Whether he realized it or not, Carman Bailey had always been involved in the safety and health field. In the fifth grade he received his CPR certification and before he could drive, he was working as a lifeguard. Safety had always been a priority for him, but he didn’t know how much it would impact his life.
When Bailey was between jobs, his dad encouraged him to take an OSHA 30-hour program. He found a job in the safety field shortly after completing the program. And, after participating in six weeks of hands-on training, he knew that he was on the right track. “It was something I felt I was destined for and didn't know,” he said.
Bailey began working as a Safety Coordinator for a concrete formwork company, managing jobsite safety. When his employer noticed his passion for safety and leadership, he sent him to take courses in Georgia Tech Professional Education's (GTPE) OSHA program.
He knew he had finally found his career path when the course stimulated his interest in a way that none of his jobs had. As a fan of crime drama shows, Bailey was fascinated at the prospect of using his intellect to solve accident incidents and find resolutions. He went on to complete the Construction Safety and Health Certificate in less than a year while continuing to work full time at his company, which allowed him to take the time he needed to complete the certificate and pay for most of his classes.
Through the program, Bailey acquired a new set of skills that he could immediately apply in the safety field. “It helped me see things before they happened,” he explained. “I applied what I learned in class to a few near-miss accidents, and I worked with that knowledge to explain to the workers what would happen in a worst-case scenario to help them avoid it the next time. That went farther than simply telling them not to do something.” He also learned how to follow the facts when investigating an accident rather than getting distracted by statements, which has helped him discover true, systemic root causes and avoid settling on simple explanations such as “operator error” or “worker not paying attention.”
Above all, the courses helped Bailey develop a more rounded perspective in all safety procedures and increased his understanding of the field. “It gave me a confidence boost to be able to go out and handle the day's work.”
Later, Bailey decided to enroll in the Safety and Health Management Certificate, as well. While still taking classes, he used the skills he had learned to launch his own consulting firm, which specializes in helping start-up companies move into the OSHA field and small companies transition to bigger projects, providing everything from staffing to program creation and management.
Bailey applies the skills learned from both of his certificates on the job every day. “I will even go as far to say that those classes helped me get by CSP and CIT from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals,” he added.
Eventually, he hopes to expand his firm to include a means training and job placement program for kids in underserved communities, giving them an opportunity to learn the safety and health career path when they would otherwise have no direction after high school.
Throughout his OSHA studies, Bailey was continually impressed by his experience at Georgia Tech. “The instructors were always insightful and absolutely helpful in any way you could imagine,” he said. His education and career path inspired both of his sons to follow in his footsteps and obtain their own Construction Safety and Health Certificates from GTPE.