Leadership

Motivational Keynote: Charlie Morecraft emphasizes responsibility

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Atlanta – Charlie Morecraft used to sit in the back row during safety meetings. He didn’t enjoy wearing safety equipment because it felt uncomfortable.

One incident transformed all of that, Morecraft explained Sept. 29 during the Motivational Keynote address at the NSC Congress & Expo.

While he was working at an Exxon refinery, Morecraft was severely injured during a chemical spill and explosion. He said he didn’t follow safety precautions. He didn’t wear safety glasses, and he had rolled up the sleeves of his flame-resistant shirt, exposing his arms to the spilled flammable chemical.

As he ran toward a safety shower, he realized he had left his vehicle running, a critical error that provided an ignition source for an explosion. The blast burned over half of Morecraft’s body.

Morecraft recalled the pain, damage to his family, and lessons he learned after spending years in treatment. He wore a full-body suit for a year. Plastic surgery rebuilt his nose, cheek and mouth. During the presentation, he pushed up his sleeves to show scars on both of his arms.

“Everything I had, I lost,” Morecraft said. “You can’t afford an accident like this. Your family can’t afford an accident like this. What caused the accident was my attitude toward safety.”

Morecraft urged attendees to accept responsibility for their safety.

“It’s your choice,” he said. “This was my choice.”