The Safety Guy

Allen Taylor wants everybody to know that he doesn’t normally take meetings while driving his car. “I’m a safety guy,” he says, laughing. “This is just a background.”

It seems relevant that he takes the time to make this clear: even when setting up a digital background for an online meeting, he’s a safety guy, through and through.

An Air Force and Army veteran, Taylor already had a background in safety from his time in the service when he began working at Seattle Public Utilities. Now a senior Safety and Health officer, he credits Evergreen Safety Council with giving him the knowledge and necessary certifications to advance in his career.

His first job with the utility was in one of the material controls divisions, he says, but his passion was for safety. Some in the Safety Office took notice of his knowledge and began consulting with him, frequently hiring him on a temporary basis to complete short-term projects. But every time he applied for a full-time opening in the division, he says, he was told he didn’t meet the position’s minimum qualifications—he didn’t have specialized job-related training that would qualify him to be hired by the department.

Enter Evergreen Safety Council. At the time, the organization offered a 9-month training program for safety and health specialists.

There were other options. Some universities and junior colleges have programs that would have given Taylor the credentials he needed to qualify for that promotion. “But,” he says, “if you want to fast track and get a certificate designed specifically for the sort of work you do, Evergreen Safety Council is one of the best companies to prepare you for that job. When I read the description of the courses that they offered, I knew right away that the courses that I would attend were in direct relation to the type of work I would be doing when I completed the certification.”

Two months after completing Evergreen Safety Council’s Safety and Health Specialist training program, Taylor says, he was hired for a full-time position in Seattle Public Utilities’ Safety Office.

He’s returned to Evergreen Safety Council several times over the course of his career, for a technical specialist certification, as well as to become a certified first aid and CPR instructor. “Each time I went back,” he says, ” it would enhance my position at my job to make me more valuable, and it helped my personal growth as well.”

Beyond providing certification requirements that set him on the path of career advancement, the training has given Taylor the practical knowledge to perform his job as an expert in his field.

“When one of our crews was doing a big compliance based job,” he recalls, “I knew how to review and inspect the job they were doing to make sure they were in compliance with state regulations. I was able to make sure they were using the proper equipment and PPE to do the job. I knew how to inspect their traffic control setup to ensure the public was safe, and that the work zone that they were working in was safe.”

The benefits have carried over to his personal life as well.

“It changed my life … I can say morally, emotionally, financially. I have more confidence because of the skillset that Evergreen Safety Council provided.

My financial improvement has given me an opportunity to see parts of the world that I would never have been able to experience without the education … all as a result of going to Evergreen Safety Council to enhance my career.”

As he nears retirement, Taylor has begun to mentor others in his field. “Part of my mentoring is for them to understand the importance of getting certification,” he says. “I have let them know that Evergreen Safety Council is one of the best places in Washington to get a certification. I believe in passing the torch forward.”

It starts with specialized workplace training programs and with people like Allen Taylor—but the ripples are felt throughout our community.

“I’m one of the safety officers who absolutely loves what he does,” Taylor says. “Because of Evergreen Safety Council I’m able to provide a service to make sure people go home to their parents and their children. To me that’s what’s important, that I can make a difference.”

Related Posts


Private training