Experience may be the best teacher, but when it comes to matters of job-site safety, sometimes it's better to learn from someone else's.

Younger workers, in particular, think they are resilient to construction accidents, and simply do not think about it. These are the ones who may not know how to stay safe. Others may flaunt the rules taught and enforced by company managers, holding to the thought that these rules are a pain and don't apply to them. While we all hope we don't have either of these on our crews, we probably do ... and often the latter type are a product of our own leadership. When company owners express their exasperation with safety regulations and complain about being "forced" by government to adhere to expensive procedures that slow productivity, the workers and managers hearing this take it to heart, and they tend to largely ignore safety, except to "put on a show" - like wearing their safety glasses on their head, or wearing their harnesses but never tying in. Sure, some of this is bravado, but it's more often than not a learned behavior.

There is another way to think about it, beginning with the simple fact that construction can be dangerous work. You won't have to convince Mark Parlee of this. He's the guy in the hospital bed above, and his story makes me wince every time I read it: He fell from 32 feet while sheathing a 4/12 truss roof ... His 13-year-old son was on site, and was the one who called the ambulance.

When we learn about the miseries of others, told truthfully, we tend to think differently about risk. Here are two collections of stories, Mark's among them, to share with your crew.

Job-Site Safety Lessons
Safety Lesson Learned

We hope they will put jobsite safety in a different light -- not as an obligation or a bother, but as a procedure (backed by a prayer) that reminds us all how lucky we are to be alive today.