I have just been informed via email from my insurance agent that June is National Safety Month. I guess this means that I will have to put off until July my plans to accidentally fall down the stairs.
According to the National Safety Council, “National Safety Month focuses on reducing leading causes of injury and death at work, on the roads and in our homes and communities.” This is interesting, because according to its website, the mission of The National Safety Council is to “save lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads.”
If the focus of National Safety Month is the mission of the National Safety Council, does that mean the people at the National Safety Council only work during National Safety Month? Or maybe they spend the rest of the year planning for National Safety Month, just like Macy’s spends 364 days planning the Thanksgiving Parade. If that’s the case, I certainly hope the balloons in the NSC parade are safer than Macy’s.
I always find it humorous when a government agency tells us to be safe, like when the New York City Department of Transportation spent $805,000 on a campaign to get young men to drive more safely (that was sure worth a post!).
I don’t know why it’s so difficult for bureaucrats to understand that it does no good to inform citizens that they shouldn’t have accidents. You can’t really affect unintentional actions.
It’s like when you’re leaving on a trip and someone tells you to “Have a safe flight.” How stupid is that? The only person it makes sense to say “Have a safe flight” to is the pilot and, even then, the statement implies that the pilot’s intention had been to crash the plane, but now they’ll think better of it because you told them to have a safe flight. But why tell you to have a safe flight? There’s nothing you can do about the safety of the flight, so how can you follow that directive? “Oh, you’re right. I should have a safe flight. Maybe I won’t open the emergency door at 30,000 feet just to see if the inflatable slide really works.”
When I received the email from my insurance agent, I did not forward it to my wife with a note that said, “Hey, honey, let’s not have any accidents this month. It’s National Safety Month.” I did not do this because I am aware that, as a fairly sane person, she prefers not to have accidents in any month.
Besides, it occurs to me that it’s kind of self-serving for an insurance agency to send its clients an email about National Safety Month. For them, it’s more like National No Claims Month.
The NSC is very generous during National Safety Month. “Are you interested in National Safety Month?” asks its website. “Sign up now, and get free access to posters, tip sheets and more to help spread safety messages with your co-workers, family and friends.”
Does it not occur to the NSC that accidents are likely to occur while putting up National Safety Month posters?
Obviously, National Safety Month is about more than just not having accidents. The NSC wants to caution folks about the dangers they face in everyday life, like furniture tip-overs. That’s a real thing we should be afraid of, according to the NSC. One of its National Safety Month posters advises us to “secure your furniture to avoid tip-overs.” Of all the dangers we face in our lives, including, as I have documented in this blog, having a llama fall on you, I would not think toppling furniture would be at the top of the list. And notice that furniture tip-overs share a poster with senior-proofing bathrooms and walking while texting. How do those three things go together? “Hello, NSC? My elderly father slipped in the bathtub and was trying to text me to come home when he stumbled into the étagère. Can I get some help for the wet, naked old man who’s buried under my Hummel Collection?”
Anyway, I don’t want you to think that once National Safety Month is over you can go back to your usual reckless life. You see, while June is the general, all-purpose safety month, other months are more specific.
March, for instance, was National Cheerleading Safety Month (Tip #1–The heaviest cheerleader should be at the bottom of the pyramid.) May was National Water Safety Month. It’s geared toward safety while swimming, waterskiing and so forth (Tip # 2–“Try not to drown”), but I’m sure the occasion was viewed with some degree of irony in Flint, Michigan.
There’s a School Safety Month, a Home Safety Month and an Electrical Safety Month (Tip #4–Don’t touch that!). There’s Fire Safety Month and Food Safety Month (Tip #6–Don’t eat that!).
My favorite is National Fireworks Safety Month, which is such a big deal, it’s more than a month long (June 1-July 4). Call me crazy, but isn’t that kind of like having a National Cliff Diving Safety Month? It’s an inherently dangerous activity best left to professionals. If people were interested in being safe, they wouldn’t be doing it in the first place. But if you are going to have a National Fireworks Safety Month, New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul would be the perfect spokesman.
Anyway, have a safe National Safety Month and remember this actual NSC safety tip: If you go to a ballgame, watch out for foul balls.
See you soon.