Kevin Giles, CRSP is one of our highly experienced Training Specialists and Safety Consultants. We sat down with him to find out more about him and how he decided to choose training as a career path.
Tell us about your educational background?
Kevin: I’ve always had a passion for the outdoors, so I started my education at the Nova Scotia Community College in the Forestry Program. I went on to further my education at the Maritime Forest Ranger School in Fredericton NB and graduated in in 1997.
During the next 11 years I worked in many different aspects of forestry from privet woodlot management, and saw milling to large scale harvesting operations. In every job I did I always played a strong role in health and safety of the workplace, it became clear to me that this was the area I wanted to concentrate on, and I never turned back.
I completed the Health and Safety Professional (HSP) designation and was one of the first people to achieve the designation from the Canadian Association Of Provincial Safety Councils. In 2011 a major highlight of my career was achieving the Canadian Registered Safety Professional (CRSP) designation with the Canadian Board of Registered Safety Professionals.
During my 11 years with Hercules I have furthered my education in many areas including; train the trainer programs, Master Rigger, non-destructive testing, and completing 4 diploma programs with the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA). As you can tell I love to grow my knowledge and am highly committed to continuous education, my next goal is to complete the Diploma program in Occupational Health and Safety with the University of New Brunswick, only 3 more courses to go!
What made you decide to go into this industry?
Kevin: As I mentioned the safety industry sort of came to me rather than me seeking it out. With every job I ever had since I was 16 years old I played some kind of role in safety, from being a first aid provider on the ski hills with the Canadian Ski Patrol, to being part of various safety committees, and developing policies and procedures with large industrial forestry operations and sawmills. The rigging industry has given me the opportunity to explore so many aspects of safety I find It amazing to think of.
Can you tell us about your work experience before joining Hercules SLR?
Kevin: Upon graduation from the Maritime Forest Ranger School I worked with the SNB Wood Co-op and the Hants County Woodlot Owners Association helping private woodlot owners manage their woodlots for a verity of forest productivity, environmental, and wildlife goals. This was a very rewarding time and experience in my forestry career.
After 4 years in the privet woodlot industry I moved into several new roles in a more industrial forestry operation with JD Irving ltd., working as harvesting supervisor, planer mill supervisor, and chip plant supervisor. This industrial atmosphere gave me to opportunity to work with contractors, unionized workers, students and many more. Working in these environments which already had a very strong safety culture helped me to build confidence and a broad knowledge base of various safety program elements.
What made you want to transition into training?
Kevin: I’ve always enjoyed helping people and sharing my knowledge whenever I could. I started formally instructing with the Canadian Red Cross first aid programs and have taught for the Canadian Ski Patrol, Saint John Ambulance, Safety Services Nova Scotia, and various employers along the way. I enjoy when I can help a student or coworker have that “lightbulb moment” when everything seems to come together and they get a clear understanding of the topic.
Why did you decide to work for Hercules SLR?
Kevin: When I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in safety the opportunity to Join the Hercules team came available. The timing was right and it was the perfect fit. Having a fulltime safety professional was new for the company and it was new for me. I am very happy to say the company and myself have grown together over the last 11 years to build a strong safety culture.
Where have you traveled during your time as a training specialist for Hercules SLR?
Kevin: The majority of the training that we deliver is based in the maritime provinces, but we are able to deliver training anywhere in Canada. I’ve delivered training from the coast of NL to the coast of BC and many stops in between, including Ontario, Quebec, PEI, NB and Alberta.
Where have you enjoyed traveling to most for training?
Kevin: Traveling to different parts of NL over the past few years has been interesting. The people are great, and it has been very interesting to see the change in safety culture since the oil industry has grown so much there. Some of the most memorable places to provide training has been in a federal prison, on various ships, sawmills, and airplane hangars. Sometimes you just don’t know what you are getting into and that is always exciting.
Is there anywhere that you would like to travel to in the future with Hercules SLR?
Kevin: I would really like to travel to the northern parts of Canada maybe up to Yellowknife or somewhere in the North West Territories.
Lastly, is there anything that you hope to accomplish during your career in the industry?
Kevin: I hope to be able to make a great success of our Hercules Training Academy and some day expand the course offerings to include some more of the academic safety programs to help companies build a strong safety culture.
Hercules SLR offers a wide array of safety training courses. Alongside our standard courses we can tailor make courses to suit your specific requirements, at our facility or yours. To find out more about our course and how we can help you raise the bar in safety training email us at: [email protected]