As the son of a Grocery Store Manager I have spent most of my life in and around supermarkets. I remember spending many summer afternoons hanging around the store with the entire building as my personal playground. I would play in the warehouse all day making forts out of old pallets and paper towel boxes and push shopping carts up and down the aisles like race cars and silly things like that.
As much fun as those days were I have also seen more than my share of accidents. Most of them were minor falls and injuries, but one day a boy about 6 or 7 years old, my age at the time, was playing on one of the conveyor belts and accidentally hit the button to turn it on. His shirt got caught in the pulley system and he did not survive. At the time of the accident I was outside playing in front of the store and watched my uncle run out of the building and across the street to the firehouse. I went in to see what was happening. That’s when I saw the boy laying lifeless on the aisle floor and then eventually passing me on a stretcher as the paramedics took him out. I still remember it like it was yesterday.
Since then I have always had a keen eye for safety and can be a little overly cautious when I see an unsafe situation. Even though at Impact I work primarily with spill related issues, our main purpose is safety. Safety for the individual and the environment. I continually look for ways to implement absorbents into preventative and not just reactive applications. I feel it is important to communicate with safety personnel to exchange ideas and look for ways to meet their needs and not just present a product line. After all they are not just paranoid people telling you how to clean up messes and avoid back injuries; they are focused on preventing accidents and in some cases fatalities. So next time your safety guy calls a meeting to remind you to drink more water on a hot day or bend at the knees when picking up heavy boxes don’t just say, “duh of course”, say “thanks for getting my back”….No pun intended.