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Incident Prevention Magazine

Kelly Sparrow, J.D.

A Mother on the Job

We’ve all watched young mothers care for a newborn child. As the child learns to crawl, mom is meticulous in placing household cleaners out of reach. She ensures that dad installs locks on all drawers that have knives or sharp objects, and together they remove all objects that could fall on their little explorer if he should jiggle a table. The vigilance is endless.

As the child grows older, mom and dad teach him to ride a bike, but always with a helmet, and always with the proper high-visibility clothing. They are constantly teaching the child to obey rules that will keep him safe.

Soon the child is off to school, and with school come more dangers. Mom teaches her child about the perils of traffic, riding a school bus and a myriad of other activities the child engages in, now without mom’s close supervision.

Mom continually insists that her child form good safety habits too numerous to mention. Is he wearing his helmet when he rides a bike or skateboard? Does he look both ways before crossing the street? Is coming home when the streetlights go on a routine part of his life?

Then the day comes when mom and dad hand their son the car keys. They teach the child about speed, alcohol, drugs and other drivers who may make poor choices. By example, they have taught their child about proper use of seat belts and other safety precautions. He knows how to change a flat tire and perform other emergency techniques.

Finally, after all those years of worry and vigilance, their 20-year-old son gets a job as an apprentice with your company. If the mother of your new employee were observing her child during his first few days of work, would it change how you introduce him to the workplace? What if all the mothers of your employees were continually watching how their sons and daughters are treated at your worksite?

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