Interview with Don Wilson from Safe Start

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.

Interview with Allison Montgomery from L3Harris Technologies

Allison Montgomery is the Global Senior Director of Environmental, Health and Safety for L3Harris  Technologies. She is based at L3Harris’ Corporate Headquarters in Melbourne, FL and is responsible for developing strategies to improve the company’s overall Environmental, Health and Safety performance. Before joining L3Harris, Allison worked at Pentair as the Global Director of EHS and Quality and held varying EHS Management roles with Alcoa, Inc. Allison served four years in the United States Marine Corps. She holds a BS degree in Biology from The Ohio State University and a MS degree in Environmental Management from The University of Maryland.

Interviewer: “As an expert in the health and safety sector, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their Health and Safety strategy?”
Allison: “Differentiating between tactical and strategical safety and then resourcing that accordingly.  Businesses should spend time prioritizing EHS efforts based on impact and risk and then dedicate resources appropriately. EHS resources tend to be lean at most organizations, which is usually why EHS needs a strong operational partner.  Utilization of resources effectively will ensure that both tactical safety (focused on by operations) and strategic safety (focused on by EHS) are both accounted for.   Knowing what to impact and focusing on strategy and system-based safety will bring the most value to an organization that they can sustain.  It doesn’t mean that tactical EHS doesn’t happen, it just means that responsibility for tactical EHS is shared by EVERYONE and it continually evolves based on strategy.  By focusing on setting up your employees to be successful and safe from their first day at work, you see benefits down the road with a safe and proactive culture.”

Interviewer: “Where do you see the industry headed within the next one to five years and what do you feel will be the biggest game changers?”
Allison: “In the next several years, the integration of technology into everyday EHS will continue to grow and evolve. Leaders will expect instant data that is trended and available for them to make decisions that will guide their daily activities. As EHS professionals, we will need to ensure integration and cohesiveness of systems is a priority.”

Interviewer: “What advice would you give to someone trying to excel in the health & safety industry?”
Allison: “As you progress in your career, your softer skills like; political savviness, team building, managing conflict and concise communication will outweigh the importance of technical skills. Knowing this, your focus on developing and honing these softer skills will require your time and attention. Keep up with your technical training, but don’t forget the softer skill set, it will take you further in the long run.”

Interviewer: “What is one key takeaway you hope our OHS audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on-site?”
Allison: “A key takeaway I would like to leave everyone with is that related and overlapping functions, like medical and workers compensation, can be seamlessly integrated into EHS. This integration allows for a strong team approach to managing EHS and also ensuring that you have the full picture of an employee’s health from initial injury to return to work.” 

About LT3 Harris Technologies

L3Harris is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. We provide advanced defense and commercial technologies across air, land, sea, space and cyber domains. They bring speed, innovation and flawless execution together with our commitment to make the world safer and more secure.

Interview with Robert Emery from The University of Texas School of Public Health

Dr. Robert Emery is Vice President for Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Professor of Occupational Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health.

Interviewer: “What do you feel are the biggest challenges safety leaders are currently faced with?” 
Robert: “Successful safety programs function largely in the realm of prevention, so on a good day “nothing happens”. But safety programs need to improve their ability to articulate the amount of resources and commitment needed to “make nothing happen”.”

Interviewer: “What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?”
Robert: “One of my bosses told me “I don’t get paid to listen to complaints: if you have a problem, come in with three options and put yours at the top, and most likely you’ll get your way”.”

Interviewer: “What do you feel is the hottest topic right now in the industry and what is its effect on the industry?”
Robert: “The issue of total worker health is gaining traction. The notion that workers only have one body and it is either at work or at home – and that employers are going to pay for health-related issues either through workers comp insurance or health insurance – so it is in everyone’s best interest to understand this.”

 

Interviewer: “What do you feel the most passionate about within your business?”
Robert: “There is no more noble cause than protecting the health and safety of a person’s whose name you may never know”

About The University of Texas School of Public Health

At six campuses across Texas, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Public Health works to improve the state of public health in Texas every day. Each of their campuses is strategically placed to meet the public health education and research needs of the diverse populations across Texas. UTHealth School of Public Health is the only school of public health in the nation with regional campuses.

