No Accident

Truce, Damian Alvarez

Safety isn’t expensive, it’s priceless.

Join in on the conversation as we speak to safety leaders that have taken their companies to the next level by creating an environment that encompasses safety and minimizes risk. Because the truth is safety doesn’t just happen - you have to be intentional If you want to reap the operational and financial benefits of a safe workplace.

Introducing No Accident
Trailer 1 min 24 sec

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All it took was a single industrial safety class for Barton McMillin to realize a career in safety was right for him — particularly because it didn’t require sitting behind a desk 24 hours a day. “Things that I was learning in the safety class, I could apply during my normal day of work,” Barton, who maintained a job throughout college, says. “So it was like, hey, this stuff's making sense and it's interesting. And I couldn't say that about a lot of the other classes that I was taking.”In this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE, we hear from Barton, who’s worked in the industry for more than 25 years and currently serves as the Vice President of Environmental, Health, & Safety at Swedish multinational telecommunications company Ericsson. He discusses why engagement with a safety culture is a great measurement of a company’s success, why it’s important to think of safety in the proactive sense rather than simply compliance, and why safer employees are more lucrative for the business.“I am the safety guy, but I'm also here to help the business,” he says. “And helping the business is to make sure that the business understands what risks we're taking and how it's affecting our people.”He also explains why a good safety professional is someone who genuinely cares about their employees’ safety inside and outside of work rather than simply being focused on productivity and how much money an injury could cost the company. Barton believes in expanding our definition of safety to include other elements of an employee's wellbeing, such as mental health. Especially in the past year and a half, he’s noticed that the pandemic brought everyone to a new level of stress that inevitably affected safety. But it’s important to overcome the stigma around mental health in order to address these stressors in the workplace. “One of the things I think that gets overlooked in the safety world is the wellbeing of people,” he says. “Fatigue and mental wellbeing is probably an associated cause with 90% of all injuries and incidents.” Featured Guest👉 Name: Barton McMillin👉 What he does: As the Vice President of Environmental, Health, & Safety at Ericsson, the Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company, Barton uses his more than 25 years of experience in the safety field to ensure his employees are buying in to his proactive, engagement-focused safety approach.👉 Company: Ericsson👉 Key quote: “Business is important, but people are as well. And they can't go without each other.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedIn Safe Takes⚠️ Safety isn’t just the recording of incident rates. It’s important to follow OSHA and report injuries, but Barton notes that there’s a whole other proactive element to safety that every company should emphasize in its safety culture. What can you do now to prevent injuries from happening in the future?⚠️ Engagement is a great measure of the success of your safety culture. An engaged employee, especially an employee whose boss is asking them about their concern regarding safety for themselves and their coworkers is an employee who’s much more likely to buy into the safety culture and think proactively when it comes to being safe. ⚠️ You need safe, healthy employees to have a lucrative company. Good safety leaders, Barton believes, ensure they’re not only worried about productivity metrics, they’re looking at the larger picture of who safety protocols affect. “Without the people, you don't get the numbers. You don't get the productivity,” he notes. And keeping people safe includes checking in on mental health, especially in the COVID-19 era. Resources⛑️  Incident rates –– Although Barton notes that they’re not the only thing to focus on as a safety professional, it’s important to know how to compute a firm's incidence rate. ⛑️ Mental health during the pandemic — This Kaiser Family Foundation brief explains the implications of COVID-19 for mental health and substance use. Barton believes all safety professionals need to connect these dots in order to check in on their employees/make sure increased stress isn’t making them less safe. Top quotes from the episode:“That's a common thread, they (his past employers) really care about their employees and they want to do the right thing, not just on a safety level, but just generally speaking. And I think that's an attribute for companies with a strong safety culture.”“Compliance is the foundation. If that's all you're ever talking about, then you're just not getting it. The stuff that they really need to be talking about is the prevention side of it. What are the things that we can do to prevent injuries, incidents from happening?”“If you can measure the amount of engagement between your leadership team and your employees and not just the CEO or the COO leadership engagement, very high-level engagement usually helps to kind of set in place the right type of culture.”“Starting an engagement process around safety, not only does it help safety, but it also helps promote all the rest of the pieces of the puzzle, because getting employees to talk to each other and getting leadership and employees to talk to each other, that communication is so important.”“If I can't get people to see the big picture about why safety is important for people, for the person, then I don't think that I'm doing a good job as a safety leader.”“Safety is 24 hours. It's our responsibility as a business to keep people safe when you're here working for us. But at the end of the day, I want you to be safe all the time because I care.”

Oct 14

29 min 39 sec

Whenever Tony Wallace’s wife chops vegetables, he can’t help but put his safety professional hat on. “I’ll gasp, and she'll say, You don't trust me,” he says. “I’ll say, No, I trust you: I don't trust the knife.” Tony has tried to explain that this helicopter approach to safety is an overflow from his workday. “She goes, You must drive people nuts,” he says. “I do, but I just want to make sure that she's safe. If she were to cut her hand, that would be horrible, but there are a lot of other ramifications. And this is where it comes into the workplace too.”The cost of an accident is just one of many topics Tony, the Global Vice President of Safety, Health, and Environmental Quality at industrial gas company Linde, speaks on in this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. He also explains why Linde’s leaders take a hands-on approach to safety, and the importance of viewing it as a disciplined group effort that helps the whole business, not just individuals. “When our senior leadership goes into the field … they’ll walk around and ask questions like, How are you doing on your safety?” he says. “Talking to the employees and asking the question, What are some things we can do to help make you and your site safer? and then following through. It’s making that connection with our employees and our lineman.” In Tony’s more than 35-year career, he’s never had to deal with anything like COVID-19. But the pandemic reminded him of the impact that everyone’s safety decisions have on one another.Tony says that he’d never hire anyone who doesn’t wear a seat belt, for example, and that translates to people who don’t take COVID-19 precautions, such as wearing a mask on an airplane. The people implementing such rules are still seen as “safety cops,” but he believes he can overcome that mindset by reminding people that following these protocols makes everyone’s lives better. “My background is being able to understand how and why we do things — not simply what the safety answer is, but how we do it together to ensure we can accomplish all of our goals,” Tony says.  Featured Guest👉 Name: Tony Wallace 👉 What he does: As the Global Vice President of Safety, Health and Environmental Quality at Linde, a multinational industrial gas company, Tony uses his diverse business background to implement a we’re-all-in-this-together approach to safety. 👉 Company: Linde👉 Key quote: “Safety is like integrity. Somebody once told me that integrity is what you do when no one's looking. Your ultimate value of safety is what you do when no one is looking.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedIn Safe Takes⚠️ Safety isn’t selfish. Tony says strong safety policies are put in place not only to keep each individual employee safe but to help them keep one another safe. That’s why he encourages his employees to constantly ask themselves, Am I doing these actions solely for me? Or am I doing those actions to help others as well?⚠️ The motivation is to get everyone back to their family in one piece. Tony keeps his employees focused on following safety procedures by reminding them of the ultimate motivation: their family. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s been more important than ever to think about everyone’s fundamental values, and who they want to protect the most. ⚠️ The best way to determine the value of safety is on the ground. When Linde’s senior leadership visits a site, they’re not just doing it as a formality. They actively ask employees about safety procedures, so they can get a sense of how certain protocols are impacting the way the company operates. The company’s leaders take the hot seat too: Tony believes that companies led by people who have a strong working knowledge of safety procedures function more safely than leaders who are out of touch. Resources⛑️ OSHA — Learn about the latest OSHA guidance for mitigating and preventing the spread of COVID-19 in all industries.⛑️ The Effectiveness of Management-By-Walking-Around: A Randomized Field Study — Learn more about Linde’s on-the-ground approach to management from an academic perspective.⛑️ Linde’s Safety Commitment Day — Watch Tony talking about Linde’s Safety Commitment Day. Top quotes from the episode:“We come to work — and we do work — for our family. It's important that we get home safely at the end of every day. So no, I don't think we can be too safe.”“Over those 36 years [of working at Linde], everyone has grown in our understanding and our ability to be safe, and our ability to protect our employees, our customers, and the communities that we operate in.”“When we hire people, we explain to them what our process is, how safety is a core value, and that they need to be part of that. So if a person doesn't wear their seat belt, even though it's law … if that's the type of person you are, we don't want you working for us, because we need to ensure that what you do on your own time translates into what you do here.”“What the leaders understand about the safety procedures and processes tells a lot about the safety performance of that company.”“Whether we wear a mask, whether we sanitize and how we maintain social distancing isn't just for us, it affects other people as well. And at the end of the day, that's really what safety is. Safety is not only what I do for me, but how that affects the other people around me.”“I think safety gives us the freedom to be able to do the things that we want to do without the expense of ourselves or the expense of others.”

Sep 30

24 min 38 sec

When Robert Schindler started his career in construction 18 years ago, he remembers the safety and operation teams working on opposite sides of the construction site. The safety team didn’t talk to superintendents, or project managers. Everyone did their jobs independently.Now, as the Vice President of Safety at Arch-Con, Robert has seen the benefits of integrating safety across departments and working groups. He believes the best results come from having safety closely intertwined with daily operations.“It’s a part of our DNA,” Robert says of the commercial construction company, which has an award-winning safety program. This mindset has helped play an important role in the success — and profitability — of the company. “Safety directly affects your bottom line. Safety directly affects how you can bid on certain projects. But most importantly, safety is your biggest tool when you’re selling something,” Robert says.Sure, a good safety score will increase project opportunities, but it goes beyond that. To Robert, safety is equated with efficiency. To reap the benefits of safety measures, the approach has to be proactive. A good safety program should create smooth workflow processes and prevent issues before they become a problem, which saves time and money.But, proactivity is only possible when the whole team is on board with safety protocol — and when it’s made simple. Don’t be fooled, though; simplicity does not mean cutting corners.  Featured Guest👉 Name: Robert Schindler👉 What he does: Robert is the Vice President of Safety at commercial design and development company Arch-Con where he leads the company’s award winning, nationally recognized safety program. He has more than 18 years of experience in the construction industry.👉 Company: Arch-Con👉 Key quote: “A good company has a positive safety program. A great company is pushing the boundaries of how to make it better.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ Safety and operations work hand-in-hand. A job is never successful and never profitable when an injury takes place. When safety and operations personnel work together, they are both benefiting.⚠️ Safety is efficiency. The question to ask yourself is “how can safety become more efficient?” The days of safety slowing down projects and creating unnecessary work are over. When done right, safety boosts productivity and quality.⚠️ Safety should be simple, not easy. When safety makes sense, people will understand why regulations are put in place and they will follow them. However, just because it’s simple, doesn’t mean that important steps should be overlooked. Resources⛑️ Arch-Con's safety page— Arch-Con has an award-winning, nationally recognized safety program and an EMR safety rating of 0.70. ⛑️ OSHA — Keep up to date on all the latest safety regulations and trainings from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). ⛑️ American Society of Safety Professionals — Network with other professionals in the field and stay up to date on the latest industry news through the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP). Top quotes from the episode:“I look at safety as being as efficient as possible, and I focus more on, how can we be more efficient? And when you're efficient, the byproduct of that is safety, quality, and production all rolled into one.”“If I'm doing my job properly, then operations will benefit from what I'm putting in. And if they adapt it and they use it, they will be more efficient, which then allows them to be more productive.”“Safety’s hard. And when you try to make it easy, that’s when mistakes happen. There's a huge difference between making it easy and making it simple. Making it simple is putting things in place that people understand. … If you make it easy ... where there are things that they don't have to do, that's when people get hurt and that's when bad things happen.”“A lot of people want to say, Hey, we have a safety culture … That’s one of the things that really, really frustrates me when it comes to safety and construction … that means it’s something different than your actual culture. Safety’s integrated into our culture. It’s part of who we are. Safety is not something separate.”“If you put the time and effort in, on the front side of everything, it pays off in dividends on the back.”

Sep 16

26 min 2 sec

While some safety leaders measure success or failure by the number of injury reports, Bianca Castagna, leader of the Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) program at the GE Aviation plant in Auburn, Alabama, prefers to think further ahead.“If we define safety by the strength of our defenses against hazards, rather than just avoiding injuries, we will have better outcomes,” she tells the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. Bianca has been with GE Aviation since she enrolled in a co-op program during her junior year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering. She’s now responsible for ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the plant's 180+ employees.Instead of fixating on the number of injuries, Bianca focuses her attention on identifying potential dangers, and building procedures to eliminate these.One very effective way to do this is to ask the employees on the floor what hazards they are aware of, and what steps they’ve taken to protect themselves. Once Bianca and her team have identified these defenses — as they call them — they investigate further to make sure they’re effective, sufficient, and being properly maintained.“Those are the things that we should be focused on, because if you're just chasing zero injuries, you're too late,” Bianca says.Obviously no one wants to see someone get injured on the job, especially when a simple conversation with the people using the equipment could have prevented the accident. Bianca says that an added bonus of this kind of collaboration with employees is that it proves to them that the company is looking out for their safety. This in turn makes them more motivated to work harder and produce good results.“If people are safe and healthy at work, they’re more likely to make better quality parts, and to be productive and feel a sense of ownership in what it is they’re producing,” Bianca says. “It's all about getting products out the door to our customers, so they can be satisfied and we can make money.” Featured Guest👉 Name: Bianca Castagna👉 What she does: Bianca is Senior Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Leader for the GE Aviation plant in Auburn, Alabama. In addition to being responsible for leading all aspects of the EHS program, this summer she also took on a managing role in GE Aviation’s Global Operations Management Leadership Program. 👉 Company: GE Aviation👉 Key quote: “Safety is not the absence of injuries: It’s the strength of defenses.” 👉 Where to find her: LinkedIn Safe Takes⚠️ Know your workforce. A leader who is in regular, face-to-face communication with every worker on the shop floor — as opposed to one who adopts a hands-off leadership style — will be much more effective at motivating workers, which in turn improves safety and productivity. ⚠️ Make your people your Number One priority. “The people making the products that we sell to our customers need to come first, because without them we can’t ensure the delivery, let alone the quality of our products,” Bianca says. Make sure your staff feels healthy, protected, and heard. They’ll be much more motivated to help your business succeed. ⚠️ Act on your employees’ safety concerns. Safety leaders need to listen to employee concerns and address them. Bianca is leery of companies that report zero injuries in an entire year. It suggests that the company is ignoring employees when they report safety issues. “This is when it can get dangerous, because when workers realize nothing is being done to fix a problem, they stop trusting the leadership and stop reporting hazards,” she says.  Resources⛑️ Why Prioritizing Workplace Safety Increases Profit — This article provides three tactics for increasing productivity by promoting a safe work environment.⛑️ The Factory of the Future Improves Safety, Quality and Productivity — Risk identification and hazard prevention play a large role in this vision of our industrial future. ⛑️ Revealing Hidden Risks: Tools for Enterprise Risk Management — This overview of risk mitigation strategies includes a detailed description of how the Strength of Defense Matrix works to validate solutions to potential hazards.  ⛑️ Lean Safety – Improve Workplace Safety with Lean Principles Lean Safety is often thought of as primarily a manufacturing process, but it also improves safety, which helps businesses stay competitive. Top quotes from the episode:[3:57] “Often, people underestimate the impact of morale on a business’s culture, and safety and culture go hand in hand. You can’t have a good culture unless you’ve got a safe, clean environment where people can go to work.” [9:12] “With the integration of lean manufacturing and EHS over the past year and a half, people have come to see safety as an enabler that helps them do their job in a safer way.” [12:34] “We should always strive to have zero injuries, but not at the expense of reporting. There are so many other leading indicators we need to focus on. By doing this, we can reduce the number of injuries.” [21:39] “I would challenge business and plant leaders to look at their standard workflows and make sure they’re doing at least one thing a day — or even one thing a week — to stay on top of safety in their organizations.” 

