NASCAR and Overlooked Risk

Yesterday at the National Safety Council Congress opening session in Indianapolis, Kyle Petty spoke on NASCAR racing, family and safety. The famous race car driver provided insight into how a safety evolves in a sport surrounded by speed, gasoline, and concrete walls. Kyle spoke on the development of special tires, window netting, and other advances in race car design.

A third-generation professional driver, Kyle implored the audience to resist a culture that drives only reactive safety measures and to instead push the safety envelope forward by reducing needless risk…well before injury occurs. He told the audience to really look for opportunities to make their worlds safer. His motivation? Kyle’s grandfather was critically injured in a racing crash, ending his career and Kyle’s son Adam died in a racing practice in 2000.

How do we look for these opportunities?

First, drop the compliance checklist. Then, imagine this. What if someone were to visit your worksite and look around, what hazards would they see? If they gave you a list of danger areas…which would you shrug your shoulders at? Which ones have you begun to see as “normal”? How can you change that?


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