Interview with John Green from AECON

John Green, has worked in the oil, gas, petrochemical, electronics, heavy engineering, construction and aviation sectors and has 40 years’ experience of industrial safety. He is recognised and respected as someone who does safety differently and as major force for change in how industrial safety is delivered. He has spent periods living and working overseas with in the Middle East, Iran, Europe, Hong Kong, New Zealand, parts of the USA and returned from a 4-year spell in Australia covering major construction operations in the southern hemisphere before moving to Canada in 2018.

He has held senior positions with Motorola, British Airways and Board level positions with McAlpine, Laing O’Rourke, Battersea Power Station Development Company and is currently the SVP and CSO for Aecon.

He spends any spare time that he has climbing in Europe and scuba diving across the world or any other pastime that requires exceptional risk management skills.

Interviewer: “What do you feel are the biggest challenges safety leaders are currently faced with?”
John: “I think that we have been tied into orthodox thinking in safety that we have almost become blind to alternatives and ignorant of the fact that the traditional approach is no longer working for us. We lack the skills to influence those at the top of the need for change and the abilities to coordinate that change effort with other business initiatives. That is partly an educational challenge but it’s also an issue when it comes to deciding what other characteristics we need safety people and leaders to have. The world of work has changed enormously in the last few decades but we still see safety as a simple, common sense issue when, in fact, its messy and complex”

Interviewer: “As an expert in the health and safety sector, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their Health and Safety strategy?”
John: “I think everyone approaches this with the right attitude. Organisations want to get this right, but they fail because they disconnect the Safety strategy from almost all other aspects of the business. That and the fact that most strategies and based on a flawed notion of what safety truly is.”

Interviewer: “What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?”
John: People don’t come to work to be safe, they come to work to be successful

Interviewer: “What is one key takeaway you hope our audience at the OHS Leaders Summit USA leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?”
John: “That there is an alternative approach. One which enables everyone in the organisation to contribute to the success of the enterprise which includes the safety effort. The growth of bureaucracy is not inevitable and that there are mechanisms to enable safety that don’t involve control and constraint. Finally, that the future for EHS can be bright but we must realise that we need to change.”

About AECON

For more than a century, Aecon and its predecessor companies have helped to build many of Canada’s most famous landmarks – from the CN Tower and St. Lawrence Seaway, to the Vancouver Sky Train and Halifax Shipyards. In addition to these great landmarks, they’ve also helped to build hundreds of factories, roads, sewers, theatres, book stores, power plants, arts centres, mine sites, offices, hotels and gas distribution networks – the smaller, but no less important projects that help to make Canada a great place to live.

Interview with Barbara Veith from Fruit of the Loom

Barbara Veith, Director Environmental, Health & Safety for Fruit of the Loom, Inc. is responsible for providing expertise and strategic leadership for the global company environmental, health and safety programs and initiatives to ensure proper compliance and optimization within established regulations and guidelines and to maintain our program to communicate critical business information to participating employees in the event of business interruptions, threats or critical events.  Barbara is an Authorized 10 and 30-hour General Industry Trainer and an American Red Cross Instructor.

Interviewer: “What do you feel are the biggest challenges safety leaders are currently faced with within their business?”

Barbara: “Increasing the engagement process with temporary contract employees that lack experience and understanding of safety and don’t believe it is a value to them or that it is their responsibility.”

Interviewer: “As a safety leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their marketing strategy?”

Barbara: “Unintentionally failing to develop or consider more forward-looking safety process improvements.  Just because you haven’t had any injuries, doesn’t mean you can’t improve the safety process.”

Interviewer: “What are the latest trends and behaviours you predict will be surfacing on the market over the coming 12 months?”

Barbara: “More programmable self-driven powered industrial trucks used for picking in warehousing and better communication systems for alerting employees of dangerous situations, such as active shooters.”

Interviewer: “What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?”

Barbara: “You must care and be passionate about safety, even if the employee forgets.  This isn’t just a job.”

