My Story: Brad S. Kramer
During my career in environmental, health and safety, it’s been interesting to tie together my many different professional experiences with my upbringing to make things relatable to the people I work with and understand their perspectives. Prior to becoming a safety pro, I had been a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical responder, maintenance technician, carpenter, corrections officer, and operations supervisor. I also worked in several roles in operations, including as a computer numerical control machinist.
Growing up, the Boy Scouts gave me my initial training in numerous emergency and rescue topics. Spending part of my childhood years on a farm helped me recognize that there were always hazards and I had to be responsible for my own safety. A bachelor’s in business finance gave me the understanding of how a business operates and that EHS is one of the many critical roles that must come together to help a business operate effectively.
During my career in EHS, I’ve worked in a foundry, chemical and urethane manufacturing, food manufacturing, agriculture and fuel distribution, and more. It’s always exciting learning how products are made and how different industries have their own best practices. Many of the same principles and practices tie them together, despite each company having people in operations who want to say their job is different and the normal rules don’t apply to them.
Today, as I build my own safety and environmental consulting company, I rely heavily on my experiences in different industries and the fire service to provide great service to different companies. As a firefighter, I had the opportunity to get exceptional training not just in fire suppression, but in hazmat response, being an effective instructor, medical response and more that I utilize every day. This helps me be an effective instructor for topics such as HAZWOPER, confined space entry and rescue, and more.
I’m able to take what I learn in private industry to the public sector as a board manager for our local watershed to help make decisions that affect the water quality of our community. I’m also a member of the Minnesota Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management committee that evaluates county emergency response plans for conformance with FEMA standards.
EHS is such an interesting field. It ties together many aspects of operations, responsibility to employees and the community; can make a company more efficient; and affects the morale and productivity of employees. Although every department certainly plays an important role in the success of a business, EHS is very intertwined in every aspect and really separates the bad from the great companies.
Brad S. Kramer Principal Safety and Environmental Consultant Albert Lea, MN