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The “Dream Team”: Working to Optimize Worksite Safety

Built with industry icons dedicated to creating solutions to the energy sector’s high fatality problem, Veriforce built a Strategic Advisory Board — an energy sector “Dream Team” with a single mission: to send workers home safely from high hazard jobs — every night.

If you’ve seen Black Hawk Down, you’ll remember this scene:

The squadron of U.S. soldiers has fought their way back to base after a long night of battle. A young ranger named Eversmann sees his Delta Force operator Hoot preparing to head back out into the fight. He asks, “You’re going back in?” Hoot responds, “There’s still men out there. Yeah, I am.”

Hoot then adds, “When I go home, people’ll ask me, ‘Hey Hoot, why do you do it man? Why? You some kinda’ war junkie?’…It’s about the men next to you, and that’s it. That’s all it is.”

Doing your job and doing it well for “the men next to you” is a passion and pride every safety professional brings to our work. For those of us on the front lines, it’s vital. 

For the last dozen years, an average of 5,000 workers have died annually in work related accidents. 

That’s 5,000 real people going to work and never returning home.

Yes, the energy sector presents hazards and risks for workers. But with the safety and training resources we have, serious injuries and fatalities should be trending down, and they aren’t. It’s time to do something about it. But, what? 

That’s where Veriforce’s Strategic Advisory Board comes into play.

The Energy Sector Dream Team

Built with industry icons dedicated to creating solutions to the energy sector’s high fatality problem, Veriforce built a Strategic Advisory Board — an energy sector “Dream Team” with a single mission: Working together to expand the boundaries of traditional safety practices through innovative learning solutions and critical knowledge sharing that improve worker health, safety, and overall performance.

The purpose: Services and safety processes that allow for human error without death.

The Dream Team – By the Numbers

Assembled in early 2022, the Strategic Advisory Board is already creating training solutions around what is not only required from a regulatory standpoint but going beyond to attack circumstances that have been identified as common factors that kill people on a worksite. The solutions we deliver will make a direct and immediate impact on workplace safety.

I’m proud to introduce the members of our Strategic Advisory Board here, each exceptionally skilled in what they do.

James A. Junkin, CSP, MSP, SMS, ASP, CSHO (Board Chair)
James is a noted author on safety topics and the CEO and co-founder of Mariner-Gulf Consulting & Services, LLC, a risk management and occupational safety and health consulting firm, specializing in safety regulations, training, management systems, and EHS program implementation. A much sought-after Veriforce Master Trainer, James has taught over 40,000 students and trained over 3,000 instructors. James sits on the editorial board of Professional Safety Journal and a member of the ANSI/ASSP Z-390.1 committee. He is also a member of the advisory group for the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP).  In recognition of his impact in the professional safety community, Columbia Southern University named James as its 2022 Safety Professional of the Year (Runner Up).

William J. VandeSande, MAEd (Board Vice Chair)
William has a 50-year career that spans multiple industries from theater and entertainment to safety consulting and employee training. With a Masters in Adult Education Distance Learning and a Graduate Certificate in Occupational Health and Safety, he creates branded and customized blended learning packages for HSE clients and is a Veriforce Master Trainer.

Dr. I. David Daniels, PhD, CSD, VPS
Dr. Daniels holds a Ph.D. in Occupational Health and Safety and is certified as a safety director, violence prevention specialist, emergency management specialist, safety and health specialist, and certified in mental health first aid. He serves as a member of the National Safety Council (NSC) board of directors and is a recipient of the NSC’s Distinguished Service to Safety Award. He is also chair of the National Association of Black Compliance and Risk Management Professionals Safety and Security Workgroup. 

Dr. Simon Goncharenko, Ph.D., CSP
With over 25 years of professional experience in leadership, management, training, and environmental safety and health across multiple industries, including construction, energy, and data centers, Dr. Goncharenko has taken a closer look at the subject of human organizational performance for more than five years. Out of that came a transformative two-day Human Factors in Critical Environments© training, popular with multiple high reliability corporations across North America and Asia.

Dr. Linda F. Martin, Ph.D., MBA, PMP, CIH, CSP, MSP, CHMM
Dr. Martin has 32 years of occupational safety management, construction safety, industrial hygiene, toxicology, epidemiology, environmental consulting, and remote instruction/curriculum development. She is a two-term past president of the board of directors of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals, received the 2021 Board of Global EHS Credentialing/American Board of Industrial Hygiene Impact Award for the Certified Industrial Hygienist and received the 2018 National Safety Council Marion Martin award.

William Walker, CIH, CSP
William has over 25 years of experience in health, safety, and environmental management and is a Certified Industrial Hygienist. He has a passion for championing the philosophy of Prevention through Design (PtD) and Serious Incident and Fatality (SIF) prevention for workers in the oil and gas industry. 

David A. Bates
David worked for OSHA for 35 years, serving in many roles including Area Director of Oklahoma, Assistant Area Director in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and Little Rock, Arkansas, and Deputy Area Commander for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration response to the Deepwater Horizon and Hurricane Harvey incidents.

Douglas Castro, CSP, COSM, CSSM
For 18 years, Douglas has worked in workplace safety, risk management, leadership and professional development, training video production, and computer-based training design. Douglas is an EHS & Leadership Course Developer and Instructor, test prep developer for safety professionals, NCCER Master Trainer and CSSM, and has trained hundreds of OSHA trainers.

Chris Court, MPH, CSP
Chris is an accomplished, highly qualified health and safety professional with experience in a range of industry sectors, with over seven years of field experience ranging from oil and gas, petrochemical processing plants, to heavy construction sites, to support and champion a culture of health and safety for all employees. 

Chris Kuiper, MS, CSP
Chris’s more than 45 years of industry, consulting, and academic experience has included time with Mobil Oil in domestic and foreign assignments, and Golden Aluminum Co. as HSE manager. Over his career, Chris has conducted numerous Process Safety Management hazard analyses and audits and taught at the University of Denver and Southeastern Louisiana University.

Chris Detillier, ASP
Chris is a senior safety advisor for Veriforce Inc. with over 15 years of experience in safety and health as a master trainer and auditor for Veriforce, as well as experience in health and safety management.

Steve Sorensen, ASP
Steve is a health, safety, and environmental specialist with over two decades of combined experience serving the semiconductor and pipeline industries. He specializes in protecting people who work on pressurized piping systems through the development and implementation of effective health and safety management systems.

Richard Emberling, COSS
Richard is a U.S. Navy veteran and currently works as a senior HSE advisor for Veriforce. He is a master trainer for Veriforce and a H2S Master Trainer under Eric Rosemann and Associates, LLC, formerly Frank Perry. His experience includes workover rigs, drilling rigs, pipeline, fracking and cementing, holding positions at Mobil Oil Corporation and 10 years in a fire department as the training officer. Richard is a member of the ANSI/ASSP Z-390.1 committee. 

Daniel V. Lopez
David started his career in safety training and consulting in 1996. Prior to starting his own company, he worked for Shell for 13 years. Now he assists new and established companies in the development of their safety and health programs and training. His accolades include OSHA-authorized instructor, HAZWOPER instructor, and a Veriforce Master Trainer.

Bill Henderson
A safety professional with over 30 years of experience spanning manufacturing, steel production, oil and gas drilling, H2S, heavy equipment operations, and more. Bill focuses on the relationship aspect of safety rather than strict enforcement.

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