The Return of Allen Woffard: A Mind in Constant Motion
Safety Consultant with Sheldon Primus
The Return of Allen Woffard: A Mind in Constant Motion
July 27, 2022
In this episode, Sheldon speaks with the one and only Allen Woffard, Dairy of a Bald Man podcast host, and former student. Allen has a brillant safety and health mind that seeks to change the industry from the ground up. His training is innovative, fun, and sucessful. We catch up and talk about when I was his trainer for the Certified Occupational Safety Specialist program (COSS), podcasting, and consulting. Join us for this fun and informative co-interview. I am also hosting the 2nd Annual Safety Consulting 101 virtual event in September. For more information:
[00:00:02] spk_0: this episode is powered by safety FM. Welcome to the safety consultant podcast. I am your host, Sheldon Primus. This is the podcast where I teach you the business of being a safety consultant and we talked about ocean compliance and a whole bunch of other stuff. So first I want to thank you for being part of the show listening. And if this is your first time welcome and I want to invite you to go ahead and subscribe, you're gonna like it. Listen to some of my other episodes and you're gonna really like this one will help you. For those of you have been listening for a while. Just go ahead and subscribe. You know, you want to hit that little button and you know, are going rule if you've been on the show before, but if not in your new, I'll tell you are going rule is if you're driving, you can't do that, you're gonna listen to this twice, you're gonna listen to it one time while you're driving, Get a feel for what I'm saying and then the next time when you're going to do action, that's when you're going to listen. That's what this show is for and get you guys to do action. So go ahead. Hit that subscribe button when you're in a nice safe location. Another thing that I would love for you to do is if you can just go ahead and rate this on whatever service you're listening to and do a comment. That would be also for me it's a great way to show that you support your show. And I also would like to just one more ask would you share this with a friend that be so awesome. So it doesn't cost you a dime to do any of that stuff and it'll be really good for me. I appreciate it. This week I've got someone really special. I've got a person that I really hold dear and near to my heart and his name is Alan Woolford. Allen is an actual like just a gem of a person. He's done quite a bit. I mean expert, well he's a veteran veteran veteran and as well as he is the sheriff, he worked in the Department of defense as a contractor in Alaska. He's done all kinds of stuff. I mean truly Allen is a wonder all the things that he does but he is a good man and a former student. He took my certified occupational safety specialist class back in 2013 maybe in Nashville Tennessee at the time. So we will talk a little bit about that course. Alan after that got into consulting himself and he was one of the very first people to take my safety consultant blueprint course. I believe he was either number one or number two if you wanted to see that course go to safety consultant blueprint dot com but he honestly has been in my life for quite a while and I'm really appreciative of him. So we did an interview together where we interview each other and it was on his show and then one was on my show and I just want to give you a little disclaimer during the interview, some of you may know that I am a full time our view and being a full time our view uh my walls are thin so it started raining and so this is what happened. I captured my actual rain sound and I put it on my board. So um I'm gonna go ahead and play this for you so you can get a good idea of what it is. So the sound is really quick but you're gonna hear this in the background in the interview. So when you hear that sound, that's actually me at my place in where we were at the time in Georgia and the rain was coming down. So uh please, during the time period it wasn't long. I did my best to meet myself when I wasn't talking. But when you're talking you're going to probably hear that in the background. Right? So just let that go. It's okay. Just let that go. But I did my best, I did some editing. I did my best to get that off because the message was so good. Alan is like truly one of these people and his website is mind and constant motion and his mind is in constant motion. It's dizzying and the man is just fun. I mean if you were to look up fun in the dictionary that is a picture of Alan and fun, smart and he is truly one of these people that has transcended where you're just thinking of a safety officer or a safety trainer. He reaches his people, he attributes a lot to me and I thank him for that. But I may have given him just a colonel or maybe planted a seed, but he ordered it. He developed it with hard work and then he also delivered it. So that's all him. So I would just like to introduce the world again to the mind that I call just brilliant. He says it's in the constant motion. You also may have heard him on his podcast called Diary of a bald man and is dragging up series and we talk a little bit about that. I broke this episode into two parts. So you're going to hear part One today and by the end of the week I'm going to finish my surgery on the other half of the interview and try to get away from this and go ahead and give you guys another part of the interview by the end of the week. Okay, so I want to thank everybody for listening. Uh and I release it today on july 27th 2000 to 22 2000 to 2022 because it's my birthday. So here's a birthday surprise. I'm going to interview Alan, he's joining me for my birthday. He didn't know that. So anyway, enjoy this interview. I had a really good time. Here's Alan Woolford.