E

Sep 2

22 min 27 sec

Alex Guariento is Trimac Transportation’s Vice President of Safety. The Calgary-based freight carrier’s 3,400 employees make sure that every shipment they’re charged with delivering all over North America reaches its destinations on time without sacrificing safety. Alex has always been connected to transportation and logistics, but his transition from the operations to the safety side was something he didn’t expect.He began his career in the U.S. Army where he served as a transportation officer and paratrooper. This experience, plus working as a manager of Greyhound bus drivers immediately following his military career, gave him the unique perspective of someone who has worked on both the operations and safety sides of a large organization. During a Greyhound restructuring, he was asked to work as a senior manager of duty compliance, which led to his nearly three-decades-long career in safety. Over the course of 14 years as a top safety and security executive at Greyhound, Alex helped shape a vigorous safety and compliance training program. Its driving instructors often had 10+ years and in some cases, multiple decades of accident-free miles behind them. The company’s success underscored to Alex the relationship between safety and market leadership. “A company’s safety record has a huge impact on its bottom line,” Alex says on this episode of No Accident. He further explains the connection between safety and a company’s financial health, noting that accidents can result in costly lawsuits and that employees and customers don’t want to associate with organizations that have poor safety records. Though Alex doesn’t manage Trimac’s drivers directly, he strongly believes that a great safety leader has to be able to influence what happens on the front lines. “Typically a safety leader has no direct operational control of the people who do what it is that the company does. In my case, I don’t manage drivers and have no direct operational control on dispatch,” he says on the podcast. “But if I’m not able to influence the way the operational leaders do things, I will not be successful on behalf of the company from an operational safety perspective. I have to be present without physically being there.” Featured Guest👉 Name: Alex Guariento👉 What he does: As the Vice President for Safety of Trimac Transportation — a 75-year-old, Calgary-based logistics company that uses the motto: “Service with Safety” — Alex uses his extensive military and private industry experience to ensure driver safety and the safe delivery of hazardous materials to clients.  👉 Company: Trimac Transportation👉 Key quote: “Being on the leading edge of incorporating safety best practices is the only way large companies in the transportation industry can stay in business today.” 👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ Talk less. Listen more. Be willing to step in. Alex says the ability to do these things are essential to great safety leadership. “Great safety leaders have empathy and the moral courage to intervene and say, ‘This is not going to work, stop what you're doing.’” Alex describes it as an ability to acknowledge disagreement and a willingness to step in when you see a strategy that could be unproductive or worse, unsafe, being discussed or implemented, regardless of the repercussions.⚠️ Work with your operations partners. Alex considers himself fortunate because he and his operations team are always able to reach a middle ground that satisfies him from a safety perspective and addresses their concerns..⚠️ Keep pushing for improvement, even after hitting your benchmarks. “We are a very progressive company when it comes to integration of the culture of safety in the car. That doesn't mean that we cannot improve. We absolutely can improve. It’s a never-ending process for us,” he says. Safety concerns are ever-evolving, and striving to adapt to changes in the marketplace that affect safety means going above and beyond KPIs and bare minimums.Resources⛑️ Trimac Transportation Looking Ahead to Future Opportunities - Marking Trimac’s 75th anniversary, this article covers its vision for the future. ⛑️ Top 12 Characteristics of Great Safety Leaders - Empathy and continuous learning are just some of the qualities that make a safety leader indispensable to their organization.  Top quotes from the episode:“Safety is not the responsibility of the safety department. Safety is the responsibility of everybody in the company.”“At the end of the day, our ultimate goal is for everybody to return home whether it's an employee or an associate or another motorist.”“Nobody wants to work in an environment where there is a likelihood they’re going to get hurt. Not being safe is going to have a ripple effect that affects retention.”“I've been fortunate enough to work exclusively with and that companies that have same end goal ━ to operate safely and still be able to operate.”.“Safety is not a standalone silo. It's operational safety. It’s embedded in everything we do.”

Aug 19

19 min 34 sec

Joseph Tommasi started his career clearing trees around utility lines and trained as an arborist in the early 1970s. He worked his way up as a crew leader, then a supervisor, and has been with The Davey Tree Expert Company since 1994.Based in Kent, Ohio, Davey is employee-owned and was established more than 100 years ago.From the office to the field, safety is an expectation that employees, managers, businesses and even clients expect when they do business with Davey. “There is an expectation that many of our clients — particularly our larger ones, but certainly individual homeowners — want nothing but a quality job executed well, and that there's been no harm done to anyone in the course of that work,” Joseph says on this episode of No Accident.  Joseph sees OSHA best practices as a starting point. “You can’t manage your safety program by regulation alone. Your program has to start off with communication and valuing your people, and your people need to know that.” As the U.S. and Canada’s third-largest landscaping company, according to Lawn & Landscape — Davey has undergone significant expansion, but not without giving safety considerations a hard look first. “Whether it’s new locations or entities, safety is a key factor that the acquisition team weighs early on during the due diligence process, even before we make any commitments.”When Joseph started his career in safety, many industries viewed safety as the role of the safety department alone. Today, he sees a shift to safety as a holistic and integrated system that requires ongoing improvement across divisions. Joseph attributes an intensified awareness of safety among consumers and businesses to the events of September 11, 2001. “Now it’s a two-way street. The people in the safety departments and the field, but also managers and supervisors, have to share the message of their safety programs and ownership of the process with each other.”  Featured Guest👉 Name: Joseph Tomassi👉 What he does: As the Vice President of Corporate Safety at the Davey Tree Expert Company, Joseph draws upon nearly five decades of experience in horticulture, management and safety to protect his workforce and help Davey thrive. 👉 Company: Davey Tree Expert Company👉 Key quote: “Good things come from being persistent in trying to achieve safety excellence —  company success, employee success, opportunity and profitability.” 👉 Where to find him: LinkedIn Safe Takes⚠️ Go above and beyond when communicating your expectations to your greatest assets, i.e. your employees and other team members. “Be honest and credible with them. They need to know they're going to be held to a standard of conduct, but that you're there to help them succeed.”⚠️ Take a behavioral approach to address safety. Davey puts interpersonal relationships and human interaction at the heart of its Personal Excellence Program, which promotes OSHA compliance and ultimately success for its employees, management and customers. ⚠️ Adopt a continuous improvement mindset. It’s nearly impossible for a large organization to achieve excellence in safety at every single point with every single individual. But nevertheless, companies should aim for it at every opportunity. “Safety excellence is a value that has helped our company grow over time because people recognize how important it is to us and how it informs our work on a daily basis.” Resources⛑️ Lawn & Landscape Top 100 — a list based on 2020 revenue from landscapeprofit centers. Davey ranks third on the list. ⛑️ Utility Safety — Page detailing the Davey’s commitment to safety Top quotes from the episode:“Doing the work of safety professionally increases productivity.” “People today seek more in terms of safety and security than ever before. You can see it in the marketing and advertising on television. The expectations for professional organizations to address safety are high in the eyes of consumers.” “[From an organizational perspective], I see that people are much more embracing of and asking for the opportunity to work together on continuous improvement and safety.”“Safety is a wonderful career with opportunities across industries, and it’s become much more highly regarded as a profession.”

Aug 5

31 min 25 sec

Travis Post never intended to go into the safety field. But after a Skilsaw injury at one of his first construction jobs left him a partial-leg amputee, his career trajectory completely changed.“In the early eighties, I received my safety baptism, as we call it,” Travis says in this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. “It took about two years of physical therapy to learn how to walk again.”He took a new job in respiratory therapy, then was working in the cardiac unit of a major hospital when he got a call from his old employer — the company he was working for during his injury wanted to know if he had any interest in construction safety. Travis thought it sounded interesting, and went back to work for them in a completely new capacity.As a former construction worker who considers his injury the result of “horseplay” on the job, Travis was able to go into that position with a valuable point of view. He saw an opportunity for people who had experienced workplace injuries to educate employees who hadn’t, which made such trainings a more meaningful experience.“I started hiring employees that had previously shot their foot or their hand to the plywood to actually do training classes,” Travis said in one example of a response to several nail gun injuries. “The guys actually listened to them because they're active employees in the trade.”His team then took this approach one step further and started having individuals who had injured themselves severely enough to receive modified duty worker's comp payments speak to other workers about that experience to show that “you don't get rich off of it. It's basically there to let you survive.”These employee-led trainings are a result of Travis’ belief in employee-based safety, which he refers to as a hybrid of behavior-based safety and education that help protect a company’s profit.“You take an individual and have that individual completely buy into the system through education and clear direction,” he said. “If they have input in the whole process, then we get 100% buy-in.”Featured Guest👉 Name: Travis Post👉 What he does: As the National Director of Safety at Petersen-Dean, Inc., a Fremont, California-based construction company, Travis uses his personal experience with work injury to push an employee-based approach to safety.👉 Company: Petersen-Dean, Inc.👉 Key quote: “Safety protects profit. That's it in a nutshell, and that's why you should have a safety program.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ The best way to get workers to follow safety protocols is to explain them in a way that’s easy to understand and then ask for their input on what policies and procedures work or don’t work. As Travis says, “When you get that participation of 100%, the employees become active … if the employees don't like the PPE that we're mandating, they're not going to use it.”⚠️ If you can get your employees to completely buy-in to a safety program, aka implement employee-based safety, then it becomes the “employee's responsibility to learn and facilitate the whole safety program,” which will inevitably protect your profits.⚠️ Safety isn’t something you can afford to cut corners on. Travis specifically uses the example of fall protection and how, for those who work without it, “it usually ends very badly for the employee and long term for the company.”Top quotes from the episode:“What I do is … employee-based safety. You have to put it in terms that the employee understands.”“At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how much they made. If they're severely injured, they can't continue to utilize that in the future.”“You can't really look at safety as ‘go out there and be safety cops and catch people not doing what they're supposed to do and make them do it.’ What my safety department does is we protect profit.”“By having a proactive safety program versus a reactive, it drives that cost code down and therefore it’s not passed on to the customer.”“Your data has to encompass everything. It can't just be zero accidents. Because then what happens is people become afraid to actually report injuries.”“Injuries happen every day. And if you're not in front of them, training your employees, the severity is going to do nothing but go up.”

Jul 8

23 min 38 sec

To Torrey Garrison, safety isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s a selling point for a business.Torrey is the Vice President of Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) and of Leadership Development at Performance Contractors, an industrial construction company based on the Gulf Coast. Through his dual roles, he negotiates between the safety and business aspects of the company. “A lot of times, we get our foothold into speaking with the C-suite by saying, ‘_Hold on, let's talk about the money aspect of this_’ — and then we can blend doing the right thing back [into the conversation],” he says on this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE.Torrey is fighting to change the view of safety from a “necessary evil” to a positive that can be used to promote the company. “It’s really hard sometimes for safety to show what the monetary value is for us to be there,” he admits. “[But] where you really start seeing the fruit of the labor is when you’re able to get more work, even with that organization or a different organization based off how your safety record is.”Torrey describes joining sales and marketing meetings with clients who are eager to hear about Performance Contractors’ winning safety record — something that separates them from competitors.Torrey’s career journey has provided great insight into the worker’s perspective as well, which has aided in his dynamic approach to safety. After spending five years in the U.S. Coast Guard, his first job was in the “very dangerous atmosphere” of a foundry. But it was there Torrey learned the importance of robust safety procedures from the other side of the clipboard.    “I'm looking around thinking, ‘_Wow, this is a very unsafe place._’ I was on the other side — I wasn't on the EHS side, I was actually on the hands-on side.”Featured Guest👉 Name: Torrey Garrison👉 What he does: As Vice President of Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) and of Leadership Development at Gulf Coast-based Performance Contractors, Torrey combines his 20 years of safety experience with lessons in leadership to help leaders at all levels within the business.👉 Company: Performance Contractors👉 Key quote: “[With] everything that you have on your job site that's going well, don't wait until something happens to change it. We make changes as we go. I'm not saying rewrite the whole program and everyone has to relearn it. I'm saying tweak it and see what other benefits you can get.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedIn | WebsiteSafe Takes⚠️ A strong safety record can set you apart from competitors. Proving you can do a job safely is a selling point to prospective clients. Performance Contractors’ sales and marketing teams use the company’s safety statistics to stand out from otherwise similar rivals. ⚠️ Clients appreciate you going above and beyond with safety measures. Inspired by Torrey’s military career, Performance Contractors use a go/no-go system in every single procedure. It’s an extra step — and one their clients appreciate.⚠️ Working in EHS sets you up to lead. Safety personnel often find themselves explaining important procedures to large groups of people — sometimes as many as 1,000 on major jobs, Torrey says. It’s a high-pressure way to learn leadership skills, which then just need finetuning.Resources⛑️ Torrey’s website –– Read Torrey’s blog for more about his time in the Coast Guard, his work as a reserve chaplain for the Air Force and his thoughts on leadership development.⛑️ Beyond the Numbers — An article on Construction Executive, in which Torrey talks about Performance Contractors’ new methods for approaching safety.⛑️ Best For Vets profile — A breakdown of Performance Contractors’ work with veterans by the Military Times.Top quotes from the episode:“There are a lot of companies that do really good work, but what are their safety records? Can they do it safely? That's where we can get our foot in.”“Our ownership and management team have seen how important [safety] is to get more projects. And the more projects we have, the more money people make, the more we can put back into our company, and it's all based on working safely.”“We've had jobs that may not have gone the exact way we wanted them to — but we got another opportunity because our safety department stepped up on that job site.”“We're really part of the sales team. We have a sales program that we go through with new clients, to explain to them what our EHS department can do.”“Every time we discuss our EHS program with a client, my question is, ‘_Tell us something that you're doing that you feel excited about or you're passionate about._’ 90% of the time we have a program pretty close to it.”“Structure, accountability and knowing how to follow orders are three things that our veterans can teach our employees from the civilian world.”“I believe safety is multifaceted, but the clear, easy answer is that you want someone to be able to work and do their task without being harmed.”“You operate better, you're a better person, you treat others better, when you feel safe. So if we can move that onto our job sites, it’s giving someone the confidence that they are going to be safe today.”

Jun 24

31 min 21 sec

Carrol Dugan took interest in the environment around her at a young age after realizing that “we only have this one environment that we live in.” This interest eventually led her to a successful career in environmental health and safety (EHS).“I felt it was really interesting all the different ways that people could contribute in their daily lives to make it a better place,” Carrol explains on this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. Carrol now serves as the Director of Environmental Health and Safety at Hocking International Laboratories, one of the leading custom chemical manufacturers in the world. Having worked in the business for more than 20 years, Carrol is a seasoned environmental health sustainability leader, helping organizations optimize their operations and excel in environmental health and safety (EHS) as a way to grow their business. In her role at Hocking International, Carrol emphasizes how influential the EHS department can be on business practices.  “The power of influence is so critical for EHS professionals. We're not just technical resources that can interpret rules and standards or design engineer equipment. We really serve as a resource for the company to help them understand what it means to be compliant, but also move beyond that and really help drive the business.”For Carrol, safety is not a standalone department, but something that must be integrated into all aspects of business functionality in order to increase efficiency, employee and customer engagement and larger market share.“[EHS] really needs to be integral as part of an organization’s operations. It should be built into the way that people work so that it's not separate,” she explains. Featured Guest👉 Name: Carrol Dugan 👉 What she does: As the Director of Environmental Health and Safety at one of the leading custom chemical manufacturers in the world, Carrol helps companies achieve strategic EHS operational excellence by embedding best practices into core business practices. 👉 Company: Hocking International Laboratories👉 Key quote: “[EHS] really needs to be integral as part of an organization’s operations. It should be built into the way that people work so that it's not separate.”👉 Where to find her: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ EHS is crucial to business operations. Carrol argues that environmental health and safety protocols should be built into the way people work to ensure a safe workplace and that employees are meeting all standards. ⚠️ Safety positively affects product quality. Efficiency is always important, but never at the expense of product quality. Optimizing operations and production increases efficiency and naturally reduces the likelihood of generating excess waste or creating hazards. ⚠️ Communication is key. It is important not only what EHS professionals communicate but also how they communicate. Keeping employees up to code on the latest safety standards is imperative.Resources⛑️ Hocking International Laboratories' LinkedIn –– See the company’s latest news stories, job postings, and insights.⛑️ United States Environmental Protection Agency — Stay up-to-date on the latest environmental regulations and requirements.  ⛑️ Occupational Health and Safety Administration — Carrol says Hocking International abides by both EPA and OSHA standards. Top quotes from the episode:“[EHS] really needs to be integral as part of an organization’s operations. It should be built into the way that people work so that it's not separate.”“You really have to help people understand that in order to grow your business and have a safe workplace for the employees and meet all of your environmental requirements, it is critical that you conduct business in a way that achieves all those goals.”“If you optimize your operations or your production and you're really increasing efficiency, you naturally reduce the likelihood that you're going to generate a lot of waste or that you're going to have a lot of hazards associated with that particular process.”“If you have a terrible safety record, what does that mean for your product quality? It's all related. You can't have a really terrible safety record but really excellent product quality or really great turnaround time.”“The power of influence is so critical for EHS professionals. We're not just technical resources that can interpret rules and standards or design engineer equipment. We really serve as a resource for the company to help them understand what it means to be compliant, but also move beyond that and really help drive the business.”“There's some sales pitching that we have to do to help [the higher ups] understand why we want to do things this way versus just giving all of EHS the responsibility to just take care of it.”“It's really important, not only what we communicate, but how we communicate so that the team can really come together and work as one.”“I tend to think of safety not as a standalone thing. I really think about and try to help others see it this way as well. Safety is not something you do. It's not an action. It's a result of how you do things.”

