Interview with Tiffany Felix from Oakwood Worldwide

My name is Tiffany Felix.  I am the Vice President of Global Corporate Services and Enterprise Risk Compliance.  I have a long title because I have a long list of responsibilities.  The scope of my responsibilities consists of Legal, Risk Management, Compliance, Crisis Management, Corporate Social Responsibility and Global Real Estate.

1) What do you feel are the biggest challenges safety leaders are currently faced with within their business?  
The biggest challenge for safety leaders is that the importance of safety is not elevated to the executive leadership team.  In many instances, safety is categorized as a line item in the budget.  A business benefits from full integration of safety into its culture.

2) As a safety leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their Health and Safety strategy?
I think the biggest element that businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their health and safety strategy is that it lacks a holistic approach.  Health & Safety strategies are no longer strictly about a reduction in an organization’s I&I rates and compliance with regulatory requirements.

3) What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?
The best piece of advice that I received in the scope of my career is to truly understand the business of the organization and how a business operates.  After receiving an MBA, I gained a whole new perspective on how health and safety integrates into comprehensive business strategies.

4) What is one key takeaway you hope our OHS audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?
The key takeaway that I hope my audience leaves with after hearing my presentation is that Enterprise Risk Management is an integral part of an organizations success and what role EHS plays in the ERM framework.  Whether EHS plays a bigger role or a smaller role in ERM, will be discussed.

ABOUT OAKWOOD WORLDWIDE
Oakwood Worldwide® is the premier provider of corporate housing and serviced apartment solutions through its three well-known brands, Oakwood®, ExecuStay® and Insurance Housing Solutions™. The award-winning company provides move-in-ready furnished housing designed to meet the needs of global organizations, individual travelers and insurance clients on long- and short-term assignments.
Oakwood® has access to the largest selection of housing options and a presence in all 50 United States and more than 95 countries. ExecuStay® is the only corporate housing brand where guests can earn Marriott Rewards® points for stays at any ExecuStay® location in the U.S. Oakwood Worldwide has its corporate headquarters in Los Angeles with regional headquarters in London, Phoenix and Singapore.

Interview with Bill Hilton from Walt Disney World’s Parks and Resorts

Bill Hilton is the Director of Safety Services for Walt Disney World’s Parks and Resorts. In this role, Bill is responsible for leading a Safety organization focused on providing a safe environment for 74,000 Cast Members and approximately 50 million guests that visit Walt Disney World’s Parks and Resorts annually.

Bill has a diverse background, both professionally and academically, having earned an undergraduate degree in Psychology, with a composite minor in Science, and a Master’s Degree in Occupational Safety. Bill has enjoyed an established career in holding various Global Safety leadership roles; enabling him to bring a global view to the safety profession.

1) What do you feel are the biggest challenges safety leaders are currently faced with within their business?  

 Safety Professionals face some specific challenges around the measurement of meaningful safety results (i.e. metrics that inform vs. traditional lagging indicators), an aging workforce that is less well than it was 20 years ago, and how to effectively integrate safety and wellness in the workforce. Another challenge that the safety profession in the United States faces is the limited options for continuing education at the Doctorate level.

2) As a safety leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their Health and Safety strategy?

It has been my experience that businesses which struggle with achieving their desired safety results, do so as a result of not aligning their safety strategies with the larger business mission, vision, and strategies.  At the business level, this means having an organizational structure designed to deliver on business and safety strategies to create long-term value.  At the safety organization level, this means having safety professionals who see themselves as business partners rather than solely technical experts – meaning they are thinking about risk rather than only regulatory requirements.

3) What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?

The best piece of advice I have been given came about while on an overseas assignment in Asia.  An Operations Executive, who spent much of his career working internationally told me, “As a safety professional you will know the solutions to problems, but that is not where your greatest value lies.  Your greatest value will be in your ability to teach others how to solve their problems.  By doing this, you will be developing talent which allows the company to help change the culture.”

4) What is one key takeaway you hope our OHS audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?

I hope the audience leaves with an understanding of the unique and diverse risk portfolio that safety professionals at Disney’s Parks and Resorts manage.  Unlike most environments found in more traditional industry settings, we are constantly challenged to help our partners deliver the Disney Magic…safely.

