Within the technical world of construction safety is the highly specialized niche of federal government project safety. That’s Lisa Swan’s area of expertise, and it’s why we’re glad she recently joined Sundt as safety representative for federal construction projects. Here’s what Lisa had to say in a recent conversation about her unusual career.
What’s the most interesting location you’ve ever been assigned to?
White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico. It had missiles, rattlesnakes, buried explosives, and protected Indian ground. Fun job!
How did you get interested in construction safety?
Constantly monitoring the scaffolding that we were using on projects. It just felt natural, so I began expanding my construction safety knowledge.
What do people say when they find out what you do for a living?
Most ask, “What’s that?” There aren’t very many field safety officer positions in the real world.
Have you ever traveled to another country and seen a construction site that made an impression on you (either for good or bad reasons) because of the way safety was being handled?
I’ve never left the U.S. However, just leaving the federal installation where I’m currently assigned and seeing what construction workers do outside these gates is almost like being in a different country.
Any career advice for younger people?
Try to get field experience as soon as you can.
Is there a historic construction project that you would have liked to be part of?
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis. I was pretty amazed with its design as a child.