Or maybe, I should say, my story.
I'm Rachel Walla and my approach to safety is unique because where I came from is a little different - and so is where I'm going.
I grew up in a family-owned business of logging and construction. I saw first hand the work it takes to make a small business survive and grow during economic downturns, industry changes and the ever rising costs of operating a business.
My goal is to make safety simple for businesses. I am passionate about changing our approach to safety.
Because it's just too critical to be boring, tedious and overwhelmed with red tape. If we can simplify the regulation side and spice up the employee outreach side, I think we really have a chance to innovate.
You may wonder what qualifies me to do this, so here is some background information to help.
I went to college for Occupational Safety & Health which is a 4-year degree. We studied not only OSHA regulations but management, anatomy and physiology, industrial hygiene (chemical exposure prevention), as well as how adults learn and the best ways to conduct training.
All of that was great training for the work world where I would spend time in construction of everything from clean room builds to high rise apartment remodels. I conducted training, audits, wrote policies and learned how to work on job sites with a variety of tradesmen and women who sometimes did not get along.
I always felt preventing chemical exposures was incredibly important and worked as an Industrial Hygiene consultant for several years. I sampled everything from asbestos and lead to noise, hexavalent chromium and silica. Then I'd design exposure prevention plans to protect employees and work with the job tasks. It was fascinating work and fun interacting with employees.
I also got a great deal of experience working in factories with enormous tanks of deadly chemicals, machinery that ran the length of football fields and a union with 350 employees on the verge strike. I worked my way to Safety Manager there, leading a team of 15 employees including an onsite nurse, emergency response team, dispatch center and 2 engineers. Needless to say, that experience taught me a lot and also introduced me to some of the best people I have ever worked with.
During this time, I worked to achieve the title of Certified Safety Professional from the BCSP. This is a certification that takes a degree, 5 years of relevant work experience, letters of endorsement from colleagues and hours of testing to achieve.
What I'm trying to say is, I'm not just making up this stuff as I go.
I care deeply about safety and exposure prevention. I've loved the places I've worked and the people I've been lucky enough to work with. However, I think as an industry, safety is in dire need of some energy an innovation. And I'm excited about the work I feel I can do to that end.
Safety should be simple.
I believed in this so much that in 2017, I started my own company. It started small and like most of you know, the first year was a struggle. But as I got to know my customers and their needs better, I started supplying more and more useful resources until we got to where we are today.
A lot has changed, but the goal hasn't. I hope to provide you with simple, quality resources that make your journey as a business easier, safer and overall, just better.
That's what it's all about.