Jun 10

28 min 9 sec

Katherine Syverson has spent 40 years in manufacturing with a variety of businesses. To say she knows and understands the risks and needs of the field would be an understatement.Now, as the Environment, Health and Safety Director at Life Fitness, the umbrella company for six fitness brands, Katherine uses the knowledge and experience from her manufacturing days to inform her policy practices. “We use a lot of lean manufacturing tools and Six Sigma concepts in safety, just like we would in quality or operations or efficiencies,” Katherine explains on this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. “We use those same tools and mindsets and kind of that continuous improvement mindset to constantly get better in the workplace around working in a safe manner.” At Life Fitness, Katherine develops and integrates company-wide standardized, proactive EHSS programs and practices through collaborative leadership. In fact, she boasts about Life Fitness’s leaders’ dedication to safety.“We had a global leadership meeting this past week and talked about safety as really being a highlight of continuous improvement and performance this year,” she says. “The CEO talked about the fact that safety is in everybody's basket. It's for everybody to be participating in affecting change around safety. So I see not only my own leadership but the leadership within the organization really being authentic.”According to Katherine, it is truly in leaders’ best interests to invest in safety as a process flow because it is just as much an investment in employees as it is in the company’s future. “[Safety] is not a cost savings; it's a cost avoidance. … [That means] being able to think about it more as a business practice — like how can I make an improvement on the safety side of things that can ultimately affect business efficiencies and quality metrics?”Featured Guest👉 Name: Katherine Syverson 👉 What she does: As the Environment, Health and Safety Director at Life Fitness, Katherine develops and integrates company-wide standardized, proactive EHSS programs and practices through collaborative leadership.👉 Company: Life Fitness👉 Key quote: “[Safety] is not a cost savings; it's a cost avoidance.”👉 Where to find her: LinkedIn | Facebook Safe Takes⚠️ Safety shouldn’t exist in a silo. Katherine emphasizes the impact of safety on all other aspects of business — it’s a business practice that affects efficiency and quality metrics.⚠️ Safety is a process flow. Thinking about safety from a mindset of needing continuous improvement helps to constantly raise workplace standards and conditions. ⚠️ The key to a safe workplace is having everyone involved. It’s not just leadership — safety requires commitment from every employee. Resources⛑️ Eaton Honors 2014 Stover Award — Awarded to Katherine Syverson for her volunteer work with the Boy Scouts of America, Eden Prairie Fire Department and Community Emergency Response Team.⛑️ Environmental Health and Safety Services (EHSS) — Federal program and training resources for those in the field.⛑️ Manufacturers Alliance — Providing peer-to-peer training and education in the manufacturing industry.Top quotes from the episode:“I really have to work hard at helping people understand why we're doing what we're doing and give them enough background so that they understand the why behind it and the critical nature.” “[Safety] is not a cost savings; it's a cost avoidance. So really being able to think about it more as a business practice like how to make an improvement on the safety side of things that can ultimately affect business efficiencies and quality metrics. So safety isn't disconnected all by itself in its own silo.”“We've really shifted in terms of how we look at injuries. Today, we look at it really more as a process flow.  We use a lot of lean manufacturing tools and Six Sigma concepts in safety, just like we would in quality or operations or efficiencies. We use those same tools and mindsets and kind of that continuous improvement mindset to constantly get better in the workplace around working in a safe manner.” “We recognize leading indicators rather than lagging indicators. … So you start measuring the things that create a more positive, more safe work environment. Now you're being more proactive rather than just being reactive.”“We had a global leadership meeting this past week and talked about safety as really being a highlight of continuous improvement and performance this year. The CEO talked about the fact that safety is in everybody's basket. It's for everybody to be participating in affecting change around safety. So I see not only my own leadership but the leadership within the organization really being authentic.”“Safety is about figuring out how to do things in a manner that doesn't create a level of risk that would have someone get hurt. It's understanding the nuts and bolts of what you do and how you do that in a deep enough way so that you can design risks and hazards out of what you do, because you think about the hierarchy of controls and the best way to do it is to completely eliminate it altogether.”

May 27

30 min 15 sec

As a child growing up in Nigeria, climbing a mango tree was just the kind of risk Acho Ulu was willing to take. But his dad taught him about the importance of safety and preparation, which is why he put safeguards in place in case he fell. Acho, now the Director of Environmental Health & Safety at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, has learned much more about safety since then. Perhaps the most important lesson is to focus on how safety affects the bottom line. “The sole purpose of the business is money, revenue,” Acho says on this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. “And if there is no business, there's no need for you [the safety leader]. So always think about the business.”Acho argues that without profitability and revenue, safety departments wouldn’t exist — so it’s important for safety leaders to explain the impact of incidents to the C-suite through metrics related to finances. Acho also discusses the crucial role of cross-functional collaboration at Westfield, the unique challenge of keeping both employees and members of the public safe and the importance of showing a genuine concern for the well-being of your workers. Lastly, keeping safeguards in mind, he also explains why he isn’t afraid to take some risks as long as his team is prepared. “Foot traffic translates to revenue,” Acho says. “So I never say no to any event, no matter how risky it may be. And that's the difference between education and training, I set conditions in place to address the worst-case scenarios, those incidents we try to prevent. How can we get this done? And if that cause materializes, how can we keep the outcome to a minimum?”Featured Guest:👉 Name: Acho Ulu 👉 What he does: As the Director of Environmental Health & Safety at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Acho works to ensure that everyone who walks through a Westfield property remains safe, whether they’re an employee or member of the public.👉 Company: Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield👉 Key quote: “There are a lot of lessons to be learned after an incident happens. And learning those lessons requires an act of humility, looking within yourself, looking within the organization and identifying gaps and holes and taking responsibility for those gaps and holes — taking accountability for it and preventing it from happening again.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes:⚠️ Getting the public to follow safety guidelines is all about simplification. Go back to the basics of what safety requires: communication. Through the use of signage, an intercom system, safety guards and basic verbal dialogue, Acho says you can guide or influence human behavior successfully on any Westfield property. ⚠️ You can’t make changes to a safety program without considering the bottom line. The best way to get something done within a safety department is to explain the implications of an injury in terms of profitability and revenue. There’s no such thing as a safety department without financing, so remember to speak to higher-ups with financial metrics in mind. ⚠️ Invest in people rather than regulations. Acho says there's a difference between being a good safety leader and a great one: the latter are invested in the entire organization rather than just their role. That means you can’t just go in and tell people what to do and why — you need to approach employees with a genuine concern for their well-being.Resources:⛑️ Special Devices, Inc. — Acho used to work for SDI, the self-professed “Global Leader in Precision Engineered Energetic Devices,” and it’s where he learned that “safety is sacrifice.”⛑️ Mangifera indica — It was taking risks such as climbing one of these trees — which can grow to be 100 feet tall — that helped Acho realize the importance of planning ahead to avoid injury. ⛑️ Amgen — Acho was interning at this multinational biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California, when he realized it was possible to save lives for a living without becoming a doctor. Top quotes from the episode:“We have to get creative and rely on common sense here. What are some of these hazards that can be eradicated to ensure the health and safety of members of the public? And that's where cross functional collaboration comes in — spending a lot of time with your other functions such as design, architecture, construction and looking at trends as well.”“Our brand recognition is everything. The last thing you would want to happen is have a member of the public injured at one of our destinations. So therefore, safety is held highly.”“It's not so much about the outcome. It's about the causation. Because a single cause can have a variety of outcomes, and that outcome might be a fatality, it might be a first aid — but you cannot always predict outcomes. However, you can prevent causation from happening.” “An evolved culture does not wait for things that happen. It works hard to prevent things from happening.”

May 14

34 min 7 sec

As a volunteer firefighter for 13 years, Tyler Keys witnessed two ends of the safety spectrum. He saw people’s worst moments — when safety precautions were not taken — resulting in horrible, sometimes dire, consequences. But he also witnessed the heroic impact of safety, proper protocols and communication, which led him down his career path in safety.Tyler now serves as the Director of Environmental, Health and Safety at Hollman, Inc., the leading innovator in locker design and solutions. On this episode of the No Accident podcast presented by TRUCE, Tyler discusses the value of communication and being disruptive.“Innovation is one of our core values as a company,” Tyler says. “Everybody — from the person that works at the front desk to the person that works on the shipping dock — is thinking of an innovative way to make the business better. Having that mindset has really helped on the safety side because, if we run into an issue, I've got people that are used to thinking outside the box.”It is this disruptive, innovative frame of mind that keeps the safety industry constantly improving and updating. Tyler also credits his emphasis on communication for Hollman’s successful zero injuries and zero release rate. “The more you open that line of communication, that dialogue, and getting people engaged, where they feel comfortable, that's when I know that we're being successful because the workforce is engaged,” Tyler says. “They're not afraid to speak up. They know that things will get fixed, and their ideas will be heard. It brings a lot of value to the company.”Over the course of his diverse and lengthy career in the industry, Tyler has seen more business leaders lean into the value of safety. It is no longer a mandatory nuisance. Rather, safety positively impacts business, saving money and motivating expertly trained employees on the job.Featured Guest👉 Name: Tyler Keys 👉 What he does: As the Director of Environmental, Health and Safety at Hollman, Inc., the leading innovator in locker design and solutions, Tyler uses communication to drive a safety culture of zero injuries and zero releases.👉 Company: Hollman, Inc.👉 Key quote: “Communication, to me, is the key to success. Because if people aren't willing to communicate with you, you're never going to know everything that is going on.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ Employees are an investment. Strong safety policies are cost-effective because they keep people safe and working. After all, businesses spend time and money training and educating employees with job-specific knowledge. Having stringent protocols in place makes the workplace safer for employees, ensuring they go home the same way they came in. ⚠️ Being disruptively innovative is beneficial. This frame of mind keeps the safety industry constantly improving and updating. Employees should be encouraged to think outside of the box to solve problems and procure solutions. ⚠️ Communication is the key to success. Unless employees feel they can openly communicate with their superiors, they will be afraid to speak up when problems occur. Open lines of communication encourage honesty, engagement and confidence at work. Resources⛑️ Hollman, Inc. — Check out the industry leader in locker design and solutions. The company has manufactured more than 10 million lockers for high-profile organizations like the NBA and NFL.⛑️ OSHA — Keep up to date on all the latest safety regulations and trainings from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). ⛑️ Green Business Bureau — Find other certified green businesses that have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability. ⛑️ IScout — This easy-to-use safety management software is a great tool for streamlining productivity and accountability.  Top quotes from the episode:“A lot of business leaders are starting to realize that their employees are an investment. They spend all this time training them and giving them this job-specific knowledge, especially in the more complex roles. They can't just replace them if they get hurt, especially if it's a serious injury. That takes a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of effort to replace that one person.”“[Business leaders] are starting to see the long-term value of how safety can positively impact their business by keeping their trained expertise people on the job and keeping them healthy and keeping their systems running.” “Innovation is one of our core values as a company. Everybody — from the person that works at the front desk to the person that works on the shipping dock — is thinking of an innovative way of things we can do to make the business better. Having that mindset has really helped on the safety side because if we run into an issue, I've got people that are used to thinking outside the box.”“Communication, to me, is the key to success. Because if people aren't willing to communicate with you, you're never going to know everything that is going on.”“The more you open that line of communication, that dialogue, and getting people engaged, where they feel comfortable, that's when I know that we're being successful because the workforce is engaged. They're not afraid to speak up. They know that things will get fixed, and their ideas will be heard. It brings a lot of value to the company.”“Safety is not something that you just do when you clock in. Safety is something that you have to do around the clock.”

Apr 29

31 min 5 sec

Safety isn’t just a job to Jack Frost; it’s a commitment. In 1998, just a short time after Jack had become a safety officer at a shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi, he witnessed the horrific death of a fellow employee. It is a moment in time that has stuck with him forever.“I made a commitment to myself. I couldn't save him, but moving forward, I would do everything I can to save the next person,” Jack shares on this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE.Having witnessed first-hand the immeasurable cost of failed safety measures, Jack dedicated his life to ensuring no one else would lose their life while working at his company. He has become a trailblazer in building and leading strategic health, safety, environmental and quality programs that get to the heart of business priorities — people, profits and performance excellence. Those priorities are interconnected. When an incident occurs, companies lose time and productivity when they conduct investigations, which leads to a loss of revenue. They also lose reputability. They suffer what he calls the “death of a thousand cuts” as these disparate elements collate and create significant losses in efficiency, productivity, financial and reputation. Therefore, companies should aim to set exceptional safety mandates. Those need to come from the top.“If you set your [safety] standard high, you're going to reach measures you never thought you could. So setting that expectation, having that right attitude at the top, being consistent, and following up are critical elements to safety excellence.”Though people and their safety are his core focus, Jack also recognizes the tethered bond between safety and financial success for a business, which can only be perpetuated by those in leadership roles.  Featured Guest👉 Name: Jack Frost👉 What he does: As Vice President of Environment Health Safety at Heico Construction Group, Jack improves plans for establishing the "why," "where" and "how" that bring ideas to successful execution with broad support across the organization.👉 Company: Heico Construction Group👉 Key quote: “People are fallible. They're going to make mistakes. And I think understanding those human performance principles is a critical element of improving safety.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ Hierarchy of controls take human mistakes into account. They use numerous layers of safety to ensure the protection of employees while understanding mistakes happen and having a plan every step of the way.⚠️ Safety has a positive impact on the bottom line. Rather than halting production and processes for a safety investigation, losing time and money, safety controls help eliminate costs through prevention.⚠️ Set high safety standards. When you set certain standards, you get what you ask for. High standards allow companies to reach new measures of excellence.Resources⛑️ Heico Construction Group — This group operates business units across three key segments: commercial construction solutions, industrial construction solutions and construction equipment.⛑️ National Safety Council — Each year the National Safety Council presents the “CEOs Who ‘Get It’” award.  Top quotes from the episode:“There are two parts to safety. It’s about leadership driving it and having consistency.”“So how is it that one company has superior numbers and another company is struggling significantly? It all starts with leadership. You can have the best programs in place. You can have the best processes in place, but if you don't have the leadership commitment driving it at the very top, then it’s simply not going to happen.”“One of my passions is [dismantling] hierarchy controls...When we use that approach, we're depending on one person to make the right decision every single time. And that's just not realistic.  Understanding human performance principles is a critical element of improving safety.”“The hierarchy of controls is the process of having stronger controls to prevent incidents from occurring.”“In the safety field, we haven't done a great job as far as tethering safety and financials. In the past, I felt they were mutually exclusive. You'd talk about safety, but not the financial aspect of it. I think they should be married together because safety does have a direct financial impact.”“If you set your standard low, guess what? You get what you asked for.”“Several things encapsulate changing culture — the way we think about things, continuous improvement, and moving to a higher standard.”

Apr 15

35 min 13 sec

Grantt Bedford always has some sort of plan. After serving in the first Gulf War, he made a five-year plan: get a job, get a bachelor’s degree, work for a major oil company and become a manager. He accomplished each point and did so while breaking company records.Just like in safety, being proactive rather than reactive yields desired results. So it’s fair to say, Grantt was destined for a job in safety before he even had it. “There isn't any other safety than being proactive because you have to be able to look at what you're currently doing and be proactive in stopping something from happening,” Grantt says on this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE.Knowing the value of proactivity is something that has proven its value time and again in Grantt’s professional life as the Director of Safety, Environment and Quality for the United States at Eni. Eni is an integrated energy company dedicated to achieving the total decarbonization of products and processes by 2050.Being the large company that it is and one with a higher risk of employee deaths, safety is an invaluable piece of Eni’s operation. “We have the luxury of being able to spend the money we need to spend to ensure that we do safety right. And I think for us, even if we weren't heavily regulated, we would do it just because it makes great business sense to do it,” Grantt says.For a large oil company like Eni, an investment in safety is vital. As Grantt says, “Promoting it and making sure that they're spending the money they need to for safety, that is definitely making more business sense for them.”Featured Guest👉 Name: Grantt Bedford 👉 What he does: As the Director of Safety, Environment and Quality for the United States at Eni, Grantt oversees a team of 45 people in the Gulf of Mexico, Texas and Alaska. He has facilitated a safety culture transformation from reactive to proactive safety by influencing key stakeholders.👉 Company: Eni👉 Key quote: “There isn't any other safety than being proactive because you have to be able to look at what you're currently doing and be proactive in stopping something from happening.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ Safety and business go hand-in-hand. Safety is no different from any other business practices required for the success and mobility of a company. ⚠️ Investing in safety is an investment for the company. It makes good business sense to invest in safety. The lack of safety, Grantt points out, can cost a business time, money and market value. ⚠️ Push safety for the greater good of employees even if they initially push back. Employees are accustomed to performing functions the way they’ve always done them — meaning new safety practices might lead to some pushback or negativity. It is important for them that the safety protocols are met, and most will have a light bulb moment when they realize the value of the new practices. Resources⛑️ Eni’s Mission — Eni’s mission and benchmark for all activities is based on the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).⛑️ Osha — Keep up to date on all the latest safety regulations and trainings from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). ⛑️ CIO Review — A leading technology magazine guiding companies through the always changing business environment with information on solutions and services.Top quotes from the episode:“What I like about safety and health is that ‘light bulb moment,’ I call it, when you have a conversation with a person that's been in industry and they've always done it the same way. And you talk to them about safety and why it's important and they have that light bulb come on, [like] ‘Oh! So that's why I should do this the way that you're asking me to do it.’”“We have the luxury of being able to spend the money we need to spend to ensure that we do safety right. And I think for us, even if we weren't heavily regulated, we would do it just because it makes great business sense to do it.”“There isn't any other safety than being proactive because you have to be able to look at what you're currently doing and be proactive in stopping something from happening.”“Talking to industry leaders, they understand that ensuring that safety is being followed is actually saving them money in the long run. And by promoting it and making sure that they're spending the money they need to for safety, that is definitely making more business sense for them.”

