On any given day, you can find Mark Handel, Corporate EHS and Training Manager, supporting employee training as well as environmental health and safety.

Mark is a safety leader at Ellison Surface Technologies, a company that provides comprehensive coating, surface treatment and special process services to enhance the performance of aerospace, power generation and industrial components. There are five production facilities in the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Mark works out of the location in Hebron, Kentucky.

For Mark, employee training encompasses onboarding new employees, working with site leadership to qualify production employees for their roles, determine training needs for individuals and teams, and sharing whatever he can with other sites to promote consistency across the company.

EH&S involves providing monthly safety training, leading Ellison’s safety committees, and proactively keeping everyone safe and able to go home to their loved ones each day. His role also involves complying with all local, state and federal regulatory standards, both locally and company-wide.

Keep reading to see why Mark’s journey into safety is unique, and find out the inspiring mantra that captures his approach to leading and empowering others.

How did you end up in your current role?

For the past 25+ years, training design, development and delivery has been a large part of my career. Most of that experience is in customer support, sales, and products and services.

Until coming to Ellison, I hadn’t been too involved in environmental health and safety. It started with safety training. However, it quickly evolved and became an integral part of what I do today, ties together well with training and development and is something I really enjoy leading.

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given?

Not necessarily advice, but it is something that I believe to be true. I make note of it whenever I orient a new employee to our company and I let them know its origin as well: “Any day that goes by without a person being hurt at work is a good day, regardless of how much money we make.”

This is paraphrased from the President and COO of Ellison Surface Technologies, Tim Perkins.

Do you have any mantra you live or work by?

I have always liked a quote by Robin Sharma from “The Leader Who Had No Title”, one that I feel has made a positive impact throughout my career: “You can lead without a title, because leadership is a way of being versus a position.”

Although you may not have a direct line of people reporting to you, you can still lead them by being a role model, mentor, coworker, sounding board or simply lending a helping hand when they have a question or issue you can help them resolve.