Page 12 - Damage Prevention Journal 2017 Issue 4
P. 12

he recent events surrounding the tailed and tragic
I Niger attack with the loss uiAm2n:an soldiers and
the ensuing barrage or news coverage trom differ-
ent camps regarding the handling of virtually every
aspect of the events highlighted, for me, an issue which is
I l iirst grappled with this issue when wearing the dual hats
P e r S e c t I  of satety office! and risk/ loss manager tor a large construc-
tion company. Fmm my viewpoint, these are two or the most
p difficull roles to fulfill simultaneously Many years ago, l
“Y M9“ was asked to assist a contractor who had been involved in a
tatal accident without going into its specifics, the acciclent
was ot a nature that involved not only satety protocol but
also several regulatory agencies and thus a great number or
redundant and sometimes contlicting rules and regulations.
— nel poured over the site, our sole tocus was on the potential
liabilities that the contractor might have. Records were
a ordered to be pulled, photos were taken, paperwork veri-
tied and re-checked, drug and alcohol protocols followed, all
with the primary tocus of protecting the contractor fmm ll-
ability, satisiying the anticipated requests trom the insurance
carrier and laying the toundation fur a detense should there
ultimately be a lawsuit.
As the final pieces or this puzzle were talling into place, one
or my people called me to ask how things were going l re-
ported much as l have noted already in this piece, that things
were coming together There was a pause on the other end
or the conversation. what fnllowed was his voice reminding
me that there is nothing correct or easy when "someone goes
home in a box” as he called it. l paused and retlected and re-
alized he was right. lwas embarrassed. l apologized to lnm
and discussed the comments with the person l was working
with And although these events were over a decade ago, the
comment has served as a reminder tor me since.
The natural thing is to tocus on the risk and loss control side
iirst anal toremost. And it is a necessary task. But so many
times, our success or tailure is gauged by how we prepare
tor the attermath ot these calamities. And while this is our
role, the constant reminder that someone is not going home
to their family anal loved ones, or that someone has been
injured, perhaps attecting their ability to pertonn work or
even daily lite functions have been impaired should be part
B H or our focus as well.
l wish that not only tor myselt, but tor others, lcould advise
the properbalance between the duality ot the two roles.
9 what l do know is that any time l am involved in or witness
an accident, lpause and think ot the people hurt in the ac-
m cirlent. lt tempers any teeling of accomplishment [mm doing
my job as iisk anal loss controller. Perhaps that is the way it
And to the reminder [rum the beginning or this essay, my
memory was tocused on fuur soldiers that were not going
home to their families, instead or the political upheaval that
surrounded it tor days. Anything else is secondary
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