Phil Castle, The Business Times
Faced with the prospect of reduced hours or even losing her job as a safety specialist in the energy industry, Shannon Key decided instead to start her own business.
That choice has worked out well so far, Key said, as she taps her training and experience to offer services to a more diversified group of customers.
Key said she’s also benefited from her ability to offer services that accommodate a variety of needs. “It’s kind of like a one-stop shop.”
Key launched Absolute Safety after working 10 years in the oil and natural gas exploration and production industry. She operates out of the Business Incubator Center in Grand Junction, taking advantage of the low-cost rent and shared services offered there to startups.
Key offers instruction in first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation and conducts various occupational safety classes and forklift training. She also tests for drug and alcohol use and provides accident and injury management. She said she enjoys writing safety manuals. “I think it’s fun.”
Key said she’s particularly well-versed in identifying potential workplace safety problems and helping businesses avoid regulatory violations. “That seems to be my forte.”
Key said she can assist businesses that need the services of a safety manager, but not necessarily on a full-time basis. “I’m a good fit for small businesses.”
Absolute Safety serves a far-flung geographic region that includes not only Western Colorado, but also parts of New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
Key has completed training to earn a variety of certifications, including designation as a Certified Occupational Safety Specialist.
But she said she also brings to her operation the experience from actually working in the field, giving her a practical rather than strictly theoretical knowledge. “I’m able to bring the practical stuff into things.”
It’s important, too, to personalize safety training, she said, so people can better understand why they should follow certain rules and procedures. “If you’re able to personalize it like that, people are more likely to listen.”
For more information about Absolute Safety, call 462-9876 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.