Safety Hero, Shari Lupardus, is the Health and Safety Manager for Dearborn Mid-West GM Assembly company. With over 13 years of experience in safety and the diverse skillset she earned in the Laborers Union, she has contributed as a CHST across multiple industries. An alumna of West Virginia University Safety program, Shari has continuously emphasized education in safety in order to form safer work environments.
Why did you choose your profession?
I did not choose my profession. My profession chose me, and I answered my calling. I was fortunate to have some great mentors early on in my journey. This started me out on the right path to be a successful safety professional.
What is the most important thing to do to be effective in your role?
I had an experienced co-worker in the safety profession tell me to listen to my workers and they will teach me something. I believe this advice has helped me be the most effective in my role as a safety professional. I have been fortunate to have a diverse background in my safety role. Listening to the workers provides me with much information about a specific task that I may have not been exposed to before and provides me an opportunity to start building a team.
Have you ever had an incident that changed you, and how did you approach it with your role
I have been fortunate in my career as a safety professional to have not had a serious incident on one of my job sites. However, my son was injured on the job within the first year of his career as a pipeline welder helper. This incident could have easily caused his death. He suffered broken legs and a broken foot. My take away from this was the importance of a mentor program on the job for new hires and those new to a task or craft. Also, the importance of a ‘Stop Work Program’ allowing anyone to stop work when an unsafe condition needs to be corrected without repercussions from supervision. In most cases, it only takes a moment to make the needed corrections to mitigate an unsafe condition.
What do you want everyone to know?
As a safety professional, you can be a coach or a cop. The coach creates allies and the cop creates adversaries. It is important to have allies in safety. It supports a healthy safety culture throughout the company at all levels. It is a team effort, not a solo act.
What is your superpower?
My superpower is my ability to work as a team member or independently to create enthusiasm motivating employees to reach goals.