How Alaska Airlines reminded me to keep safety simple

Just at or below eye level, the dual 24” monitors were at the perfect height on the desk. Although the monitor stands didn’t fit the desk, she’d found a pair of books to elevate the stands to just the right height.

Wait…I recognized those books.

She’d corrected the ergonomic hazard with two books, “Fundamentals of Industrial Hygiene” and “The Occupational Ergonomics Handbook: Interventions, Controls, and Applications in Occupational Ergonomics“. Each tome weighed in around 2,000 pages.

If this was the best use a safety inspector had found for the books, what do we expect from our first-line supervisors and line employees? Might they also find “better” uses for our safety programs, policies, and training?

An hour later Alaska Airlines reminded me just how simple safety should be.

On the side of my checked luggage, in bright orange, was a sticker. It read “HEAVY Bend Your Knees”

They didn’t give 27 steps to manual lifting safety. The reminder didn’t offer 51 PowerPoint slides with a worksheet and homework. Just a gentle nudge to bend the knees.

How can you make safety simpler?

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