Employee Spotlight — David Otteson, Occupational Health and Safety Manager

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David Otteson

Occupational Health and Safety Manager, Edmonton
1 Year with Layfield

Q: What have been some of the most significant changes or milestones you’ve witnessed during your time here?
The development and declaration of a corporate safe value statement and a safety commitment statement, and the fact that this was initiated and driven from the corporate level. Layfield has always been a safety-focused company, and our commitment to working safely is ingrained in the way we conduct our business. The safety value and commitment statements put an exclamation point on our pre-existing safety policy and help us remain focused on fostering and maintaining a healthy safety culture.

Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in safety?
Job satisfaction and tangible outputs – the ability to make a positive difference in people’s lives by supporting health and wellbeing and empowering workers by providing them with the tools they need to take responsibility for their safety and the safety of those around them.

Q: Can you share a memorable moment or story that reinforced your passion for this line of work?
Prioritizing safety isn’t just about watching out for yourself but caring for and supporting each other as well. Every time I see a worker stop an unsafe act and express their concern, pause work and make it safer before proceeding, or report a hazard… those simple everyday acts of caring for and protecting each other reinforce my passion.

Q: How would you describe Layfield’s culture, and how do you feel it has influenced your professional growth and the success of your department?
Safety is an organizational value at Layfield demonstrated by genuine commitment and by ensuring that there are adequate resources, systems, and rewards in place to fulfill this commitment. The company’s business strategy recognizes the importance of workplace health and safety and has made a long-term commitment that included adding two additional safety resources, one in Canada and one in the USA, and introducing a safety management role. This gives us the resources we need to focus on proactively managing risk and being purposeful about positively influencing safety culture. We’ve been given the tools and resources we need to succeed.

Q: Is there a particular hobby or interest you’re incredibly passionate about, and if so, what drives that passion, and how do you find time to pursue it alongside your career?
I enjoy restoring vintage cars and motorcycles, particularly pre-1960 Volkswagens and WW2-era motorcycles. I’m attracted to what I call forensic mechanics, understanding what caused a system to fail, returning it to running condition, and giving it new life. I also enjoy fishing, particularly with my family and friends, woodworking, and anything outdoors. I’m purposeful about setting aside time for my hobbies. They allow me to do something I enjoy, free from the pressure of everyday tasks, and help me feel mentally rejuvenated.

Be sure to give David a follow on LinkedIn to stay updated on the latest Layfield happenings.

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