The Nike Ethos

I’ve been around the safety game for about 15 years now, from engineering in the Navy- establishing the first cut of a risk assessment register for the ANZAC frigates, through working for OHSE at Monash, and being on the OHS committee as Health & Safety Rep for the workplace for many years, not to mention writing articles for Safety week since it’s inception(!), and the one thing that comes through most strongly about safety is the Nike ethos:


Safety isn’t a complicated thing. Just do it.
You know there is the safe way, and the wrong way. Just do it.

Safety is common sense
It isn’t there to be a hindrance
It isn’t enforced for the sake of a power trip
Stop turning a blind eye to it
Or procrastinate about whether to consider safety
Just do it.

You know about air filtration, PPE, feather boards and push sticks, guards, and of course techniques and all the other aspects of being a safe woodworker. Just do it.

Don’t wait for an accident to occur before deciding to implement safe measures, use safety equipment. Use common sense, recognise safety is integral to everything you do, and just do it.

When you drive your car, you know you are meant to wear a seatbelt. You know not to speed. Your know not to drink and drive. You know not to talk on the phone. The same applies in the workshop.

You shouldn’t need constant reminders, or repeated encouragement. You know the right thing to do, the common sense thing to do, so JUST DO IT.

3 Responses

  1. There is no “NIKE ETHOS,” it is an advertising campaign not at “ethos,” they exploit workers in third world countries and pressure parents of inner city kids to spend money on tennis shoes when money should be spent on more important things like nutritious food and school supplies.

    Have you given this any thought? Do you know what the work ethos means?

    And don’t tell me what I should or shouldn’t need. Don’t lecture.

    • Ethos is a Greek word meaning “character” that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterise an ideology.

      Sounds like a pretty accurate use of the word, ad campaign or not.

      Aristotle describes Ethos as one of the three artistic proofs or “modes of persuasion”. Sounds like a perfect definition for an ad campaign.

      But then, perhaps getting off your high horse whenever someone dares to evoke the Nike logo (another term from the Greeks) is a bit hard, let alone getting the actual point of the post.

  2. […] Shed – The Nike Ethos The Taylor Garage – About One Half of an Inch J. Gibson McIlvain Company – Wood Dust […]

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