If your organization says you do something and you are a member of the organization you better do it or be able to explain why you did not

On a fatality, it does not matter why you did not do, only what the organization says you do.

You open a business, and you decided to join the trade associationfor your industry. That is a good thing. You can learn about new trends and

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 03:  A fan rides a...

(Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

ideas. You can stay current on what is going on. You have someone’s speaking for you with local, state and federal governments. Most times being a member of a trade association is a great thing!

You need to be aware though, when the organization creates procedures, guidelines, standards or rules that it says its members agree to abide by. Or you agree to those guidelines, standards or rules by joining.

More so, you should be super aware when you say you work according to those procedures, guidelines, standards or rules. If your marketing program includes your membership and/or adherence to the organization’s guidelines, standards or rules, then you are also going to be held to those guidelines, standards or rules.

Marketing makes promises that Risk Management has to pay for!

This is a tragic case where an employee died and another was seriously injured while re-building a zip line. The trade association was touted by the builder and subsequently by the state as the organization (standards) that had the information needed to build the zip line. However, from the report of the state, which is still being appealed, the builder failed to follow the guidelines to which he said he subscribed.

Here, the trade association had standards for the construction of the zip line. The builder touted his experience as a member of the trade association in selling himself to the owner and as a defense to the state agency. However, the state agency found the builder did not follow the trade association’s guidelines (standards) and used that to prove the builder was wrong.

Do Something

1.     Don’t allow your trade association to box you into a corner. There is always more than one way of doing everything.

2.     Don’t box yourself into a corner with a marketing program that makes promises you do not keep.

3.     Don’t box yourself into a corner by agreeing to a trade association’s rules, guidelines, standards or procedures you don’t intend to follow.

4.     If you do, you better D@#M well follow them.

5.     Don’t play contractor when you should be hiring an engineer.

See State finds violations in zip line investigation after employee fatality.

What do you think? Leave a comment.

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