Mike’s journey to the construction safety field wasn’t a direct one. He first worked as a carpenter, starting as an apprentice, then moved up through the ranks with various contractors. As his career progressed, he observed the increasing requirements for project safety personnel and decided that role could extend the longevity of his career. Now with 35 years in the construction industry under his belt, Mike uses his in-the-field experience to guide and strengthen improve Shook Construction’s safety program.
What inspired you to get into this career?
I reached a point where I realized that I would not physically be able to work with my tools as a result of the work philosophies that I was taught growing up. As a result, it was a natural fit for me to move into safety in an effort to help find ways that work tasks can be performed to reduce the physical impact on the workers’ body.
Do you have a specific approach or philosophy you use to tackle challenges as they arise on site?
First I try to understand why a task is being performed a certain way and then look for methods that will help produce a quality project by using safe production methods.
What is a specific skill-set or attribute you possess that you believe adds value to your projects?
Because of my background in construction, I can help find better ways to accomplish a task that meets and/or surpasses OSHA compliance requirements.
What are the most important qualities of a leader?
Lead by example, ask and respect input from those working under you, and take responsibility for the decisions that are made.
What is the most important lesson you have learned in the last year?
Replacing personal contact with e-mails, texts, and other social medium can quickly become counter-productive, even though they can be easier and quicker.
What does safety mean to you?
Safety means that everybody gets to go home in at least the same condition in which they came to work, if not better!