• Sam Palmer

June 2020 Safety Meeting Topics

This month, I would like to share the lessons in safety I learned from my daughter’s chickens and ducks. I know, it sounds like a little bit of a stretch but stay with me and I promise, it will all make sense. My youngest daughter decided that for her birthday this year, she wanted chickens and ducks instead of presents. I was completely ok with that as it meant I would have a source for fresh eggs on a regular basis and we go through a LOT of eggs in our house. Now that the little birds are in the back of the house after having graduated from the totes with the warming lights, I have had the opportunity to watch them and found some interesting behavior traits that flow from the animal kingdom over into the workforce.


I have learned that chickens, through a millennium of domestication, are not as keen on spotting danger as the ducks are. It should be noted that I have a 9-month-old English Mastiff puppy and a 4-year-old Great Dane, this is the “danger” I refer to. The chickens will peck all day long in the grass without once looking for danger. The ducks on the other hand always have a sentinel. It was interesting the first time I saw them do this. One duck would always have its head up while the others slept, or one would always have its head up while the others were foraging. The chickens, they have no such position in their flock. It is every bird for themselves.


Enter my 110 lbs. man child of a puppy, Lincoln. He LOVES chasing the birds and I must admit, even though I know it is not good for them, I chuckle at it too before I yell at him to stop. I know he does not want to hurt them; he only wants to figure out what they are and play with them. Sadly, the birds are not as accepting of him as he is of them. The ducks see him coming from a mile away and the sentry quacks their warning and they all start waddling away from him before he even gets close. The chickens however are not as aware of their surroundings. They will let the dog slip right up on them and then squawk and run. They have yet to learn from the ducks that having someone watching for danger would prevent their tiny little hearts from going into overdrive when the behemoth of a puppy comes up on them.


Sadly, there are employers out there who are like the chickens. They do not look for hazards or danger until it is an imminent threat and then they panic and run around, or they have no one assigned to watch for those dangers either. I invite you this month to not be a chicken. Be a duck. Whether it be you, the person reading this, or you assign someone to be that sentinel to watch for hazards, it should be done. Too many times, we see injuries that are avoidable with the smallest amount of prevention or foresight. If you need assistance, please do not hesitate to reach out to your local loss control rep. As of now, we are opening back up to conduct onsite visits so if you need something in person, reach out. If it would be easier to take care of over the phone or via FaceTime/Zoom, we can gladly do that too. If you need some formal policies, head over to our resource portal by clicking here.