About Fruit of the Loom 

Fruit of the Loom, Inc., is a global pioneer, specializing in the design, manufacture, and marketing of iconic family apparel, athletic apparel, and sporting equipment brands including Vanity Fair®, Fruit of the Loom®, Spalding® and Russell Athletic®. Our brands practice the relentless pursuit of better, by striving to create innovative apparel and equipment that fits well, feels great and helps make amazing things possible. We actively seek ways to be best-in-class in social and environmental responsibility in the communities it serves around the world. Fruit of the Loom, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway.  For more information, visit fotlinc.com.

 

Interview with Paul Gooch from Consolidated Grain & Barge

Paul Gooch has 22 years’ experience in safety and also has experience working in public transportation, trucking, construction, and the grain industry.

Paul is currently the Safety Director for Consolidated Grain & Barge and has been with the company for 9 nine years.  He has two direct reports and six indirect reports.  The company has about 110 locations, mainly in the central US.

Interviewer: “What do you feel are the biggest challenges safety leaders are currently faced with within their business?”
Paul: “Speaking for the competitive construction industry, the top three (3) would be; first, resources, followed by resources, with resources being a close third.”

Interviewer: “As a safety leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their Health and Safety strategy?”
Paul: Unknowingly and unintentionally reinforcing the wrong behaviors. For example, recently we had a manager visit a project and was pleasantly surprised to find all the work was proceeding ahead of schedule. The manager treated the employees to a lunch off site praising them for their efforts and told them resoundingly and in no uncertain terms, “Whatever you are doing, keep it up!”.

Unfortunately, the crew was limiting their breaktimes to keep ahead of the schedule. As the weather changed from warm to hot, the crew, reinforced by the managers praise, continue to maintain the pace.

On one of the warmest days of the year, one of the employees became dehydrated and began to show signs of heat stress. Fortunately, the other crew members were able to quickly provide cooling and first aid and prevent a serious health issue.

Interviewer: “What are the latest trends and behaviours you predict will be surfacing on the market over the coming 12 months?”
Paul: “Rethinking of the traditional observation and feedback processes to include less structure and more conversation to uncover organizational, process and system weaknesses, a resurgence in focus group based cultural assessments over the current “surveys” to allow for probing questioning, and more technology based tools for millennials.”

Interviewer: “What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?”
Paul: “Don’t do this as a job, do it because you care!”

Interviewer: “What is one key takeaway you hope audience from the OHS Leaders Summit USA leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?”
Paul: “Safety is about people.”

About Consolidated Grain & Barge
CGB has been an innovative and progressive leader in the grain and transportation industries since 1970, when it began modestly in a small office in St. Louis, Missouri with three employees. Today, CGB operates a global enterprise with over 2,500 employees overseeing a diverse family of businesses.

The company provides an array of services for grain farmers, from buying, storing, selling and shipping of the crop, to financing and risk management. CGB continues to be one of the largest shippers of grain on the inland river system.

Interview with Joe Corvello from American Bridge Company

Joe has been with American Bridge Company for 15 years serving in many capacities as a Project Manager, Quality Manager, Safety Manager and now to his current role as the Corporate Director of HSE with the overall responsibility of continuous improvement of their Safety Programs and Culture.

The culture of American Bridge empowers all employees to identify and correct behavior that is inconsistent with their vision of “zero-incident” workplace.  Safety is at the forefront of everything they do.

As an active leader in Safety for his industry, Joe volunteers his knowledge and skills to many organizations such as Construction Industry Safety Initiative (CISI), Bridge to Prosperity (B2P) and Global EHS Leaders.”

Interviewer: “What are the biggest challenges safety leaders currently face?”

Joe: “Getting Operations Management to engage with craft workers to reinforce positive behaviors.

Having individual workers take accountability for their own actions that may lead to injury or incident.”

Interviewer: “As a safety leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their marketing strategy?”

Joe: “Companies need to view Safety as a VALUE, not a priority.  Priorities change based on operational needs.  Establishing Safety as a company value with strong communication will resonate a higher commitment by all.   Safety brings great value to a company’s reputation and will strengthen the bottom line.”

Interviewer: “What are the latest trends and behaviors you predict will be surfacing on the market over the coming 12 months?”

