The WorkSAFE Podcast

Interviews, stories and strategies for safer workplaces.

The WorkSAFE Podcast features interviews with safety professionals, business owners, independent agents and our own experts. Started in 2017, the podcast covers topics like workplace safety best practices, work comp, claims management and safety success stories.

Brought to you by Missouri Employers Mutual and Previsor Insurance. Have a question or topic you’d like us to cover? Email us at


Ep. 71: Safety Engagement: 3 Steps to Get Employees to Buy In to Safety Efforts

Safety rules and processes are vital for a safe workplace. But some employers haven’t changed the way they share them in decades. How can they prevent employees from tuning out during these important conversations? Learn how to encourage employees to engage in safety with Kevin Burns, published author and CEO of KevBurns Learning. Show notes. >

Ep. 70: The Saint Louis Zoo: Caring for Critters, Customers and Keepers During COVID-19

In 2017, we featured the Saint Louis Zoo in our very first episode. Bringing together guests, staff, and animals – the center of the experience – means zoo safety is a big priority. Discover how safety efforts have evolved in the midst of a global pandemic with Domini Montgomery, Director of Safety and Risk Services for the St. Louis Zoo, and our very first guest. Show notes. >

Ep. 69: A Culture of Care: The Value of a Welcoming Workplace

Company culture is important to today’s employees. Many are taking a second look at their work situation. Learn how to create a culture of care to retain the right talent for your business with Len Toenjes, President of the Missouri Chapter of Associated General Contractors of America (AGCMO). Show notes. >

Ep. 68: Overworking Employees: How Extra Shifts Can Lead to Serious Safety Risk

As the demand for goods and services rises, so does the need to work. Many employers turn to longer shifts, but more hours can come with serious safety concerns. Learn how too much time on the job puts employees, and workplace safety, at risk with Brye Lynn, safety educator and creator of The Safety Geek. Show notes. >

Ep. 67: Clean Air: How to Help Employees Breathe Easy on the Job

Clean air is key to a productive workplace. But it’s easy to overlook safety hazards we can’t even see. Discover how to improve air quality for your employees with Rhonda Kauffman, Safety and Risk Specialist at Missouri Employers Mutual. Show notes. >

Ep. 66: A Crisis in Construction: Saving Lives with Suicide Prevention Measures

Suicide is a growing problem in construction. The industry has the second-highest rate of suicide amongst all occupations in the U.S. Discover how to support employees who may be struggling with Brandon Anderson, Vice President of the Missouri chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGCMO). Show notes. >

Ep. 65: Work Comp 101: Finding the Right Policy for Your Business

Work comp may seem like just another expense. But it protects your business and team, and is one of the most important investments you’ll make. Learn what finding the right policy for you looks like with Christian Delozier, Proactive Business Risk & Insurance Consultant for Mike Keith Insurance, Inc. Show notes. >

Ep. 64: Calling 811: Dial Before You Dig to Avoid Making a Costly Mistake

Hitting a utility line while digging can result in serious injury and serious costs. 811 is a free service that can help you eliminate safety risks when digging. Discover how one call can prevent costly mistakes with Derek Leffert, Director of External Affairs at Missouri One Call and Executive Director of the Missouri Common Ground Alliance. Show notes. >

Ep. 63: Near Misses: Using Close Calls Today to Prevent Incidents Tomorrow

We’ve all had close calls when it comes to safety. In the workplace, these moments are called near misses. Even though they don’t cause an accident at the time, we can use these moments of gratitude to teach us the power of prevention – and note the warning they provide. Learn about near misses and the impact they can have on safety with Mark Woodward, Safety and Risk Trainer at Missouri Employers Mutual. Show notes. >

Ep. 62: Trauma-Informed Workplaces: Building a Better Business with Empathy and Awareness

Trauma can affect our ability to think, learn, and manage change. It can also make it hard to relate to others. All of these skills play an important role in employees working safely and efficiently on the job. Discover how to build a trauma-informed workplace and support employees with Randy Grieser, Founder & Chief Vision Officer of ACHIEVE Centre for Leadership and the Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute. Show notes. >

Ep. 61: Stop Work Authority Program: Empowering Employees to End Unsafe Situations

