September Member of the Month: Lesli Trahan
Do you take safety home with you? If so, how?
I take safety with me everywhere I go. I went to a national chain store and talked to the garden center manager because there was a frayed extension cord in service. I think you have to be willing to speak up when you see things are just not right. I say, if you don't do it, who will.
What is/was your position and how long have you been in the position?
I am currently a safety facilitator. I work on behavioral based safety and many other things including VPP for the site. I have been in this position for seven and half years. Every day brings something new to the job so it keeps me busy.
What has been the greatest challenge in your career?
Since I work with people, I would say one of the greatest challenges is working to understand why people make the decisions they make. In this position, I continually work to set people up for success so the decision to do the right things comes easy, even when no one is watching.
What is your most recent accomplishment?
I was named Region VI Mentor of the year in 2017, but the award is just the beginning. Most recently, I have spent time mentoring three other companies in their VPP efforts. I also mentor other sites within my own company. My site has been recognized by OSHA for the most contractor companies in VPP so I have lots of mentoring opportunities. We have 12 Contractor companies in VPP. I think mentoring is the key to impacting safety in the workplace.
What advice would you give to "Past You?"
The advice I would give my past "me" is to never rest on your laurels. There is always room for improvement so whether it is big improvements or small improvements, always keep pushing to the next level.
What makes you passionate about the VPPPA?
I consider myself lucky to be involved in such an elite group of people. I value the learnings and friendships I have developed over the years.
What has been your favorite aspect of the Association?
There are two aspects of the association I consider to be valuable. The learnings by going to conferences or taking webinars and then the networking opportunities. I have come to realize over the years, safety is not proprietary. Even if you take away a few bits of information, you have gained something valuable.
What advice would you give to someone interested in the VPP or the VPPPA?
I would say to someone interested in VPP or the Association, get involved. You have nothing to lose by working towards to requirements of the program. There is no time limit on improvements and although it can look overwhelming, just small strides is all it takes. When workforces know a safer workplace is the goal, it will shine a different light on the company.