A Powerful Story

Today we have a post from Rachel Kerstetter, Sonnhalter’s PR Engineer.

Working in public relations gives me the opportunity to tell stories. I get to tell stories about company histories, professional successes, how products came into being, etc.

Stories are a powerful tool in getting messages across. I’ve been thinking about safety since June is National Safety Month and one powerful story stood out to me. Here’s the headline:

Laborer Dies in Trench Collapse and Lives to Tell the Tale

It compelled me to read further and it brought me to a more in-depth account of Eric Giguere’s story about how not focusing on safety cost him his life and the tough decisions that those around him had to make, which ultimately brought him back.

That article is here.

Basically his team had been working in an unsupported trench without incident for quite some time, then it unexpectedly collapsed and buried him. The people around him had to make tough decisions about how to dig him out and then administered CPR.

One of Eric’s statements about safety stuck with me: “I’m a guy who got comfortable doing things the wrong way.”

By not taking the proper safety precautions, they were saving time on the project. But the cost was great.

Eric’s story is powerful and carries more weight than statistics can. It’s not a horror story to scare people into following the rules rather, it’s a lesson in consequences for taking short cuts and an example of tough decisions, made quickly in a time of crisis.

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