Regional Safety Manager Tony Carmack remembers the moment he knew he wanted to go into Safety. He was working security at a site for a small solar installer. As he was checking the trucks that came in, he noticed a team installing modules in the mud. They were slipping, bumping into each other and dropping modules. The hazards were making hard work even harder.
“Then, I looked off into the distance and noticed a woman in a high-vis rain suit sitting on a hill looking at her phone. She was the safety supervisor. I went over to ask her about what she did in her role, and she said, ‘I make sure they’re wearing PPE and doing what they’re supposed to be doing. That they’re working safely.’ At that moment I knew two things: that I wanted to go into Safety, and that I would never be the guy sitting on top of the hill, not even looking at the people struggling in the mud.”
Tony is now gladly “in the mud” overseeing a team of Safety Managers, most recently on BRP’s Michigan sites. “My day starts by understanding the climate of the site. I check in with the construction teams to see what safety issues have been identified, along with positive work to recognize people for. As a manager, it’s my job to put people in position who have the passion to push our safety culture forward. I try to help others advance.”
But being a manager also brings challenges. “I’ve had to learn to delegate,” he acknowledges.
“I learned a lot about myself in the Front Line Leader training, especially my strengths and weaknesses. I’m working on not jumping in to do things for others and letting them learn on their own. That has been important for their growth and a stress reliever for me, too.”
The week-long leadership course also included training in racking, module installation and commissioning to help participants experience the different roles on site and their challenges.
“I love seeing teams work together and helping to build those relationships. When you see someone who’s not really into safety and they start to adapt, that’s a beautiful thing.”
Tony fosters teamwork at home, too. “With a family of 13, we all have to work together. Everyone has their responsibilities.” Now, several of his older kids are going off to college on athletic scholarships or playing professionally. “Men in my family didn’t go to college, but we’re breaking that cycle. I’m so proud of them all,” he says, beaming. Just like his direct reports, Tony loves seeing them grow.