Are your employees empowered to speak up when they see risks on the job? A Stop Work Authority program allows them to step in during unsafe situations. Learn how it can have a positive impact on your business with Rhonda Kauffman, Safety and Risk Specialist at Missouri Employers Mutual. Show notes. >

Ep. 60: Trenching Safety: Digging Into the Safety Steps Employers Need to Know

Trench collapses happen each year, and can result in serious injury or death. Learn how to protect workers with these trenching safety tips from Rick Plocinski, Customer Training Specialist for United Rentals and host of the Behind the Standards with United Rentals podcast. Show notes. >

Ep. 59: Substance Misuse: How Employers Can Support Workers Struggling with Addiction

Almost 21 million Americans have at least one addiction. But only 10% of them receive treatment for it. Substance misuse can spill over into the workplace. Learn how to support struggling workers and keep safety in mind with Nicole Dawsey, Executive Director of Prevent+Ed. Show notes. >

Ep. 58: Stop Falls Stand Down: Commit to Fall Protection in Partnership with OSHA

Every on-the-job fall is preventable. But they continue to be a leading cause of death in many industries. Learn how to commit to fall protection from OSHA Area Director Bill McDonald during their National Safety Stand-Down week. Show notes. >

Ep. 57: Electrical Safety: How to Shake Off Shock Risk in the Workplace

Electricity is everywhere. But we often don’t think about it until we don’t have it – or until an incident occurs. Discover the hidden hazards of electricity and how to prevent injuries with Brett Brenner, President of the Electrical Safety Foundation International. Show notes. >

Ep. 56: The COVID-19 Vaccine: How Employers Can Support Safer Workplaces

COVID-19 has been tough for businesses. But newly available vaccines could change that. Learn how to support safer workplaces and communities with Ruth Binger, Principal at Danna McKitrick, P.C., a full-service law firm based in St. Louis, MO. Show notes. >

Ep. 55: Medical Marijuana: Lessons Learned from the First Year of Legal Use

Missouri opened its doors to medical marijuana in 2020. What have we learned after one year of legal use? Catch up on the latest lessons with Ruth Binger, Principal at Danna McKitrick, P.C., a full-service law firm based in St. Louis, MO. Show notes. >

Ep. 54: Stories from the Road: Safety Tips from Tales of Unsafe Driving

Vehicle crashes are the number one way to die on the job nationwide. Learn how to avoid becoming a statistic with Captain Kevin Kelley of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, who shares safe driving tips for your employees. Show notes. > 

Ep. 53: Fall Protection: How to Prepare Employees for Working at Heights

Falls from heights are one of the leading causes of death in the workplace. The right protection and training are essential to save lives. Prepare your employees to work from heights safety with Thomas Kramer, safety consultant and engineer at LJB, Inc. and president of the International Society for Fall Protection. Show notes. > 

Ep. 52: Situational Awareness: Teaching Employees to Stay Alert on the Job

Most employees have a consistent work day. But is your team ready for the unexpected? Learn how situational awareness can prevent bad outcomes with Dr. Richard Gasaway, founder of Situational Awareness Matters!™. Show notes. >

Ep. 51: Safety Manager 101: 3 Tips to Help Professionals New to Safety Roles

A safety manager is an important team member in any industry. But sometimes, the role is given to someone without much safety experience. Greg Zigulis, President of Sixth Sense Safety Solutions, shares three tips to help new safety managers get started. Show notes. >

Ep. 50: Safety Systems: How Great Documentation and Processes Save Lives

Safety systems save lives, but some take time and are difficult for employees to use. Discover three ways to improve your safety systems with Miguel Ramos, COO and co-founder of Limble. Show notes. >

Ep. 49: Winter Safety: Preparing Your Workforce for Winter Weather

Employees face new hazards in winter weather. Karen Hamel, Regulatory Expert and Trainer for Halen Hardy, LLC, shares how to make winter safety a priority by providing the right training and safety essentials. Show notes. >

Ep. 48: Strains and Sprains: Preventing Overexertion Injuries at Work and Home

Overexertion is the leading cause of workplace injuries. Learn how to prevent strains and sprains with Tara Swaney, physical therapist and Work Strategies Coordinator at Select Medical. Show notes. >