About Walt Disney World’s Park and Resort
The Walt Disney World® Resort features four theme parks — the Magic Kingdom® Park, Epcot®, Disney’s Hollywood Studios™, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom® Theme Park. More than 20 resort hotels are on-site, offering several thousand rooms of themed accommodations. The nearly 40-square-miles of the Walt Disney World® Resort also feature two water parks, Disney’s Blizzard Beach Water Park and Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park; the Downtown Disney® Area, a daytime and nighttime shopping and entertainment complex; two full-service spas; and recreational facilities including championship golf courses and a 200-acre sports complex. Complete convention and banquet events, from conferences to weddings, are tailored for business and leisure groups. In addition, off-site vacation destinations include Disney’s Hilton Head Island Resort and Disney’s Vero Beach Resort.

Interview with Dr. Walter C. Fluharty from Simon Roofing

Dr. Walter C. Fluharty is currently the Vice President – Environmental Health and Safety & Organizational Development for Simon Roofing and is responsible for their manufacturing facilities and 66 Service Centers nationwide.

In a career that spans more than 30 years, he has built a reputation developing world class safety cultures in a wide variety of industries.  His experience includes developing the widely used training program, “It Can Happen Here” funded by an OSHA New Directions Grant. He actively participated in the development of several OHSA standards including, the Process Safety Management of Highly Hazardous Chemicals and Cadmium standards.

1) What do you feel are the biggest challenges safety leaders are currently faced with within their business?
Speaking for the competitive construction industry, the top three (3) would be; first, resources, followed by resources, with resources being a close third.

2) As a safety leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their Health and Safety strategy?
Unknowingly and unintentionally reinforcing the wrong behaviors. For example, recently we had a manager visit a project and was pleasantly surprised to find all the work was proceeding ahead of schedule. The manager treated the employees to a lunch off site praising them for their efforts and told them resoundingly and in no uncertain terms, “Whatever you are doing, keep it up!”.
Q&A Interview – OHS Leaders Summit USA Page -2

Unfortunately, the crew was limiting their breaktimes to keep ahead of the schedule. As the weather changed from warm to hot, the crew, reinforced by the managers praise, continue to maintain the pace.

On one of the warmest days of the year, one of the employees became dehydrated and began to show signs of heat stress. Fortunately, the other crew members were able to quickly provide cooling and first aid and prevent a serious health issue.

3) What are the latest trends and behaviours you predict will be surfacing on the market over the coming 12 months?
• Rethinking of the traditional observation and feedback processes to include less structure and more conversation to uncover organizational, process and system weaknesses.
• A resurgence in focus group based cultural assessments over the current “surveys” to allow for probing questioning.
• More technology based tools for millennials.

4) What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?
“Don’t do this as a job, do it because you care!”

5) What is one key takeaway you hope our OHS audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?
Safety is about people.

ABOUT SIMON ROOFING
Backed by more than a century of commercial roofing experience, Simon Roofing manufactures, installs and services roofing systems for retail, industrial, manufacturing, institutional, real estate and government entities throughout the country. With 66 service center locations, we self perform more than 99% of national service work to provide our customers with consistent, high-quality workmanship and well-established safety practices. Through our affiliate, Simon Surfaces, we also offer a variety of concrete repair and floor resurfacing systems. Areas of specialty include commercial roofing repairs, restorations, replacements, 24/7 emergency service response, diagnostic testing/analysis, roof asset management, preventative maintenance, concrete repair and concrete floor resurfacing.

Interview with Allison Montgomery from Harris Corporation

Allison Montgomery is the Global Senior Director of Environmental, Health and Safety for Harris Corporation. She is based at Harris’ Corporate Headquarters in Melbourne, FL and is responsible for developing strategies to improve the company’s overall Environmental, Health and Safety performance. Before joining Harris, Allison worked at Pentair as the Global Director of EHS and Quality and held varying EHS Management roles with Alcoa, Inc. Allison served four years in the United States Marine Corps. She holds a BS degree in Biology from The Ohio State University and a MS degree in Environmental Management from The University of Maryland.

