Warren Biddle is a Safety Manager at Snyder Langston, a Certified Health and Safety Technician (CHST), and a 28-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard where he retired as a Senior Chief Petty Officer. While not an official title, he could also be called a life-long learner, as his dedication to continuing education is immediately clear upon discussing safety with him.
When contacted for an interview, Biddle was engaged in an OSHA class and had to return the call once it was over. He was voluntarily taking a refresher course on excavating because he has an upcoming project that requires excavation, and he wasn’t totally comfortable in that area.
“I believe anyone in the safety field must continue to study, even material they know,” said Biddle. “If you think ‘I already took that class and don’t need it’ then you’ll get a wakeup call that might not come in a pleasant way.”
At Snyder Langston, Biddle has an array of responsibilities ranging from conducting site safety audits among an average of 33 sites and coordinating those visits with the Safety Engineer in the field, to reviewing written programs and any trade-specific policies or PPE required by their employer. He prioritizes not only identifying hazards but predicting what hazards may arise as projects progress, and how to best mitigate them. Though, as he described, his main function is “promoting a safer work culture.”
“Promoting a safer work culture may sound easy at a safety conference,” said Biddle. “But, putting something into practice that is quantifiable requires buy-in from the corporate level and a huge commitment from those in the field—which may not be such an easy thing to start.”
Biddle serves as Snyder Langston’s Group Account Manager for BCSP’s Safety Trained Supervisor (STS) and Safety Trained Supervisor Construction (STSC) Sponsorship Program, and the corporate buy-in for promoting a safer work culture is evident. Snyder Langston funds their employees’ involvement in the Sponsorship Program—knowing the positive effects BCSP certifications can have when creating a company-wide commitment to zero-time loss. “If Snyder Langston continues on the path we’re on, we will boast the highest percentage [of STS and STSC certificants] in the industry,” continued Biddle. “And that’s not only good for the development of a safer work culture and lower EMRs, but it’s also marketable.”
Currently, Snyder Langston has seven STSCs among their 42 superintendents. “Our plan for 2021 includes eight more [superintendents] getting their [STSC] certifications and three earning the STS certification.” continued Biddle.
Employees at Snyder Langston who earn an STS or STSC certification receive a LIFT brand hard hat that no one else is authorized to wear. “Every time they put it on it serves as a reminder to their commitment to zero-time loss,” said Biddle.
BCSP’s mission is to provide people the tools they need to foster a commitment to zero-time loss in every industry. It was the driving force behind the creation of the STS and STSC Sponsorship Program, as these certifications are designed for leaders at every level of an organization, even those without direct safety duties. The importance of education, and continuing that education is crucial in the SH&E field, and as Biddle demonstrated in that initial phone call, staying up-to-date on areas that make you uncomfortable is key, or as he stated, “In safety, don’t simply sit on what you’re comfortable with. Run after what makes you uncomfortable.”
More information about the STS and STSC Sponsorship Program and those certifications can be found at on our Workplace Safety and Certification webpage.