Ep. 47: Safety Culture: Getting Leadership Support

Leadership support is the key to creating a workplace safety culture. Clint Bergman, Co-Franchisee of Two Men and a Truck, shares 3 key changes you can make today to put safety first. Show notes. >

Ep. 46: Safe Driving: Prevent Crashes During COVID-19

Traffic fatalities in Missouri rose by 12% in 2020. Prevent crashes and keep your employees safe on the road using these 4 tips from Nicole Hood of the Missouri Department of Transportation. Show notes. >

Ep. 45: The Aging Workforce: How to Support Senior Workers in Every Industry

About 25% of U.S. workers are over age 55. The aging workforce carries valuable experience and knowledge, but these employees can be at a higher risk for workplace injuries. Kevin Lombardo, CEO of Dorn Companies, discusses how employers can protect their older workers from common risks. Show notes. >

Ep. 44: Workers Compensation Fraud Prevention: Protect Your People and Your Policy

Where there are benefits, fraud is possible. Bill Byington, Senior Special Investigative Unit Specialist at Missouri Employers Mutual, shares strategies for preventing fraud and reporting suspected fraud. Show notes. >

Ep. 43: Caution Fatigue During COVID-19: Safety in the New Normal

While many were eager to help flatten the COVID-19 curve at first, caution fatigue has started to set in. Safety consultants Joshua Mrozowsky and Rajni Walia of Dekra discuss how the stresses of COVID-19 impact our behavior and how employers can help prevent caution fatigue in the workplace. Show notes. >

Ep. 42: Restaurants and COVID-19: Challenges and Changes Affecting the Industry

The restaurant industry has been seriously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Carryout and delivery are thriving, and new safety concerns have changed how restaurants operate. Herman Styles and Ben Thies of Colton’s Steak House and Grill discuss the challenges restaurants are facing. Show notes. >

Ep. 41: Floor Safety: Reduce Slip, Trip and Fall Risks

Slips, trips, and falls are top causes of workplace injuries. Russell Kendzior, president of the National Floor Safety Institute, discusses common hazards and incident prevention tips. Show notes. >

Ep. 40: Subcontracting: Protect Your Premium When Hiring a Helping Hand

Did you know that subcontractors can be covered by your workers compensation policy? Premium Consultation Manager Chonna Patterson discusses how to avoid higher premiums and unexpected costs. Show notes. >

Ep. 39: The Word on Masks at Work

COVID-19 has changed workplaces. Should your employees be wearing masks at work to protect themselves and customers? Our expert weighs in. Show notes. >

Ep. 38: Directed Medical Care

If an employee is injured on the job, your priority is to get them the right care quickly. Claims expert Steve Summers explains why all employers should have a directed medical care plan, and how to get started. Show notes. >

Ep. 37: New Hire Safety

New hires make up 22% of the workforce but account for 40% of workplace injuries. Why are new employees at higher risk and how can business owners protect them? Our safety expert explains. Show notes. >

Ep. 36: Transitioning Back to Work Safely During COVID-19

An emergency like a pandemic or natural disaster can change the way your business works. A safety expert discusses how companies can help their employees transition safely back to work as communities start to re-open during COVID-19. Show notes. >

Ep. 35: Cybersecurity During Remote Work: 4 Ways to Protect Your Business Data

Working remotely is more common than ever. Employers rely on technology to keep their businesses running. But when employees handle sensitive data using home or public Wi-Fi networks, your company is exposed to risk. IT Security Manager Tim Myers covers cybersecurity risks and steps employers can take today to protect their data. Show notes. >

Ep. 34: Supporting Your Employees’ Mental Health While They Work from Home

Between routine changes and time away from coworkers, working from home can challenge the mental wellness of many employees. Terri Sitrin of New Directions Behavioral Health shares how employers can set employees up for success in the face of some common remote work challenges. Show notes. >

Ep. 33: Trucking and Transportation Safety When Demand is High

When transportation demands are high, trucking professionals feel increased pressure to drive longer hours and carry heavier loads. Safety expert Mark Woodward discusses how drivers can decrease their risk by avoiding fatigue, reducing stress and ensuring safety comes first during times of high demand. Show notes. >

Ep. 32: Tips to Avoid Work-Related Injuries While Working from Home

Working from home can expose employees to new workplace safety risks, like ergonomic injuries, slips, trips and more. Here are a few tips to help your employees avoid injuries while working from home. Show notes. >

