Each day through our work at Heritage Environmental Services, we’re proud to live out our core value “Safe and Compliant or Not at All”.
“Quite simply, if you take a short pause before making a decision and ask yourself ‘Is what I am about to do safe and compliant?’ living to our core value is a simple feat,” Joe Rohlfing, Health & Safety Systems Leader here at Heritage, said. “If you have all the job hazards mitigated and you feel comfortable doing the work, then you proceed. I really think it’s just as simple as that.”
In Joe’s role as a Health & Safety Systems Leader, he is responsible for helping to provide corporate-level support to various job sites and programs, ensuring our work prioritizes the health and safety of all parties involved – and that it upholds our first core value. In thinking about safety and how Heritage continues to deliver for its customers, Joe recently elaborated on the area of impact for one career path in particular – our Field Technicians. “Field Technicians are a vital part of Heritage because they can adapt to our business needs and do a little bit of everything,” he said.
Our Field Technicians provide field work at various client sites to meet project goals in a safe and conscientious manner. Whether they are working for an established on-site project, a new client, or supporting one of our internal Treatment, Storage, and Disposal facilities (TSDs), they provide value and customer satisfaction. No two days are normally the same for a Field Technician. One day they might support tank cleaning and maintenance, the next they could be on one of our oil response boats on the river deploying boom. “That’s what the Field Technician role is like – providing a multitude of different services and being flexible and ready for tasks,” Joe said. “We’re working for our customers, trying to solve some of their challenges and obstacles.”
Field Technicians and Safety
Among the varied opportunities to learn and master new responsibilities, one priority remains consistent: safety. Colton Macy, a Field Supervisor based in Tulsa, Oklahoma, began his career at Heritage as a Field Technician and was promoted to Field Supervisor in 2019. Colton said, “Our job is not just to get us home, but to get everyone home. We try to ensure everyone is on the same page. The last thing you want is someone to see something that they think isn’t a big deal, and it ends up being big deal.”
When thinking about the job-based and safety training he has received as a supervisor, he emphasized the importance of knowledge sharing, to make sure his team is operating from the same set of information. “I don’t think there is anything that I know how to do that I haven’t taught my techs how to do,” Colton said. “Having everyone on the same page with the same knowledge, and keeping everyone as informed as possible, keeps everyone safe.”
This priority is brought to life through the regular safety audits performed by his team and colleagues. Field Technicians rotate leading these audits, providing leadership experience and ensuring that all teammates understand the job from multiple perspectives. “Whenever they hold them, we can see if there are any questions to gain a better understanding of what they’re struggling with. It’s a really good way to see someone’s thought process in how they’d approach a job task,” Colton said. “It gives us a better ability to go over certain aspects during one-on-ones.”
During these audits, Colton shared that the team looks for potential job hazards that are obvious, for example, what kind of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may be needed for a job. Additionally, the team reviews how to best recognize some of the less common hazards so that that they can always be prepared.
These procedures, along with other safety measures such as those Joe works to further across the organization, are the reason Colton says that Heritage is one of the best places he’s worked in terms of safety. “Any time there is a chance to prevent something before it happens, Heritage has been very good about getting ahead of it and preventing those issues,” he said. To Colton, working Safe and Compliant or Not at All means never putting yourself in a position where yourself or your coworkers could get hurt.
“I’ve never had any issues in getting things for a job that would make it safer,” he said. “Whenever I do my daily field notes as a supervisor, I’ll explain ideas to our leadership and customers about how we can make things safer. The customers have always been happy if we are prioritizing safety.”
Teamwork and Development
The prioritization of safety plays a role in the people-first culture embodied across Heritage teams that helps us consistently deliver for our customers and for the environment. “Everybody I work with is like family,” Colton said. “That sounds crazy, but between leadership and our entire crew, everyone looks out for each other. Heritage is hands-down the best family-oriented and worker-oriented company I’ve worked for. Our leadership goes above and beyond to make sure we’re always taken care of.”
Paired with an emphasis on growth and development, Heritage roles like Field Technicians provide the opportunity to learn something new each day. “I like that every day is a little bit different,” Joe said. “There are always new challenges – the COVID-19 response, spills over the water spills at customer sites, VAC trucks, roll-offs. We’re involved in in quite a bit and it’s interesting to learn.”
“I went through a string of bad jobs – no matter how hard I tried it felt like I was never progressing. Coming here, no job is ever the same. There’s always the ability to move up through new jobs or roles you can take,” Colton said. “If you’re looking for somewhere to grow and develop, Heritage is definitely it.”
Through his work with Field Technicians, Colton shared another career highlight – travel. Time off while supporting various job sites has allowed him to go hiking at Glacier National Park and crabbing at a beach just outside of Orange, Texas. His team proudly displays photos in their shop back in Tulsa, showcasing photographs of the team spending time together across all the places they’ve traveled.
Speaking towards the Field Technician role, Joe agreed that the career path can be rewarding. He said, “If you enjoy working with your hands, facing different obstacles and challenges, and maybe some learning on the fly, I think that’s the right position for you.”
If you’re interested in joining a culture that prioritizes safety, family, and development, Heritage wants to hear from you. To learn more about the Field Technician career path at Heritage, as well as the opportunity to join the Heritage family, explore our open roles.
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