Learning the Hard Way

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Learning the Hard Way Safety Talk

We have all heard the saying “learn the hard way”. There are many lessons in life that are learned the hard way because it may be the only way to really learn that particular lesson at a personal level. One area in life we cannot afford to learn the hard way is avoiding injury at work (or at home).

Chainsaw SafetyLearning the Hard Way Can Mean Injuries or Property Loss

When it comes to workplace safety, we cannot afford to let others around us learn the hard way. Learning the hard way can result in an injury, property damage, loss in production, or worse. Learning a lesson the hard way is reactive in nature. Someone has to fail for the lesson to be learned.

Everyday lessons are learned the hard way by workers who are injured on the job. There are many times we hear horror stories of injuries and fatalities either through a safety share or lessons learned document. Too often, the lessons we can learn from these safety shares are not embraced because they did not happen to us or someone we are close to.

Employees should embrace the lessons learned from incidents at other companies or facilities that result in injury and be proactive in order to prevent a similar incident from occurring in their workplace.

Safety Needs to Be Proactive to be Effective

For safety to be achieved on the job, workers need to be proactive. Many safety rules and policies are created after an incident or injury occurs, which is reactive in nature. To prevent a similar incident from happening again, the lessons learned are turned into proactive measures that need to be implemented. Every safety meeting, safety training, and the time spent to implement safeguards prior to work beginning is an attempt to be proactive when it comes to addressing safety in the workplace.

When employees are proactive when addressing safety on the job, it is less likely someone will have to learn a lesson the hard way.


When you see someone around you doing something foolish or they are putting themselves, or others at harm, speak up. When it comes to safety at work, it is everyone’s responsibility. Allowing someone to “learn the hard way” cannot happen with safety on the job. Injuries and property damage affect everyone on a job, not just the person at fault or who is a victim in the scenario.

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