As the new Safety Co-Chair of 3343, I've started looking at things a little bit differently than I had as regular old Steve The Ups Guy (STUG). I'm sort of surprised at the things I take for granted while driving, and in my everyday life. I'm just like the next driver, you know, the one that wants to get done and off the clock as quickly as possible. Day one for me started in the unload. At 30 years old, I was in good shape, but the pace absolutely wore me out. I did everything I could to impress the preload supe. I twisted, I turned, I yanked, I pulled, I did whatever I could to get those feeder's unloaded. When I went air driving and finally to full time driver, I did the same. I drove like a maniac, jumped down the steps (if I even used the steps), ran up the driveway, through the bushes or over the grass, dropped the pkg/s and sprinted right back to the pkg car, as if I was in some sort of relay race. Over time I developed some very bad habits. This was all done in the name of pleasing the "man". In April of 2000 I started having pain in my upper left leg. I can tell you now, the "man", was not very pleased. Turns out that all of that running, jumping and unsafe behavior, tore cartilage in my hip socket. Funny how upset the boss can get when you injure yourself, but is absolutely okay with you going out there and killing yourself, day in and day out. After hip surgery and rehab, a total of 2 1/2 years, I returned to work just in time for peak of 2002. After enduring countless safety rides/observations and performance evaluations, I found myself under the radar again. I'm actually in better shape now than I was in my 20's. Had I just worked following the methods, would I still be telling this story? Safety compliance, though boring as hell, is necessary. It's necessary for a couple of reasons. 1: It cover UPS's, you know what. 2: It gives drivers/inside workers guidelines for safe behavior. When used properly, these tools really do work. The main reason for UPS sitting it's employees down, and going over all of the safety compliance points, is so that it all becomes second nature. We need these rules, just like we need the instruction we get before we begin the job. I don't know if you realize how often you use the compliance in your everyday lives as a UPS'er and while off the clock. That's the point, being safe here, and being safe there. I know that a lot of us, me included, hate sitting through those boring safety meetings. The meetings where they have you copy the answers from the master sheet? Or where you watch the video where the one guy is talking and he has a really silly sidekick? How about when they ask you the questions and they want the answers verbatim? That last point is the hardest for me. Why Verbatim? I want to answer in my own way. Then I was asked by someone on my route, if I knew where a store was that was off of my route. I instantly spouted off where it was, and what the address was. Now if I can do that, I can surely learn some safety stuff and spout it out verbatim. Just think, the pilot of flight 1549 had to go through the same safety compliance we go through. I know, we're not pilots and hundreds of people are not in our hands, right? That's not necessarily so. There are hundreds and thousands of people on our roadways. How would you like to be responsible for one of them not going to be with there families tonight? Just as in this near disaster, something will occur, that will not be your fault, as well. Will you plug your ears, and go out, winging it daily? Or will you at least fill up on these rules and be prepared, afterall, it's not just your job that's hanging in the balance. The people on that airliner were saved by safety compliance. The pilot and cockpit crew did what they had been instructed to do, as well as the flight attending crew. Don't let it be that it take a catastrophy to get you to remember the things you need to know. Learn them, live them and live another day. Let's be safe out there, it really does matter. Steve!