Formed in 1998 by Walt Taliaferro under the name Safety Temps Ltd., National Safety Consulting operates on the belief there is a strong need for qualified safety professionals who have worked with the tools of the trade, understand the hazards of construction and plant environments, and can relate effectively to the skilled craftsmen. Walt wanted to provide a service to assist construction subcontractors in complying with federal regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) while working to keep their staff safe.
He had the idea for such an organization in the early 1990's while working on a project at the Weldon Spring nuclear waste cleanup site. The contractors for the project had brought in a safety representative to talk about federal regulations and ways to remain in compliance. Because the gentleman had experience only in safety policies, and none in construction work, he struggled to get through to the veteran construction workers on the job, including Walt.
“I was embarrassed for the guy - He knew all about the safety rules and regs, but didn’t know anything about working with the tools that were on the jobsite, or how to relate to the men responsible for working with those tools.”
That experience did get him thinking – what if there was someone who not only comprehends federal safety rules, but also had the ability to translate that knowledge into a ‘language’ that the workers on the job would understand AND find relevant? That sounded an awful lot like something Walt could do…
Inspired by the idea, Walt took advantage of every opportunity to obtain additional OSHA training, to learn more about OSHA standards, and to become a certified safety trainer. A few years later, Walt took early retirement at age 62 and quickly recognized the big demand among small construction sub-contractors needing help with OSHA training requirements. By 1998, Walt was filling that training niche, and Safety Temps Ltd. was formed.
Unlike big companies and contractors, small sub-contractors oftentimes cannot afford to hire full-time safety directors to help them cope with the maze of federal regulations. Walt saw that for the opportunity it was, and expanded his training niche to include safety staffing and safety program development. He reached out to the people that he knew, and found himself hiring retired union construction tradesmen. Not only did those iron workers and pipe-fitters know their trades, but they knew how to relate to fellow tradesmen and they were always dependable. That combination of knowledge, dependability, and people-skills was exactly what Walt was looking for in order to promote the importance of employee safety. And he succeeded. In the years since its inception, Safety Temps Ltd. expanded from Walt’s dining room table to its own office building in Chesterfield, and has re-branded as National Safety Consulting.
Nowadays, with employee safety and safety regulations having become more mainstream, more and more men and women are graduating with college degrees in Environmental Health and Safety and/or Occupational Safety. This has allowed National Safety Consulting to develop a team of not only those experienced tradesmen (some of whom have gone back to school), but also the next generation of safety professionals, who have the safety degrees, advanced safety credentials, and high-level education for the ever-evolving OSHA regulations.
In spite of the continuing evolution within the organization, and the increased awareness of safety in the business world, one thing has not changed - National Safety Consulting is interested in helping to save lives, lower insurance premiums, and reduce injuries on the job. That has always been the idea…to help every worker to come home from work at night with the same number of fingers, arms, and toes that he/she had when they left in the morning.