Q&A with an NSC Rising Star of Safety, Class of 2015

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The NSC Rising Stars of Safety program recognizes leaders of tomorrow for their commitment to safety, influence on safety culture, promotion of continuous workplace safety improvement and creation of safety initiatives producing measureable outcomes. Below, meet a Rising Star from the Class of 2015

Carrie Parman
Senior Corporate Safety Specialist
Alliant Energy
Madison, WI

What are you looking forward to at Congress?

I’m looking forward to the Young Professional’s meeting, as well as all of the events associated with the Rising Star Award.

Why did you choose a career in safety?

I started out as an Education Major, but my advisor kept failing to show up for meetings with me, so I started to look around at other options. My best friend was a Safety Major and told me to take “Intro to Safety.” I did and never looked back.

What is the greatest challenge you have faced in ensuring workplace safety, and how have you overcome it?

One of my greatest challenges was learning not to take changes personally. When I first started in safety, I would take it personally if I worked really hard on a project only to have the direction of that project changed at the last minute. I am lucky enough to have had a great mentor who realized I was struggling with this. Through his coaching and encouragement, I realized that being able to adapt and change was going to be one of the greatest assets I could have as a safety professional.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned so far in your career as a safety professional?

How supportive the safety profession is. All you have to do is ask, and other safety professionals will help you with whatever you need, from a simple answer to a question to help writing an effective safety program.

What safety success are you most proud of achieving at your current employer?

I am most proud of being a part of the safety culture shift we have had in the past several years. So many factors went into making this shift possible, but knowing I helped – and continue to help – make a difference is so rewarding.

What piece of advice do you have for other up-and-coming safety professionals?

Network and get involved. Whether it’s within your own company, your local and state-level safety councils, or through the National Safety Council, become an active part of your safety community. When I agreed to take my boss’s place on the Wisconsin Safety Council’s Corporate Safety Award Committee, I had no idea how great a decision that would be. I am currently serving on three committees, including being the Chair of the WSC Young Professional group. The contacts I have made through that group come in handy all the time.