Risk Assessment - An Important Choice, Every DayPosted 4/1/2008
By Aaron Clements, AAM, Chairman
By far the most rewarding part of being your ASA chairman is the opportunity to help my fellow ASA members in any way I can. I have received so many thank-you notes from appreciative members, and I know I would not have been able to assist some of these individuals if not for my position as chairman. Now I would like to share some of my life experiences in hopes that they, too, will help you in some way or another.
Many of you already know that on Oct. 28, 2006, at 6:10 in the morning, I was involved in a horrific automobile accident. It happened on a Saturday, when I was heading to the radio station like I had done for nearly 14 years. Thankfully, my son, who rides with me most Saturdays to do the radio show, decided not to come that morning. Also, the driver of the other vehicle suffered only minor injuries. I did receive some major injuries, but the excellent care of my physicians and the prayers of my friends and family, including my ASA family, led to my quick recovery.
I decided to share this experience of mine with you because it is a great example of bad risk assessment on my part. Let me explain.
See, there are two routes to the radio station from my house. The one I always took was by far the faster of the two, because it was a shorter distance and had no stop lights. However, it contained a dangerous intersection with no traffic light where I had to turn left onto a busy four-lane road. This is the intersection where I had my accident. If I had chosen the safer route, which is a slightly longer distance with a couple of traffic lights, then I would have taken a much smaller risk. In this case, I did not assess the risk of each route before choosing one, which increased the likelihood of a car accident.
Since the accident, I have strived to include a risk assessment in every major decision I make. I urge you to step back and ask yourself if there is a safer route that you, your family, or company teammates could be taking. Could you be traveling a risky path as I was every Saturday morning? Maybe there are some old-style trouble lights, worn-out lift rack safety locks, or frayed electrical cords around your shop. Please do not think an accident could not happen. It is vital that you always try to take the safer route and not put yourself or others in jeopardy.
Our most important obligation as ASA members is to help one another. I sincerely hope that this message helps at least one of my fellow members in some way.
Buckle Up and Stay Safe.
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