My First 2-Weeks As A Site Safety Manager

Photo Credit: http://www.bcsp.org

Hello Everyone!

How are you spending your Sunday morning!! The sun is out and desperately trying to elevate the frigid temperatures just a little bit. Shout out to the people grinding it out at work on the weekends! You are highly appreciated if you work (7) days a week! I did that grind for quite a few years as a younger woman raising my family. As an older woman with practically grown sons, I don’t feel the same urgency to work a ton of hours. By my mid-20’s, I was doing 120/hours a week! I don’t have it in me to do that today. I will push back from working multiple jobs so that the young people can take a stab at it. 😛 I can’t thank you enough for checking out my son John’s “Call To Action Marketing” (hashtag #CTAMarketing) business! For this blog post, I’m sharing my experience, so far, as a brand-new NYC site safety manager for the past two weeks. Beforehand, I will offer a brief overview of the educational requirements that are needed to get to this point in my career as a site safety manager. For the past 2 years, I started my journey transitioning from an electrical project manager to a site safety manager. I did a tremendous amount of studying and first tackled the (CHST) Construction Health Safety Technician. I used flashcards for my studying and I passed it about 1-2 months later. I then used a ASP cheap study guide (cost $300) and studied for about 6-weeks before sitting for the Associate Safety Professional exam. Sadly, it felt like it was a foreign language while sitting for the exam. I knew that I needed to get a better study guide. The institution who issues the credentials is known as the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. I figured why not see if this safety governing body offered study material. Yes, they do!! It is called Examcore. I must warn you that the study guide was very $$$ expensive!! However, it was highly effective on helping me pass both the Associate Safety Professional (ASP) and then the Certified Safety Professional (CSP). It has a series of videos and short quizzes to get through. Once you get comfortable with the bank of questions, you can take a simulated practice exam. It tracks your score on Examcore. Once you score above an 80, you are good to go to sit for the exam.

Now that I crossed the finish line for those credentials, it was time to study for the NYC DOB Site Safety Manager exam. I had to take the 40-hour Site Safety Manager course. I was also studying NYC Building Code which is massive! It took me some time to go through and get comfortable with building code studying before sitting for the exam. I submitted my paperwork after passing the exam. The big thing holding me up was the certified, itemized statement from Social Security Administration. This document took about a year to come into my mailbox! You cannot move forward with this credential until you receive that document. I was so happy when I finally received my invite from the Department of Buildings to come down and pay the fee and collect my site safety manager card!! It felt like it was such a long, hard road to get there! Now once I got the card in my hand, I had the task of finding my first opportunity to become a site safety manager. One barrier is my gender and I’m aware of that. I would put out a bunch of resumes each week. I did get an avalanche of rejections which are not fun to see in my email inbox. Surprisingly, I also received a batch of interview requests from a variety of employers at once too! I had already signed the paperwork for the company that I’m working for now when some other opportunities popped up. I went with my gut and I went with my current employer.

I’m honored to have crossed paths with my (2) fellow site safety manager peers. They have been absolutely wonderful to me. I am walking behind them listening and watching them both work. I feel so green right now and I’m working on absorbing data like a sponge. I recently found out that I also have to study and pass this construction site fire safety manager exam with the FDNY. Luckily, it is not required on this current project. I have the study material so I’m focusing on that before I sit for the class by the end of March, 2022. I have to schedule the exam in Brooklyn for an afternoon exam. I have to see if there are any other safety credentials that are also helpful for my career path. I got the pleasure of working with these two gentleman on a rather large condo complex that contains three high rise buildings. Each of us get to be assigned to the building as coverage as a site safety manager. I’m learning as to what exactly must be posted on the walls for each project. I’m watching as the crews create the green sidewalk sheds. This is basically a concrete breezeway replacement project here in Queens in New York City. The massive 22-story scaffolds for each building had to be engineered for this 1-year project. There are approximately 50 breezeways that need to be demolished and replaced. The scaffold will be designed so that tenants can go onto the scaffold and walk around their demolished walkways and continue to their space. There is even asbestos abatement going on along these breezeways as well.

I’m thrilled to learn from this experience. I have some good teachers around me to provide guidance on my questions as a new person. I enjoy the friendly dialogue between us, the sense of teamwork, and their unique personalities. I work with one fella who is of Greek heritage and my other new pal was born and raised in India. This week, I tried Thai food for the very first time. I had chicken basil rice that had some spice but not overwhelming. I had feared eating Thai food previously since I do not enjoy eating food that gives me pain. We are all parked in the same office instead of parking in each building solo. It is helpful for me to be with the group so I can have a better learning experience. I take the train and bus to work since parking is highly undesirable and not really feasible. The other two guys take their chances parking each day. One co-worker even got his vehicle towed away and had to retrieve it! I’m looking forward to learning even more and more as each month passes. My usual night owl schedule between projects has been demolished! I’m now going to bed early and getting up early again. Thankfully, the project starts at 8AM so I’m not having to get up too damn early. Out of all of us, I have the shortest commute. The pipe scaffold erection starts very soon. I have to do regular attendance and walks to review any problems with the sidewalk shed and ensure that the crews work safely. I had a young man pass by me on the sidewalk and say that he admired our work and what we were doing. I thanked him for his compliment. In a few months, I will offer another update.

