My Story

My Story: Marycela Padgett


My Story: My Story: Marycela Padgetti “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” was a phrase that shaped my life while growing up on Murphy Street in Odessa, TX. Murphy’s law, as it’s called, may seem pessimistic, but I learned at an early age that if I can figure out what can go wrong, I can figure out how to get the opposite result. That skill has served me well during my 11 years in the occupational safety and health profession.

My family, with their knowledge of the construction industry, served as my real-world teachers. My brother Jose and I were often recruited as unpaid interns to repair and paint our family’s rental houses. Jose, who competed in electrical trades competitions in high school, taught me at age 13 that electrical panels can look like fine art when put together properly. My parents, especially my mother, Socorro, taught us early about hazards. As a registered nurse, she remains my role model for safety today.

Two additional factors fine-tuned my career choice (from becoming a violinist to a safety professional). First, after briefly quitting college, I took a position with a funeral home, where I had real-life experience with hazardous outcomes and how to respectfully care for people in their time of need. Second, motherhood honed my skills at spotting present and potential hazards with my two cute, but mischievous, children.

Later, while my husband was deployed to Afghanistan, I embraced what by now seemed my destiny since those early days on Murphy Street. I completed a degree in OSH from the University of Alaska Anchorage. When my husband finished his contract with the Army, we returned to Texas, and I went to work for my family’s electrical contracting business.

Eventually, I took a position in the Office of Workplace Safety for the Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers’ Compensation. As a training specialist, I educate members of the workforce on OSHA compliance and ways they can stay out of the funeral home. I spend my days helping change people’s hearts and minds – their thought processes about safety and ways they can be a catalyst for positive, safe change on the jobsite and at home.

It’s my goal to help people make better decisions about safety.

For those who still believe in Murphy’s law, I want to be part of its evolution: “Anything that can go wrong, doesn’t have to, so let’s make a plan to prevent it.”

Marycela Padgett Marycela Padgett
Training Specialist V
Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers Compensation – Workplace Safety
Austin, TX

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