October ’13 Constructor

Brothers and sisters:

As I sit on my patio in the last days of August writing what you will read in October, I am humbled by the events of the month.

I am very proud to have helped with the current issue of NEIEP’s Lift Magazine which deals with the very important subject of safety.  The problem with covering the subject is that it is so very broad and encompasses so many facets that to do a complete job would require an entire bookshelf of space and, unfortunately, at some point you have to put a back cover on the issue. I am sure that this will be a subject we reopen in future issues of the magazine or through other avenues available through NEIEP, the International and the signatory companies.

Over the course of the last year, Schindler has placed a greater emphasis on its safe hoistway access procedure.  While the procedure has been in place for over three years, the renewed emphasis on that and lock out tag out comes in the wake of several deaths across the country.  The procedure outlined in the pocket-sized book covers car top and pit access with and without hoistway access and is very similar to the procedure I learned while working as a helper with Bud Krause.

The actual text of the procedure is proprietary to Schindler and covered by copyright law so it cannot be reproduced without permission.  If you are reading this and work for another company, I am sure that you know or come into contact with a Schindler employee in some part of your monthly routine.  You may want to ask them about it and they may happen to drop their copy on the floor or leave it on the table after coffee.  It can save your life.

I talked last month about the impending wedding of my oldest daughter Michele.  At the rehearsal dinner I told the longer version of the story of her first steps and how I did not see the wedding day as giving her away but instead walking with her the last few steps of her old life into her new.  Words cannot begin to express the pure joy I felt when the church doors opened and we began our walk to the altar together.

I was once told that you can tell the quality of someone you meet by the people they have gathered around them.  If there were any lingering doubts about the quality of my then future son-in-law they evaporated quickly at the dinner.  After meeting and talking with those he chose as groomsmen and sharing a drink or two with his parents, I realized that the person I was first introduced to almost five years before had matured into someone that was truly worthy of my daughter.

The two of them, through some trying times, had grown together as people to the point where the journey they began separately is now indistinguishable from the journey they now share together.

Whether you reading this are an International officer, officer of your local, superintendent, mechanic, apprentice, spouse, child or significant other we in the IUEC family are all bound together in a communion which transcends words.  I believe that we share this life journey together and are a family trusted every day with the care of all.

That is, by definition, what a family does.  That is the meaning of union.

Till next month,

Work smart, work safe and slow down for safety.

Don

Dknapik@windstream.net