Linda Tapp, CSP has more than 30 years of global experience in occupational safety and health.
Linda epitomizes the passionate and high-energy Safety Hero; she has published more than 50 articles in various trade publications; she’s a popular, sought-after, award-winning consultant and speaker around the world; and she is dedicated to adding some “fun” into activities that make safety training a great, immersive, and learning experience.
Today, she’s President of SafetyFUNdamentals—the name of a book, and her company—both of which help educate and inform safety professionals so that they can stay safe each day. That first book she wrote—“Safety FUNdamentals—77 Games and Activities to Make Training Great”—shares memorable, interactive, cost-effective ways to keep your workers safe through training and education.
Keep reading to see how she ended up in safety and what she loves about her job.
How did your career in safety start?
My father was a Philadelphia Police Officer and my Grandfather and Great-Uncles were Philadelphia Firemen so I grew up assuming that jobs protecting others were the norm. I didn’t see a path for myself in public safety but when an insurance company came to campus my senior year of college looking for loss control representatives, I learned about occupational safety as a career.
My first job was working for an environmental insurance company providing safety services to asbestos and lead paint abatement contractors. From there I jumped into manufacturing, and then later into consulting where I have been ever since.
I love knowing that what I do day-to-day can mean the difference between someone going home at the end of the day or not.
Have you ever had an experience, incident or situation shape your approach to safety?
As a consultant, I took on a big project that involved providing a 3-day safety leadership class to supervisors at a chemical company at multiple locations across the US. Wondering how I was going to get these supervisors to interact and retain what they learned after 3 long days of training, I decided to apply accelerated learning principles to the class material in a big way. This was a little risky since I would be asking trainees who may never have been asked to take part in interactive class activities to do so.
This was a fairly intimidating group of trainees, so I wasn’t sure how this was going to be received but I am happy to say that classes were a huge success and the trainees told me how much they appreciated not having to simply sit and listen for 3 days.
I realized after that experience that interactive safety training activities could make every safety trainers’ classes better. Trainees not only pay attention and interact more but remember more of the information longer.
All of my safety training now is based on accelerated learning principles and I spend a lot of my time teaching other safety trainers how to apply them to their own training. Safety training is too important for it not to be the best that it can be.
What is your superpower?
My superpower is the ability to take ideas from other fields and apply them to safety. I love to cross-pollinate what I learn from totally unrelated fields with safety training.
I am a creative person and this cross-pollination is a great way for me to be able to apply my creative skills in a technical area. The application of accelerated learning principles as described above is one example of this.
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