The Valve Store has always been a safe place to work. We of course have a Safety Committee made of salary and hourly employees, but it is ingrained in the culture and it shows. You can never be too safety conscious in a machining & manufacturing factory. And our parent organization, Emerson Corporation, which manufactures all kinds of gizmos worldwide, treats safety as a high priority as well.
Up until recently the company’s main safety coordinator was a dual job person, she was also our on-site Occupational Health Nurse. As our number of employees has grown, both the health portion and the safety portion became too big for one person.1 Enter, Richard. He is a nice enough guy and by all accounts a very intelligent individual. But, you knew there was something coming didn’t you? As sometimes really, really smart people are, he can be a little flaky.
The other day he came into our Fabrication offices and started to explain to our engineer that he had done a walk-thru and noticed that one of the anti-fatigue mats had a turned up corner that created a trip hazard and need to be replaced. Tom says, “Sure I’ll write up a purchase request right now.” “What size?” “It’s ahh,” he then starts to hold out his arms, moving them around in an approximation of a rectangle, “about that big.” Tom asks, “Which machine?” Richard replies, “Well, it was back there on the left side when I walked through and it is the 3rd or 4th or maybe 6 or 7 back.” The entrance to our offices are smack in the middle of the manufacturing area and seeing as there was no mention of which direction he was traveling when he came in, the offending mat could be anywhere on the shop floor. Tom sighs, and says, “I’ll take care of it.”
This is where I come in, because Tom comes over to the Arts & Crafts Department, tells me the above story and then says, “That guy has sure got some fantastic Safety Powers. Could you design me a logo for his super hero identity?” I ask playfully, knowing Tom, and knowing where he is going, “Nice SG for safety guy?” “No,” Tom says, “I was thinking more along the lines of SD.” “S for safety, combined with the first letter for a Richard nickname that is not-so common in usage anymore.“2 So I used the color green for safety, a nice round logo for center chest placement and a little extra flourish added to the letter SD to get across the point.
Richard might just try and rock a suit like that at Halloween, but I bet he’d want a cape!