Safety: Growing My Engineering Career in Unexpected Ways

Mar 30, 2022 | Inside BE - Our Culture | 0 comments

When I started at Brindley Engineering in 2017, my goal was to run my own projects and become a lead in piping design. I’m happy to report that I’ve been able to grow in that role and have reached my goal of leading design work. It’s been a great journey to date. I then asked myself, “What could I do to further my career and provide additional value at Brindley Engineering?”

I had some conversations with Brindley leadership and looked for opportunities to make a difference and continue to grow my career. An opportunity presented itself to become a member of the BE Safety Committee. As a committee member my role was to assess the actions needed for Brindley Engineering to constantly improve safety – a major focus for the organization. After a few months I saw the need to have a Safety Lead, someone responsible for the overall initiative and safety organization. I put my hat in the ring, typed up a formal job description and a few weeks later I was Brindley Engineering’s Safety Lead!

I got to work to further elevate and promote the safety culture at Brindley Engineering. I started to compile a comprehensive program that standardized and implemented safety plans and procedures, group trainings and presentations. The Safety Committee was a huge part of developing that plan.

Recently Brindley Engineering hosted a company-wide “Safetypalooza” event where Safety Committee members and I presented training on safety topics that are relevant to everyone in our industry. We presented and trained on several topics such as proper handwear in different work environments and tasks, working from heights, harness demonstrations and fire extinguisher training.

The handwear presentation covered the 7 different types of gloves that we use daily in the industrial settings we commonly work in. We discussed the proper usage for each type of glove and identified typical everyday tasks and the proper gloves for that task. The presentation concluded with an open discussion for lessons learned and safety observations that the group had encountered. It was interactive and everyone walked away will new tools in their toolkit.

The fall harness and working from heights presentations focused on educating the group on the proper steps of inspecting, donning, and storing a fall harness, as well as step-by-step procedures necessary for working from heights. During this presentation we showed the components of a harness and the proper inspection for each of those components. After harness inspection, we demonstrated the proper way to wear the appropriate fall protection and where each component should rest on the body.

We also touched on how to properly read scaffold and danger tape tags, followed by the step necessary to climb and descend safely. A climb is always performed using three points of contact while wearing proper PPE. Once at height, a demonstration showed 100% tie-off and proper tie points to use to perform work safely. A demonstration on how to descend a ladder safely concluded the presentation.

The presentation on fire safety and the use and selection of fire extinguishers was generously given by a member of the local Lisle Fire Department.  This engaging training session included live, hands-on fire extinguisher training.  This was another highlight of the day as live-training is always preferred over more academic training.

“Safetypalooza” was a great success to the staff at Brindley Engineering and furthered the message that we are all responsible for being safety conscious with our work.  It was also a great day to gather our team together over great food and build stronger ties within our different groups, while also learning more about safety.

The opportunity to lead the safety group and teach my fellow co-workers and friends was never in my initial thoughts or goals, but as I grow in my career, I am excited for the chance to grow into this opportunity.  I started out at Brindley Engineering as a designer, and now that I’ve added the role of Safety Lead, I feel good about improving the breadth and depth of my knowledge and about helping the company and my coworkers with their focus on safety. Cheers to learning and growing with Brindley Engineering!

– Paul Beemsterboer, Brindley Engineering

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