Apr 1

29 min 39 sec

Few 18-year-olds know what an industrial hygienist is. So it makes sense why Jeremy Sawyer didn’t consider that major during his first year of college. After realizing physical therapy wasn't for him, he spoke to a counselor who opened his eyes.“I said … ‘The curriculum is really what I'm interested in — math and science — but I also want to be able to help folks,’” he recalls on this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. “She pointed me in the direction of industrial hygiene.”After working as an industrial hygienist for six years, Jeremy became a health and safety supervisor at a chemical company, which led him down a more safety-oriented path. Now, he’s Deputy Director of Environment, Safety and Health at California-based SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory.Regardless of whether a workplace is more science-driven than profit-driven — like a lab — Jeremy said it’s still crucial to maintain a successful safety program. His approach to avoiding incidents is to first gain buy-in from the C-suite, which he does without focusing on the cost of injuries. “When you're talking with leaders, you want to ensure that they understand that our most important resource and the reason that we are able to be successful is our folks in the field,” he says. “We need to make sure that they have the tools … because if sites get shut down for whatever reason, then they're not making money.”On this episode of No Accident, Jeremy also discusses the importance of not policing employees and showing that you genuinely care about their well-being. “I think failure in our line of work can be absolutely catastrophic. Not in a financial sense, but in a people sense. We want to make sure that failures don't result in people getting hurt.” Featured Guest👉 Name: Jeremy Sawyer 👉 What he does: As Deputy Director of Environment, Safety and Health at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, Jeremy uses his background as an industrial hygienist to maintain a people-first, money-second approach to safety. 👉 Company: SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory👉 Key quote: “I think that is one of the most important facets of a health and safety program — it's a learning organization. Not everything all the time is going to be perfect. And so you take the opportunity to learn when those opportunities are presented to you.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ Don’t overlook the hard work. Jeremy emphasizes the hard work that goes into making a facility like SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory a safe working environment. He says to never take for granted the hard work that got you to where you are or you’ll risk not being to sustain your success.⚠️ You can’t have a successful safety program unless management is on board. Jeremy said the most important first step to implementing a safety program is to explain the importance of safety to upper management in a way that’s not just focused on the numbers (i.e., what a certain type of injury or even fatality costs the company). Rather, it should be focused on people — the employees in the field. ⚠️ Don’t parachute into a worksite and police employees. One of the biggest misconceptions Jeremy has seen throughout his career is that health and safety departments exist to get workers in trouble. That’s why he finds it particularly important when traveling to sites he doesn’t frequent often to lean on the people who are there every day. He makes sure any safety messaging directed to employees after or during the visit is coming from those onsite leaders who the employees already trust. ⚠️ All safety messaging must come from a place of compassion. To make employees work safer, listen to their concerns and then show that you care about their perspectives and well-being. Taking the time to deeply understand the particular needs and concerns of the individuals at every site increases the likelihood of buy-in from employees. Resources⛑️ Daniels College of Business — Learn about the cohort program from which Jeremy received his Master of Business Administration at the University of Denver.⛑️ Occupational Health Science degree — Explore the program (under a new name) that Jeremy attended as an undergraduate at Purdue University. ⛑️ Who are OEHS Professionals? — Read the American Industrial Hygiene Association’s definition of industrial hygienist (which they also call “OEHS professionals”).Top quotes from the episode:“It all comes down to people and relating to people and that's the most important thing that I've come to realize over my career. Being able to listen and speak with people is really important because if they don't feel like you care about their point of view or that you care about their well-being, then things will tend to go south.”“We want to make sure that we understand what's going on before they lead to numbers like days away rates or total recordable rates or what have you. We try to look at safety observations we have in our construction group, we have a great way of tracking safety observations and seeing trends there, and really, it's a lot of making sure that I hear what's going on in different directorates.”“Trying to bring folks into the fold of a successful health and safety program is really incumbent upon getting the message across that this is good for everybody. And so if you're not going to be on board, then something needs to change. … You really elevate it until you get the end result that needs to be implemented in the field.”“The misconception that I faced when I was younger and still face today is that we are there to be a policeman or a cop or to stop work. If anything is out of balance or if anything is wrong, then it's somebody's fault. Or that when we investigate an accident, it's to assign fault. It all comes back to kind of the same thing where some folks perceive us as us against them. And that is certainly not the position that I've taken in my career.”“Failure in our line of work can be absolutely catastrophic. Not in a financial sense, but in a people sense. We want to make sure that failures don't result in people getting hurt. So that is a big motivation for teams across any organization — ensuring success in a program means not having failures like that. And also success means that when there is an incident or an accident, that you learn from those.”

Mar 18

31 min

Matt Hare originally studied to become a firefighter before taking a job at Hit Promotional Products — a training he believes has greatly aided him in his role as Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety.On this episode of the No Accident podcast presented by TRUCE, Matt breaks down the value and necessity of safety in the workplace for both employees and the company’s profitability. “People honestly want to see a vendor that is protecting their workforce, providing a clean and safe environment for their people and so on and so forth,” May says. “It is a true sales advantage for us because we dedicate a lot of time and resources to making sure our employees are happy at work and that they go home to their families the same way they come in.”  According to Matt, safety is an invaluable asset, proving a company’s competency and ability to push out a good product while protecting its own employees. Instilling top-notch safety programs can also yield long-term gains for the company in paying lower premiums and workers’ compensation.“If you can institute programs that are beneficial to your organization,” Matt says, “you have to let those programs really develop into something and work out the kinks before you get a long run of success.”In addition to ensuring the safety of Hit’s employees, Matt also discusses the importance of seeing the total business of Hit - not just the safety aspect. “I was actually sitting with my dad one night and he was like, ‘It's great to have all these safety degrees, but if you don't know and understand how the business is going to operate, you really don't know how you're going to impact it,’” Matt says.So, he got a business degree to better understand how certain components of the business, like returns and investments, can impact the company overall. With Hit ranked among the top 5 commercial printing suppliers in the nation and creating items for so many Fortune 500 companies, it is clear that safety and sustainability are keys to success. Featured Guest👉 Name: Matt Hare👉 What he does: As Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety at Hit Promotional Products, Matt handles all of the company’s domestic facilities’ response to OSHA, EPA and local, state and federal governing bodies, as well as workers’ compensation.👉 Company: Hit Promotional Products👉 Key quote: “We need to make sure that we're protecting the most valuable asset and that's not products or machines — it's people. And that entire philosophy changed how we look at things today and how we move our company forward and how we strategize equipment moves, product moves, warehouse moves and acquisitions.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ Give your safety plan time to develop. Depending on the organization’s size and/or its  industry, safety programs can take a few years before they start yielding results and monetary gain.⚠️ Clients want companies invested in social accountability and their employees’ safety. It is a true sales advantage for a company to protect its workforce and demonstrate a passion for safety. ⚠️ Look at the company’s big picture. Understanding how the daily operations work on the minute level will not only help a company protect itself and its employees but also reduce risk.Resources⛑️ Hit Promotional Products — A leader in the Promotional Products Industry for over 50 years and ranked among the top 5 suppliers in the nation.⛑️ Sustainability Efforts: Reducing Our Impact — Whether it’s wastewater filtration, reduction in VOC and HAPS or electric usage, check out Hit’s sustainability efforts for ideas and partnerships to pursue. ⛑️ NuCycle Energy — Sustainable solutions for commercial and industrial businesses to reduce waste and avoid landfills.⛑️ Green Business Bureau — Find other certified green businesses who have demonstrated a commitment to sustainability. Top quotes from the episode:“If you can institute programs that are beneficial to your organization, whether they're workers' compensation return programs or they’re safety programs focused on making sure employees are not injured at work, you have to let those programs really develop into something and work out the kinks before you get a long run of success.”“You have to make sure that you keep the [safety] programs in place and that you don't give up on them on year one or two, but allow them to build and develop into themselves between years three, four and possibly five, depending on how big your organization is or what type of industry you're in.”“For us, in our industry, people like seeing companies that are dedicated to social accountability and safety being part of that category. So for us, it was, ‘Let's go after getting all these social compliance audits out of the way and showing people that we can pass them with flying colors.’ And that brought in more business. Then we were able to go after and get the Disney, get the Nestle, the Pepsi's and the Coke's as customers for us.”“All of our manufacturing waste and waste developed throughout any of our facilities is now sent to what’s called a clean cycle creator. And what they do is they take our waste; they shred it all up and then they make what's called fuel cubes. And it is being used across the U.S. as a clean burning alternative to fossil fuels.”“When I started health and safety, it was my way or the highway. [Now] it’s, ‘Alright, how do we protect our employees by getting to the end goal, which is manufacturing a good or moving a pallet from point A to point B?’ So I think understanding how the company works in total will help you protect it, will help you reduce any type of risk, and then, essentially, remove it as you grow into your knowledge.”“We need to make sure that we're protecting the most valuable asset and that's not products or machines — it's people. And that entire philosophy changed how we look at things today and how we move our company forward and how we strategize equipment moves, product moves, warehouse moves, and acquisitions.”“People honestly want to see a vendor that is protecting their workforce, providing a clean and safe environment for their people. It is a true sales advantage for us because we dedicate a lot of time and resources to making sure our employees are happy at work and that they go home to their families the same way they come in.” “I was actually sitting with my dad one night and he was like, ‘It's great to have all these safety degrees, but if you don't know and understand how the business is going to operate, you really don't know how you're going to impact it.’ And so I picked up a business degree just to help me understand what our ownership is looking at. It's one thing to know what safety is going on, but if you don't understand P and L's and returns and investments...you really don't know how you're going to impact it.”

Mar 4

30 min 54 sec

When Lauren Mayfield graduated college with an urban planning degree, she had the intention of helping people through science, technology and ingenuity. A few decades later and Lauren is doing just that as Senior Vice President of Safety & Health and Loss Prevention for State Compensation Insurance Fund. “I love the job,” Lauren says. “It married my love of science and technology with the ability to work with people and help impact and make a difference.”On this episode of the No Accident podcast presented by TRUCE, Lauren Mayfield talks about her work at the State Compensation Insurance Fund and the value of proper safety protocols. The company’s mission is to help make workplaces safer, not only for the sake of employees but for its clients’ optimum profitability as well. “We sit down with employers and talk about ways in which we can help to make not only their place safer but more profitable and more attractive from a standpoint of employment,” Lauren says about the company’s work.At the end of the day, Lauren and the rest of the company want to see businesses and the state of California do well. Many of the State Compensation Insurance Fund’s resources are available online to anyone, not just policyholders. The company wants to see small businesses thrive in the state of California. To them, an investment in safety is an investment in good business. Throughout the episode, Lauren also discusses why communication - simple, straight forward, and clear communication - is key, because if her teams don’t fully understand what is important to business owners, then behavior can’t change.“One of the habits I've been trying to break - and I think my staff has been doing a great job - is we're not talking to ourselves, we're talking to business owners,” Lauren says. “We've got to be understood. Communication is key. If we're not understood, then the behaviors can't change.”Featured Guest👉 Name: Lauren Mayfield 👉 What she does: Lauren Mayfield is the Senior Vice President of Safety & Health and Loss Prevention for State Compensation Insurance Fund, the leading carrier for workers’ compensation insurance in California.👉 Company: State Compensation Insurance Fund👉 Key quote: “Diversity in thinking is extremely important. Being able to look at the big picture and not in a siloed manner helps everyone when they're facing occupational safety and health issues.”👉 Where to find her: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ An investment in safety is an investment in business. Strong safety policies positively reflect the nature of the company. Working with stringent protocols not only makes the workplace safer but also more profitable and more attractive from an employment standpoint.  ⚠️ Take advantage of workers’ compensation. Workers' comp has a variety of resources, which business owners might not know about. Owners should ask their workers’ comp insurance company for assistance to help make workplaces safe.⚠️ Employees are a company’s best resource when it comes to safety. The most successful safety programs are a true collaboration between management and employees. This ensures everyone is accountable and establishes a positive safety culture.Resources⛑️ State Compensation Insurance Fund — Many of the company’s resources available to the general public, not just policyholders.⛑️ Safe at Work California — A safety-only, one-stop-shop for the company’s policyholders and any business looking for help in daily safety management.⛑️ Division of Workers’ Compensation Homepage — The official website for the state of California’s Department of Industrial Relations has everything you need about statewide workers’ compensation information. Top quotes from the episode:“We're insuring the mom and pops, the startups, the brand new folks who are just getting into business and may not understand the wealth of regulations, both occupational safety and health, and otherwise that they need to comply with. So what we aim to do is to make it simple for them to understand how to create a positive safety culture.”“It really behooves businesses to look at their ability to control claims in order to help control their costs. And you know, that is the bottom line and is certainly going to be helpful for businesses to be more profitable, to have a better reputation in the community, to be an employer of choice. Experienced modifications really can be a barometer of the success of that.” “We sit down with employers and talk about ways in which we can help to make not only their place safer but more profitable and more attractive from a standpoint of employment.”“Your employees are your best resource with regard to safety. If you listen to them and involve them in your safety program, you are really on your way. We have found that most successful safety programs are a collaboration between management and employee. And once the employee understands how important safety is and that they're being held accountable as well, it really goes a long way to starting that positive safety culture.”“Many employers don't understand that, ‘Hey, workers' comp has a variety of resources available to me.’ They don't go and seek those out. They might not know. And so I would certainly invite any business owner to tap their workers’ comp insurance company for assistance to help make workplaces safe. We're not just about paying the claims and processing the premiums. We also are about helping employers.”“One of the habits I've been trying to break - and I think my staff has been doing a great job - is we're not talking to ourselves, we're talking to business owners. They don't have a degree in occupational safety and health or industrial hygiene or ergonomics, and that's not any fault of their own. We don't expect them to...and likewise, if they were to talk to us about their processes, we aren't an expert in their business. If they start to speak in that language, we might not understand either. So we've got to be understood. Communication is key. If we're not understood, then the behaviors can't change.”

Feb 18

36 min 9 sec

Shawn Mandel’s passion for safety began as a hospital corpsman — aka an enlisted medical specialist — in the U.S. Navy, when the health and safety of the Marines he worked alongside was his responsibility.“It parlayed well into the environmental health and safety field,” he said on this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. “I started out as a district environmental health and safety manager for BFI [Browning Ferris Industries] and progressively worked my way through that organization.”For the past nine years, Shawn has served as the Vice President of Safety and Risk at The Woodlands, Texas-based Waste Connections Inc. The company approaches safety based on the philosophy of servant leadership, in which leaders ensure their employees’ highest priority needs are being served. Shawn explains how this drives the business’s success, as well as how that success is supplemented by empowering workers, maintaining a value-based work culture, and using modern technology like the company’s event recording system.“It is our self-directed, empowered team members that have enabled us to see the success that we have from a risk and safety standpoint,” he says. “Obviously we're a for-profit company publicly traded, but at the same time, those values drive our business. And it's those values that drive our business that have enabled us to see the success that we have for the past 25 years.” Those values are so ingrained in the company culture, he added, that he doesn’t even have to use the word “safety” that often — his entire team knows that’s what he’s referring to when he says “first value.”“We've got this internal language that only we understand,” Shawn says. “When you ask anyone in the Waste Connections organization about the first value, they know that you're talking about safety. And you're talking about their safety. You're talking about their coworkers’ safety.”Featured Guest👉 Name: Shawn Mandel 👉 What he does: As Vice President of Safety and Risk at Waste Connections Inc., Shawn uses his background in the military to serve his fellow employees via a servant leadership approach. 👉 Company: Waste Connections Inc.👉 Key quote: “Self-directed, empowered employees make the right decisions.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedIn Safe Takes⚠️ If your safety training focuses on empowering employees, they’ll be safer. Shawn believes in a safety training method called the Safe Conversations model. It encourages leaders to face uncomfortable conversations by putting themselves in the shoes of an employee and approaching that talk with the intention to affect behavioral change via empowerment. ⚠️ Make sure your leaders are on the same page as other employees. Shawn’s company allows all of its frontline workers to anonymously evaluate leaders once a year. This helps to show that they care about the same core values — and safety is always at the top. ⚠️ Without a good company culture, there’s little motivation to be safe. According to Shawn, if you have a strong value-based culture, your turnover rate/longevity of team members will be better. They’ll feel like you care about them, so they’ll be safer. Resources⛑️ Smith System — The driving training that Waste Connections Inc. uses.⛑️ Servant Leadership — A history of the term and deep dive into what it really means to practice this method that Waste Connections Inc. uses.⛑️ Slow Down to Get Around — The campaign that Waste Connections Inc. partnered with National Waste & Recycling Association on to remind “motorists to drive more carefully when near waste and recycling collection vehicles.”Top quotes from the episode:“The incredible people [of the waste industry], the work ethic, the camaraderie — it is something that almost becomes a part of your DNA and who you are.”“Our people will meet the expectations of their leaders and if their leaders’ values are that of safety, their people will follow that. If we go out and we say to them, ‘... We need you in by three o'clock,’ that's sending the wrong message and you just won't hear that from a Waste Connections leader. Instead, you might say, ‘Listen, we need you to ensure that you come back the same way that you leave each and every day, because you mean something to us.’”“We don't talk about safety as a priority. It truly is a value, and we only have five. The first of which is safety. And all of our values are built upon this foundation of servant leadership.”“You really can't create a great place to work if people are concerned about not being able to go home the same way they came to work. … That's probably the biggest difference between us and some of our competitors out there. It's the importance that we place on those values and the vision and our culture.”“It really goes back to that servant-leadership approach and making good things happen for other people. That's our job, our responsibility, and who better than those people that we're charged to lead — who better to make good things happen for?”“I know our culture is the secret sauce [to our financial success]. We'd just completed 2020, another record year in probably one of the most difficult of situations. And it all goes back to the culture of our organization. When you take care of people and, you empower them to take care of the business. Good things happen.”

