I know you baby boomers have heard every safety talk known to man, but I’m fairly sure you haven’t had a social media tailgate. I know what you’re thinking – PPE and social media? What’s in the water over there at CenturyVallen (now Vallen)? Go get that nice logo’d travel mug that you won for last year’s safety award, fill it with whatever’s in the water over at your place, and spend 2 minutes with me.


Your social media toolbox isn’t likely to be intrinsically safe, as are some of your other tools, so be careful what you write! I have seen conversations sparked on Twitter that have high combustion properties. Once you put something out there in writing, others may have thoughts they want to share. You may not necessarily agree with their position. Unfortunately, Purple K is NOT an effective extinguisher in this case. Don’t ask if I have tried this in real life.


Social media PPE should be an important part of your plan. A thick skin is a good place to start. Not everyone will love what you’ve got to say and that’s okay. A good set of FR coveralls might not be a bad idea either.

Protect your personal brand – if you wouldn’t shout it out loud at your tail gate safety meeting, or to your onsite project manager, you might not want to tweet or post it on your corporate Facebook page either. If you wouldn’t say it out loud to your boss, don’t write it online. Put on a set of fitters gloves until the urge to type passes. We sell those. We can hook you up.


If you hear your welders or pipe fitters discussing various hashtags, tablets, and avatars don’t call the safety officer – this doesn’t mean they are doing drugs, or hallucinating. Put away your hazard assessment form because there’s no tick box on there for “employees planning a tweetup”. Yes, it is a word. Urban Dictionary should become your friend.


Lockout/tagout procedures are recommended in your use of “new” technology. Experience one unauthorized email sent to your contact list on behalf of your “comedian” friends or coworkers and you’ll never make THAT mistake twice. Password protection is your friend.


Do you remember all the stock you ordered for H1N1? While those sexy masks might inspire some great conversations and twitpics, they likely won’t protect you from the online viruses. Do a little research online and determine whether you’d benefit from a protection tool. Think of it as your social media N95.

So, there you have it. The first byte sized bit of knowledge you need to play in the industrial distribution online community and conversations. I will be back with follow up blogs through this journey. I invite you to join me. If you have a particular subject you’d like me to talk about, or you require the anti-itch cream I spoke about in my first blog, let me know!

Warm regards,


*princess wave*

(Yes, the white gloves are still FR)

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