As I sit here writing my first article as region safety manager, I am reminded of the words that I first heard back in 1996 when I joined Ruppert as an assistant field manager in Forestville: “Safety is everyone’s responsibility.” In the 25 years since then, I have strived to live that principle and to make sure that the branch teams I worked with knew and understood it as well. Safety is important to me because I believe it is our responsibility as human beings to take care of ourselves, our fellow employees, our customers, and the general public. Whether we work safely or not can have a direct and lasting effect (good or bad) on ourselves and everyone we come in contact with. That is why I have been the branch safety rep in each location I’ve worked in since 2000, and consider it a privilege to now be in a role where I can help our employees go home to their families safe and sound each day.
In my new role, I will be supporting the Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, D.C., and Northern Virginia branches to create a safer work environment for our maintenance operations by reducing risk, preventing accidents, and promoting safety culture. This newly created position will allow both Dave Sanders and me the bandwidth to spend more time in the branches assisting with training and supporting Branch Safety Reps with things like AM safety inspections and field safety inspections. This added time with the managers and crews doing the work will help us to get closer to the employees that experience the greatest risk in our day-to-day operations and will yield the greatest positive results if they are consistently operating safely. My initial focus will be to quickly get to know the teams that I will be working with and getting their feedback on the current safety challenges and needs so I can provide useful support. Right off the bat, some specific things I plan to focus on are the consistent and correct use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), reducing our distracted driving risks, and helping each branch that I am working with build and maintain a strong safety culture.
I look forward to meeting and working with the many hard-working employees we have here at Ruppert and helping us continue to build and improve our safety culture. Stay Safe!