[00:06:30] spk_1: So Sheldon, where you, where you coming into the podcast from Today?

[00:06:34] spk_0: Today I am in uh Camilla Georgia

[00:06:38] spk_1: on purpose

[00:06:39] spk_0: on purpose. I'm at a buddy's house, it's really quiet,

[00:06:44] spk_1: but now that we're buddies, I've got a question to ask you, but I don't want to just take over everything because you're the best interview. I mean you're the one that got me into podcasting, The very first one that was ever on was yours. But I gotta ask you one question since you trained me on the costs and I tried to push that with a lot of people. Why the hell did you give us so much

[00:07:06] spk_0: homework? That's just so your brain could explode. I wanted to see like scanners. Remember that movie? Yes, I wanted to see like the veins going through the head and then getting the boom,

[00:07:21] spk_1: I laugh when people ask me about it and they said, what was it like I said, you know, you were great, you gave us all this stuff and in the morning you tested us and then you went into the program and a lot of how I trained is because of you and the way I approached the classes because of you, um, you know, just because you were so good at it man, It was great, but I said when I went to the hotel at night, I cussed you in a very polite way because I was looking at that homework going, how am I gonna netflix? I'm not gonna get anything. I was, it was crazy, but I loved you man, it was, it was a great class. I didn't have that perfect audio thing. But yeah, I would turn up on my soap opera just so people couldn't hear it.

[00:08:15] spk_0: There you go. You know, the homework is, it's really just to make sure that once everyone gets through the week it's uh it's intensive and they actually do that class in L. S. U. And L. S. U stretches it out for a full semester. So imagine that you did a full semester in one week. Isn't that amazing?

[00:08:34] spk_1: It was, I mean, I I looked at the stuff you gave us and how it prepared us for the next day. I mean, cause the next morning, you know, you were just giving us, okay, let's take this and see what you got, you know, got over the night and what you learned and it was great because it helped us prepare. I mean it really was. And then when I went to take the Certified Safety Manager class with natpe, the processes that you gave us and you trained us on really helped prepare for that and to be an outreach trader. I mean it was really good.

[00:09:10] spk_0: Excellent and

[00:09:12] spk_1: I still cost you, I mean in a loving way.

[00:09:14] spk_0: Yeah, as you should, It's homework. No one likes that.

[00:09:19] spk_1: God brother. So how did how did you get into that? I mean because your background and water treatment and water purification, How that lead to you being such a great trainer

[00:09:31] spk_0: actually. I was horrible. I mean literally horrible so much. So with the cost program. Those your listening is a certified occupational safety specialist. I didn't write the program. It's a program that's coming from The Alliance Safety Council in Baton Rouge Louisiana. They've been refining this class forever. I came on board with them in 20, you're like one of my first real classes. So it must have been like 2013 or something like

[00:09:57] spk_1: that.

[00:09:58] spk_0: It's we would go back. So with that class uh the I took it and when I was, I used to be in the waste order field, I was a plant manager and then not only did a thorough plant manager on me, but I was the safety officer, was in charge of the maintenance. And uh and at one point I was also what they called industrial pre treatment coordinator. And I had to do all of that at the same time and I was getting burnt out. So I figured let me do do something different. And the cost instructor that I had, if you know Jan Bellmore, she was my cost instructor and Jan when I did my presentation on friday, Jan said, she got me to the side and said, I think you could do this and that's what she did. She said, I think you could do this. And I said, all right. And uh, and I got there and you have to go through a five step process. And one of the steps was, you have to be monitored while you're teaching when just before they let you go and the person who was doing my evaluation who was in charge of the program fell asleep while I was teaching. She literally fell asleep assessing me. That's how terrible I

[00:11:10] spk_1: was crazy. Oh,

[00:11:14] spk_0: I was behind the podium and I called the podium like the kiss of death is what I ended up calling up any podium and that's why from from that day until now I'm hardly ever in the podium. I never stayed behind the podium. And what I was, I still remember I was teaching walking and working surfaces in 1910. Subpart D and I was literally going through subpart d and that's before they made all the big changes with fall protection, but I was going through the sections and like if I was teaching the OSHA outreach class almost and very dryly and literally one person on day one left and that was it. He didn't come back and then when I was being assessed she fell asleep on me. Yeah. So I had to switch it up, I decided that they asked me to come back and do it again, that's how bad it was. And then I switched it up and I said from now on if I'm teaching a class I'm going to teach it as if we're friends just hanging out and I don't care as long as I'm giving them material that they need and then I'm getting material from my class because I'm here to learn to. Then that was my mindset from that day forward. I said I can't get any worse. So I got to do something.

