This paper is not intended to reflect the presentation put on at the San Antonio Safety 2009 ASSE PDC because the presentation was an audio visual experience with copyrighted photography. However, the message at the conclusion of the presentation is provided in full and exemplifies a critical and well-conceived message propitious for all safety and health professionals. The presentation was intended to speak to our colleagues about the work we do at an emotional level, but also to demonstrate how telling stories is an important method of communicating to the non-safety community who need to hear our message about the importance of safety. The end result being that we wish all workers return home safe at the end of each work day, having gone to work in good faith that management would be looking out for their best interests as valued and productive contributors to the enterprise they operate (many of which are in business to make a profit).

This paper reflects the background of the project and highlights of the material. It also speaks to the need for our profession to look at refreshing ways of communicating within our profession, within our companies, and publicly throughout our communities.

How It All Started

As a Practice Specialty Newsletter Editor, I'm often striking up conversations with folks that might result in a good article. So in 2007 when I first took on this obligation and was attending a CIH Review course with Emeritus Professor of Industrial Health at the University of Michigan, Steven Levine, PhD, CIH, I asked him for an article, knowing that he'd written many when he was President of AIHA. After he sent me seven articles to read and to choose from, I had a positive emotional reaction to the personal nature of many of his articles, which resulted in an insight. The basis of that insight was the power of telling stories in a way that jumps generations, social strata, educational levels, and hopefully would translate into the board room. As the Newsletter Editor for RM/I, I chose "Joe's Story." I hope you had a chance to read it and, if not, let me know and I'll send you a copy, gratis from ASSE and the RM/I. If it grabs you and you are in Loss Control or Risk Management, please consider joining our Practice Specialty.

Steve and I continued communicating and he expressed a desire to come to Hawaii to participate in the Governor's Pacific Rim Safety and Health Conference in 2008. So we (I was a board member of the local Hawaii AIHA Section at the time and there were several of us who worked on getting him here) began hatching ideas to get him to Honolulu. Having been past Chair of the Governor's conference I was aware that they would need a program for the memorial breakfast session that is done at every conference, so I proposed to the steering committee that I be assigned to take care of it.

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