals will be exerting some form of energy. As such, encountering individuals in distress is a part of daily responsibilities.
For this first scenario, let’s say you encounter an individual with a minor / non-life threatening injury such as sprained and/ or broken ankle. You already know that person is in some kind of pain. For scenario two, an individual could be in distress from heat stroke/exhaustion – and exhibiting the classic signs – convulsions, nausea / throwing up, etc. As the individual in charge, your responsibility is not only for yourself and your fellow employees, but also for any individual visiting your workplace. In other words, to echo the opening of this blog, no one can be “out of sight, out of mind”. Following emergency protocol, and just as important, an employee handbook (as most places of work do have some guidelines in place for staff and supervisors), is vital for the safety and sanctity of the work environment. For both of these hypothetical scenarios, one does not have to be a doctor to help or state to someone maybe you should go to the hospital to be on the safe side. This includes all employees from the aforementioned janitor to the supervisor; for the latter, and this includes individuals above the supervisor (i.e., upper management), following safety precautions is just as important as it is for the lowest individual on the totem pole. All too often management is blissfully unaware of potential safety concerns, and relies on proper communication with their staff members. This is where “out of sight, out of mind” is absolutely unnecessary; conveying safety concerns to upper management is as vital as completing paperwork or responding to email messages.
So, next time you say, “out of sight, out of mind,” ask yourself in what situations would you actually remember this. These days, I use it for cigarettes….Damn cigarettes.
See you in the next post!