1) What do you feel are the biggest challenges safety leaders are currently faced with within their business?
Although there are many challenges, one of the biggest ones is EHS being operationalized or fully integrated into systems and processes as just “how we accomplish work”. EHS continues to be either an after-thought, extra-work or numerous other roadblock type comments that exist in many industries.

2) As a safety leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their Health and Safety strategy?
Businesses continue to see people as something that impedes business or something they need to fix, mould, correct…..instead of seeing people as their solutions.

3) What are the latest trends and behaviours you predict will be surfacing on the market over the coming 12 months?
I see a continued focus on human performance and safety differently with a shift from the focus on zero injuries to an investment in people.

4) What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?
Your passion is your strength, don’t let a person or organization take it from you. If you feel like you are losing your passion, move on.

5) What is one key takeaway you hope our OHS audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?
I hope I can, by some miracle, make EHS management systems exciting and simple, but ensure the impact and need for EHS managements is properly conveyed and valued.

ABOUT HARRIS CORPORATION
Harris Corporation is a leading technology innovator, solving customers’ toughest mission-critical challenges by providing solutions that connect, inform and protect. Harris supports customers in about 100 countries and has approximately $6 billion in annual revenue. The company is organized into three business segments: Communication Systems, Electronic Systems and Space and Intelligence Systems.

Interview with David Loyd from NASA

David Loyd currently serves as the Assistant to the Director of Safety & Mission Assurance (SMA) at NASA’s Johnson Space Center (JSC) in Houston, Texas. He is responsible for assuring effective governance of SMA regulations and requirements associated with the JSC infrastructure. David also Chairs the NASA Facility System Safety Working Group responsible for maintenance and implementation of safety policy and practices associated with agency facilities and infrastructure. Since 2009, David serves as a charter member of NASA’s Safety Culture Working Group, defining the agency’s desired safety culture characteristics. He assisted development of long-term agency-wide safety culture survey and measurement processes and contributed to associated policy development. David also supports agency SMA training and communication initiatives.

1) What do you feel are the biggest challenges safety leaders are currently faced with within their business?
There is a consistent challenge to prove value-added – What cost is enough to make our respective enterprise “safe enough”? There isn’t really one good answer to that. In the past it was enough to cite regulatory mandates. But there has been growing pressure to be more successful limiting mishaps while trimming back efforts that are not necessary under the strictest interpretation of the law. A good, objective risk management process is crucial to ensure that top leadership understands the full breadth of potential consequences, from catastrophic failures, to litigation, or reputation costs that must be considered before taking on a difficult business proposition. If you can “afford” the risk, be courageous enough to share your reasoning with stakeholders.

2) As a safety leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their Health and Safety strategy?
They forget to state the obvious. By that, I mean that most often new leaders assume that they must hit the ground running and they want their workforce to support being more productive. The workforce also assumes that the new boss wants them to be productive. In all that blitz of anxious productivity fervour, mistakes happen. Well once the smoke clears, the employees involved admit that they weren’t thinking about the safe way to get things done because they wanted to demonstrate their commitment to the mission to the new boss. When you ask the involved leadership, they’ll invariably say, “Of course I want them to do it safely! Isn’t it obvious I don’t want them to get hurt…. Do I have to say that every time???” Well, yes, you do. We hire talented and productive people. You don’t have to convince them to be productive. But you do need to tell them their talent and productivity is too valuable to risk a debilitating injury or catastrophic damage.

3) What are the latest trends and behaviours you predict will be surfacing on the market over the coming 12 months?
I tend to look longer term than 12 months… It is very interesting how the Millennial generation is both assimilating into their respective workplace cultures and also radically reshaping them. They learn quicker and are less accepting of clumsy “get-er-done” attitudes left behind by us aging Baby-Boomers. We may be disgruntled with their superficial apathy, but once they learn a lesson it seems to stick. I expect things in the safety and health world will get better. I see more practical use of technology to identify hazards and develop safer operational planning.

