By Karen L. Edwards, RCS Editor.
Over the last few years, I have interviewed a lot of team members at Tremco and WTI and safety comes up in every single conversation. Every. Single. One. I am not kidding! Of course, we wanted to know more about how they were able to create this incredible culture for their team.
I had the chance to speak with the Director of Health and Safety for Tremco Roofing and Building Maintenance and WTI, Rolando “Ro” Lewis, to learn more. Ro shared that he has spent his entire career in construction safety working as a safety engineer and corporate safety manager for two related companies in his home state of Michigan. When he was contacted about the opportunity to build a safety team and enhance the culture of safety at Tremco, he thought it would be an interesting challenge.
Over the past six years, Ro has seen the safety culture evolve and grow. "Safety wasn’t a focal point for every employee in the organization and we’re transforming that,” said Ro. “We organized our safety programs and helped every person in the company understand that safety affects everyone.”
The culture has evolved and grown. “I enjoy seeing the initiative of taking safety and making it prevalent and making it the first thing we think about,” said Ro. Tremco and WTI’s safety team has seven members (with one position to be filled if you are interested in joining the team) who focus all day, every day on jobsite and worker safety.
“We ensure at all costs that each employee has a safe work experience after a job has been procured,” explained Ro. “Our job is to make sure that we help supervisors and field leadership to vet a job, look for hazards, and examine equipment that we need to put in place. We also make sure that employees are properly trained as well.”
The safety team covers the entire United States, including Puerto Rico, and they have a safety manager in Canada. There is a senior safety manager on the team who focuses on new initiatives in the United Kingdom. “Anywhere there is a field presence, there is safety presence,” said Ro. “The team travels everywhere that we have work. We respond to incidents that may occur, but we try hard to be proactive and prevent incidents from happening at all.”
Ro said that he really enjoys being able to have safety conversations with everyone on the Tremco – WTI team, from C-level executives to help them understand the importance of the program, to the field teams who are implementing the safety protocols on the jobsite.
Learn more about Tremco, WTI (including the open position).