100% Focused 100% of the Time
By Jeff Martin, vice president of safety
Let me start by wishing all of you the very best wishes this holiday season! If you’re off to a late start,
now’s the time to prepare that guest room or to book your ticket to see your loved ones. At the Martin
family residence, we’re now firmly into the “12 days countdown,” and I’m looking forward to creating
some very special memories with family and friends over the coming weeks.
However, the work doesn’t stop. It’s still the middle of December and I’ve yet to turn the light off in my
office. For two months, my department has been pushing the Home for the Holidays campaign, where
through a series of videos and posters we’re reaffirming our commitment to our number one priority
— for every employee to get home safely.
Since Home for the Holidays began, I’ve received a number of comments from those who have watched
the videos, and most of the feedback has been very positive. However, I don’t want us to stop there and I
don’t want anyone to become so filled with the holiday spirit that they lose focus on either the company’s
goal of Mission to Zero, or their own personal goal to keep their home, family and loved ones protected
during this special time of year.
So, to ensure a safe season, I ask you to commit to this brief list of holiday resolutions. They’re all easy
to do and they could save a life.
First, please challenge your loved ones to not talk or text while driving this holiday season, or any other
season for that matter. Every year, thousands of people die in automobile collisions caused by distractions,
and for drivers under the age of 20 who are involved in fatal events, one in five are on a cell phone. Perhaps
the best gift you could give your teenager this year is a shared commitment to never touch a phone while
behind the wheel.
Next, check all batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths
occur in properties without working smoke alarms. Batteries should be replaced at least once a year, and the
entire unit replaced every eight to ten years.
Finally, make certain that your tree and holiday decor is properly installed and safe, and keep in mind that not
every extension cord belongs outside. Each year, fire departments across the nation respond to hundreds of
fires caused by tree decorations (the previous resolution will also help guard against this risk).
Waste Management does not work without you or the love and support you get from family and friends. So,
please remain vigilant in maintaining a safe holiday environment. Maybe we can call this, “Safe at Home for
Thanks for a wonderful year. From every member of the safety team, I wish you all a happy and safe holiday season.