4) What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?
I learned a difficult lesson several years ago when I concurred on use of an aging altitude simulation system that had flawed inspection results. It was a high-pressure steam system that had deteriorated over 40 years. We knew there was a great risk of it failing, but convinced ourselves that if it did fail it would leak in a benign manner before breaking apart destructively. It ended up sending about 2000 pounds of steel over 800 feet into the New Mexico desert. Fortunately, we had taken measures to protect personnel. But it resulted in over $1,000,000 in damage and a year delay of critical testing. The lesson was that I needed to make sure all of our management had bought into the risk. There was sound reasoning in accepting the risk, but poor execution of communicating the risk. Risks are shared, and if all the players are involved in the risk decision, it is a lot more palatable to live with the consequences.

5) What is one key takeaway you hope our OHS audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?
My message is that there are ways to fail smart. We are obligated to figure out what risks are worth taking and how to prepare for success, failure, or more likely something in between. NASA is occasionally criticized for being risk-averse and leery of innovative approaches to technical management and space travel. Change, cost-reduction, and innovation influences have been a challenge to safety. We have gone to great lengths to reduce safety limitations, increase flexibility, and accommodate “smart risks” – Can we afford the consequence? Can we learn from the mistake? Can we get back up and try again? And, finally, Do we own the risk in the first place? If it’s no to any one of those, it’s not a smart risk.

ABOUT NASA
For more than 50 years, NASA has been breaking barriers to achieve the seemingly impossible—from walking on the Moon to pushing the boundaries of human spaceflight farther than ever before. We work in space and around the world in laboratories and wind tunnels, on airfields and in control rooms to explore some of life’s fundamental mysteries: What’s out there in space? How do we get there? And what can we learn that will make life better here on Earth?

We are passionate professionals united by a common purpose: to pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery and aeronautics research. Today, we continue NASA’s legacy of excellence and innovation through an unprecedented array of missions. We are developing the most advanced rockets and spacecraft ever designed, studying the Earth for answers to critical challenges facing our planet, improving the air transportation experience, and so much more.

Interview with Dr. Robert Emery from the University of Texas Health Science Center

Dr. Robert Emery is Vice President for Safety, Health, Environment & Risk Management for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Professor of Occupational Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health. He has over 37 years of experience in health & safety and holds master’s degrees in both health physics and environmental sciences, and a doctorate in occupational health.

The OHS Leaders team took some time out earlier this week to put forward some questions for Dr. Robert Emery to answer around the current state of the Health and Safety Environment across the United States.

Dr. Robert Emery will be presenting at this year’s OHS Leaders Summit USA in Carlsbad, California on 17 – 18th October 2018.

If you would like to find out more on how you could be part of this summit please click on the register your interest tab above.

 


1)
 What do you feel are the biggest challenges safety leaders are currently faced with within their business?  

Quantifying the value of prevention has always been a challenge for safety leaders. In the safety profession, it is a good day when “nothing happens”, but we have to do a better job at collectively demonstrating and articulating the amount of resources that are needed to make “nothing happen”.

 

2) As a safety leader, what do you feel businesses continue to get wrong when it comes to their Health and Safety strategy?

Since the workers are truly an organizations’ most valuable resource, it is important for companies to overtly express that value and exhibit genuine concern for their health and well being. The tone has to be set from the top that the organization genuinely cares about you.

 

3) What are the latest trends and behaviours you predict will be surfacing on the market over the coming 12 months?

I am very interested in the interface between safety and security. I am told that only in the English language are there two separate words describing loss control – but in English the difference between safety and security is intent. I believe there are opportunities for safety and security to work more closely together to collectively reduce losses of all types.

 

4) What is the best piece of advice you have received within your job over the years?

A wise former boss told me : I don’t get paid to listen to people complain – if you have a problem, describe it to me and list the options for resolution, and always put your preferred option as number one – and you’ll likely get your way. That has proven to be sage advice for me over the years.

 

5) What is one key takeaway you hope our OHS audience leaves with after hearing your presentation on site?

Improving the interface between safety and security and to identify areas of synergy (See #3 above).

 

ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), primarily a graduate education university, educates the largest number of health care professionals in Texas. Created in 1972 by the UT System Board of Regents, UTHealth is located in the Texas Medical Center. UTHealth includes the schools of dentistry, biomedical informatics, medicine, nursing and public health, and the graduate school of biomedical sciences. UTHealth is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award certificate, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral and professional degrees. Three UTHealth faculty practices treat patients in a variety of Houston-area clinics: UT Physicians, UT Dentists and UT Health Services.

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