January Member of the Month: Kenneth Mueller
VPPPA: Do you take safety home with you? If so, how?
Kenneth Mueller: Yes. For years I have been wearing PPE hearing/eye, and safety shoes when I cut the grass and work in the yard. Every night my dog and I wear reflective gear when we go for our walk.
VPPPA: What is/was your position and how long have you been in the position?
KM: I am an EHS Manager for Knoll Inc. I have been in safety at the East Greenville site for the last 15 years; I currently manage the Knoll Inc. Lifestyles sites. They include seven smaller manufacturing and distribution operations located in Dallas, Chicago, New Medford and Buffalo.
VPPPA: What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
KM: There are a couple:
- Facilitating the Knoll EG site to the VPP Star status and maintaining it.
- Incorporating safety rules to the 350+ office associates. The office is located above our manufacturing plant. In the past the office associates would walk to and from the café and one of the other buildings in open toe shoes, no hearing or safety glasses. Slowly we got them to wear the proper PPE where now they manage our tours and are our biggest supporters making sure our customers and visitors always have the proper PPE before they go into the manufacturing areas or onto the manufacturing floor.
VPPPA: What is your most recent accomplishement?
KM: In my current position I work with Knoll sites that have not had much safety training support. Over the last 18 months we have worked very hard to get their safety training complaint to the OSHA training standards. A few of the sites have over 85 percent Spanish speaking population and we work with local Spanish interpreters to make sure everyone understands the training.
VPPPA: What advice would you give to “Past You”?
KM: Get involved in the Special Government Employee (SGE) program. There is nothing better than to audit excellent safety companies and
and take their safety ideas back to your plant.
VPPPA: What makes you passionate about the VPPPA?
KM: Sharing safety ideas and stories with other safety professionals.
VPPPA: What has been your favorite aspect of the Association?
KM: I always enjoy meeting new safety professionals learning what worked and did not work after the many excellent breakout sessions.
VPPPA: What advice would you give to someone interested in the VPP or the VPPPA?
KM: Getting involved with VPP and VPPPA allows you to use the unlimited resources (OSHA/SGE’s/VPPPA) available to manage and continually improve your safety operation.