Interview – Don Wilson, Vice President, SafeStart

Don’s working background includes over 25 years of experience in instructional design, vocational education, e-learning, industrial education, and health and safety training. As a motivational speaker on 24/7 safety concepts, he has been a frequent presenter at corporate health and safety meetings, as well as NSC, ASSP and VPPPA conferences at both the national and local level. He has also presented briefings on 24/7 safety to the leadership of all branches of the U.S. Armed Services at the Pentagon, and has taught classes on various subjects at safety schools and organizations across North America and around the world. Don donates all his speaking fees to charities that improve the safety of communities.

Interviewer: What do you feel are the biggest challenges safety leaders are currently faced with?
Don: I believe the greatest challenges facing safety professionals will be the ever-changing nature of both work and work environments and increasing employee turnover. Gone are the days when every safety professional’s world was a relatively unchanging factory or mill and the stable group of people who worked their entire lives solely in that workspace. In addition, as employee teams increasingly become distributed globally and connected to each other through remote technologies the ability to control safety with direct oversight will naturally decline. Globally, EH&S Professionals will increasingly need to provide individual employees with the tools, training and information they require to take more control of their own personal safety and performance 24/7.


Interviewer: What do you feel is the hottest topic and biggest trend right now in the industry and what is its effect on the industry?
Don: A holistic approach to Safety, Performance and Culture – we increasingly see organizations that understand that all of these areas are integrated and connected in achieving peak performance and that Human Factor leading indicators can positively influence and inform overall KPIs including safety.

Interviewer: What do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their Health and Safety strategy?
Don: Even after all this time there seems to be a belief by many EH&S Professionals that they can solve their injury problems through compliance alone in today’s rapidly changing work environments.

Interviewer: What is one key takeaway you hope our OHS audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?
Don: That fostering open communication that allows the organization to harvest Human Factor signals as leading indicators is the best way to improve overall outcome reliability and improve the day to day climate that results in overall culture improvements.   


About SafeStart

SafeStart makes safety training more personable, more engaging and more useful.

They’ve educated thousands of companies to support personal safety. They’ve trained millions of employees to be mindful of human error. On every continent, they’ve guided people to take practical safety skills from the workplace into their homes and communities.

For over 20 years, SafeStart warehouses have shipped safety workbooks around the world. SafeStart trainers have arrived on-site at the crack of dawn to set up classrooms. SafeStart account managers have called clients to make sure training has gone smoothly. The SafeStart research department has developed guides on how human error prevention training can transform business culture, performance and—yes—safety.

They are a training company that cares about organizational excellence. They are a learning company that cares about 24/7 performance. In 32 languages, they help people understand that personal awareness is the key to workplace safety.

They are the next generation of safety training.