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Safety Poem: For the Life of a Friend

Posted by: Alicia DuBay | Posted on: May 29, 2014

My job at ABB is focused 100% on Safety (I am responsible for the Safety Product Group within BU Control Technologies).  Our safety systems protect people, property and the environment and I can’t think of a better reason to get out of bed and come to work in the morning.

I am always looking for ways to spread our Safety message inside and outside of ABB.  So it was a happy coincidence that while I was visiting our ABB office in St. Neots, UK recently, one of our colleagues shared a few safety poems written by Don Merrell (  Don’s mission is to raise awareness of safety through poetry. 

Please enjoy and share the poem “For the Life of a Friend”.

What would I have done, to save my friends life,

Had I known he was going to die.

What would I give now, not to wake up at night,

To grieve, and to ask myself why?

The risk that he took, must not have seemed bad

No worse than some others he’d taken.

He thought he could save time, without getting hurt,

And this time, he was simply mistaken.

We cannot take back that horrible day,

Our chances were missed, and they’re gone.

Now, all we can do, is to learn from the loss,

And improve things, as we carry on.

For the Life of a Friend – are we willing to Change,

The way we expect things to be?

For the Level of Safety, on which lives depend,

Is determined by you, and by me.

The behaviors and risks, we accept as a group.

Set the bar, when decisions are made.

The rules and procedures don’t count near as much,

As the care, and concern that we’ve paid.

For the Life of a Friend – are we willing to Look,

At each job task, as if it were new?

To be sure all the hazards, are known, and controlled,

And that everyone knows what to do.

For the Life of a Friend – are we willing to Learn,

The policies, procedures, and rules?

For employee protection, and hazard correction,

They’re important, and valuable tools.

For the Life of a Friend – are we willing to Stop,

And say No, when the job is not right?

And work through the problems, to get them resolved.

Not ignored, or just moved out of sight.
For the Life of a Friend – are we willing to Speak,

When we see, someone else could get hurt?

To challenge the risk, the tools, or the job,

Or their simply, not being alert.

For the Life of a Friend – are we willing to Thank,

Those who do their job, Safely and Well?

If we want them to know, how important that is,

Then it’s them, that we most need to tell.

We cannot keep doing, what we’ve always done,

And expect things to change in the end.
We have to improve, or on some future date,
We will Grieve - For the Life of a Friend.


Don Merrell




  • hazards
  • safety poem
  • Alicia DuBay
  • Health & Safety
  • safety

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1 Comment

  1. 1 Maria de Lourdes 01 Jun
    Thank you Alicia! love the poem!


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Luis Duran
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Global Product Group Manager - Safety at ABB Inc.
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