There’s a new face under the Corporate Safety hat! Congratulations to Pat Aird, who was recently named Health & Safety Manager for the entire IAI team. Pat is responsible for administering the safety program for the entire company, which he is very uniquely qualified to do.
Pat began his career with IAI in 2004, when he was hired on as a Technician in the Dredging and Sediment Dewatering Division. At that time, IAI was working on some of its earliest, large-scale contaminated sediment dredging projects, and Pat was assigned to one of those key projects: Connor Creek CSO Dredging Project in Detroit, MI.
Pat came to IAI as a new graduate, having just completed his BS in Business Administration from Lake Superior State University, but also with 21 years of valuable work experience, as a U.S. Navy veteran. Pat later transitioned to the Contract Operations side of the business, where he put his water and wastewater operator’s licenses to work, as a Plant Manager for treatment plants in southwest Michigan. The Cook Nuclear project in Bridgeman, MI was Pat’s main contract operations project for IAI, and he was based there for 11 years.
Safety programs have always been a part of his work over the years, Pat says, from the military and into the private sector, even as he moved around within IAI. When the opportunity came to fill the Corporate Health and Safety Manager’s role, Pat was excited. He describes his first few months as hectic and eye opening, as he adapts to his new position, but still, he says, “I am up for the challenge!”
Q&A with IAI Health & Safety Manager, Pat Aird
To get to know more about our new Health & Safety Manager’s Pat’s approach to safety, we asked him a series of questions and he was game to play along. Check out his thoughts below, and please leave a comment to congratulate him on his new job at IAI!
Q: What is your top goal for the IAI safety program?
A: My number one priority is to ensure all IAI employees have the right tools, procedures and training to go home at the end of the work day, injury-free.
Q: What are we doing right at IAI?
A: We have a great group of people committed to performing outstanding work and a comprehensive Corporate Health and Safety Program.
Q: What is the biggest safety challenge we face?
A: As we have expanded our work force, our challenge is to ensure new employees are trained to plan safety into every task, every day, and know they have the authority and responsibility to stop work if they feel their own safety, or that of their co-workers or members of the public, is jeopardized.
Q: How will your past work experiences help you as IAI’s Corporate Health & Safety Manager?
A: I have, unfortunately, worked with people who have ignored safe practices and safety policies, and failed to report incidents. In a past job, I witnessed the loss of life because people took short cuts or thought safety rules did not apply to them. I have also seen an incident happen even though proper safety precautions were taken; in that incident, a worst-case scenario occurred (rigging failed) and although equipment was damaged, no one was injured. I consider that a success of the safety program in place.
Q: What do you think is IAI’s greatest strength as a company?
A: Our employees, with the full support of our management team, are focused on doing the right thing, the right way. Safely, every time!