September 26, 2021
As a safety team of one, Holly Burgess recommends that anyone in her position have a good ear, thick skin and a loud voice – among many other traits.
“I’m kind of loud, and I’m kind of out there,” said the safety and health manager at Phoenix Paper, a Kentucky-based paper producer. “If you don’t have somebody to walk you around a plant and introduce you, you have to introduce yourself, which I do all the time.”
Burgess considers any time spent building relationships with workers a win for safety. But being a one-person team has plenty of challenges, including isolation and a never-ending schedule of meetings, tasks, trainings and, in some cases, travel.
For Burgess, who has had multiple solo roles during her safety career, including managing workers at more than a dozen sites across the country, time can be the biggest challenge for someone managing safety