A full year since I wrote a website blog piece! Where did that year go??
Well, it just so happens that today is the 9th anniversary of Michael’s employer being fined £300,000 in respect of his death, and it’s been heartening to look back through the diary for this past year to see just where it did go, and to reflect on the impact sharing my wee brother’s story has had.
As I say when I speak, the conviction of his employer and the imposition of a fine gave us absolutely no comfort as we didn’t believe it would effect any sort of real change.
It seems though that, through telling his story, it does bring about change which is tangible, positive, and lasting, both in individuals and in organisations.
Hearing about what happened to Michael has sparked new enthusiasm amongst health and safety professionals. One contacted me more than a year after hearing me speak to say: “Hearing you speak turned what was a career into a passion that no family will ever go through what your family went through on my watch.” And another messaged to say “It’s very easy to lose focus of why you are doing what you are doing and just see it as a ‘just a job’ and to be honest, that's where I was yesterday. Listening to Michael’s story has changed my thinking and I now have a renewed enthusiasm and focus on improving safety standards and culture at work.”
If every time I speak, one person leaves with that renewed energy, how many will they in turn impact? But I’ll always hope more than one person leaves the room with either a changed attitude towards safety or renewed vigour for ensuring it, as that will increase the impact exponentially.
For example, this I received from a Director after a session delivered to a senior leadership team: “For me, it hit a number of chords…the welfare of my workforce…the risk of programme pressure…the challenge of peer pressure…my legal responsibilities…but above all, the impact on the families and friends. I thought your delivery was very brave, emotional, intelligent, challenging but, most of all, prompted a number of the audience to think about what they were going to differently when they left the presentation. You, and therefore Michael, have left a lasting impact that we can build on to improve our safety culture.”
And from another: “Michael’s Story as told by his big sister has saved lives. We cannot put a number on it, but in my mind the impact of Michael Adamson was and is there to see when HMS Queen Elizabeth sailed from Rosyth recently to worldwide coverage and did so without a serious electrical incident.”
Tangible, positive, lasting change, which prevents others from suffering the heartache of Michael’s family and friends.
That does and will continue to provide comfort.