My Story: Marcus Avelleyra, CHST
To quote Robert Frost from his poem, “The Road Not Taken”: “I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.”
Yes, the road I took to becoming an environmental, health and safety professional was a fulfilling adventure, winding through more than 40 years in the electrical industry. My recollections of being in the field, as an apprentice four decades ago and becoming a journeyman electrician during a period of no hard hats, no shirts and Ray-Ban sunglasses has me wondering how my union brothers and I survived catastrophe. I often jest that I’ve been around since Edison. Not that I knew Tom, but when I first entered the electrical trade, Edison base fuse panels were the standard for life safety systems due to the undetermined reliability of thermal circuit breaker technology.
Some 30 years ago, a motorcycle accident landed me in the estimating department of a large electrical contractor, where I was given the opportunity to advance through management training, leading to full-time project management. After many years of that, the desire to return to field operations led me to an assignment in safety, working at complex data centers. Once I was back in the field, I was given the task of revising the lockout/tagout program and training, with the intent of implementing a strategy of identifying redundant power systems, how those systems were interlocked and isolating them.
With the merging of field knowledge from years as a hands-on electrician and the experience from project management involvement with operational specifications and design, I had the expertise to recognize, control and remedy the hazards inherent with data center safety. My duties expanded to all phases of safety and for me, it was the perfect fit. I care.
I’m 63 now and “my road” has taken me through myriad satisfying experiences, all links in a chain to becoming an OSHA authorized construction trainer; attaining my construction, health and safety technician credit; and becoming a member of the Rosendin Electric, East Coast Training Division.
Marcus Avelleyra, CHST