[00:12:29] spk_1: Yeah let me ask you this brother and then please feel free to ask me stuff. I mean because you know you're you're the one that got me into this.

[00:12:37] spk_0: Oh yeah

[00:12:38] spk_1: what was cost based on because you know when we're in the U. S. Safety professionals or other place um A lot of people don't know why there is a cause and Kassem designation or you know class. And I have a hard time explaining that to people that have never heard it.

[00:12:56] spk_0: Oh yeah. Um truly the whole brainchild came from a guy named Writer Cobb and I interviewed him shortly after you you were probably like episode seven and I'm like 1 60 now. So you were early adopters. I mean you were like one of the first people I was thinking oh man I gotta get Alan on

[00:13:16] spk_1: uh oh

[00:13:18] spk_0: man it was just so cool we kind of re listen to that one, see where we both were during that time. That was a long time

[00:13:24] spk_1: ago.

[00:13:26] spk_0: So with writer he um, the cost program was literally from his notes to his clients and he eventually he created a system that he would have almost for for compliance with his clients and and some of the things that they really needed to know. And then that created that there began the curriculum for the cost program. So cost is for compliance space to get you to really understand hazards, recognize hazards and all that and how to mitigate exposure. But then just the CFR S Code of Federal Regulations for you guys in the U. S. For you guys outside of the U. S. I'm not too sure what your codes are called. But for us based, you're gonna be seeing ocean. There's a C. F. I. R. R. Code of federal regulations. So a lot of people that go through those code books and they are lost just completely lost. So I took it on myself to learn. I actually started with E. P. A. Title 40 doing E. P. A. Environmental stuff. And when I got into Title 29 for OSHA, I was like, all right, it's the same system for regulation. So I could break it down like I did with the E. P. A. And uh, and for those two things, I used them basically as companion um documents if you would and the cost program is set up. So people don't get lost when they're being confused, being confronted about a safety and compliance issue. It's just so you could be familiar with almost the most popular things you're gonna get exposed to. And then from there you got to take it on yourself to go on and figure out the system and that's the teaching, the person how to fish theory and then the cost them is your, your set with your compliance side. And now you're ready to be one of those people that would manage a safety team and you're the liaison between the Boots on the ground safety. See I'm using Boots on the ground, I got that from

[00:15:23] spk_1: you

[00:15:25] spk_0: and then you're, you're the midway person from Boots on the ground to C suite executives and that's the, that's the differentiator between the two.

[00:15:36] spk_1: You know, one of the things I was trying to tell the guys like contractors and I said, you know, I was the only one in there in the chemical and pipe industry and I said, you know, this is predominantly known down in Louisiana and other areas. So they assumed the cost was basically built for oil and gas, chemical industry because of everything in Louisiana. But I told him it was great, you know, because the, I know when we completed your class, even though I already had the 10 hour, you know, got the construction and the general industry. So I was telling guys this is a good class for you because you get both both the training forum on construction, we did behavior-based safety. We did, we went into so many different things. So when construction was over and the guys were going into general industry, you know, they had knowledge on both. Yeah. And so as they were bringing the plant up live, I said, this is an amazing class. You need to take it.

[00:16:44] spk_0: Yeah. And I love the generally with the class would like to do a day one where it's like day one where you just say, where are you now in your safety knowledge? And we give them a 0 to 10. I can't remember your number, but you're probably pretty high. I would imagine Kazbek, but I

[00:17:00] spk_1: Think that a three,

[00:17:01] spk_0: don't worry. But we, uh, at the end of the week on friday, we say, what's your number and looking at the students and they get their um, their new number. They, and this is self given and you're like, well I started out of the four, but through this week I've learned a lot. I think I'm a six now. I'm like, all right, cool. So that's the gift for me and I love still teaching. I like um, like, let's see september usually I start my calendar for 20 for the next year. So I'm thinking about that now and I try to get, I try to stay booked maybe six months or so ahead of time. So when I schedule, I always schedule cost and cost them first and then I'll start working on my other things I do for my for my business, but I love teaching because all of the students and you're probably feeling this too because you've been teaching so much yourself. The energy from students learning that learning mode energy is something that you could, if you could bottle that and and just keep it whenever you're feeling down and open up that energy for new new learner energy. That's that's the thing that keeps me driving,

[00:18:12] spk_1: you know, that was one of the things I enjoyed about you, even though we had a small class at that time, you know, the positive energy you put into it and you know, the like I said, it was a small group, but you could feel that these guys were really involved in it, that they were really wanting to participate and learn and then take it back. But one thing when I get a really engaged class, you're right, it just, it just powers me through the day.

