Paul Profera recently joined Hermann Services to serve as Corporate Safety Manager and has centralized all company safety initiatives. This now ensures that everyone throughout the company is reading from the same safety playbook.
Paul brings extensive experience from previous positions in law enforcement, which readily applies to training, monitoring, and enforcing safety procedures on the road, in the warehouse, and simply at the desk. Paul credits his team for the great strides the company has taken to improve safety scores and measures including the achievement of highest Insurance Captive Score in company history.
Kurt Carlson brings his vast knowledge of Hermann’s warehousing operations to his position of Warehouse & Food Safety Supervisor. Shanita Barker joined the team as Safety Administrative Assistant and has proved invaluable in her role of overseeing and maintaining all driver data including TMW Systems, Qualcomm, Infiniti and internal logs and records.
Together the safety team has organized all corporate safety initiatives including workers comp and auto liability under a single umbrella. Prior to this reorganization, each area of safety from hazmat to warehouse to administration at all of Hermann’s various locations were handled separately, by division managers. Now encompassed under one roof, each and every safety issue at Hermann is managed by the central Safety Department, which has led to higher levels of fiscal responsibility.
Hermann Services has also implemented live electronic reporting procedures, which are automatically communicated directly to the CEO and Presidents to ensure complete transparency and immediate action. Therefore, response time to the unlikely event that a safety concern or issue arises, will be swift.
"We want decisions to get made faster and more conscientiously, so we can deliver on our promise to safely handle and transport our clients' loads in the most efficient manner possible," says Paul. "The first thing our sales representatives sell to our clients is safety. While there is always room for improvement, the steps we have taken to streamline safety as we grow our organization, gives everyone the peace of mind that safety truly is priority #1 for us."
In addition to consolidating safety protocols under a single department, the Safety Department has organized mandatory meetings to review policies and procedures and communicate with the Board of Directors, Division Managers, and Employees. All Driver Managers attend weekly safety meetings and take part in captive insurance audits. All drivers now follow the same protocols in accordance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and report to the same Hermann Services Safety Manager.
"We tell drivers and warehouse workers alike that they are the arm of safety at Hermann Services," says Paul. "We want everyone to have a forum to voice any concerns, questions, and suggestions."
One of the more significant changes that has been implemented is the transition from paper logs to a digital log system. The company has installed a computerized Omnitracs system, whereby all driver and vehicle data is logged digitally – from pre-trip inspections to hours-of-service.
Computer-based monitoring within the vehicle also tracks equipment failure, road speed, stability control, hard braking, lane changes, and more. This data helps the company take corrective action to ensure that everyone from each driver to the maintenance team sees what is important from a safety perspective and how to maintain a prime state of preparedness and safe operation of every vehicle.
Hermann drivers have come to appreciate having a digital record and look forward to new drivecam video monitoring systems being installed in each vehicle. These cameras protect the driver and the company in the event of any type of impact. The new digital systems are leading to higher driver satisfaction as those behind the wheel know they are working for a company dedicated to their own personal safety as well as the motoring public in general.
Likewise, their warehouse counterparts take pride in passing OSHA inspections based on keeping their skills up through ongoing video training, best practices reviews, and hazard prevention drills.
Meanwhile all managers take Infiniti Online Training courses, which tackle a different subject each month like Reasonable Suspicion Training or keeping employees in compliance with OSHA Regulations.
Coming from the public sector, Paul also sees the big picture. "Our attention to detail in safety is not just good for our employees, clients, and vendors," he says. "It is critical for the public good of our society in general. When it becomes ingrained in every company, it allows our fellow citizens to go about their business knowing that commercial transport and warehouse personnel are operating in everyone’s best safety interests."