Staff Spotlight

Dillon Day, FWRI’s new Safety Program Manager, donated some of his time this month to introduce himself. Thank you, Dillon, and welcome to FWC!

What are your degrees in?

  • (May 2014) B.S. Public Health, University of South Florida
  • (April 2017) MPH Environmental and Occupational Health, Florida International University

What has your professional experience been like?

  • I’ve volunteered with the department of health in both Dade and Manatee County. I conducted HIV testing and outreach in Dade County. While in Manatee county, I compiled many different environmental health assessments in different areas such as Migrant Housing, Public Swimming Facilities, Biomedical Waste, and Septic Installations.  I was previously employed as a Safety officer with Beall’s Retail Distribution. I was tasked with keeping the facility in compliance with OSHA and other regulatory agencies as well as handling Workers Compensation claims.

What are you working on now?

  • Many projects are currently underway. We are working on cleaning the 3rd floor cold room in the JU Building of FWRI-St. Pete, as well as adding some handrails to ramps in the F-Building and RMI Building in FWRI-St. Pete. One of my largest undertakings thus far is getting the facilities prepared for hurricane season.

How is this information beneficial?

  • Every project that I commence has the same basis, “How can I make FWRI safer for colleagues, guests, and the general public.” I love finding solutions and creating policies that help create a safer environment for everyone.

What is your typical work day like?

  • There is no typical day in the Safety field. This is a very dynamic position that keeps me on my toes. Some days I could be sitting at my desk writing policies and researching regulatory compliance. Other days I am conducting hazard assessments and environmental and occupational health testing’s around the facility.

What is your greatest career accomplishment?

  • I am still relatively new to this career and still gaining valuable experience. Nevertheless, my greatest accomplishment thus far was to help my previous facility reach a milestone of over 3.2 million hours worked without a lost-time accident.

What are some of your biggest challenges?

  • The largest challenge to most safety professionals is employee complacency. Employees can get used to their daily routine and not be as open to change.  I have used this to guide my policies and programs to be as beneficial, adaptable, and easy to understand as possible for all employees. 

What do you like most about your career?

  • I love the daily challenge of not knowing what to expect. Every day is different, and you must remain dynamic. I love helping my fellow colleagues get home to their families every night. My goal is for everyone to get home in the same, if not better, condition that they arrived in.

Was this your original career interest? Why or why not?

  • I have always wanted to help people, so the safety field was a good way to go. My college course pushed me into this field and I decided to run with it! I have enjoyed every second of it so far!

What would you be doing if you weren’t involved in science?

  • I always thought I would make a good fishing boat captain or fire-fighter. Those were some of my childhood dream jobs, so if I wasn’t in the safety field I would most likely be out on a boat!

What advice would you give someone interested in pursuing a career in your field?

  • Continually educate yourself. The safety field changes all the time with new regulatory requirements. They only way to stay abreast of new situations is to continually educate yourself through classes and professional certifications.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

  • I am a very outdoorsy person. I like to hit the beach, go kayaking, and boating whenever I am given the opportunity. I like to try hole in the wall restaurants and explore different cuisines with my fabulous girlfriend, soon to be fiancé (don’t let her know!). I also spend a lot of time playing and taking care of our 1-year old Labradoodle, Daisy!