I thank you for stopping by my blog and reading my early days as a new site safety manager. I admit that I’m nervous and slightly fearful of doing something wrong that I don’t know about. Luckily, I don’t feel awkward asking questions as a green person. I’ve wanted to shift gears for the past few years. Being an electrician is hard on my lower back since I have constant muscle spasms. My hands spazz out of control when I’m twisting up on a ladder. I can’t use the gym and lift weights anymore due to my back problems. This is highly frustrating to me since I love the gym. I found the project manager work more stressful than I had initially anticipated. I have to say that this is the least physically and emotionally demanding job that I’ve ever had so far. Perhaps it will change as the project moves forward. I will get some exercise in daily by doing a lot of walks of the projects. Getting in exercise is a bonus to me. I managed to gain weight back in 2020 after shifting to working from home. I had to force myself to start walking each day so that I could get the weight off of me. I’m still a work in progress on my weight loss goals. I can’t wait to get out of the brutal cold phase of this winter and have better weather. All good things come in time and with experience.

I thank you for stopping by to read/listen to me describe my newest work journey. God willing, I plan to finish my work career as a site safety manager. I may get the New York City work experience and then move to Tennessee or another state in the near future. Of course, I want to become a woman owned safety consulting firm in the near future. I started the paperwork that’s involved with doing this new adventure. Check out my latest (8) podcast episodes that are listed down below from The Verbally Disastrous Podcast, via links for Spotify & YouTube down below. If you are into reading on a Kindle, check out my newest short story release that belongs to my Construction Tales-Told By A Woman Kindle Vella Library short story series on Amazon down below. This new short story #11 is entitled, “Juggling Motherhood & Working With The Tools”. This short story covers my life as a widowed, single mother in the era when I juggled both motherhood and my career as a journeywoman electrician. The previous short story is #10 is entitled, “Early Life Lessons & Characters To Meet As An Apprentice”. If anyone has read any of my other previous short stories, by all means, let me know what you think? Check out the links for my book #ConstructionTales down below. I need to go work on some more tasks and even break my fast today. I started alternate day fasting since January and it has been helping me significantly so far. Enjoy your Sunday now that we are basking in a President’s Day weekend. Yes, I’m aware that this is a holiday that is only observed in the United States. I wish you a great morning/afternoon/evening on your side of the globe and a restful or productive day!

Photo Credit: Call To Action Marketing Logo- John Collazo, CEO

U.S.A.: Use This Link For The Audio Version Of My Book #ConstructionTales On Audible:

United Kingdom: Use This Link For The Audio Version Of My Book #ConstructionTales On Audible:

France, Belgium, Switzerland: Use This Link For The Audio Version Of My Book #ConstructionTales On Audible:

Germany, Austria, Switzerland: Use This Link For The Audio Version Of My Book #ConstructionTales On Audible:

Verbally Disastrous-On Spotify

Verbally Disastrous Season #1, Ep. #41: Part A- Working On The Railroad With The Tools As A Chick! on YouTube:

Verbally Disastrous Season #1, Ep. #42: Part B- Working On The Railroad With The Tools As A Chick! on YouTube:

Verbally Disastrous! Season #1, Episode #43: Part A- Tramping In Cali! on YouTube:

Verbally Disastrous! Season #1, Episode #44: Part B- Tramping In Cali! on YouTube:

Verbally Disastrous! Season #1, Episode #45: Part C- Tramping In Cali! on YouTube:

Verbally Disastrous! Season #2, Episode #46:Early Life Lessons & Characters To Meet As An Apprentice On YouTube:

Verbally Disastrous Podcast! S#2, Ep. #47: Part A- Juggling Motherhood & Working With The Tools on YouTube:

Verbally Disastrous Podcast! S#2, Ep. #48: Part B- Juggling Motherhood & Working With The Tools on YouTube:

I recently shared my latest short story that has been loaded up to my Construction Tales-Told By A Woman Kindle Vella Library on Amazon. This is short story #11 entitled, “Juggling Motherhood & Working With The Tools”. This short story covers my life as a widowed, single mother in the era when I juggled both motherhood and my career as a journeywoman electrician. I share the various challenges I faced and lessons learned along the way. The previous short story is entitled: #10: “Early Life Lessons & Characters To Meet As An Apprentice”. I decided to write about some life lessons such as guarding your personal information, managing nasty rumors, combating sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism. Overall, the construction culture has improved dramatically over the past 25-years. Developing both a thick skin and a sharp tongue are key tools needed to survive various jobsite antics. I hope you learn something from this short story. There are more to come. These short stories are now also available as Verbally Disastrous podcast episodes.

Construction Tales- Told By A Woman: (11) Kindle Vella Short Stories On Amazon!!

The Verbally Disastrous Store On Tee-Spring:

The Verbally Disastrous Store On Tee-Spring

https://my-store-c1f946.creator-spring.com

Cheers!
Leslie M. Jasper

-Author And Host of the #VerballyDisastrous podcast now alive on many platforms that include: Acast, Amazon Music, Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Deezer, Google Podcasts, I Heart Radio, Listen Notes, Overcast, Pandora Podcasts, Player FM, Pocket Casts, Pod Bean, Podchaser, Podcast Addict, Podcast Gang, Radio Public, Reason, Soundcloud, Soundtrap, Spotify, Stitcher, Tune In, and YouTube.

-The Audio Blog: Verbally Disastrous Podcast And Construction Tales Blog. Now available on: Acast, Amazon Music, Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Deezer, Google Podcasts, I Heart Radio, Listen Notes, Overcast, Pandora Podcasts, Player FM, Pocket Casts, Pod Bean, Podchaser, Podcast Addict, Podcast Gang, Radio Public, Reason, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and Tune In.

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