MEXICO – There is a new Safety Committee at the Center for Instruction, Technology and Innovation comprised of students interested in upholding a Safety Conscious Work Environment.
The committee includes one student from each Career and Technical Education program who will act as a Safety Advocate back in their individual classrooms.
Human Performance Coordinator Jeff DeMong from Entergy acted as a guest speaker at the committee’s last meeting.
DeMong works hand-in-hand with the Industrial Safety Coordinator at the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant. He spent time speaking to the committee about the importance of a safety conscious work environment like the one embraced by FitzPatrick plant workers.
According to www.nrc.gov, a SCWE is “an environment where employees and contractors feel free to raise issues without fear of retaliation, and where those issues are prioritized and promptly resolved with feedback to the worker raising the issue.”
DeMong spoke of a concept called the Chilling Effect: the reluctance of individuals to raise concerns for fear of ridicule.
For instance, a student being hesitant to remind a peer of wearing safety goggles because they think they will be made fun of. DeMong felt strongly that it takes an entire organization (principals, administrative staff, teachers, students, etc.) working together to foster a good safety culture.
“SCWE is not something that you can just put on paper,” said DeMong. “You have to actively live and promote it every day; everyone has a key role in it.”
DeMong provided ideas of good safety practices to implement in the classroom, such as daily shop briefs, work task pre-planning and post-job critiques.
Some Entergy workers even stretch before starting the day to help prevent soft tissue injuries.
CiTi Business Education Liaison Garrette Weiss also played a big role in developing the CiTi Safety Committee and coordinating DeMong’s visit.
He encouraged the CTE students to help foster a safety culture and environment, to take their time, to practice good safety habits and to use equipment appropriately.
DeMong closed the presentation with, “Only through everyone’s collective efforts can issues be raised and addressed in a timely manner.”