Michael Lammey




Michael Lammey discovered exactly what “safety” means on an ordinary day in December 2006, under what seemed to be ordinary circumstances, in the 720 degree steam and heat of a boiler explosion aboard the USS Frank Cable, Guam.

PO1 Michael Lammey was burned over 48% of his body with 3rd degree burns. He decided during the four years following the accident, and after going through 50+ surgeries and thousands of rehabilitation hours, that enough was enough. The explosion affected six seamen and their families, with two fatalities in its wake. Michael experienced first-hand the toll of the explosion, and the effect it had on his and his shipmate’s family and friends.

He slowly began to understand his life was meant for a definite purpose, and he and his family began organizing resources to meet that purpose. As he defines it, his company, Safety Happens, exists to educate organizations and their safety team members who work in high pressure, dangerous vocations that safety does matter. Every person who leaves for work should expect to return home in good health.

Unsafe working conditions affect service delivery quality and worker productivity and retention. Safety should be viewed as an integral part of human resources management systems – hazardous environments increase absenteeism, turnover, risk of abandoning the profession, short-term sick leave, longer-term disability, and even death. 

For an organization already suffering safety issues, there is risk of additional accidents, as the workers who remain have an increased risk of physical and emotional harm as they try to navigate the workplace to provide coverage.

If a worker is injured on the job, the company loses – lost work hours, increased insurance rates, worker’s compensation premiums, and possible litigation – as well as dealing with workers who respond to the injured worker. They may end up distracted or needing time off to deal with the aftermath – a single injury can have debilitating effects on an organization. The worker loses – income, physical and emotion distress dealing with their injury, resources stretched to the breaking point, substantial time demands on family members – human loss and suffering is immeasurable.

Michael’s injuries are not a result of a safety protocol violation. His injuries can be directly attributed to complacency backed by a false sense of security.

He began to recognize that when people routinely perform repetitive and dangerous tasks, it is very easy to become desensitized to the inherent risk of what could happen, and what also could happen after a risk becomes a reality. The two factors alone – complacency coupled with a false sense of security - can and do produce catastrophic results.

Michael Lammey, Navy

Michael Lammey, Navy

Michael Lammey: Operation Mend

 Navy Petty Officer 1 Michael Lammey | UCLA Operation Mend

Michael Lammey: Safety Happens

'Safety Happens' Seminar Recounts One Man's Incredible Story - Michael Lammey


Michael Lammey Testimonials

Tammy Brown

 Puget Sound Naval Ship Yard Safety Department

  The "Safety Happens" briefings by Michael Lammey provided the most useful safety training our shipyard has ever received. His personal story and safety messages about complacency and a false sense of security during our daily operations really reinforced to our people the need to watch out for their own safety.

R. Fokes

Fayetteville PWC, Fayetteville's Hometown Utility  

This amazing presentation was a reminder that we are all responsible to speak up when circumstances are unsafe. This presentation was also extremely effective as Michael Lammey showed courage and was so encouraging. We all appreciated his fantastic sense of humor.


L. Edney

Cape Fear Public Utility Authority 

Michael Lammey was a great presenter. The comedy he includes has a powerful impact. Thank you for your safety knowledge and service.


Derek Sang

Bulwark Protective Apparel

I came across Bravo 748 and Michael Lammey’s story on LinkedIn, being a safety brand focused on protecting our wearer’s against burn injury – Michaels story was very relevant on a number of levels, the fact he and his team were highly trained, he and his team were very familiar with the equipment, he and his team worked in an inherently dangerous environment in my opinion spoke directly to those that would be attending our event. Michaels message focused on always being present, taking steps to avoid complacency resonated with all our safety professionals in attendance. Michaels courage in recovery the effect upon his young family and where he is today is a testimonial worth hearing and I highly recommend him as a speaker and an ambassador for safety.


Carla Abrams

Several days ago you spoke to my son's shop at PSNS. I just wanted to thank you for what you do to promote safety on the job. My son has only worked at PSNS a short time, but I grew up the daughter of a WWII Navy veteran and shipyard boilermaker worker. My dad worked at PSNS in 1950 and then worked for Todd Shipyard as a welder for 40 years. ​ I have heard many workplace accident stories. Your presentation had quite an impact! My son showed me your flyer and discussed your presentation much of the following day. Thank you! Thank you for your courage, Michael Lammey. What you are doing is making a difference and it may prevent the son or daughter of a mom like me from being involved in a terrible accident. I am very grateful.