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Safety is a way of life

ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson likes to point out that safety is more than a priority at our company – it’s a core value. Since June is National Safety Focus_Safety_Feature_06-2015Month, I have invited Lynne Lachenmyer, ExxonMobil’s vice president for safety, security, health, and the environment, to offer her thoughts on safety in the workplace and at home. ~Ken

The work we do at ExxonMobil requires us to manage risk every day. No matter where you are in the world or how long you have worked at an ExxonMobil facility, we encourage – and expect – safe behavior on the job.

This means we focus on inculcating a mindset that asks ahead of time, “What could go wrong, and how can I prevent it?”

Such vigilance does produce results. Over the past 10 years, for instance, we have reduced our workforce lost-time incident rate by 50 percent.

We’re proud of this progress – it means fewer of our colleagues are getting injured – but we’re not satisfied. We still aim to drive injuries to zero so that “Nobody Gets Hurt.” This video gives a flavor of what we mean by that.

June marks the start of summer. For all its barbecuing and camping and time at the pool, summer vacation is also a time people sometimes forget lifesaving habits. So it’s critical to keep in mind that safety doesn’t stop at work – it’s a way of life we must carry with us everywhere.

Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind as you and your family enjoy the summer.


  • The 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are the busiest on U.S. highways. Stay safe by pledging not to drive distracted, an activity that now accounts for 26 percent of traffic accidents, compared with 30 percent of accidents caused by alcohol use. How many times have you looked away for a split second at your radio, phone, or back at the kids fighting behind you? In the brief moment your eyes are off the road, many things can happen. Driving is a responsibility. You and your car can cause a lot of damage if you’re not focused.
  • Teenagers may need additional reminders to avoid the lure of their devices while they drive. AT&T’s “It Can Wait” Drive Mode app sends an automatic response to text messages when driving and features parental controls so you can help your teen act responsibly.
  • Do you know how to properly adjust your mirrors? You probably think you do … but check out these instructions from Car Talk for a different perspective. If you can see the side of your car in your side mirror, you’re not eliminating your blind spot.

At the pool

  • As many as 56 percent of adults who say they can swim cannot perform five critical water-safety skills that can save their lives, including treading water for one minute or exiting a pool without a ladder. Your local YMCA has classes if you need a brush-up before hitting the beach this summer.
  • Your child should use a snugly fitting life-jacket instead of floaties when he or she is playing in the water. If the life jacket doesn’t fit, it could still be a hazard. Drowning is a silent danger and can only take a minute.

Staying cool

  • Tragically, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash vehicle-related deaths for children. Their bodies heat up three to five times faster than an adult’s. To prevent accidents, never leave your child in a car, even for a minute.
  • If you’re sharing daycare drop-off responsibility, put something you need – like a phone, purse or briefcase – next to your child in the car so that you’re forced to get it and see your child when you arrive at your destination.


  • Wearing a helmet reduces your risk of injury while riding a bike by 85 percent. But do you know how to put the helmet on correctly? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has a video showing how. Hint: the front of the helmet needs to come just above your eyebrows.

We often say our goal is that every employee makes it home safely at the end of the day. And that’s true. But it’s also important to keep these tips in mind when employees are off the clock. We want them making it in to work safely too.

For additional information about safe habits at work, in the car, and in your community, visit the National Safety Council’s website. Let’s make sure we keep each other safe this summer and throughout the entire year.

  • Worth a deeper look...