Feb 4

31 min 12 sec

Damian Alvarez got into construction as a 14-year-old who just needed to make some cash. He took an under-the-table job to pay for summer school, but after several months of putting new shingles on roofs, he’d found a lifelong love for working with his hands. Fast forward several years into his time at the University of Texas at El Paso: Damian and his longtime girlfriend got married and decided to leave El Paso and move to Atlanta. He got a labor job with MA&O Construction, where he climbed the ranks after the owner noticed he was bilingual. “We were a subcontractor, so we had contracts with very big companies and they started to ramp up their safety and what they were expecting of their subcontractors,” Damian says on this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. “He said ‘Hey, you went to school — would you like to go back and learn about safety?’ And I said sure.”He became the company’s safety director and never looked back. Currently, Damian is Environmental Health & Safety Director at Jordan Foster Construction LLC, and on this episode, he discusses how his position requires him to work closely with everyone from the executive team to the employees in the field to facilitate an engaging safety program with buy-in on all fronts. By focusing less on compliance and policing his employees and more on mentoring them on why it’s important to be safe, Damian is able to get everyone on board. This in turn helps business because if a construction group doesn’t have a good safety record, it won’t get more work.“We're changing more into a coach. Like we’re talking about …  ‘OK, why did you do this? Let's see how we can do it better,’” Damian says. “A great safety leader is that they’re a leader. That person is building other leaders. … I tell my team, ‘I want you guys to be better than I am.’”Featured Guest👉 Name: Damian Alvarez👉 What he does: As Environmental Health and Safety Director at Jordan Foster Construction LLC, Damian uses his background in construction to facilitate an engaging safety program that’s not just focused on compliance. 👉 Company: Jordan Foster Construction LLC👉 Key quote: “It's not always just about safety. It’s how can we improve and how, if we could have mitigated an issue before something happened, … not only would somebody not have gotten hurt, but we're actually saving this amount.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedIn Safe Takes⚠️ Make safety a priority by engaging your employees. Damian says he gets team members to buy in by talking to them effectively — and a big part of that is not focusing every training around compliance. Instead, he focuses on the everyday importance of safety and what can happen when fellow team members aren’t being safe. ⚠️ Work with the C-suite to gain their support. Damian says everyone from the executive team to the field teams buy in at his company, which is largely because his team has created a culture around safety that’s more like a journey, bringing new people along for the ride. ⚠️ Safety is about more than mitigating risk — it’s about mental health. Damian argues that construction workers are often viewed as tough, strong men who we don’t have to worry about. But the reality is that their jobs are stressful, and facilitating a mentally healthy work environment makes for a safer work environment. Resources⛑️  LivingWorks ASIST — The Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) course that Damian’s entire safety team has taken.⛑️ Guts, Grit & The Grind: A MENtal Mechanics MANual: Basic Mechanics — The book that Sally Spencer-Thomas, the writer Damian is working with, is known for. Top quotes from the episode:“We're looking at everything as a whole. We're working together [the safety and risk department] to see how anything is going to affect us and then how we can mitigate it.” “I think a lot of safety guys get stuck on compliance. … Compliance is good, but I think to the average worker, to the average team member, they don't know the CFR, they don't know the ANSI codes. They just want to work. They just want to do their job. And most of them want to do it safely. So how we try to do it is we’ve got to get the buy-in.” “I think a lot of times people get stuck in just training about safety — just safety, safety, safety — but you have to learn how to talk to them. You have to be engaging to the people you're trying to reach. … If you're just about compliance, I don't think that buy-in is there.”“If we don't have a good safety record, we might not get any more work or get to do certain jobs. … So us all working together, all our levels of leadership from the top all the way to the field, that's where I think a lot of people don't see that their leadership is there, too. So all of those aspects working together is impacting our safety record in a good way. And we can see the downward trend. “Most people say they don't like change. ‘I don't like change, I don't want to change this, I don't want to change that.’ That's the way we've been doing it, but most people truly do like change. It's just the why they want to change. And too many times we focus on the what … what they're doing, but let's change. Let's get them to buy into the why they need to change and how it's going to affect them.”“That's one of our other initiatives that I think gets overlooked a lot in our industry — the mental well-being of everybody in construction. Especially because construction workers look like big burly, guys building things, so [we think] they're OK. But a lot of times, these guys spend a lot of time away from home — they travel a lot and they don't see their family a lot. And the stress of the job is sometimes kind of hard.”

Jan 21

27 min 21 sec

Keith Robinson’s 30-year career in safety started with a direct command from his captain in the Navy.“When I was a young officer in the Navy, the captain I served under came to me and said, ‘We need you to be the assistant safety officer on this nuclear-powered aircraft carrier,’” Keith says. “The Navy puts you where they need you versus where you want to be. I had no experience with it, but I spent my final two years in the Navy and on my ship as the assistant safety officer, got a lot of experience, and discovered a passion for the job.”Once he was done serving, that passion didn’t go away. Keith took safety job after safety job, starting at Four Seasons Environmental Services. He bounced around for the next couple of decades until six years ago, when he left Stantec for his current job as Vice President of Safety at Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.On this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE, Keith discusses how making a personal connection with the employee, providing the personal touch, is ultimately what helps to motivate safe behavior, because ultimately it’s up to the individual to make the right decisions.. He also shares how to speak the C-suite’s language — that is, talk in terms of metrics that they care about, such as productivity and profitability.Keith also discusses how and why an injury negatively affects business, noting that it “impacts the company's ability to produce whatever product it is or whatever service it is in the long run.”He points out that when somebody gets injured, it’s important to remember that “they didn't do it on purpose. They may have been careless about it, but they did not intend to get hurt. That's not the result that they wanted. So we need to really make sure that as leaders, we are approaching people with that same perspective.”Featured Guest👉 Name: Keith Robinson👉 What he does: As Vice President of Safety at Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc., Keith interfaces with both those he oversees and the C-suite to ensure he’s cultivating an interest in (and dedication to) safety across the board. 👉 Company: Civil & Environmental Consultants, Inc.👉 Key quote: “To me, even if my job is considered technical by some, I'm a salesman. My job is to sell people on the concept of working safe.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedIn Safe Takes⚠️ Think of your job from a sales perspective. Your goal as a safety leader is to sell people on why they should work safely based on what’s important to them — not to force or guilt people into following safety rules. ⚠️ Take an interest in your work and that of your employees. Taking an active interest — specifically in an unforced and unscripted way — in the safety elements associated with your subordinates’ work will help them realize the importance of safety because it’s what’s important to their boss. ⚠️ Make a personal connection. Engage your employees and make a personal connection so you can better understand what motivates them. It’s all about that personal touch and explaining why you want everyone to work safely. As Keith says, you could be the smartest, most technically based safety person, but unless you can make a personal connection to people, you may not get the results that you want.⚠️ Explain safety in a way the C-suite will understand. Speak the language of executives to communicate more effectively with them. For example, raise topics by focusing on metrics such as productivity and profitability.Resources⛑️ Typical Naval ship organization — This Federation of American Scientists module explains ranks on naval ships and what each department — including safety, the one Keith was in charge of — do.Top quotes from the episode:“For us to be safe, we have to balance the challenge of making sure that everybody has the training, has the equipment, has the experience, has the knowledge — as well as having the time to provide those services to the clients.”“If they don't know what they don't know, and they don't take the time to find out, an employee could get hurt. And employees — even more so in the smaller companies — are their greatest natural resource, and so if you have an employee that's hurt, that means that they may not be able to provide the service or do the work that they're supposed to do.”“Really take an interest in it. Ask questions. ‘You guys have all the safety equipment you need on the job out there?’ ‘Do we need to provide more training?’ … Doing those types of things on an ongoing regular basis is going to demonstrate to those employees that work for them that ‘Wow, this is something that's important to that supervisor, that boss, so I'm going to take a more active role in making sure I can answer those questions the right way.’”

Jan 7

35 min 30 sec

Cole Wadsworth is a cowboy and rodeo competitor who never thought he’d work outside the agriculture field. With degrees in agricultural science and animal science, his plan was always to teach agriculture — until his wife applied for a compliance job at Ben E. Keith, a food and beverage distributor, on his behalf. “I had no idea. She just used my consultant references and some friends of ours that let them know what I did,” Cole says in this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. “ I thought Ben E. Keith was somebody who wanted me to ride a horse for him. I'm not even kidding. So I went up there and interviewed … and it paid a heck of a lot more than the ag teaching job I was about to take.”While he was working his way through school at Texas A&M University, Cole’s friend taught him auditing as a side hustle. Civilian auditing is much different than shoeing horses — what Cole was doing before he got into compliance — but it helped prepare him for his work at Ben E. Keith, where he was responsible for over 180 drivers and 190 trucks.Because his dad was a commercial vehicle enforcement officer, Cole also knew the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations like the back of his hand. But he still had plenty to learn before he got to his current position as Vice President of Health Safety Environment at Smart Chemical Solutions.In this episode, Cole discusses the importance of testing new safety technology, how a good safety program helps retain employees and why his approach to safety is to work alongside those in the field to gain their input rather than utilizing a “gotcha” mentality.“If there are too many flaws at a field level, then who cares about what I think?” Cole says of the safety procedures he implements. “Remember, I just sit behind a desk and I drive around and teach classes. So if it doesn't work at a field level, what's the point?”Featured Guest👉 Name: Cole Wadsworth👉 What he does: As Vice President of Health Safety Environment at Smart Chemical Solutions, Cole uses his experience in both the food sector and the oil and gas space to serve as a support function, keeping employees as safe as possible. 👉 Company: Smart Chemical Services 👉 Key quote: “Safety is rule number one here. If people don't go home in one piece, then what's the point of what we're doing?”👉 Where to find him: LinkedIn Safe Takes⚠️ Don’t look at the safety professional role as an authoritative one. Cole says it never works to think of yourself as a safety cop. He prefers to think of his job as a support function: he works alongside those in the field to make sure accidents and other potential safety issues are being prevented. ⚠️ Don’t try new safety technology or products unless you’ve proven efficacy. Cole recommends conducting an experiment of sorts with a test group and then sharing all that data with higher-ups to keep them informed, as that helps with buy-in. ⚠️ An effective safety program helps retain employees. If workers feel like they’re valued and being looked out for, you’re more likely to keep them (and attract them to your company in the first place). Resources⛑️  Rodeo 101 — Cole went to college on a rodeo scholarship. This article details the rodeo event he participated in: saddle bronc riding. ⛑️ What does a farrier do? — This is the job Cole said he had before his friend started teaching him about auditing. ⛑️ Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Regulations — These are the regulations that Cole knows like the “back of his hand” thanks to his dad.Top quotes from the episode:“As a safety professional, and as an executive or even a mid-level manager, you have to earn trust. The only way you can earn that trust is by doing what you say you're going to do. And when someone comes to you with concerns, you don't dismiss them.”“I'm just a cowboy. I don't know a whole lot about the oil and gas space. I didn't know a lot about food delivery at Ben E. Keith, but when you're out there and you're with drivers, when you're with service techs, that's when you learn as a safety professional.”“You don't want too many boxes to check, too many protocols to go through that aren’t beneficial. So you've got to find that happy balance where obviously you are safe, you are secure, you have the numbers you need to have, but you're also not doing monotonous paperwork and procedures that really aren't beneficial to anybody and do nothing but slow everything down.”“We're here to help them. We're a support function, where we're not a ‘gotcha.’ And you can't just say, ‘Gotcha’ and then go away. Even if we do find an issue, we'll stick around and work with the team and find a solution.”“If their feedback comes back to me like ‘Cole, this stuff — it's just going to create more work. It's too time-consuming’ … then we don't move forward. We just end it right there. If they come back to me and say, ‘Oh, this is great. This makes my day easier. We're definitely safer, more efficient. It's going to improve productivity,’ then we go with it. And that's our return on investment. Our return on investment from the safety standpoint is employee satisfaction and then legally, that requirements are met.”

Dec 2020

28 min 3 sec

The first thing John Goodpaster does every morning is make his bed (sometimes even when his wife is still in it). As a former commander in the U.S. Navy, he thrives off of routine and structure, and those character traits have served him well in his post-military career. John got into safety while he was running a parts distribution center in Michigan. He’d just finished his work supporting a SEAL team in Hawaii and, after a tough winter transition, was settling in when the company received an OSHA citation. He was then asked to transition into a safety position. According to John, if it weren’t for that citation, he’d likely still be on the logistics/operations side.“The hardest thing was, when you're an officer in the Navy, you expect certain things to go a certain way,” John says on this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. “In the service, they do things without having to be repeatedly told stuff. Whereas in the corporate world, sometimes you’ve got to spend more time to educate because they don't react the same way.”Lucky for John, he has a master’s degree in adult and higher education from the University of Oklahoma, which helped him find a way to engage his employees in safety trainings and other educational settings. The trick, he said, is focusing on explanations rather than commands. You have to explain the importance behind safety precautions, he said, because that’s the only way to get buy-in. Currently, John is the Director of Environmental Health and Safety at the Abilene, Texas-based company Briggs Equipment, where he’s drastically improved safety conditions.“That was really when the ‘Safety First’ program came in, about when I came in in 2017,” he says. “At that point, we were spending multiple million dollars in workers' comp injury costs. We had a lot of cases. Implementing what we have, we are right now looking at being less than a $100,000 this year. … We've [also] gone from having 50-60 accidents a year to now we're on track to be under 20.”In this episode, John discusses the importance of getting out in the field and listening to the employees doing the dangerous work to gain a new perspective on safety, and how it’s possible to make safety-first a way of life rather than just a slogan.   Featured Guest👉 Name: John Goodpaster 👉 What he does: As the Director of Environmental Health and Safety at Abilene, Texas-based Briggs Equipment, John uses his structured military background to lead award-winning safety initiatives. 👉 Company: Briggs Equipment👉 Key quote: “It’s about taking care of people. Safety is all about the person. Nobody wants somebody to be put in a situation that they get hurt, or even worse, killed. So safety's all about risk reduction so that they aren't put in that risk situation.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedIn  Safe Takes⚠️ “Safety first” can and should be more than a slogan — it should be a way of life. John says his employer believes safety is much more than a catchphrase. It’s something the higher-ups recently designated as the organization’s fifth core value “because that's the foundation of everything we do.”⚠️ Great safety leaders care about gaining perspective. Sure, you can sit in an office and calculate risks. But if you want to be effective as a safety leader, you have to get on-site and talk to those doing the dangerous work and get their input. (It also helps to get your hands dirty for more of a firsthand perspective.)⚠️ If you want employees to engage with a safety program, explain; don’t command. John says he had to switch mindsets when he went into the corporate world from the Navy because adults outside the military don’t simply follow commands. To get them to buy into a safety program, he argues, you have to explain the dangers of not following certain precautions and elaborate on why your risk-reduction tactics are effective. Resources⛑️ Operation Iraqi Freedom –– The formal name of the Iraq War, which is the operation John was pulled back into active service for when he was working in a parts distribution center.⛑️ 2020 Green Cross for Safety Award — The award for which Briggs Equipment, John’s employer, was a semifinalist this year. Top quotes from the episode:“That was the biggest transition. … You’ve got to get their buy-in. You've got to get them convinced because in the military, orders are given and people follow them. In the regular corporate world, that is not the case. … I believe it was a good thing because the better ideas come out because you have that ability to educate and discuss what needs to be done.”“When you're in the military, things are very structured. I like to have the structure and develop the structure and the backbone to everything. Probably the worst thing coming from the military was I had to learn to be more flexible.”“We have shown over and over again that investments in our safety return tenfold. … When I came in, unfortunately, Briggs had gone through some very tough times. They had four fatalities in three years, some OSHA citations. … At that point, we were spending multiple million dollars in workers' comp injury costs. ... Implementing what we have — we are right now looking at being less than a hundred thousand this year.”“That is our way of life. When we talk about ‘Safety first,’ we truly, truly mean it and believe it. That is what we live every single day. Whether you're at work or at home in your community, you live safety first.”“We were running well over $700,000 a year in automobile accidents — at fault. … This year, [we are] looking at finishing somewhere around $110,000, still too much. ... [But] we have driven down our accidents. We've gone from having 50-60 accidents a year to now — we're on track to be under 20. And again, you have less of them, [so] you have less cost of them.”“To be a great safety leader, you have to be willing to listen. You do not have all the answers — anybody that thinks they have all the answers has already failed at step one. You have to be willing to listen and explore other ideas.”

