Paul Devroomen, Safety Manager at L’Oréal, was born in Lisse, Netherlands and moved to the United States in 1978 with his family who exported flower bulbs.
He’s held multiple positions during his career as machine operator, Supervisor, Short Term Planner, Purchasing Agent, Component Supply Planner, Cell Manager, Quality Manager, Packaging Optimization Manager and Safety Manager. He’s been with L’Oreal, an OSHA VPP Certified and OHSAS 18001 Certified facility since 1994.
Devroomen’s superpower is keeping things simple.
Why did you choose your profession?
My path to safety is a little different than most. I’ve worked at L’Oreal for 23 years and started as a machine operator. I worked my way through the ranks and have had over a dozen positions in our plant before becoming a Safety Manager in 2016.
I’ve always cared about how we provide a safe environment for everyone that works here and was always in close collaboration with the EHS group in every position I held here. So in all honesty, I did not choose the profession but over time, we naturally came together.
Have you ever had an incident that changed you, and how did you approach it with your role?
Our plant is a pretty safe place and we haven’t had any incidents that I think would change me dramatically. Cumulatively, each incident reminds me how personal safety is.
When someone is injured their lives are affected much more than just what happens here at work. The employee takes the injury home. We will take action, we try to learn and improve things as a result, but the employee cannot leave the injury and the after effects at work, they take it home and their families and loved ones are of course affected as well.
What do you want everyone to know about safety?
Having worked my way through many positions at our site, I understand that safety isn’t always everyone’s top priority in the moment. Everyone has pressure to perform and produce.
If I could communicate one thing about safety it would be that if it truly becomes a value in the culture where you work, the moment a critical decision comes to you, you will make the right call, and that value keeps you and anyone around you free from injury.
Prioritizing safety is good when you have time to prioritize, otherwise it has to be a value that will naturally protect you in those decisive moments.
What is your superpower?
My superpower is keeping things simple: Understanding what matters to people and the company. Then communicating and operating in a way that protects people, assets, the community and improves efficiencies along the way.
Do You Know a Safety Hero?
There are very real heroes walking among us – often going unrecognized…and these people are our Safety Heroes. It’s these heroes that fervently establish safe and healthy work environments – and these environments make sure the companies we work for remain viable!