Why My Safety Tree Is Important

by Amanda Wyrick, PTFE Finishing Operator

When I started working at Daikin in 2013, I had never worked in a plant before.

Amanda Wyrick’s Safety Tree at Daikin in Decatur

I had previously worked in service, mostly retail. I was excited and nervous to start a new career.

Going through the pre-employment training classes, we learned about all kinds of things such as processes, procedures, lock outs, chemicals and gases that were on the plant site. But, the one topic that was reiterated over and over was safety.

As a single mother and primary provider for my family, knowing that safety was the #1 priority here at Daikin gave me peace.

In 2017 the prize for Safety Employee of the Month was a cordless impact drill. I knew my area needed a drill, and I wanted to win it to donate it.

I completed several job watches, LO/TO audits, attended Safety-Health-Environmental-Security (SHES) meetings and made safety suggestions. I learned a lot doing this. I won Safety Employee of the Month (SEOM). I thought that would be it.

Little did I know that my name would be submitted to be in the running for Safety Employee of the Year (SEOY).

A few months later I was named 2017 SEOY. I was so surprised and felt undeserving. It is a daily choice and responsibility of each employee that walks through the doors to work safely. I am only a small piece of a puzzle.

Among several amazing prizes, a tree was planted to commemorate the honor.

The tree is my favorite part. Why? The Safety Trees are planted on site and can be a daily reminder to be safe, think safe and work safe.

I was told that I could visit and water my tree. I would water my tree, especially during the summer months but there was still something missing. I asked if it would be OK to decorate my tree and was given permission.

July 2021, I brought flags and streamers and decorated my Safety Tree for 4th of July. I had so much fun, and people were talking about my tree and that made happy.

As of today, my tree has pumpkins, witches and ghosts hanging from its tiny branches, with eyeball solar lights around the base. I want people to see our trees and talk about them and what they “stand” for, safety.

I pray everyday that everyone who walks through the doors chooses to work safely. I pray that everyone realizes that each decision made doesn’t only affect them, but co-workers too. I pray that no one gets complacent. I pray that we look out for ourselves and each other. I pray each one of us walk out the same way we walked in.

I remember in high school we were asked to define the word ‘integrity’. The teacher explained it as ‘doing the right thing even when no one is looking.’

That stuck with me, and I try my best to practice it every day. My wish is for every member of the Daikin team to practice it too, especially regarding safety. That is how we will all stay safe and healthy, and we will get to spend more quality time with our family and friends.

I now have a beautiful granddaughter that I hopefully will get to watch grow up. Knowing that there is family and friends of each employee here makes it a personal responsibility to do everything I can do to make sure I am safe, and everyone around me stays safe.

I appreciate Daikin, my Daikin family, and my Daikin training.

I appreciate being able to walk through the walkway every day and know that Safety is important here.

I am proud to work for Daikin, and I hope I will be able to hold on to that pride and let it shine through me and my Safety Tree for others to see.

Amanda Wyrick and her family.