[00:18:39] spk_0: Did I end up like, like, maybe subconsciously, like, I don't know, I shouldn't say cursing you, but anyway, but I'm just thinking for a subconscious since you took my class and you got influenced by me, I bet you now every class you do, you have to give energy did I did I mess that up for you now? Forever?

[00:18:59] spk_1: No, not a bit. I mean again, the two things I apply, you know, it's the way you set up your class, the way you test and challenge this and you know, God is involved and say, alan, what would you do if this, you know, you didn't just sort out, you make sure we got engaged, you did so good at that. And then the stuff I learned with eric Wilson and asked was how to add to what you've already provided, you know, using pedagogy and all the different teaching dynamics, but every time I do a class, it always comes back to you, it always has

[00:19:34] spk_0: no

[00:19:36] spk_1: same thing with my consulting. You know, when I started doing the consulting and you were doing the consulting training and you had your videos and the information, you know, that's one of the things I absolutely love about you is everything you do is to help build that person up, not taking away and take ownership and say I generated that, you're like, you're gonna do this, you'll do well, you follow your program plan this out, you know, and, and you just get positive energy, you always have,

[00:20:07] spk_0: I, I appreciate that. And I um, I remember when you decided to get into the consulting side, that was awesome to forgive my, my pulsing, I'm trying to uh trying to match my noise gate because we just got rain over here. So you guys, I yeah, I mean, uh oh, I don't know if you and your audience know but well, you know, but your audience and know I'm a full time RV or so anything background noise or anything. I don't have like brick walls, so you're gonna hear it in the background and that's always challenging when you're teaching a class. I had a question before I finished that other thought though, I just just hit me um, for you, did you, when you, when you had to transition into training, did you also, while you still learn, I always see you as learning and you're constantly learning, um how did you change your teaching styles?

[00:21:08] spk_1: Like I said after I got trained by you on the knowledge and the slides and everything and learning BBS, the N A S. P. Thing. Um, I notice when I do training, like for general industry over construction, I base it off that because I see how a lot of the guys would react. Oh my God, this is my fifth site safety class. So you know, I've had lock out tag

[00:21:36] spk_0: out,

[00:21:37] spk_1: I would start the class with humor to see who responded to that, who looks sour. You know, I'd use clips from the office or I'd show video clips off youtube to gauge the room's reaction before I trained to see who had the board mindset before we began the actual class and uh, yeah, I'd use that shot what they call the shock and awe method, you know, either shocking, Get them awake or, you know, get those good feelings going in. And then I'd say how many of you have this class for your fifth or sixth time, because you're gonna be the one, I'm going to ask for help and you call me out when I make a mistake. And that that's what I still do. And it works. I was given a class, I want to say two weeks ago in Forest city north Carolina and uh one of the guys, it was a confined space class and one of the guys said, man, I've had confined space training 34 times. Now I said, great, what is the minimum oxygen level? And he gave me that, you know, he said 19.5 23.5, okay, what's the percentage for H two S, You know, if you're, if you got that monitor that reads that, and he gave that, the guys were like, wow, that's good. I said, you can go to sleep for the rest of the class, I'm not gonna teach you anything new, not only stayed awake, but when I'd say, hey, you know, prior to going into the confined space, you know, how long should you been late, depending on this isn't permit required? And he was so engaged, told me, didn't have to be and he thought he was gonna miss something. So

[00:23:11] spk_0: I have been challenged lately. Did you read Todd Conklin? And uh and Sidney Dekker's book, that's out there called do safety differently.

[00:23:20] spk_1: No, I haven't seen that yet.

[00:23:22] spk_0: It is amazing. It's stuff that I've I've known instinctively, but generally they're saying in the book is for instance, let's say someone comes in and they're not wearing their seat belt and you're catching them again on that forklift without their seatbelt. Now, it's right up time. So their approach to safety is a little bit different is like, well let's now figure out, you know, what's that individual and the organization doing together and the human organization performances is that idea. But they went even further says the reason that a lot of that's happening is because of um the organization has stopped learning the organization as a whole, has stopped learning about their employees, stopped learning about what things have happened that works for us and they're focusing on things that Um like the 10% situations, 10% of the time or maybe even less, 2% of the times you get yourself an incident and the whole safety department has revolved around those 2% of the things instead of let's focus on the 98% and get more of that. And that's the, the safety differently book and they spell it out for you and I don't know, it was really um it's something instinctively, you wish that you could see more people do because you know, it's right, you know, you feel it, you feel it right? Yeah.

