This is the next installment of myMohawk’s 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 Safety Manager William Bean 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 went into safety sort of by chance through the different jobs I’ve had in my career. When I was a crew leader, I was always the one who took care of people who were hurt and made sure they received the treatment they needed. When I started working at Mohawk as a supervisor in Tufting, I was still helping with safety in different ways, and I applied for a job opening in Dalton as a safety specialist for Tufting.
Through that, I was able to find my life long career calling to work in Safety. I’ve been with Mohawk nine years now.
Your role is as a Safety Manager. Can you explain what you do and why it's important?
My job is to provide help to our site’s safety people and to work closely with site management to support them. I help make sure we’re within compliance, work out any issues they may have, step in to assist with audits, help with investigations, training, filing reports – whatever is needed, I can be of service to site and management.
This month's safety topic is Emergency Preparedness and Response. What do people need to know about that, and why is it an important topic to highlight?
Emergencies can happen at any moment. Whether it’s a fire or an accident or bad weather, everyone needs to be ready at any time to respond correctly and quickly. We need to be able to minimize the damage that could happen to both people and our facilities.
It’s important that everyone is aware of the different code systems and that everyone signs in when they visit a location, whether they are a Mohawk employee or not. For example, it’s very important during a Code Red for a fire that everyone can be accounted for including visitors and contractors so we know everyone is out of the building in an emergency. The most important thing is to make sure we react safety and as quickly as we can.
How can everyone make safety a priority in their role?
Look in the mirror. You have to realize and make the choice to work safety, whether it’s for yourself, your family, your friends or anyone important to your life. You do not want a life changing event to happen to you or not point something out or say something that could have prevented a life changing event for someone else. Everyone is affected when something happens, whether its physically or emotionally. Work safely for yourself, your work family and your home family.
Why do you work safely?
I recently got married, and between my wife and I, we have four kids and eight grandkids. I want to come home safely for all of them and for them to understand that the decisions I make can alter all of our lives. I work safely, first and foremost, for them.