Dec 2020

30 min 27 sec

John Horne’s four-year-old daughter doesn’t understand his job, but his seven-year-old son has a better grasp on it.“He knows that his [dad’s] responsible for safety and health,” John says in this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. “And what's really cool is he tells me all the time that when he grows up, he wants to be a chemical engineer and work for Nutrien.”John serves as the Vice President of Safety and Health at Nutrien, the world’s largest provider of crop inputs and services. He originally planned to become an environmental engineer, but during his second semester at East Tennessee State University, he took a human ecology course that was part of the environmental health and safety program — and got pulled in. After graduating in 2002, he worked as a Site Leader for Hexion Specialty Chemicals and then as a Manager of Safety and eventually Director of Safety and Health at PotashCorp before it merged with Agrium to form Nutrien.After more than 14 years in the industry, John has learned how to effectively spearhead safety efforts at a major company. At Nutrien, he works hard to enforce the importance of safety, maintain a culture of care where everyone’s concerns are listened to and find a balance between quality, efficiency and safety.“Our purpose is to make sure that, in everything we do, we do it safely,” John says. “We do it with integrity, but we also do it from the lens that we want to make sure that we're doing our part to make the world a better place.”One example he discusses is Nutrien’s safety leadership coaching program in which coaches teach a course to frontline leaders focused on why it's integral to have a personal commitment to safety. “They [the coaches] go out and they spend four or five hours with those leaders, providing direct one-on-one feedback,” he says of the program. “Additionally, we also make sure that we get our senior leaders in the field visibly engaged in safety.”Featured Guest👉 Name: John Horne 👉 What he does: As the Vice President of Safety and Health at Nutrien, a Canadian fertilizer company, John is primarily responsible for looking after the safety, health and environmental performance of 27,000 workers around the globe.👉 Company: Nutrien👉 Key quote: “I think safety is making sure that every worker in Nutrien — all 27,000-plus workers — can go home to the people or the things that they care about every day.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ Without a strong safety culture, you won’t have a safe workforce. And John argues that to have that strong safety culture, discussions must revolve around the mental health of workers and involve both company leadership and the employees in the field. ⚠️ Taking short cuts with safety means taking shortcuts with quality. Efficiency is always important, but never at the expense of an employee’s well-being. A reliable plant is a safe plant, but only when you aren’t cutting corners. ⚠️ The key to a safe workplace is showing that you care. John says the center of Nutrien’s strategy is to grow a culture of care, and some ways the company does that is by being transparent, listening to employees’ concerns and following up once leaders receive feedback. Resources⛑️ 2020 Campbell Institute Symposium –– The event during which John recently gave a talk titled “Mental Health — A Silent Epidemic”⛑️ National Safety Council webinar — A mental health webinar on which John recently spoke, titled “The Employer Role: Mental Health During COVID-19"Top quotes from the episode:“We believe that the first step to keep the organization safe is to make sure that we have the right culture and that we're actively growing that culture every day.”“We also make sure that we get our senior leaders in the field visibly engaged in safety. … it’s something that we find is critically important to our success is to make sure that — at all levels of leadership — that we are visibly committed to making sure we protect safety and health and our workers go home safe every day.”“What we’ve found is when we focus on safety leadership, ultimately it's just good leadership. It impacts every area of the business from cost to productivity to quality. Just across the board when you get good at safety, there are so many other advantages that come with that.”“When we have people personally committed to making sure that we do the right things with respect to keeping people safe, ultimately it leads to the right things … when we don't take shortcuts with safety, we don't take shortcuts with quality. We're more efficient.”“We believe that probably the most important position we have in the company is our frontline leaders when it comes to safety and health. … They're the people that, at four o'clock in the morning when there's a decision to be made, the workers are taking the direction from. So if they are not fully committed, it's not a personal commitment, then that can cause some serious issues with respect to safety and health.”“First and foremost, if it's not aligned with our core value of safety, we don't do it. And so it's been something that our executive leadership has been just incredibly supportive of. Safety is part of the DNA of who we are.”“When it comes to distraction, one of the leading causes of distraction is mental health. Certainly, if there's a lot that's on people's mind, they're not able to focus. It has a big impact on our ability to work safely.”“The key is to bring in the people that do the work every day. They are the experts on how to keep people safe. So we work really hard to make sure as we create new programs or new initiatives, that we get the input from the workers that do the work because ultimately, I am not a miner.”

Nov 2020

29 min 21 sec

Working in the oil and gas industry runs in the family for Justin Overstreet. About 20 years ago, he started working for his dad’s company, where he was in charge of documentation and other rudimentary tasks like testing employees after they watched safety videos. From there, he moved on to take both operations and sales leadership positions before later returning to the safety field. Although it was an atypical path for a safety professional, Justin believes his diverse background made him even more prepared for his current role as Vice President of Safety at Wildcat Oil Tools. “I've never been worried or concerned about taking on additional roles. And I've never looked at my role in a company as ‘I'm a safety guy,’” Justin says on this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. “I've looked at it as: My job here is to enable operations or some other team to do the best that they can do. ... Whether you call me a safety professional, an account manager, an operations support manager or whatever — those things all go together.”On top of focusing on the safety of Wildcat’s employees and customers, Justin’s current role has expanded to concern quality control, which means he’s working to ensure the integrity of what Wildcat does. On this episode, he explains how these responsibilities have changed the way he looks at safety culture — and why he’s so annoyed by the term “safety-first culture.”“If your company is not a safety company like you're not going out and providing safety services or training services or whatever, safety should not be first in your company — making a profit should be first,” he says. “By [instead] saying, ‘safety always,’ what you're saying is ‘We also understand that in order for us to continue being in business, we've got to make sure that our employees and those people that we affect and touch are protected.’”Justin also discusses why it’s OK to occasionally break the rules if it means using a practical solution, why sending local safety reps into the field can be counterintuitive (when you have managers who are already supposed to oversee that), and the importance of staying out of the way and letting employees do their jobs. Featured Guest👉 Name: Justin Overstreet👉 What he does: As Vice President of Safety at the equipment and production company Wildcat Oil Tools, Justin works with operations to build, implement and maintain the company’s Quality Management System and overall safety program strategy. 👉 Company: Wildcat Oil Tools👉 Key quote: “I've never looked at my role in a company as I’m a safety guy; I have looked at it as my job here is to enable operations to do the best that they can do or to enable some other team to do the best that they can do.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedIn | Twitter Safe Takes⚠️ Safety doesn’t outweigh profit in terms of importance. They’re equals. Justin truly dislikes the term “safety-first companies” because he believes it undermines the importance of making a profit. Instead, he chooses to think of Wildcat as using a safety-always approach, meaning he teaches employees to always have safety at the top of their minds. ⚠️ When you’re trying to really hammer in certain safety lessons, don’t be repetitious for the sake of being repetitious. Justin suggests repeating what is necessary in order to get the point across, but doing so in a variety of ways so lessons are internalized rather than dreaded. ⚠️ Safety isn’t all about rules. Justin believes that a safe company is one that actively looks at every situation and actively identifies potential hazards — and mitigates those hazards regardless of policies or procedures. Resources⛑️ Safety-first culture –– This is the safety approach that Justin disagrees with.⛑️ ISO 9001 — The type of quality control certification that Justin helps Wildcat maintain. Top quotes from the episode:“My teams get comfortable enough working with me through my interactions with them that they don't really ever question what I'm asking them to do or what we're working on. But my main goal, my main focus, is always to figure out a way to enable what they're doing and stay out of their way as much as possible.”“Primarily our focus is on protecting our employees from predictable hazards, and then learning when we have things that come up.”“I always think about it as safety always. And what I mean by that is, instead of saying, ‘safety first’ — which is kind of an empty, canned phrase — by saying, ‘safety always,’ what you're saying is we believe safety is important. We believe it is just as important as making money, but we also understand we're not a safety company.”“When I can say, ‘Man, the team doesn't engage me whenever they have a safety question, they engage me when they have a question’ … that's when I know that a company is invested in not only what I'm asking to be done from a safety perspective, but they genuinely believe that I'm a partner in the company with them. And that's important to me because so often the safety person at the company is seen as the safety cop or in some sort of an adversarial role.”“It's just about figuring out how to be safe, but also being safe without respect to what a specific rule set says. Just look at what it is. If it feels safe, it probably is. If there's any hesitation or concern that it might not be safe, take a moment and figure it out before you move forward and take the necessary precautions.”

Nov 2020

27 min 13 sec

Nearly the entirety of Mike Letters’ career in safety has centered around vehicle safety. One of the biggest differences he’s made is also the simplest: slapping a sticker on company cars.“We have a decal on the side of our vehicles as well as on the rear of every vehicle that’s our no-phone decal,” Mike says on this episode of No Accident. “That is a trigger for both the driver and for the general public — we want our driver to see that sticker as the last thing they see before they get in the vehicle. We want that to be that constant reminder every single day, every time they get back in their vehicle, to put their phone away and not be distracted.”Those stickers, Mike adds, are also strategically placed on the rear of the vehicle near the company’s phone number (1-800-TERMINIX) so that anybody who observes an employee not following proper driving practices can call and report noncompliant activity. When Terminix first adopted the stickers in 2017, it received an average of 120 calls per month about aggressive driving; over time, however, its safety measures have decreased this number by roughly 50%.Mike argues that simple tools of this nature and technology like TRUCE’s mobile app are a highly effective way of preventing distractions and thus avoiding accidents. However, Mike recognizes that these tools won’t work if the employee doesn’t buy in. In fact, he “doesn’t have time” for employees who refuse to participate in safety programs and/or let go of old behaviors and habits, and he advises letting such individuals go.Mike also discusses the importance of companies creating a culture that not only values safety, but encourages employees to think of it as something they should do for the benefit of themselves and their loved ones. “What are you going to do to ensure that you sit at the dinner table that night? It's not about the safety manager, it's not about the safety team. … It's a personal responsibility,” Mike says. “If safety is all about the safety department or all about the driving, the bulletin board or a training program, then you haven't solved for safety at all. … It's about creating a passion within the culture of your company.”Featured Guest👉 Name: Mike Letters 👉 What he does: As the East Division Safety Manager at Terminix, a Memphis-based pest control company, Mike looks for ways to keep both drivers and the general public safe. 👉 Company: Terminix👉 Key quote: “Everybody wants to make safety fun. And if it's fun, then we'll be interested in it and we won't lose that interest. We won't become complacent. So that's a struggle. I have no silver bullet for that, but you definitely have to evolve, and that is the challenge every day.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ Technology can be a key partner in safety. By using phone apps that prevent accidents such as distracted driving incidents, you can quickly and efficiently implement safety procedures. ⚠️ Don’t hang on to employees who refuse to buy in. Mike says he “doesn’t have time” for employees who refuse to participate and/or let go of old behaviors and habits, so there is no reason for them to be working there. ⚠️ Safety is about personal responsibility and company values. If employees don’t see it as part of their job to keep themselves and others safe, and if company leaders don’t value that mindset, accidents will be inevitable.Resources⛑️ National Incident Management System –– Learn more about NIMS and where it gets its data. ⛑️ National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — Learn more about NHTSA programs and tools aimed at helping to reduce death and injuries.Top quotes from the episode:“I really try and instill in our workforce that yes, you are professional pest technicians and certainly from our sales side, they're professional sales folks. But they are nothing without being professional drivers.”“A large part of my job, a large part of what our managers do on a daily basis … is manage the TRUCE compliance and ultimately, what that means is that they need to ensure that everybody is compliant on a daily basis with the TRUCE app on their phone so that they are first and foremost, protected from being distracted by a device that is issued by the company.”“How do you put a price on life? I know the insurance company does a very good job at that, but for people that are our family members in our Terminix nation, it doesn't matter to me if that cost was $1 or if it was $10 million. All I care about is the children of the fathers and the mothers that drive our vehicles, the brothers and sisters of the people that drive our vehicles and certainly the friends of everybody that operate our vehicles.”“You're putting people at risk when it comes to driving if you're not doing the best you can, or at least have that intention of doing the best you can. Every single time you get behind the wheel, remain focused on the job at hand, fall back on your training and just try and fight the temptation of distraction.”“We've got a variety of different communication tools and none of them capture 100% of the audience. And that is not the fault of anybody in our company. … It's just simply reality. You're not going to be able to capture everybody in one fell swoop. And so whenever I'm rolling something out … my strategy is, is to socialize, socialize, socialize at every level.”

Oct 2020

25 min 39 sec

Kay Yoder didn’t know what field she’d end up in when she started college, but she knew she wanted to help people. At first, that led her to study pharmacy at Butler University, but she soon switched majors to nuclear medicine. After receiving her associate’s degree, she went to Tulane University to study something new — in large part because of her dad. “I thought the healthcare industry was a good fit for me, but once I changed my major, my father expressed concern over my choice of profession,” Kay says in this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. “His concerns stemmed from the fact that not much was known about the nuclear industry and about radiation exposure, and he knew of my passion for health and safety — so it was him that suggested I consider biomedical engineering.”Kay currently serves as the Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety at Miami-based alcohol distributor Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, where she’s been for the past four years. There, Kay oversees a safety program that uses a simple but effective strategy to communicate safety procedures: emphasizing the “why” behind them. When leaders explain the reasoning behind protocols, she argues, employees are more motivated to follow them and feel like their employer cares for them. Another source of motivation is the stories of employees who have been through accidents. Kay has given these individuals a platform to share their experiences by launching a “Safety Matters at Work and at Home” poster campaign. Every six weeks, her team shares a new story of an employee who was hurt on the job; they explain how their injury occurred and what led to the situation.“In many cases, when you have a serious injury, it significantly impacts your family,” she says. “Sometimes they're going to have to care for you. Sometimes it's seeing your children having to give you a bath because you've been covered head to toe in burns. So it’s a very impactful story written by the employee themselves.”Kay looks at safety as much more than being compliant. To her, safety is protecting assets, being inclusive, sharing a common goal, and speaking in relatable terms — and maybe even creating a new industry standard in the process.Featured Guest👉 Name: Kay Yoder👉 What she does: As the Vice President of Environmental Health and Safety at Miami-based company Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits, Kay oversees the company’s efforts to reduce risk and ensure regulatory compliance.👉 Company: Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits👉 Key quote: “You have to be relentless, relentless, relentless because there are people who don't see it, but you can't give up because eventually there's going to be something that happens in that person's life or in the life of a coworker or a family member or some example that you give them that is going to hit home.”👉 Where to find her: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ Everyone has to understand the “why.” If employees don’t know why safety procedures are put in place, those procedures become a chore rather than something they’re motivated to do because they understand their significance. Taking the time to explain the reasoning behind them also shows you care about employees and will help you gain their trust.⚠️ Safety programs are for everyone, so keep it inclusive. Higher-ups might not be the ones doing the manual labor, but they need to be equally involved — just like employees at every level —  in the safety programs and decisions. To work together effectively, communicate about safety in terms that everyone will understand. ⚠️ When your company is a leader in safety, everyone wins. It’s important to not only have buy-in from executive leadership when it comes to safety programs but to get those leaders to share your goal of setting industry standards for safety.Resources⛑️  First linear accelerator in Connecticut –– This is the landmark achievement Kay’s father had a hand in. The article also explains other innovations in Yale University’s history. ⛑️ Siemens Medical Solutions — This is the company that recruited Kay to teach technicians how to use their diagnostic imaging equipment and, when needed, to service the equipment in hospital radiology departments.⛑️ Best Practices — Read Kay’s take on how to safely reopen workplaces during the COVID-19 pandemic. Top quotes from the episode:“Safety, as it relates to my role, is to protect the company assets. That includes our people, our products, our properties, our reputation. Being a leader in safety is an opportunity to make a real difference in the lives of others … assuring employees return home safely to their families every day.”“I think that compliance is the bare minimum that regulatory agencies will accept for basic safety programs. So if you're only gonna shoot for compliance, then you often miss the mark. If the employees don't understand the ‘why,’ the message is often lost … because you're just telling them to do it because you need to be compliant, not why these regulations are in place.”“It's really important for safety professionals to understand what drives their business and to speak the language of the leadership team versus trying to teach them our language, which is a little bit less familiar. … Put it in terms that they understand and can see what their return on investment is.”“It takes a village, and the functions of business continuity — and, quite frankly, security — both have a really large safety component. … We have to make sure that safety and security work hand in hand to implement the programs to protect all of those assets. It's the same with business continuity. Their focus is on keeping the business open and redundancy for unforeseen business interruptions. So, it's a collaborative effort with the safety resources and the development of site-specific emergency action plans.”“As we're seeing the new groups of people that we're hiring in, they're looking for companies that are differentiating in things like sustainability and employee safety. And they want to know that they're going to go to work for a company that cares about them, that has a flexible work schedule — potentially working from home options — being good neighbors in their communities … things like that, which we are as a company doing.”