[00:24:48] spk_1: But you know what I've seen and I love Todd Conklin but you know you'll have different people they'll say hey this is great information, you know Todd Conklin sam Goodman. Whoever they're looking at but then they say this will not work in my organization because they're not conducive than we we don't communicate that well. Um Some of the people say no we we've got to do it this way because we paid for this program, we don't want to change it because it's been like this for a while and you know the guys are going well. Yeah but look at your T. R. I. R. Or your experience mom, we're having issues somewhere and their immediate responses. Well it's the people we hired, you know they don't want to learn. They've got bad traits from other companies,

[00:25:37] spk_0: yep. And it's constant. Where it's always the employees they should poor employees and they're constantly being dumped on.

[00:25:46] spk_1: Oh yeah I mean every time I'm looking at somebody and I say hey let's review the accent, let's see a root cause oh employee did not follow applicable training or did not follow operational standards and all this and I'll say okay let's build the maze, let's see why the rat went left. You know and and it was like the supervisor or environmental condition, they couldn't follow the written program because so much change and you know they weren't prepared for it.

[00:26:19] spk_0: Yeah I like the way you said that why did the right go left? Well that's a great concept. Have you developed that concept yet?

[00:26:29] spk_1: I've used to previously when I've done to other classes and they were strictly pointing at the employee and so I drew a maze and basically it was their work area and what we did is we took a projector overlaid the photo from the accident thing and what and say, hey, what caused him to drive into that thing? It was uncontrolled materials and they said oh he should hit the brakes and he should have done this. And I was like he couldn't, it was blocked by waves carry and then I used it on another one where a person tripped and fell, shattered their clavicle and all because when they had moved the workspace they had all these drop cords and stuff that had previously not been there. But they blamed him for not stepping over correctly and lifting his feet, dragging him. It was crazy. But yeah,

[00:27:22] spk_0: that is literally insult to injury.

[00:27:24] spk_1: Yes sir.

[00:27:25] spk_0: Oh my goodness. I also was thinking about that because just just developing things like that because truly in safety you've got to keep, each organization has their own nuances, their own everything including hierarchies and everything else. So when the workers are in there, they try to fit in especially they can and then you're dealing with peer pressure as you're dealing with people from home or to say your your mindset is still at home instead of at work and uh you don't need everything else on top of that being blamed on by your boss for your 1% of the time you did something wrong or 2% if you're really bad right? Instead of your 98% of when you're doing stuff right,

[00:28:14] spk_1: it's

[00:28:17] spk_0: one of those things that affects the organization and affects the, The bottom line. And um the other part of the book is they say safety is uh it's more of how are you going to find the 98% of things that people are doing right and build the capacity to keep that flowing to keep that going. So instead of safety being monitoring and and looking for all the things that people are doing wrong, you look for things that are people doing right and repeat now, you can go to production, you could go to quality, you can go to all the other departments, partner with them and say what is a good quality control thing that we should be looking for and then eventually it's probably going to partner with safety and Health at the same time. So, production goals, quality goals, safety goals will all be the same through active learning, asking the workers,

[00:29:16] spk_1: it's

[00:29:17] spk_0: great, Hi, this is Sheldon Primus with safety consultant with Sheldon Primus, that's the podcast that helps you learn the business of being a safety consultant, I'm going to continue in that tradition right now with safety consulting 101. This is the second annual safety consultant on the one that we're going to do. And I am going to go over everything to finding your perfect client, choosing the name that will fit and resonate with that client. We're going to learn how to write proposals. Can I have them one on one time for those people who would like to speak with me one on one and time to reflect about what we learn, learn about partnerships and see us and how to use those to boost your business. Learn about event coordination, email marketing and even instructional design. That's safety consulting 101. To find out more information about the event. Go to view stub dot com forward slash safety consulting one oh one. That's views dub dot com forward slash safety consulting 101. This episode has been powered by safety FM.

[00:30:36] spk_2: The views and opinions expressed on this podcast or broadcast are those of the host and its guests and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the company. Examples of analysis discussed within the past hour are only examples. They should not be utilized in the real world as the only solution available as they are based on very limited and dated. Open source information, assumptions made within this analysis are not reflective of the position of the company. No part of this podcast or broadcast may be reproduced stored within a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means mechanical, electronic recording or otherwise, without prior written permission of the creator of the podcast or broadcast, Sheldon Primus.

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