In the latest episode of Ask the Expert, brought to you by KPA, we speak with Taylor Thorn, Senior Product Director at KPA, about how safety technology is impacting EHS professionals and their work.

Q: What is your background?

I have been in the technology field for the past 15 years, with most of that time focused on the construction market. My first experience in construction technology was at a very small start-up company focused on construction and project management. Our lofty goal was to design a cloud-based ERP for construction that could connect office and field staff. They had big hopes and dreams, but the business they started didn't go well. So I stepped into his world of BIM and 3D modeling services for construction. Although the work was appealing, I quickly realized that my heart was in the product, not the service. In 2018, I founded AnchoRock Solutions, building mobile-first safety and compliance software tailored for the construction industry.

At the time, there were a limited number of platforms offering safety and compliance software built specifically for the construction industry. I went head-first and absorbed as much as I could from my early customers (safety directors for electrical and mechanical contractors) and learned as much as I could about safety by listening and learning from real safety experts. More details now. AnchoRock's team tackled many of the challenges facing construction safety management, and ultimately our products were adopted by contractors large and small across the country. In 2023, AnchoRock was acquired by his KPA. In my role at KPA, I focus on our EHS software platform, KPA Flex, and lead product strategy with a specific focus on construction safety.

Q: How did you become involved in this field?

Early in my career in construction technology, I spent a lot of time talking to contractors about improving processes within their organizations. My goal at the time was to identify areas that exhibited limitations, inefficiencies, and critical failures in a typical construction company. After many conversations, it quickly became clear that there were significant gaps within each contractor's safety program. I spent a lot of time with site safety coordinators, safety managers, and safety directors to better understand the issues that are occurring with the current traditional methods of managing site safety (primarily paper and pen). . It has become incredibly clear that there is a need in the market for a cloud-based platform that can ultimately improve how contractors manage safety and compliance within their organizations.

Q: How can corporate leaders make safety a value within their organization?

I believe that corporate leaders can make safety a value within their organizations by actively engaging and participating in safety programs from all members of the organization. On construction sites, safety is often driven by the safety team and executed on-site by site leaders (foreman, foreman, etc.). Taking that final step and getting all field personnel to buy in on safety can sometimes be difficult, but I've seen many companies successfully get everyone on board with their safety programs. I've seen it. For example, safety incentive programs are fairly common, but including field-level staff in those programs can have a big impact. Posting QR codes at work sites to encourage anonymous posting of “observations” and “good catches,” or even installing “safety guide boxes” can be enough to increase field-level involvement in safety programs. It can be an easy and effective way to get participation. .

Q: How will new safety technologies impact the work of EHS professionals?

Safety technology over the past decade has had a significant impact on EHS professionals in how they manage their safety programs. New safety technologies continue to focus on metrics, analytics, and effective slicing of safety data to provide trends, leading and lagging indicators, corrective actions, and more. I believe that platform consolidation will become more and more common in the future as EHS professionals seek to streamline their operations and gain unprecedented “all-in-one” platforms. Safety technology providers understand this desire for technology integration, so we are confident that many will continue to enhance their services to attract his EHS professionals. He's also increasingly seeing demand for his EHS platform, which also helps manage third-party risk. That's why I believe contractor management solutions will become a top priority for EHS professionals in any industry who deal with large numbers of outside contractors.

Q: What are you most proud of?

During my time at AnchoRock and now at KPA, what I am most proud of professionally is that our work developing digital platforms has had a tangible impact on our clients and their employees. When I hear from clients that our solutions have made their lives easier or that our solutions have better educated and kept their employees safe, it makes me really proud of the work we do. Masu. At the end of the day, we can be very proud if we can say we've built tools that make safety programs more effective and, in turn, keep people safe.

Taylor Thorn is an experienced construction engineer specializing in safety and mobile applications. He was the co-founder and CEO of AnchoRock, a construction safety software solution that was acquired by KPA in 2023. Thorn currently serves as a senior product director at KPA with a focus on construction technology. He has a deep understanding of the construction industry and has hands-on experience managing and building safety solutions for general, electrical, mechanical, steel, roofing and solar contractors. Thorn is passionate about safety in construction and helps contractors digitize their safety and compliance programs through user-friendly tools.

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