Oct 2020

29 min 56 sec

Regina McMichael didn’t enter the safety world for fun. The force that brought her into the industry was a tragedy. “I started in the safety industry at exactly 1:20 in the afternoon on Feb. 6, 1986. That was when my first husband fell from a roof and died. And that was the moment I was thrust into the safety world — as much as it existed in 1986 — and the roofing industry and started my journey,” Regina says in this episode of No Accident.Instead of letting grief or anger consume her, Regina thought logically. Fueled by a new passion to help prevent future loved ones from experiencing the same tragedy, she used the worker's comp settlement to pay for a college degree in safety and started working in the industry as a safety engineer. She climbed the ranks of several organizations such as the Associated General Contractors of America and the National Association of Home Builders until she decided to form her own organization, The Learning Factory, in 2011. Now, Regina is a successful safety speaker, consultant and author (of the book “The Safety Training Ninja”) whose approach to safety is unique for one reason: she recognizes everyone is human. Regina knows there will be days when employees won’t follow the rules. But if you take the time to understand why they’re breaking protocol (e.g., they’re behind schedule, they’re picking up the slack for someone homesick) and what might motivate them to follow it (e.g. explaining all the potential hazards of using shortcuts), she believes you can help employees find their own motivation to remain compliant. In this episode, Regina discusses how safety isn’t just a black and white concept and why it’s important for safety professionals to work with the C-suite. She also gives helpful tips on how to get employees more engaged and willing to follow a safety program. Regina likens the challenges of enforcing safety protocols to driving over the speed limit: everyone does it, and it’s unrealistic to expect everyone to always follow the limit. However, to reduce the likelihood of accidents, you can teach and encourage people to make better risk assessments and choices.“I could teach you the information about what could happen in a car accident. I could talk to you about the impact it would have on your family and your friends on your ability to do your job … I would try to hit all of the different ways I could potentially connect with you.”  Featured Guest👉 Name: Regina McMichael👉 What she does: As a motivational safety speaker and president of safety education and training company The Learning Factory, Regina educates and mentors safety professionals about treating safety as a human priority rather than another point on a checklist. 👉 Company: The Learning Factory👉 Key quote: “I think my issue is the black and white of things. Compliant or noncompliant — it's just not that simple.”👉 Where to find her: Website | LinkedIn | Twitter  Safe Takes⚠️ Good safety professionals give employees an incentive to be safe. Safety training is often seen as a necessary evil, but if you show your team the incredible hazards out there, you give them the desire to practice safety above all else. ⚠️ Historically, safety professionals haven’t had a place in the C-suite. Change that. Executives need to be part of the safety planning process or you won’t be successful. Get to know things like the company’s growth plan so you can have educated conversations with higher-ups about why your plan/program matters. ⚠️ Be a problem-solver, not just someone who points out problems. Safety professionals don’t exist only to report whether employees are complying with safety practices. They should also strive to find solutions so that there are fewer problems. Resources⛑️ The Learning Factory — This is the company Regina founded in 2011.⛑️ “The Safety Training Ninja” — This is Regina’s book, which came out in 2019.⛑️ Speaker Spotlight — This is an article Regina wrote for Safety+Health magazine.  Top quotes from the episode:“Walking up to someone and saying ‘you need to be safe because a law says so’ — that's no incentive. That's no reason for me to have a behavioral shift. I need something more as a human being. And great training can lead to that connection. Great communication leads to that connection.”“It will lead to failure and it'll lead to a disconnect with your workforce if you're expecting them to always be perfect on everything safety.”“How can you get a seat at the C-suite if you don't know what's going on in the C-suite? You've got to look for it. You've got to search it out. You've got to find mentors. If you don't understand some of the concepts of business and growth and things like that, find someone who can, or go take a class so that you understand it better.”“I think that one of the biggest issues that we have to struggle with is how do we get those two groups of people — the safety professionals and the executive level — talking the same way and understanding what they're talking about correctly.”“The biggest safety myth is that we kill profit. We kill production because we stop stuff. If we can get in on the solution before the problem actually is created, we won't be a problem anymore — we'll be part of the profit.”

Sep 2020

37 min 23 sec

For Joseph Kopalek, it was natural to follow in his father’s footsteps and pursue a career in the energy industry. What might appear less natural is the path he took to get there. “He worked his way up from a laborer into management,” Joseph says of his father in this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. “I took the long route and went to college, played around in environmental consulting for about eight years, and then got into the natural gas industry.”After his consulting work, Joseph spent a large portion of his career in operations management for various energy companies — primarily Columbia Gas Transmission — before realizing that safety was his true passion. So when he was offered his current position of Vice President Environmental, Health and Safety at UGI Utilities, Inc. a little over a year ago, he took it without hesitation. The COO of the Denver, Pennsylvania-based natural gas and electric utility company told him he was perfect for the job because of his operational credibility.“They won't question how you’re perceived or how you set up something from a safety standpoint because they know you know how to get the work done,” he recalls his boss telling him upon promoting him. “You've been there all the way from field supervisor up through director ranks.”Since then, he’s proven his boss right by consistently valuing employee feedback/input and focusing on problem-solving rather than pointing fingers when safety issues arise. Some of his biggest lessons have come from working with Dupont Sustainable Solutions on an improved safety strategy following a fatality that happened within UGI in 2017. “We realized that there were some improvements that needed to be made on how we respond to emergencies — the kind of equipment we use, and we need to preserve life as our first priority,” he said. “One of the things we changed is one of the metrics that we use … that is a make safe time, that's the time it takes to call an employee out .. into the field and making whatever situation they find safe.”And it must be working because UGI has since been recognized by the American Gas Association for having some of the best emergency response times in the industry.Featured Guest👉 Name: Joseph Kopalek👉 What he does: As the Vice President Environmental, Health and Safety at UGI Utilities, Inc. a Denver, Pennsylvania-based natural gas and electric utility company, Joseph combines his background in both safety and operations management to get employees as involved in safety discussions as possible. 👉 Company: UGI Utilities👉 Key quote: “We all have a responsibility to work safely and also support the work of others, making sure that they're working safe.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ Safety is about accountability and responsibility. A company with a good safety strategy is one that recognizes safety isn’t just the safety department’s problem. It’s something everyone is responsible for. ⚠️ Managers need to be problem-solvers, not just finger pointers. If you only focus on correcting safety issues with discipline, you’re missing the larger problem of an inadequate safety culture. Look for the problem and try to solve it. ⚠️ Involved employees are safe employees. If you involve your employees in decision making, they’re more likely to respect management and do their job safely because they’ll see their input makes a difference.  Resources⛑️ Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s Voluntary Protection Program — This is the comprehensive program that Joseph says the entire company he works for got behind and started implementing in 2017. ⛑️  Dupont Sustainable Solutions –– Joseph mentioned that his company’s safety strategy was developed from working with this operations management consulting firm. ⛑️ National Residential Customer Survey Results — Joseph says in this episode that UGI scores high in customer satisfaction, and this national survey has the data to prove it (it was named “Most Trusted Brand”).Top quotes from the episode:“For an operations role ... be the solution maker. Find them a solution. Don't just be the safety police force that goes out there and says, ‘you shall do this and you shall do that.’”“I would define safety as doing the right things at the right time. And, incorporated in that, safety just doesn't happen. It's everybody's responsibility.”“We were just too disciplined, based on trying to correct safety with discipline rather than looking at our culture and trying to figure out how to improve our safety culture.”“You can have communications people write up nice paragraphs and post them on your company newsletters and websites, but truly to develop the safety culture, you have to have everybody involved.”“It's not just about safety. It's about how you develop the corporate culture. If you want to be successful … you've got to rely on your people and you've got to trust them.”

Sep 2020

27 min 53 sec

Dr. Timothy Ludwig started studying motivation and safety because of a psychological question that always plagued him: Why do we get out of bed in the morning?“There's a moment in which you're suddenly up. Right. You just get up. And that moment has always fascinated me. And frankly, that's taken me down a lot of research paths in addition to intrinsic motivation,” Dr. Ludwig says in this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE.This curiosity led him to become a postdoc at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, where he worked with industrial engineers via a federal grant studying management practices related to the development of the next tritium bomb. When the Iron Curtain fell, it was great for the safety of the world, but not so great for his job. He was out of work until he took a position as a performance improvement consultant for about six years, and during that period he also got a job as a professor at Appalachian State University (but continued to consult on the side). Dr. Ludwig is a behavioral psychologist, and most of his research has been on the psychology behind safety practices, so he now serves on the Board of the Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies, presents keynote speeches at safety conferences and continues his consulting work. When evaluating a company’s practices, Dr. Ludwig says safety culture is defined by how often employees are talking about safety and what they’re saying. “Once you get them talking, they know the right answers,” he says. “The smartest people in the room are the employees. They're on the front line doing the work. They can tell you what the risks are.”In this episode he also addresses the problematic nature of focusing on zero injuries, and how important it is for leaders to observe their workers to gain a better understanding of what potential risks the work entails.“The energy you get out of leaders when they get away from email land and they get to see the frontline where all the wisdom is and where all the value is created, that energy is quite infectious,” Dr. Ludwig says. “And the learning there is unique.”Featured Guest👉 Name: Dr. Timothy Ludwig👉 What he does: As an author and professor at Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina, Dr. Ludwig teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses and runs the Appalachian Safety Summit, an annual event that brings well-respected behavioral safety experts to the university to engage with others in the field. 👉 Organization: Appalachian State University👉 Key quote: “Go out and observe people's behavior at work. Everything you need to know is in that observation.”👉 Where to find him: Website | LinkedIn | FacebookSafe Takes⚠️ Safety doesn’t equate to zero injuries. Good leaders are those who aren’t fixated on the number zero, they’re focused on creating a culture that motivates employees to report mishaps, address their concerns and coach each other.⚠️ Safety cultures are largely determined by employee communication. Are employees interacting with the safety management system? What are they talking about amongst themselves in regards to safety?⚠️ You can’t change people, but you can change their environment. Employees come into a company as fully-formed individuals. To improve safety practices, then, focus on improving their environment in ways that influences their behavior. Resources⛑️  Dysfunctional Practices That Kill Your Safety Culture (and what to do about them) — This is Dr. Ludwig’s latest book, the one that Kathleen disucces in the episode because of its attention-grabbing cover. ⛑️ Appalachian Safety Summit — This is Dr. Ludwig’s annual safety event he organizes (which has gone virtual this year).⛑️ Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies — This is the board Dr. Ludwig serves on that is cited several times in the episode because of research that’s come out of it. Top quotes from the episode:“When you don't have really mature leadership, they're just kind of counting zeros. And the problem is that you can't count zeroes, it's a ratio scale.”“As you get more behavioral observations, you get more discussions and team meetings that you can count. You get more reporting of minor incidents. … I can tell that a leadership team is savvy and they're ready when they understand that those are the numbers that are most important.”“If you can get high-quality safety programs and high-quality behaviors participation within your safety program … it's the same source of excellence that's going to help you in your quality production and profitability.“You don't change culture by changing culture. … but you can change behavior, and if you get more people talking, you're going to get the culture that you perceive you want.”“Negative events are going to be much more noticed and much more remembered than positive events. And that goes back to us being animals. We're focusing on negative things around us just to stay alive.”

Aug 2020

35 min 13 sec

Brent Sanger originally dreamed of a career as an electronics engineer, so when he joined the military at age 18, he took a job fixing radios. But the work wasn’t as meaningful as he’d hoped, and when he got back from Operation Desert Shield/Operation Desert Storm, he became an Army medic.That job felt right, and it led him to then join the fire service when he got out of the Army.“It felt that it's where I needed to be,” Sanger says in this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. “I wanted to help people. I was still young enough to kind of crave that adrenaline rush ... I wanted to make a difference. And I did, I made a difference in a lot of people's lives.”He pivoted his career yet again after 11 years as a firefighter paramedic. Brent was moving from Georgia to California, and the latter only accepts fire certifications from those who attended a fire academy in the state. He didn’t want to go through that training all over again at age 40, so he got his commercial driver's license and went back to doing something he did often in the military: transporting materials.After four and a half years, Brent’s next move was to leverage his experience in high-pressure environments where people were relying on him for survival to transition into the trucking safety sector. He took a job as an accident prevention specialist — his past experience helped a lot when speaking with drivers.“When they know that they're talking to somebody that's been out there, that understands what life is like on the road, it really makes things click a whole lot easier,” Brent says.It also helps him communicate the importance of drivers to executive leadership, which Brent says is crucial for getting a company onboard with the same safety procedures. He believes safety goals and vision starts at the top with management, but accomplishing those goals can only be done from the employees on up.One key lesson he often teaches drivers is to learn from the mistakes of others, especially mistakes they see clearly displayed on social media.“We can be safe by avoiding failure, but that takes a very long time,” Brent says. “The best way to do it is to learn from failure, and not just our own.”Featured Guest👉 Name: Brent Sanger👉 What he does: As the Compliance/Safety Manager at Western Flyer Express, an Oklahoma City, Oklahoma-based transportation (particularly trucking and railroad) company, Brent is primarily responsible for vetting applicants and evaluating current drivers.👉 Company: Western Flyer Express👉 Key quote: “Safety is ensuring everybody gets where they're going in the same condition they left to get there.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedIn  Safe Takes⚠️ Show employees you care about them as people when you’re evaluating them. An employee is much more likely to listen to — and remain loyal to — an employer if you express the value they bring to the company.⚠️ Teach employees what’s in it for them, and to learn from other’s mistakes. When they hear of an accident or see photos of one on social media, employees are more likely to not make the same mistake themselves. And when they understand that safe workers make more money, they’re more likely to buy-in.⚠️ Priorities change, but safety must remain a core value for every company. Brent says “it's important until it becomes an impediment to something else,” which means companies that don’t think of safety as fundamental to what they do, run the risk of not making it a priority.Resources⛑️ Operation Desert Storm –– Learn more about the mission during the Gulf War that helped Brent learn he wanted a career centered around helping people.⛑️ Firefighter training — Brent pivoted his career into trucking when he moved to California so he wouldn’t have to go through the Fire Academy all over again. What does that training take?⛑️ 3 types of driving distractions — This blog post covers some common ways drivers are affected by distractions and how they can be avoided.Top quotes from the episode:“I like to say I treated more patients with laughter and oxygen than I did my drug box. That's what I tried to do.”“That truck can be replaced. The freight that it's hauling can be replaced. But we cannot replace the person that is the driver.”“Safety starts at the top, but it's built from the bottom. You have to get that — the tired, old expression — ‘buy-in’ from everyone.”“It's not a question of if something's going to happen, but when, and, if you make it (safety) a value, it becomes something that's near and dear to your heart.”“I like to say that the goal that I have for my career is to work myself out of a job to where I can put on my resume ‘I was let go from this company because my drivers were so safe, I didn't have any work.’”“You have to explain to the driver what's in it for them. What is being safe going to get them?”

Aug 2020

19 min 15 sec

David Galloway has never held an “official” safety leadership role, yet he maintains a keen understanding of how a company can decrease risk-taking and bring greater hazard awareness to its employees. After 35 years of manufacturing and business leadership experience, he’s worked with several safety professionals to develop a safety strategy centered on leadership. “That passion is driven by a couple of very painful and personal stories in my life that I experienced while I was working,” David says in this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. “I always felt like there was a huge component of leadership that determined whether or not people could work safely or not.”As the author of “Safety WALK Safety TALK,” and as the Founder and President of Springboro, Ohio-based Continuous MILE Consulting, LLC, David offers companies strategic leadership advice geared toward improving safety performance — an area of business development that he says few senior executives take the time to plan for. David argues that if business leaders don’t take the time to learn how their employees think and what drives their actions, they won’t be able to improve safety performance because employees won’t feel cared for. “It doesn't matter how proficient I am at creating a safety rule,” he says. “It doesn't matter how much technology I deploy. It does not matter how much structure I follow. If it doesn't start with … ‘I'm doing this because I care about others and I do not want to see them get hurt,’ then we will often fall short of the mark.”In addition, David says leaders need to look beyond compliance — simply following the rules isn’t enough to ensure a safe work environment. Employees are humans, therefore they will make mistakes, but understanding why people take risks that lead to mistakes is one way to get to the root of the problem.He also touches on confirmation bias as a blind spot for leaders, the endowment effect, and other factors that prevent companies from reaching their full safety potential. Featured Guest👉 Name: David Galloway👉 What he does: As an author and the Founder and President of Continuous MILE Consulting, David uses his experience in business leadership to help clients improve safety measures and productivity via a leadership-based approach. 👉 Company: Continuous MILE Consulting👉 Key quote: “We have to come up with a strategy that says these are the things that are most important. These are the actions that we need to take as leaders … so that we become role models for and set the expectations for our employees.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ Humans are prone to mistakes, but if leaders show employees they matter and are cared for, they’re less likely to take risks that could lead to mistakes and/or injury.  ⚠️ Simply being compliant isn’t enough. Leaders need to recognize their confirmation bias becomes a blind spot for many leaders, so when approaching situations such as incident investigations, carefully formulate objective questions so that you can properly determine why employees have taken a particular action.⚠️ Safety is a “continuous improvement journey,” and by making small improvements to how they communicate with their employees and show what’s “in it for them,” leaders can have a large impact.Resources⛑️  Lean Six Sigma –– Many of David’s methods are based on his understanding of this process improvement technique.⛑️ “Safety WALK Safety TALK” — David’s book about how leaders can create a sustainable, injury-free workplace.⛑️ “Start With Why” — Simon Sinek’s book on the importance of understanding the “why?” in leadership.Top quotes from the episode:“The people who are most successful are those who recognize that you don't just need the data to understand the process, but you need to understand how people think, how they behave and what drives their actions.”“It matters not how compliant we are with the rules or procedures. Human behavior will drive us to make a mistake or to take a risk.”“It doesn't matter how proficient I am at creating a safety rule. It doesn't matter how much technology I deploy. It does not matter how much structure I follow. If it doesn't start with … ‘I'm doing this because I care about others and I do not want to see them get hurt,’ then we will often fall short of the mark.”“Principled, prevalent, and personalized … that's an easy way to think about how to make [your safety pitch] relevant or what's in it for an individual.”“Safety, like anything else in business, is a process. It's a complicated, interwoven, interconnected process … and so we need to view safety as the way that we do business.”

