It was during my business trip from Hong Kong to Taipei last month. I was in an airplane when the plane moved slowly towards the runway for taking off. Somewhere near my seat, I found an air attendant busy selling tax-free items, collecting credit cards, and placing the selling goods into the overhead compartments. I knew she wanted to serve customers well, but it was against safety regulations. If the plane accelerated suddenly, people sat near her must be in danger. Alerted by her unsafe behavior, I made a strong request asking her to return back to her seat. Later during the flight, people around me smiled and agreed with what I have done. A lady sat next to me even commented that I was like a “Safety Officer”.
What a surprise, a safety officer! God knows it was once the last job in the world I would like to do. Before joining DuPont, I worked as a PhD student in a research institution. The safety officer in my department was an old lady. Her main duty was to manage all safety related issues in the department. The way she managed safety was only by printing out pages of regulations and tables for everyone to read and fill in. Perhaps due to her plain style, there was not a “safety culture” existed in the department. Most people including myself found “safety” a terribly boring issue, because it only meant a lot of tables and forms to fill in. I couldn’t believe someone would choose a safety officer as a career. However, I found my mindset has changed totally after joining DuPont. I believe it was DuPont that transformed me into a much safer person.
My first impression of DuPont was her much emphasis on one of her core values, the Safety. It was really a huge cultural shock to see one company devoted so much just to maintaining a safe environment for her employees. For example, the first thing in every event people focus on is the safety contact. Additionally, there are people spending their times monitoring the safety matters in driving, operation and office life. Unlike my previous department, the way DuPont advocates safety is by creating an educational environment where people within can enjoy the way of life in a subliminal way. Being safe in DuPont is neither boring nor silly, instead, this meaningful spirit enables people to believe in safety and become part of the culture.
Every DuPont employee is like a seed of safety. Similar to my experience in the airplane, DuPont employees in the other parts of the world must have conducted safety actions one way or another. The culture of DuPont safety has encouraged people in DuPont making positive influence on their own communities. These influences form an enormous power to transform the world into a much safer place. When the power of safety is widely spread, we can say that we have achieved the true miracle of safer lives.