Raymond Sullivan, Safety Specialist at Friedlander Group, Inc. often jokes that he ended up in the safety profession by accident.
And even though it might not have been intentional, he’s glad he’s now able to help companies become safer each day. Keep reading to see why Sullivan is a Safety Hero, including why he says communication skills are so critical today in safety.
Why did you choose your profession or how did you end up in your role?
I often joke that I ended up in a safety related profession by accident. I worked at an insurance broker while in college and for a while I never left.
I ended up doing some loss control work while there and that led me into a job working for a safety consultant. Ever since, I’ve been in workers’ compensation and safety.
What’s important to be effective in your role?
I think one of the most important tools that an effective safety professional must have is communication skills. On a daily basis I need to communicate with a wide range of people with a lot of different skills and responsibilities. I need to effectively communicate with management in HR and Finance as well as with frontline employees.
Have you ever had an incident that changed you and how did you approach it with your role?
I’ve been involved in the investigation of a number of accidents where an employee made a decision that at the time seemed like it wouldn’t have any negative consequences but they ended up badly hurt.
I use those examples to explain to staff that even a minor deviation from how they normally perform a task can result in a catastrophic injury and that they should always take the safer approach.
What do you want everyone to know about safety?
While we often hear that the ultimate responsibility for safety is on leadership, which is true, everyone in an organization needs to be equally committed to a safe workplace.
What is your superpower?
Like I said earlier, communication skills are very important and I think I am able to communicate different safety lessons to different people, from business owners right on down to the lowest tenured employee on staff.