OSH Generations is about family and the safety profession. Many OSH professionals have parents or children who are also in the profession. Our members share their stories of the people who influenced them to enter the safety profession or those who they inspired to become safety professionals. Here’s the story of David Schaller, a professional member of ASSP’s Quad Cities Chapter. This story was originally published in the September 2013 issue of
I served 22 years in the U.S. Navy and in that time had many safety positions associated with my job. Although I did not initially think of doing safety when I got out, after only a short time as a construction glazier (windows and curtain wall) I was asked to be the company’s safety manager. Since then I have completed more education within the safety environment and have taught and managed the TEEX Region VI OSHA Education Center for a few years teaching OSHA and safety courses.
During this time, my son, David R. Schaller II (everyone calls him Ray), who is also a glazier, was working around the country. He had worked his way up to superintendent while in Kansas City, MO. However, as the economy slowed, he was finding it hard to find full-time work. Knowing that I worked in safety and seeing the kind of work I did, he decided that with my help he would try and follow me in this profession.
I sent him through the CSHO certification program at TEEX. While attending, he was able to network and found a job working for Beard Mechanical. Through that job, he developed his skills until he was hired by Flintco, a general contractor located in Oklahoma. He was assigned a job as safety manager at the University of Texas at Austin campus for three years, then was promoted to regional safety director.
Currently he works on a project in Alabama and I am the corporate director of safety for West Liberty Foods, a 100% landfill-free company, in West Liberty, IA. I think that the most important thing about his choice to become a safety professional is that he is great at it. I am very proud of his contributions to safety.