This is the next installment of a new safety series, where we talk one-on-one with safety leadership across the Company about their roles, what safety means to them and how we can all live and work more safely.
We talked to Don Standridge, manager of corporate safety, to find out more about what led him to a career in safety and why being proactive with safety is important to everyone.
How did you get into the field of safety?
I actually started my career in marketing. When my job at a previous employer was eliminated in 2005, they suggested that I would be a good fit for a behavioral based safety facilitator. I helped create the program there, and then decided to further my education in safety with a bachelor's degree in organizational management and a master's degree in organizational safety and health environmental management. I joined Mohawk in 2012.
Your role is the manager of corporate safety. Can you tell us more about it and how you support the business?
I do a lot of different things in this role. I manage the corporate safety group documents involving OSHA for all facilities, manage internal audits, and I am responsible for corporate audits. This supports the business by tracking and measuring how we're doing in these areas and if we are compliant with state and federal regulations.
This month's safety topic is emergency preparedness. What do you wish more people know about this topic and why it's important?
In our facilities, we have two codes for emergency situations – code red to evacuate and code blue to take shelter. Knowing how to react to these scenarios is very important, and it's especially important for people to stay calm during these situations. That's why we practice and hold drills, because we want people to know what to expect in a real event so they can be calm and confident. Overall, it's to protect our employees no matter what and provide a safe and healthy work environment.
We also want people to know it's important to us that they take the things they learn like this home with them. Do you have a plan for your family in an emergency situation and does everyone know what it is and what to do? Do you have an emergency kit in your home and in your car with things like water, flashlights and first aid kits? Do you wear earplugs and safety glasses when mowing and working in the yard at home? A lot of our safety practices at work apply to things at home, too.
Why do you work safely?
I have a family and grandchildren, and I want to be able to go home and spend time with them. We all need to remember to work safely because it affects everything. When an accident happens, it doesn't just affect the person who was injured. It's affects their coworkers, the entire facility and the business. Every time someone gets injured, the impact is immense.