My Story: Luis Cantu
My story started in October 2011, when I moved to Houston. I was working as a safety manager, among other things. I was responsible for about 35 employees.
Every year for six years I was holding weekly meetings, talking about safety. We also had a safety day once a year so employees could learn about a wide variety of safety- and health-related topics in a daylong conference.
I took my job very, very seriously. I hear from companies that have one or two incidents a month. A bad year for me was two to three accidents. My focus on safety is training. Always training. Make sure that the employee knows his or her work.
After six years working for a plastic company, I joined a company in the oil and gas industry. I was there for four months before moving again to another plastic company. That company was having up to two incidents a week because of the nature of the product (manual intensive). When I left that company, we had gone almost three months without an incident – big change.
Now going more than seven years in the field, I just love it. Keeping everybody safe is my motto.
The defining moment of my career was when I joined the volunteer fire department. This provided more in-depth knowledge in the safety – fire, rescue, urgency – area. I always want to be doing something meaningful, and being a safety professional and a volunteer firefighter is more rewarding, professionally and personally, than anything I could do.
I consider myself very fortunate to have a job that gives me great achievement. I get to train, teach and learn from workers and friends on how to do their jobs safely, and, hopefully, not get an injury, which is the final and absolute goal of my work.
Finally, always remember that a serious workplace injury or death changes lives forever – for families, friends, communities and co-workers. Be the type of safety person who when seen onsite, workers say, “Heck yeah, that person will help us find a safe solution!”