Joe: “Companies need to view Safety as a VALUE, not a Priority.  Priorities change based on operational needs.  Establishing Safety as a company value with strong communication will resonate a higher commitment by all.   Safety brings great value to a company’s reputation and will strengthen the bottom line.”

Interviewer: “What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?”

Joe: “Safety is a game that can never be won, you must play it to the best of your ability, always trying to outperform your last efforts, knowing that you gave it your all with the goal to go home each day free from harm.

My biggest goal is to someday work myself out of a job where every worker performs their work in the safest manner and that “Zero-Injuries” does become a reality for all!”

 

About American Bridge

American Bridge is a legendary construction company whose projects include a significant proportion of the world’s large bridges, marine installations, and other complex structures. Its history, project experience, safety leadership, reputation for integrity and competence, commitment to in-house development of human talent, equipment fleet, and above all, its advanced engineering technology, make the company unique in the entire world.

Interview with Tiffany Felix from Oakwood Worldwide

My name is Tiffany Felix.  I am the Vice President of Global Corporate Services and Enterprise Risk Compliance.  I have a long title because I have a long list of responsibilities.  The scope of my responsibilities consists of Legal, Risk Management, Compliance, Crisis Management, Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Real Estate.

1) What do you feel are the biggest challenges safety leaders are currently faced with within their business?  
The biggest challenge for safety leaders is that the importance of safety is not elevated to the executive leadership team.  In many instances, safety is categorized as a line item in the budget.  A business benefits from full integration of safety into its culture.

2) As a safety leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their Health and Safety strategy?
I think the biggest element that businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their health and safety strategy is that it lacks a holistic approach.  Health & Safety strategies are no longer strictly about a reduction in an organization’s I&I rates and compliance with regulatory requirements.

3) What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?
The best piece of advice that I received in the scope of my career is to truly understand the business of the organization and how a business operates.  After receiving an MBA, I gained a whole new perspective on how health and safety integrates into comprehensive business strategies.

4) What is one key takeaway you hope our OHS audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?
The key takeaway that I hope my audience leaves with after hearing my presentation is that Enterprise Risk Management is an integral part of an organizations success and what role EHS plays in the ERM framework.  Whether EHS plays a bigger role or a smaller role in ERM, will be discussed.

ABOUT OAKWOOD WORLDWIDE
Oakwood Worldwide® is the premier provider of corporate housing and serviced apartment solutions through its three well-known brands, Oakwood®, ExecuStay® and Insurance Housing Solutions™. The award-winning company provides move-in-ready furnished housing designed to meet the needs of global organizations, individual travelers and insurance clients on long- and short-term assignments.
Oakwood® has access to the largest selection of housing options and a presence in all 50 United States and more than 95 countries. ExecuStay® is the only corporate housing brand where guests can earn Marriott Rewards® points for stays at any ExecuStay® location in the U.S. Oakwood Worldwide has its corporate headquarters in Los Angeles with regional headquarters in London, Phoenix and Singapore.

Interview with Bill Hilton from Walt Disney World’s Parks and Resorts

Bill Hilton is the Director of Safety Services for Walt Disney World’s Parks and Resorts. In this role, Bill is responsible for leading a Safety organization focused on providing a safe environment for 74,000 Cast Members and approximately 50 million guests that visit Walt Disney World’s Parks and Resorts annually.

Bill has a diverse background, both professionally and academically, having earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology, with a composite minor in Science, and a Master’s Degree in Occupational Safety. Bill has enjoyed an established career in holding various Global Safety leadership roles; enabling him to bring a global view to the safety profession.

1) What do you feel are the biggest challenges safety leaders are currently faced with within their business?  

 Safety Professionals face some specific challenges around the measurement of meaningful safety results (i.e. metrics that inform vs. traditional lagging indicators), an aging workforce that is less well than it was 20 years ago, and how to effectively integrate safety and wellness in the workforce. Another challenge that the safety profession in the United States faces is the limited options for continuing education at the Doctorate level.

2) As a safety leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their Health and Safety strategy?

