Safety at Olmsted: Speaker tells how injury changed his life

Published April 29, 2015
Motivational speaker Tony Crow discusses safety with the staff at the Olmsted Locks and Dam construction site.

Motivational speaker Tony Crow discusses safety with the staff at the Olmsted Locks and Dam construction site.

On March 12, the Army Corps of Engineers Olmsted Division staff hosted a motivational speaker at the project site in Olmsted, Illinois. Tony Crow made the trip from Winnsboro, Texas, to address safety practices. The company Crow started is called INJAM (It’s Not Just About Me) which promotes safety in all aspects of peoples’ lives. Crow spoke to all the craft and management staff, both contractor and government, on safe practices. One day, one moment, changed his life forever after an accident. His professional attitude despite his injury helped to set the tone for the start of the 2015 construction season.

Crow discussed not only how an accident can change a life forever but that it also changes the lives of others around the person.

His compelling message and personal story of “Safety 24/7” is a reminder to all that safety doesn’t just start or stop at the workplace, but at home and play as well, said Veronica Rife, Olmsted project risk manager. “This message connected with all in attendance to foster a strong emotional commitment to safety,” she said.

Crow was involved in a hunting accident when he and his son were quail hunting in Texas. They had split up. Tony jumped some birds, and the birds headed toward his son. His son took a shot, and the pellets struck Tony in the face. His son was unaware of his father’s exact location at the time but immediately knew his dad was injured. The area they were hunting in consisted of chest-high grass and brush, and he was not wearing his hunter orange so he blended in with the environment.

Crow lost his eyesight in both eyes due to the accident and will remain blind for the rest of his life.

“His speech talks on how at his work he always wore the appropriate personal protective equipments, or PPE, and how safety is so important there,” said Bryan Hovekamp, Olmsted safety and occupational specialist. “But away from work people tend to not always do things as safely as they should,” he said.

Crow also discussed how safety takes everyone to work together as a team.

“At the Olmsted Locks and Dam project safety is the number one priority for each and every employee. We want to make sure everyone arrives safely to the jobsite and that everyone leaves each day in the same condition or better,” said Hovekamp.

Approximately 225 people attended the presentation.