#3: Safety is within the business, not part of it.

With Bill Cobb, VP of Health & Safety at National Trench Safety

National Trench Safety has a large national footprint, having acquired many different groups through private equity. Find out how Bill Cobb, the Vice President of Health & Safety, approaches the mergers and acquisitions environment at NT Safety and his strategies for unifying all of these different safety cultures.




Bill Cobb has a pragmatic, no-nonsense approach to health and safety in the workplace. In this episode, we discuss:

  • His current role [00:01:04];
  • Projects at National Trench Safety [00:01:23];
  • The size of the organization [00:01:58];
  • Time spent in the role [00:02:27];
  • The current safety strategy he's implemented and how it's different from his past strategies [00:03:15];
  • How he balances an appetite for safety with apprehension [00:06:42];
  • How he is trying to change the way safety is thought about in an organization where everyone comes from different backgrounds [00:10:58];
  • The metrics he thinks that safety people fixate on too much [00:18:26];
  • What else we can be measuring to drive us more towards performance [00:22:21];
  • How we are failing to measure ourselves [00:27:45];
  • The north star for safety departments [00:30:16];
  • His stance on whether or not safety organizations talk enough to their frontline workers about rating their own performance [00:33:45];
  • How to approach M&A from a safety perspective [00:34:52];
  • His approach to getting leadership to buy-in on the notion of "doing less, but better" [00:39:16];
  • What he's currently focusing on in his current organization to start building momentum around "doing less, but better" [00:44:55];
  • Whether he's set any targets or if he's just focusing on pushing for the "doing less, but better" mentality [00:47:44];
  • More.

Want to read the interview instead? Check out our blog post on Medium.

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