It has been my experience that businesses which struggle with achieving their desired safety results, do so as a result of not aligning their safety strategies with the larger business mission, vision, and strategies.  At the business level, this means having an organizational structure designed to deliver on business and safety strategies to create long-term value.  At the safety organization level, this means having safety professionals who see themselves as business partners rather than solely technical experts – meaning they are thinking about risk rather than only regulatory requirements.

3) What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?

The best piece of advice I have been given came about while on an overseas assignment in Asia.  An Operations Executive, who spent much of his career working internationally told me, “As a safety professional you will know the solutions to problems, but that is not where your greatest value lies.  Your greatest value will be in your ability to teach others how to solve their problems.  By doing this, you will be developing talent which allows the company to help change the culture.”

4) What is one key takeaway you hope our OHS audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?

I hope the audience leaves with an understanding of the unique and diverse risk portfolio that safety professionals at Disney’s Parks and Resorts manage.  Unlike most environments found in more traditional industry settings, we are constantly challenged to help our partners deliver the Disney Magic…safely.

About Walt Disney World’s Park and Resort
The Walt Disney World® Resort features four theme parks — the Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios™, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. More than 20 resort hotels are on-site, offering several thousand rooms of themed accommodations. The nearly 40-square-miles of the Walt Disney World® Resort also feature two water parks, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park; the Downtown Disney® Area, a daytime and nighttime shopping and entertainment complex; two full-service spas; and recreational facilities including championship golf courses and a 200-acre sports complex. Complete convention and banquet events, from conferences to weddings, are tailored for business and leisure groups. In addition, off-site vacation destinations include Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.

Interview with Dr. Walter C. Fluharty from Simon Roofing

Dr. Walter C. Fluharty is currently the Vice President – Environmental Health and Safety & Organizational Development for Simon Roofing and is responsible for their manufacturing facilities and 66 Service Centers nationwide.

In a career that spans more than 30 years, he has built a reputation developing world class safety cultures in a wide variety of industries.  His experience includes developing the widely used training program, “It Can Happen Here” funded by an OSHA New Directions Grant. He actively participated in the development of several OHSA standards including, the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals and Cadmium standards.

1) What do you feel are the biggest challenges safety leaders are currently faced with within their business?
Speaking for the competitive construction industry, the top three (3) would be; first, resources, followed by resources, with resources being a close third.

2) As a safety leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their Health and Safety strategy?
Unknowingly and unintentionally reinforcing the wrong behaviors. For example, recently we had a manager visit a project and was pleasantly surprised to find all the work was proceeding ahead of schedule. The manager treated the employees to a lunch off site praising them for their efforts and told them resoundingly and in no uncertain terms, “Whatever you are doing, keep it up!”.
Q&A Interview – OHS Leaders Summit USA Page -2

Unfortunately, the crew was limiting their breaktimes to keep ahead of the schedule. As the weather changed from warm to hot, the crew, reinforced by the managers praise, continue to maintain the pace.

On one of the warmest days of the year, one of the employees became dehydrated and began to show signs of heat stress. Fortunately, the other crew members were able to quickly provide cooling and first aid and prevent a serious health issue.

3) What are the latest trends and behaviours you predict will be surfacing on the market over the coming 12 months?
• Rethinking of the traditional observation and feedback processes to include less structure and more conversation to uncover organizational, process and system weaknesses.
• A resurgence in focus group based cultural assessments over the current “surveys” to allow for probing questioning.
• More technology based tools for millennials.

4) What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?
“Don’t do this as a job, do it because you care!”

5) What is one key takeaway you hope our OHS audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?
Safety is about people.

ABOUT SIMON ROOFING
Backed by more than a century of commercial roofing experience, Simon Roofing manufactures, installs and services roofing systems for retail, industrial, manufacturing, institutional, real estate and government entities throughout the country. With 66 service center locations, we self perform more than 99% of national service work to provide our customers with consistent, high-quality workmanship and well-established safety practices. Through our affiliate, Simon Surfaces, we also offer a variety of concrete repair and floor resurfacing systems. Areas of specialty include commercial roofing repairs, restorations, replacements, 24/7 emergency service response, diagnostic testing/analysis, roof asset management, preventative maintenance, concrete repair and concrete floor resurfacing.

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