Louise Taggart never intended to become a Workplace Health and Safety Speaker, but the death of her brother Michael now motivates her to tell his story.
Absolutely incredible – to share Michael’s story in such a frank, open and honest fashion in a manner which cannot fail to touch the hearts and minds of those in attendance, is in itself truly inspirational. Inspirational not only to the audience and to me as a person, but also in the role I play in striving to improve safety performance through behavioural change. Your message is delivered in such a simple yet touching fashion, it:-captures the audience’s imagination, allowing them to witness the consequences such an incident can have on the family;-highlights that the emotional toll to families, friends and workmates can be enormous;-starkly illustrates why there is a need for all of us to work to a set of common goals.I feel privileged and honoured to have worked with you on many occasions, sharing your grief, all in the name of making a difference. After listening to you, accidents will have been prevented, lives will have been saved and hopefully that in itself will bring some form of comfort to you and your family. Thank you for allowing me to be part of it.
Louise, I wish to formally record my appreciation for the presentations you gave to our employees yesterday. It would be difficult for me to overstate my admiration for your bravery in delivering what is a very important message. Whilst there was very little feedback from the floor at the end of the sessions, I have subsequently spoken with many of those who attended and everyone has confirmed that your message has left its mark with them.I am convinced that what you have said will make a lot of people think twice about their own safety in the future, and although it may never be possible to positively identify an accident averted due to your presentation I am absolutely certain many such events will occur. I have actually today met three separate groups of 12 men from yesterday’s audience in an effort to build upon the foundation you created, and as I suspected, in smaller groups they talked more openly and we have together identified 8 areas of concern to investigate. Case proven I think!!
I’ve been involved in Health & Safety for over 15 years and I realised a long time ago that the real trick in this game is trying to keep the message personal. Louise’s presentation was the ultimate in doing just that in my opinion. To share a story so personal, and clearly so incredibly painful with so many people is a huge achievement in itself. To do so many times over with such eloquence and dignity is not only very brave but truly inspirational. Certainly, from my personal perspective Michael’s story and the impact it has had on his family focuses the mind on what really matters - the people behind the statistics. I’m sure after listening to Louise many, many others will share that view and as consequence will be far more likely to act, rather than walk on by, when they come across health & safety problems.
Today Louise delivered her presentation ‘Michaels Story’ to a group at Herbert Parkinson, (part of the John Lewis Partnership) including Managers, Partners and guests. After seeing the presentation a couple of years ago I knew the impact this would have on my team especially giving Managers an insight into why we have the systems and procedures that we do. Making them understand it’s not about ‘delivering production targets’ but delivering those production targets safely, with the emphasis on safely!The byword within John Lewis is ‘Nothing we do is worth being harmed for’ and this presentation reinforces this statement, bringing it alive to the audience in a way that anybody within the organisation would not even come close.Whenever we attend Health and Safety events these days, mention ‘Michaels Story’ and many people you speak to will have either heard about it or seen the presentation, such is the power of the message!
This was a hard hitting and at times a very difficult & emotional story to hear. Louise facilitated 3 days of talks with all trades onsite at Hunterston B Power Station covering the details of Michael’s death at work. Within my own company our electricians listened and some even commented on how, on previous worksites, the same work had been carried out without a thought for their safety.Afterwards in their small group the electricians discussed what they had heard and seen via the presentation. This brought home to them the personal tragedy that can come when things are not carried out correctly. The presentation has assisted us in our aim of making safety personal and giving the teams the courage to stop when unsure.
I attended the presentation today held by Louise about the untimely death of her little brother due to health and safety measures not being followed correctly in the workplace. Not only did she give one of the most emotional and personable presentations I have seen, she also delivered a very clear and hard hitting message, that staying safe at work is one of the most important things you will ever do. Not only for yourself but for those around you, friends, family and other loved ones, who would have to deal with the huge void that is left in their lives each and every day if the worst were to happen, just as Louise has to do. As a member of the apprentice health and safety forum in Babcock, I strive to make the workplace a safer place for everyone, so that none of our families need to suffer as Louise has done because we will all go home safe every day.
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