How A Sales Guy Transformed Into An Environmental, Health & Safety Expert & Advocate For Small Businesses
I’ve spent my entire 30+ year career working within the manufacturing and “industrial services” sectors.
The first 15 years of my career focused on sales of hazardous materials related products (chemicals and gases) and services to the manufacturing sector, then for the last 16+ years transitioned into entrepreneurship, founding 3 small industrial services related contracting businesses.
As you’ll see below, running these companies eventually lead me to found yet a 4th business, but more on that in a minute….
Here’s a brief description of the first 3 companies:
Each of these companies operated in extremely dangerous working conditions and exposed my employees to a wide range of serious health & safety hazards on a daily basis.
To complicate matters, 2 of the companies also exposed the environment to significant potential harm.
In other words, I learned very early the critical importance of managing environmental, health and safety issues so as to ensure the safety of our employees and the environment, as well as minimizing related risks.
But I also learned how incredibly difficult and challenging this endeavor can be due to the wide range of complicated and ever changing environmental, health and safety rules and regulations that impacted the companies.
To summarize the challenges: First I had to determine which regulations applied to each company, then I had to build compliance programs to meet those regulations, and finally I had to ensure that the programs were being managed and followed by our staff on a daily basis.
All while trying to run and grow 3 profitable businesses….
It was overwhelming and I always struggled to keep up.
To make matters worse, throughout this same time period I witnessed the devastating price that other small companies, management and ownership can pay for failing to manage EHS compliance.
This included seeing one of my hazardous waste management clients get sent to jail over environmental issues, another client’s management team threatened with jail time, a direct competitor get fined $378,000 by OSHA fine after an employee was nearly killed (I knew if it happened to them, it could just as easily happen to me!), and many others face major fines and penalties.
Full disclosure, one of my companies got fined by OSHA at one point, & another was cited by TCEQ, so I know how it feels.
In summary and through it all, I learned first hand how incredibly difficult it is for small companies to manage EHS compliance and the devastating liabilities and risks they face for failing to do so.
These experiences later inspired me to found my 4th company, Berg Compliance Solutions, LLC, which is a consulting company dedicated to helping other small companies and business owners to manage EHS compliance and risk in the most cost effective and comprehensive way in our industry.
Summary of Professional Experience & Qualifications:
Environmental, Health & Safety Compliance & Program Related:
Regulatory Enforcement Related Experience:
– Served as expert witness in criminal environmental compliance enforcement cases
– OSHA enforcement inspections, investigations and resolution in following industries: industrial services, manufacturing & construction.
– TCEQ enforcement inspections, investigations and resolution in manufacturing.