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My Training Odyssey

How I became an industrial safety trainer

By Kris GriffithPublished 2 years ago 3 min read
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My Training Odyssey
Photo by Clark Tibbs on Unsplash

Once upon a time I thought I would be an equipment operator until I died. I loved running dozer and finding solutions to complex problems with the movement of dirt. I loved running drill and being the first to drill into the virgin ground that had never had a human touch before. Once upon a time I ran almost everything…and loved it!

One day at lineout (or the toolbox meeting if you would rather) I was asked to present a new policy to the group. The training department gave me a whopping three minutes to review the material before presenting it. I remember delivering that PowerPoint presentation to the group. My knees were shaking so badly I could hardly stand, but I got through it, and everyone liked the way I presented it. I was recruited from there. The training department talked me into teaching the upcoming Annual Refresher training. I was scheduled to teach an hour-long class on hazard assessment, and they provided the material for the instructions. I was given the material on Thursday afternoon by the Safety Manager. We went through the material together and spent several hours tweaking it to where I liked it. When I left his office, I knew that I would have to deliver this hour-long class in four days to the other trainers, safety department, and the management team. No pressure, right?

Luckily for me, my wife is a former teacher, who comes from a family of teachers. She also has undying patience. I practiced that hour long presentation over 40 times to her, her friends, and family over the next four days. I tweaked it the delivery every time I delivered it. Even my kids sat through many of the sittings. I even delivered it to a doctor and nurse (in abbreviated form) during that time.

Monday came around and despite my preparations I still had to calm my nerves. To make it worse, they scheduled me as one of the last presenters in the day, so I had to sit through every other presentation before I could go. Finally, my time came and I stood and delivered the material just as I had practiced. The strangest thing happened when I finished, they cheered! In fact, they gave me a standing ovation! I will never forget when the trainer who set me on this path, stood up and shouted, “that’s why I picked you.”

I have taught more classes than I can count now, and I still get nerves every time. I still get chills when I finish too, although I have never had another standing ovation after my trainings. But, just today I received a voicemail from a student I had in yesterday’s class thanking me for training the way I do. That was a first for me. I often get told by the employer that sent the student that they received good feedback on the class, but to get called personally and thanked for making the subject interesting was a first for me.

I love what I do. That is why I started this business a year ago. It is why I left my position as the Emergency Response Coordinator in the safety department. I knew I wanted to touch the lives of the people who needed my training, and hopefully leave a lasting impression with them on the importance of what we do. However, I would never have gotten here without the gentle pushes that I have received from the people who helped set me on this path. I am grateful to them everyday for helping me start this journey.

Who have you made an impression on? Who inspired you?

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About the Creator

Kris Griffith

I have been away from creative writing for many years. I am trying to rediscover who I am through my writings. Come join in the journey!

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