On June 20, 2018, I was a funny motivational speaker for the Pulp and Paper Safety Association. The event held at the Vinoy Renaissance in St. Petersburg brought together over 300 safety managers from the pulp and paper manufacturing industry.
Working in a pulp and paper factory is challenging work. It is different than most manufacturing jobs, there is a lot of risks involved. It is physically laborious and very labor intensive. Operators in paper plants must regularly change the felt or cloth on the machines, this requires the crew to tug and pull off the old felt and replace it with new. The felt can weigh upwards of 1500 pounds and they would have to use cranes to support the lift.
Operators also often have to change from one grade of paper to another. In pulp factories, they crush logs and process them to make pulp. Add to this, in some factories the equipment is newer while others are still working with older equipment.
One thing that was very clear is that these VP's and senior leaders totally support safety. Their motto is to bring the industry home safe, they live safety and it is a top priority.
One of the things I remind safety leaders is that safety is not optional, its part of the job and we should never have to give perks or extra pay to bribe people to be safe.
Still, it's a daily challenge to prepare operators to be safe, slow down and not take shortcuts.
The message these safety leaders continually promote is how safety impacts quality of life, safety belongs to you and you have your own destination.
I presented the closing keynote, Follow Me I'm Right Behind You. We focused on managing and motivating millennials to keep safety a priority. One of the key messages about next-generation employees is we have to alter our message. They are not as interested in long-term relationships and more interested in transactions and how it adds up for them.
I was there because I spoke at the Tennessee Safety Conference and Randal brought my name to this group.
I was also delighted to do some Stand-Up Comedy at their awards ceremony. It was a great crowd who are solid hard working, safety advocates and love to learn and laugh!