Wear Your Hard Hat

On April 28th, Joe Taggart, LandVest’s President, shared the below message to all LandVest personnel.  We are sharing it with you, as it underscores our commitment to protecting our staff, clients, and our community at large.

PPE Taggart_Joe_2019

Here again, this petulant virus has presented yet another unifying topic for us as a company.

For decades, our forestry staff has been adapting to the evolving realities of personal protective equipment. PPE first gained traction in the timber falling community in the ’60s. At first, it was big companies and insurance underwriters who mandated the provisioning of hard hats. It quickly progressed to hearing protection, and eventually eye protection. Typically, the toughest loggers didn’t wear them – or only did so when the boss was on the landing because they were either too experienced to fall victim to an accident, or too strong to become injured if such tragedy befell them.

When I started out in the logging industry in the early ’90s, I was surrounded by deaf, partially blind 60-year-olds who were missing fingers. Seriously. Some of them had succumbed to the realities of contemporary business…some of them did so in regret of their past ways. Even then, protective equipment wasn’t universally accepted. It wasn’t until the early 2000s that it became cool to want to come home at night in one piece.

As we look to ease physical distancing and operational work constraints, we are all going to be asked to increase our adherence to personal protective equipment. Understandably, there are times when our own vanity will tug at the directional needle of our moral compass and tell us that it isn’t cool. Kind of like seat-belts for adults, or car seats for babies in the 1970s. Remember that the arrow points north for a reason.

Leadership is about doing the right thing, even when 51% of society isn’t following. It separates the shepherd from the sheep. You won’t ever find me on an active landing without a hard hat, proper boots, and eye and hearing protection. In the coming weeks, you won’t see me relating among others without a mask. For the time being, that is likely the reality and the expectation of our working lives.

Embrace and accessorize the change. It will give our clients comfort and will set you apart from the competition. It will also bring you, and others, home in one piece.