Ep. 31: Ladders Last: Putting Safety First When Working at Heights

The Ladders Last philosophy means using safer alternatives to work at heights, turning to ladders as a last resort. Richard Jones, retired from Turner Construction, discusses why ladders are so dangerous and how employers can get buy-in to reduce ladder use amongst their own employees. Show notes. >

Ep. 30: Safety Meetings 101: How to Share Safety Skills with Your Employees

How often should you have safety meetings? What topics should you cover? And how can you keep your employees’ attention? Safety training specialist Flint Walton shares his insights and tips. Show notes. >

Ep. 29: The New Frontier of Pain Management

Missourians have a new option for pain management: medical marijuana. Kevin Glennon of One Call Care Management explains how it can treat pain and reduce opioid use. We also cover the future of regulation for medical use. Show notes. >

Ep. 28: Medical Marijuana in Missouri

Missourians voted to legalize medical marijuana use in 2018. Now, employers are expecting changes in their workplaces – and potentially in their safety policies. A legal expert discusses. Show notes. >

Ep. 27: Incident Investigation

Many employers think their job is done after a claim closes – but to prevent similar injuries in the future, you need to conduct an incident investigation. Safety and Risk Specialist Rhonda Kauffman explains how. Show notes. >

Ep. 26: Fire Safety

Fires cause 3% of workplace injuries, and they can leave businesses devastated. Brad Fraizer, Assistant Fire Chief for the Columbia Fire Department, shares best practices to protect your people and your business from the dangers of a workplace fire. Show notes. >

Ep. 25: How to Host Safety Week in Your Workplace

Refresh your employees’ commitment to workplace safety by holding Safety Week – a week of activities dedicated to safety. Tisha Greco and Caitlin Way share what they’ve learned planning MEM’s WorkSAFE Week event over the years. Show notes. >

Ep. 24: Return to Work Programs

An effective return to work program creates flexible work options for an employee while they are recovering and helps you save on your claims costs. Steve Summers discusses. Show notes. >

Ep. 23: Traumatic Injury Rehabilitation: Rebuilding Injured Employees’ Lives

Shawn Wills shares Madonna Rehabilitation’s approach to traumatic injury rehabilitation and work re-entry for patients with severe workplace injuries. Show notes. >

Ep. 22: Unbelievable Safety Stories

Injuries happen to people who don’t expect them. EMT Mark Woodward shares his safety stories and offers advice to prevent serious incidents in your workplace. Show notes. >

Ep. 21: Workers Compensation for Small Business Owners

Workers compensation provides your small business with essential protection and support if a workplace injury occurs. Scott Costello, president of Tri-County Agency, shares what small business owners need to know about their work comp policy. Show notes. >

Ep. 20: Identify and Prevent Injuries with Workplace Ergonomics

Overexertion is the source of 35% of all work-related injuries. Dr. Matt Jeffs explains how workplace ergonomics can help prevent these injuries in your workplace with a plan that fits your business’s unique needs. Show notes. >

Ep. 19: Prevent and Prepare for Workplace Violence

Workplace violence affects more than 2 million workers every year. Vaughn Baker, president at Strategos International, discusses how to prepare your employees to spot the red flags and react properly if violence occurs. Show notes. >

Ep. 18: Leadership in Fleet Safety Management

Driving a vehicle is one of the most dangerous activities you can do on the job. Employees behind the wheel are a safety risk for companies of all sizes. Col. Mark Trostel of Encana Corporation shares what he’s learned in decades of experience helping thousands of drivers stay safe on the road. Show notes. >

Ep. 17: Trucking Safety: On and Off the Road

For trucking companies, building a safety culture is crucial to keeping everyone safe on the road. But when drivers are on the road for weeks at a time, it can be hard to maintain a cohesive safety program. We talk with Potterfield Trucking about the industry’s unique safety challenges and how to address them. Show notes. >

Ep. 16: Are Your Safety Documents Working – or Worthless?

