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 is the story of Teri North, CSP, a professional member of our Augusta Chapter. This story was originally published in the June 2011 issue of
Teri North’s involvement in the safety profession is one of three members of her family involved in the profession. Teri was encouraged by her stepfather, Jim Twigg, to check out the safety degree program at Central Missouri State University (CMSU) in Warrensburg, MO. She did so and earned a bachelor’s degree in safety in 1978. One of her younger brothers, Larry Twigg, also followed her to CMSU, completing his bachelor’s degree in industrial safety in 1981.
Teri went on to earn a master’s degree in safety management at CMSU in 1989, and also the CSP designation. She is a safety engineer with Dade Moeller and Associates Inc., a contractor on the Mission Support Alliance contract for the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Hanford site in Richland, WA. In her current role, she provides safety and health support for Lockheed Martin’s engineering and communications.
While in college, representatives from Amoco Corp. came to CMSU looking for degreed safety professionals and Teri accepted an internship with the company. She continued to work with Amoco in its chemical and oil and gas production businesses in North Carolina, Georgia and Wyoming. She has also worked at DOE sites in South Carolina, Wyoming and Washington.
Teri also has served as an adjunct professor at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro and Aiken Technical College in Aiken, SC. She believes professionals should take time to teach and mentor others in the safety profession. She enjoys assisting interns who are just beginning their careers, helping part-time people while they pursue their education or those new to the safety profession. She wants to encourage others to join such a rewarding profession.
Teri’s stepfather, Jim Twigg, of Kansas City, MO, retired since 1984, worked for DOT for 20 years. Teri notes that when her dad got out of high school, he wanted to “see the country” and he decided the best way to do that was driving a truck. He also took the civil service exam and went to work for the Interstate Commerce Commission. He then transferred to DOT and spent some time in Washington, DC. Jim developed hiring standards and a progressive discipline program (unheard of in those days) and served as a HazMat field programs officer, Kansas officer in charge, regional accident investigation specialist, handicapped driver, waiver specialist and as associate staff at the Transportation Safety Institute in Oklahoma City, OK. As a waiver specialist, he was responsible for the driving waiver for the first above-the-knee, right leg and above-the-elbow right arm amputees. With his knowledge of mechanics and the driving task, he was able to describe how a driver would compensate for the handicap. Those drivers were virtually incident-free at the time, and were surpassing the general public in incident-free records.
Teri’s brother, Larry Twigg, is an international commercial EHS manager with Abbott Laboratories in Chicago, with regional responsibility for Asia, Africa, Middle East, Japan and Europe large business units. Both Teri and Larry were members of Society student sections in college. Teri has been an active member for more than 30 years. She has actively participated in local chapters while making work-related moves around the country. In the past, she served on executive committees, including the positions of secretary and president, and she highly values her ASSP network.
Teri is grateful that her career also has allowed her to “see the country” just as her stepfather set out to do in his career. She loves travel and has met great people all around the country. Teri feels fortunate to have family that encouraged her to join the safety profession and is thankful for their support through the years. She is also grateful to her “second family” of ASSP members across the country. Teri has previously been selected as one of ASSP’s 100 Women Making a Difference in Safety.
Did your son or daughter follow in your footsteps? Did a parent’s involvement in the safety profession encourage you to follow in their footsteps? If you have an OSH Generations story to share, send it to Society Update.