A Little About ME!
Out Dated I will update soon... 1-29-10
I currently work in Wind Energy for the leader in wind turbine production, GE. This is a new and old industry for me. I started in construction at the tender age of 17 and within three years became a journeyman carpenter. By the time I was 21 I had broken both ankles, thrown out my back and other countless cuts, bruises and strains. I went into facility management with the idea that I can save my body from damage and slowly learned that each job I took presented new dangers.
I started in Safety working for a dental laboratory in1997. I was sent to OSHA trainings and was tasked with getting the company compliant; which I did in a matter of months. I moved out of laboratory work into manufacturing in the tech field in Northern California. You have probably seen the products we manufactured in our facility in the airports around the country. I worked various EHS jobs and had my own business until 2006 when I landed a Safety Manager position with one of the largest homebuilders in the country. I was able to hone my skills and develop my own style of Safety Management (yes there is a style). Until the housing market flopped I had a great career. I have been very lucky in a sense, my next job came from networking at my OSHA 501 and I was recruited into the drilling industry.
While traveling I came to the realization that it was possible for a grunt like me to find a job that I completely love. I can’t believe how easy it was to sit in an office for two years, eat fast food and become complacent. My new gig motivated me to practice my preaching and get back in shape and focus more on my own health. The best part was I was feeling great and what’s more, focusing on a long-term career in safety while learning a new industry. The drilling company allowed me to hone my training skills with a larger audience; 200 people staring at me was a little daunting at first but after a while its cake. I learned a whole range of divisions of drilling, Water Treatment, Mining, Geology. I also learned that rough necks are bigger babies than carpenters.
2008 and I love my job traveling with the drilling company. Unknown to me, the same OSHA training that yielded one opportunity was going to present another. I received a call in August from a gentleman that had my phone number on his desk for over a year. He was from a child company owned by General Electric and wanted to know if I was interested in working with them on wind energy projects around the country. I had to make a decision, stay with a great company and continue to travel or move to a very large company travel less and work in a rapidly growing industry that is just gaining steam. I knew that mining was down and the economy was taking a turn, which meant drilling was down as well. I remember listening to the debates and hearing that more money was being routed to the wind industry. That was it; I called that gentleman back and started the process to get into wind turbine construction. By October I started my OJT in Texas and by November I had my own site in Illinois. Here I am today its hovering around 0 degrees, snow on the ground, thousand miles from friends and family and I am just as excited today about safety as I was 11 years giving my first orientation. The industry in moving forward in a great direction with new technology and standards that more and more workers in all industries are having their lives saved by our work.
If I were asked to give a little advice to those just getting into safety in any capacity is. Always keep the ones who are on the front lines exposed to the hazards first. Money is no reason to put lives in danger. All injuries change lives in some form. Establish a safety culture in your workplace to evoke change; this is the most difficult task.