From training to policies to equipment maintenance, documenting your safety-related activities is crucial to their effectiveness. Documentation can add structure to your programs, as well as protect your business from OSHA citations and litigation. Show notes. >

Ep. 15: Managing Work Comp Claims

The best way to minimize work comp claims’ impact on your business is to prevent injuries in the first place. If an injury does occur, here are some work comp claims management strategies that can reduce costs and help the employee return to work safely and quickly. Case study with Meek’s Lumber. Show notes. >

Ep. 14: Fatigue at Work

Fatigue leads to 1.2 million lost work days and costs businesses billions of dollars every year. Pamala Bobbitt of Cority is back on the podcast to discuss how a lack of sleep impacts workers’ professional lives, and how technology can both worsen the problem and provide some solutions. Show notes. >

Ep. 13: Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace: Part 2 (Drug Testing and Managing Claims)

Ep. 12: Drugs and Alcohol in the Workplace: Part 1 (State of the Problem)

One in four adults binge drinks, and one in ten adults uses illicit drugs. They’re not out on the street, though: research shows that most of these adults are working at jobs. We explore the risks that safety professionals need to know about, and best practices for mitigating them. This topic spans a two-part series on drugs and alcohol in the workplace. Show notes. >

Ep. 11: Safer Driving with Telematics

Business owners are turning to GPS vehicle tracking (telematics) to identify problem driving patterns and prevent crashes. Col. Mark Trostel of Encana Corporation and Dan O’Neil of StriveSafe by Cartasite discuss their experience with telematics programs and what the future holds for driving safety. Show notes. >

Ep. 10: Return on Safety with EHS on Tap [Bonus Episode]

In this bonus episode, Mark Woodward, Senior Safety Trainer and frequent WorkSAFE Podcast guest, talks to Justin Scace of EHS on Tap about return on safety – the true benefits of prioritizing safety in the workplace. Show notes. >

Ep. 9: Work-Life Balance and Safety

Taking time off to reset benefits employees, but does it benefit the company? Pamala Bobbitt, Director of Product Marketing and Channels at Cority and former EHS manager, explains how work-life balance and holistic, behavior-based safety improve productivity and lead to long-term organizational sustainability. Show notes. >

Ep. 8: New Hire Safety Training Tips

One in three work comp claims involves a new hire. How can business owners ensure their new employees have the training they need to stay safe on the job? Josh Reynolds of Meek’s Lumber shares his experience and tips for keeping new hires safe. Show notes. >

Ep. 7: Put Safety Technology to Work

Investing in safety technology is a smart move for large companies with budgets to match. But is it realistic for small, family-owned businesses? In this interview, Simon Rabjohns explains that it’s not only an option for small businesses – for some, it’s absolutely essential. Show notes. >

Ep. 6: Safety Myths Debunked!

Do workplace injuries happen because people just aren’t paying attention? Is safety common sense? According to Senior Safety Trainer Mark Woodward, paying attention is only half the battle. He discusses this and other safety myths standing in the way of safer workplaces. Show notes. >

Ep. 5: Home Safe and Sound: Finck Supported Living Services

Finck Supported Living Services is dedicated to helping clients with special needs live fulfilling lives. Safety manager Michelle Karhoff shares how the organization also stays dedicated to keeping its employees safe on the job. Show notes. >

Ep. 4: Safety Leadership: More than a Checklist

How do you create a true safety culture in the workplace? Senior Safety Trainer Mark Woodward explains how business owners and managers can lead their employees to see safety as more than a check in an OSHA box, and truly believe in safety. Show notes. >

Ep. 3: Winter Weather Driving Tips with MoDOT

We sat down with Chris Engelbrecht, Emergency Management Liaison for MoDOT, and Mark Woodward, Senior Safety Trainer at MEM, to learn about driving in extreme winter weather and how business owners can reduce their employees’ risk. Show notes. >

Ep. 2: Dig Rite: No Shortcuts to Safety

Derek Leffert of Missouri One Call (better known as Dig Rite) talks trench safety, underground facility safety trainings, the Damage Prevention and Excavation Safety Summit, and – of course – how calling before you dig protects you and the people around you. Show notes. >

Ep. 1: How the Saint Louis Zoo Keeps Employees Safe

Addressing slip hazards in their Sumatran Orangutan habitat was a unique challenge for the Saint Louis Zoo. Safety Coordinator Domini Montgomery discusses balancing animal and zookeeper needs in workplace safety. Show notes. >