Jul 2020

34 min 11 sec

Travis Post never intended to go into the safety field. But after a Skilsaw injury at one of his first construction jobs left him a partial-leg amputee, his career trajectory completely changed.“In the early eighties, I received my safety baptism, as we call it,” Travis says in this episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE. “It took about two years of physical therapy to learn how to walk again.”He took a new job in respiratory therapy, then was working in the cardiac unit of a major hospital when he got a call from his old employer — the company he was working for during his injury wanted to know if he had any interest in construction safety. Travis thought it sounded interesting, and went back to work for them in a completely new capacity.As a former construction worker who considers his injury the result of “horseplay” on the job, Travis was able to go into that position with a valuable point of view. He saw an opportunity for people who had experienced workplace injuries to educate employees who hadn’t, which made such trainings a more meaningful experience.“I started hiring employees that had previously shot their foot or their hand to the plywood to actually do training classes,” Travis said in one example of a response to several nail gun injuries. “The guys actually listened to them because they're active employees in the trade.”His team then took this approach one step further and started having individuals who had injured themselves severely enough to receive modified duty worker's comp payments speak to other workers about that experience to show that “you don't get rich off of it. It's basically there to let you survive.”These employee-led trainings are a result of Travis’ belief in employee-based safety, which he refers to as a hybrid of behavior-based safety and education that help protect a company’s profit.“You take an individual and have that individual completely buy into the system through education and clear direction,” he said. “If they have input in the whole process, then we get 100% buy-in.”Featured Guest👉 Name: Travis Post👉 What he does: As the National Director of Safety at Petersen-Dean, Inc., a Fremont, California-based construction company, Travis uses his personal experience with work injury to push an employee-based approach to safety.👉 Company: Petersen-Dean, Inc.👉 Key quote: “Safety protects profit. That's it in a nutshell, and that's why you should have a safety program.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ The best way to get workers to follow safety protocols is to explain them in a way that’s easy to understand and then ask for their input on what policies and procedures work or don’t work. As Travis says, “When you get that participation of 100%, the employees become active … if the employees don't like the PPE that we're mandating, they're not going to use it.”⚠️ If you can get your employees to completely buy-in to a safety program, aka implement employee-based safety, then it becomes the “employee's responsibility to learn and facilitate the whole safety program,” which will inevitably protect your profits.⚠️ Safety isn’t something you can afford to cut corners on. Travis specifically uses the example of fall protection and how, for those who work without it, “it usually ends very badly for the employee and long term for the company.”   Top quotes from the episode:“What I do is … employee-based safety. You have to put it in terms that the employee understands.”“At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how much they made. If they're severely injured, they can't continue to utilize that in the future.”“You can't really look at safety as ‘go out there and be safety cops and catch people not doing what they're supposed to do and make them do it.’ What my safety department does is we protect profit.”“By having a proactive safety program versus a reactive, it drives that cost code down and therefore it’s not passed on to the customer.”“Your data has to encompass everything. It can't just be zero accidents. Because then what happens is people become afraid to actually report injuries.”“Injuries happen every day. And if you're not in front of them, training your employees, the severity is going to do nothing but go up.”

Jul 2020

22 min 59 sec

Can a company be safe and profitable at the same time? “Absolutely,” says Denise Estepp, Fleet Manager at American Safety Services, a family-owned business providing safety products and services for the oil and gas industry. In fact, Denise knows that safety improvements are good for the bottom line. She joined American Safety Services after working with Walmart’s corporate vehicle program — drawn in by the company’s efforts to create a “cultural shift” modernizing their approach to fleet safety.  To do that, Denise says the company has taken a page out of the oil and gas industry’s stringent safety playbook — and adopted the ethos company-wide — “their mechanics, their drivers, the warehouse people, they really wanted to drive that whole culture of … everybody's doing their job safely.” Safety is truly baked into every part of the company. Denise points out that even her email signature includes the phrase “drive safe.” The episode also covers how the introduction of autonomous vehicles will affect safety, as well as the professional support and development necessary to advance as a safety professional. Featured Guest👉 Name: Denise Estepp👉 What she does: Fleet Manager👉 Company: American Safety Services, Inc.👉 Key quote: "What safety and success mean to the company's financial bottom line reverberates through the employees who work there. Everybody's happier, healthier, safer, and the financial rewards come with it. They just do."👉 Where to find her: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ Don’t lose the human touch when rolling out new technology — "Technology and speaking to the drivers one-on-one have got to come together to help drivers adapt to new safety features. You can't have one and not do the other,” Denise says. ⚠️ Improve safety records by ensuring company-wide management support —  goals need to be shared with people outside of your department. Denise says: “You have got to have a very holistic set of people in your corner.”⚠️ Networking is critical for succeeding as a safety professional. Learning from people in the industry will help you stay ahead of emerging trends, the latest tools, and talent sourcing. “If we share this knowledge among ourselves, we're going to make everybody safer,” says Denise. Resources⛑️  Women in Fleet Management, a taskforce Denise mentions. Their mission is to "provide a resource for women fleet leaders that encourages personal and career fulfillment through mentoring, fleet expertise sharing, fleet and business community involvement, and networking."⛑️  Advancing Women in Transportation, an organization whose works toward "advancing both the transportation industry and the professional women who are a growing part of it."Top quotes from the episode:"Technology, along with getting it out and speaking to the drivers one-on-one, have got to come together. You can't have one and not do the other.""We're very proud of our drivers, but again, we were able to see those financial rewards within two months and see it every month going forward.""What safety and success mean to the company's financial bottom line reverberates through the employees who work there. Everybody's happier, healthier, safer, and the financial rewards come with it. They just do."

Jul 2020

30 min 40 sec

What does teaching Marines how to escape an upside-down helicopter sinking in water, have to do with corporate safety? Quite a lot in the case of Chris Moulden. In this episode of No Accident, host Kathleen Finato speaks with Chris who is Corporate Safety Director at ARB, a subsidiary of Primoris. On any given day, Chris — who is a two-time winner of the safety director of the year award — oversees between 35 to 45 safety professionals in the field.Earlier in his career, Chris worked as an advanced dive medic for the Marines, teaching troops how to survive when their helicopter hits the water. Seeing the Marines return from war — sometimes injured — made a big impression on Chris. It has informed his approach to safety ever since.   “We all come to work every day to make a couple of bucks. But that couple bucks is all it is unless you utilize it towards something that's really valuable to you, and for the most part that's usually our family and our friends,” Chris says reflecting on what has stuck with him. “If we don't cross the T's and dot the I's and use a checklist or do the things we know how to do ‘em … it's our family and our friends who are going to be affected the most.”While Chris likes to point out that safety comes back to the heart, he’s an expert when it comes to translating the value of safety for others — sometimes that means bringing it back to the bottom line. For executives, he likes to show the worth safety can bring. “When you're safe, you're more methodical, which leads to more quality which may lead to more production,” he explains. While safety absolutely needs to be “bolstered by an extreme commitment from leadership," Chris acknowledges that ultimately safety is an individual's responsibility. “Truly safety is about … your individual conscious decision making.”Featured Guest👉 Name: Chris Moulden👉 What he does: As Corporate Safety Director at ARB, Chris is responsible for safety compliance, education, and implementation for the California-based construction company.👉 Company: ARB Primoris Services Corporation👉 Key quote: "Safety is a team effort. It's something that has to be lived by your employees, and your leadership team has to set the example."👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ Make safety a company-wide reference point. Top-down commitment to worker safety leads to higher quality products and more production.⚠️ Create an organizational structure to support the field. When he joined Primoris, Chris Chris created a structure to keep track of incidents, lessons learned, memos, and best practices. ⚠️ Be sure to take a look at a bidding contractor's safety rates and severity of past incidents. Chris has a pretty extensive vetting process for subcontractors to understand the severity of past incidents and get a good sense for their safety process.Resources⛑️  Scott Cassell –– Chris Moulden's instructor at the College of Oceaneering who led Chris to work with the Marines.  ⛑️  Primoris Services CorporationTop quotes from the episode:"We all come to work every day to make a couple of bucks. But that couple bucks is all it is unless you utilize it towards something that's really valuable to you."“Like the old saying says: Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”“When you show people that you care, and they're interested in what you know, they perform the work well — with quality and they do it safe.”“The heart of safety is exactly that — it's your heart. But without processes and policies and activities that can be duplicated … you're kind of lost.”"Safety — from my perspective — is an individual's responsibility and value, but it needs to also be bolstered by an extreme commitment from leadership within that organization."

Jun 2020

21 min 52 sec

Episode Description How do you make safety fun and interesting? Can it be done? Jerry Roach, Director of Safety, Environmental and Facilities at Kimball Electronics, has some ideas. In part two of this No Accident interview, host Kathleen Finato continues her conversation with Jerry, a 22-year veteran of the occupational safety field. Jerry describes how he turns safety slogans into meme-style imagery. He also explains why he believes in collaborating with competitors.  Episode Summary Jerry Roach, Director of Safety, Environmental and Facilities at Kimball Electronics, is a 22-year veteran of the occupational safety field who says it’s important to make safety interesting and fun. He even turns safety slogans into meme-style imagery and posts them inside restroom stalls. That’s just one of the unique ways he takes his program beyond training videos and other approaches that don’t “stick” with everyone.Jerry pushes back against the idea that safety concerns only affect employees who work in overtly hazardous situations. But those workers are often much safer than their co-workers in comparatively less risky environments. “Complacency sets in quickly, and they might be overconfident,” he says. “Whereas if you're doing a dangerous job, you don't have the opportunity to become confident. Many times it is in the mundane jobs where we see more people injured.”That’s why safety should be part of employees’ routines, but it should never seem trivial or dull. There’s never any place for shortcuts –– and everyone should be held to the same high standard. Jerry shares a story about forgetting to switch between his regular prescription glasses and his safety glasses after a meeting. Only one colleague noticed, but Jerry insisted on marching himself to Human Resources and insisting they write him up for the violation.“All leadership has to lead by example,” he explains.That extends to the larger safety community, as well. He believes firmly in sharing case studies and training procedures with others in the industry.“We have to be willing to help each other, even competitors. Collaborating can be really beneficial.”He talks about the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP), a distinction granted to companies that undergo a rigorous evaluation to ensure their safety systems maintain injury and illness rates below Bureau of Labor Statistics averages. He’s proud that Kimball Electronics is a participant and says it’s only possible through the joint efforts of everyone –– from hourly workers to the C-suite.Buy-in from leadership is essential. He advises connecting safety initiatives to company KPIs and emphasizing that safety means everything to the bottom line –– including everything from worker’s compensation claims to efficiency and morale.In fact, he says that a safety program should really be called a safety system. It should permeate every part of the business.“It has to be a system that takes over your culture and your company, and it runs the process itself.”Featured Guest👉 Name: Jerry Roach👉 What he does: As Director of Safety, Environmental and Facilities for a leading Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider, he puts safety at the forefront of company culture. 👉 Company: Kimball Electronics👉 Key quote: When it comes to sharing safety insights with competitors, “we have to be willing to help each other,” he says. “Collaborating can be really beneficial.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ Make safety interesting –– and fun. Even silly things like making safety slogans into memes can make a difference. That’s how Jerry says it’s possible to reach everyone –– even those who don’t learn well from manuals or training videos.⚠️ Safety isn’t just for employees who work with hazardous materials or machines. Those workers tend to be safer than their colleagues with less risky jobs.⚠️ When Jerry inadvertently violated safety regulations at his company, he reported himself to Human Resources. That was important, he says, because even executives need to lead by example.⚠️ Jerry is proud that Kimball Electronics is a member of the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).⚠️ To ensure buy-in from leadership, Jerry suggests connecting safety initiatives to company KPIs and emphasizing how everything from worker’s compensation claims to efficiency and morale.⚠️ Rethink the idea of a safety program itself. Call it a safety system –– a structural part of every facet of a business. “It has to be a system that takes over your culture and your company, and it runs the process itself,” he says.Resources⛑️  Captain Sully Sullenberger –– One of Jerry’s heroes: the  “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot turned speaker, author and safety advocate. Perhaps the only safety advocate to be ever portrayed on the silver screen? (And by Tom Hanks, even.)⛑️  Kimball Electronics, where, as its website states, “The safety policy ... emphasizes that safety is a value—unlike priorities, values never change.”⛑️  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)’s VPP Program⛑️  Jerry Roach on Food TransparencyTop quotes from the episode:[4:45] “You have to take safety seriously, but you can't take yourself so seriously. Then you won't allow safety to become fun and interesting.”[27:49] “You can't just have safety data by itself. You have to have visuals.”[36:22] “Safety data will talk to us if we allow it to, but we have to know how to help it talk.”[32:33] “Safety affects so much more than just safety. Injuries will affect costs … In the long run, [safety programs will] help your efficiencies and everything else, like your quality … and it's going to help morale.

Jun 2020

25 min 8 sec

On the premiere episode of No Accident, host Kathleen Finato talks to Jerry Roach, a 22-year veteran of the occupational safety field and the Director of Safety, Environmental and Facilities at Kimball Electronics.Jerry tells us how his family taught him to put people first, why safety programs should be foundational to an organization’s culture and why safety isn’t just about compliance. It makes good business sense. But how can a business turn “safety first” from a catchphrase into a credo? It starts with leadership and never stops evolving.“Safety is everyone's job,” he adds. “It doesn't matter what it says on your job description or whether you work on the shop floor or in the executive offices. Safety should be the foundation for everything you do, every decision you make. It's the hallmark of a successful company. Episode Summary Growing up on a farm in southern Indiana, industrial safety expert Jerry Roach learned firsthand how to put the “C” in “TCB.” (As in, Taking Care of Business.)Hard work was part of daily life for Jerry and his family. “Whether working with the cattle, putting up hay, whatever it might be –– you take care of business,” he says on the premiere episode of the No Accident podcast, presented by TRUCE.Watching his parents care for their community “really set a tone for me,” says Jerry. They taught him simple, but enduring lessons: work hard, do what's right, and don’t take shortcuts. “Shortcuts lead to injuries,” he adds.Today, Jerry is Director of Safety, Environmental and Facilities at Kimball Electronics, a manufacturer of electronic equipment for the automotive, industrial, medical and public safety sectors. At Kimball’s Jasper, Indiana headquarters, “every single person who works here is my customer,” he says. The 22-year occupational safety veteran says he was attracted to the field because he wanted the opportunity to make a difference every day.“I'm the type of person who gets up every morning and can't wait to get to work.”He knows it might seem odd, but he “absolutely loves safety” –– and believes deeply in making it a foundation of company culture. It begins with leadership, and should be modeled by leaders, too.  A commitment to safety demonstrates to employees how much they’re valued. It’s an essential part of building and maintaining a good public reputation, as well as a sense of pride among workers. When morale improves, so does quality. Employees who are safe and well at work are more productive and efficient.  Plus, Jerry adds, safety makes good business sense. It should never be an afterthought –– or focus on compliance alone. It shouldn’t be a scrambled reaction to an accident or other emergency. And to be blunt, insufficient safety measures cost cold hard cash. A $20,000 overhead lift is a smart investment if it prevents an employee from injuring their back. Besides their pain and suffering, that employee’s surgery would likely cost much more than 20K. In the world of safety, “proactiveness is absolutely vital,” he says.Featured Guest👉 Name: Jerry Roach👉 What he does: As Director of Safety, Environmental and Facilities for a leading Electronics Manufacturing Services (EMS) provider, he puts safety at the forefront of company culture. 👉 Company: Kimball Electronics👉 Key quote: “Safety is a team effort. It’s something that has to be lived by your employees, and your leadership team has to set the example.”👉 Where to find him: LinkedInSafe Takes⚠️ The best strategy is to build safety into the foundation of any business plan, Jerry explains. It’s not just a line item in your overall budget. ⚠️ The vast majority of the time, companies don’t emphasize safety until it’s too late. “It seems like companies are really good at running to the problem after it's already happened –– after there's been an injury or property damage,” says Jerry. Smart leaders are proactive, not reactive.⚠️ Has your organization already won awards for its safety efforts? That’s even more reason to put safety first — you don’t want anyone getting too comfortable at the top. Without the dedication of workers and commitment from leaders, Jerry explains, “your program will start to slip. Because complacency is human nature and safety is never done.”Resources⛑️  Captain Sully Sullenberger –– One of Jerry’s heroes: the  “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot turned speaker, author and safety advocate. Perhaps the only safety advocate to be ever portrayed on the silver screen? (And by Tom Hanks, even.)⛑️  Kimball Electronics, where, as its website states, “The safety policy ... emphasizes that safety is a value—unlike priorities, values never change.”⛑️  Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)⛑️  Jerry Roach on Food TransparencyTop quotes from the episode[0:19] “I absolutely love safety, which some may think is odd, but to me it is just such a rewarding career.” [12:04] “The newest hire coming needs to know from day one that safety is the most important thing. And we're not just going to talk about it –– we're going to actually live it. Safety is something that has to be lived by your employees and your leadership team has to be the ones who set the example.”[14:22] “Someone might say, I've worked here 20 years and that's never happened. Well … no one has been injured yet. Basically you got lucky for 20 years … but luck always runs out. Proactiveness when it comes to safety is absolutely vital.”[19:48] “Complacency is human nature and safety is never done. I refer to complacency as the hidden killer, because I think it has killed and injured more workers than anything else.”[47:44] “An emergency action plan ... can't be something you just talk about once a year or once every two years or whatever … [Capt. Sullenberger] knew his airplane. He knew the layout of all the airports in the area. He knew all of that before that day ever came.”[51:17] “Compliance cannot be the overall [safety] program itself. Because then you're never going to get it to the place you really want it to be. The focus needs to be on your people.”

Jun 2020

31 min 51 sec

Mar 2020

1 min 24 sec