Orbit Article

People’s Corner: Safety Interview with Pamela Litka & Julie Roth

7 Min Read
Safety banner for march 2021

Introduction

Health, Safety, and Environment has always been critical to the way the Bently Nevada business operates. With the pandemic there has been additional focus on the importance of HSE, not just at our manufacturing locations, but also at our service/customer facing operations. We have adapted over the last year to ensure that we are keeping our employees safe while continuing to deliver for our customers. In 2020 the spotlight was on health and safety, however, we continued to invest in projects that reduce our environmental impact. In 2021 we will continue to operate safely while navigating the pandemic and identify ways we can contribute to the Baker Hughes Net Zero Carbon Commitment.

Julie, please tell me about yourself.

I was born and raised on the East Coast. I graduated with a degree in Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Toxicology. I was active in sports, and academics, and always enjoyed science and spending time outside.

What has been your career history with Bently Nevada, or prior?

I started my career with General Electric after college. I joined the leadership program and moved to Minden, NV joining the Environmental Health and Safety Department after completing the required job rotations.

Please share with us your evolving role with BN Safety and how it differs from your
previous role(s)?

My role with Bently Nevada is more dynamic than my previous role with GE. My first job with GE Energy was to support outages at various power plants across the North East. The job scope was always very focused, and I would only be on-site for a few days total before moving on to another location/project. My current role is always evolving. Environmental regulations, HQ initiatives, and business dynamics are always changing and the HSE function must adapt to those needs. Supporting a fixed facility allows you to see change over time vs. the short-term projects that I supported in the past.

What are the take-aways from your previous role that you have brought into your role?

The biggest challenge in my past role was dealing with the “unknowns”. Often you would know very little about the risks and challenges of the sites you were asked to support. This required me to learn as much as possible in a few days about a site and then prioritize the risks that were identified. My goal was to provide the location with as much practical support as possible to help them be successful once I left. In Minden Nevada at Bently, these skills have helped me try to be as responsive as possible to various issues and allow me to make quick but informed decisions to support the business.

Who does your team comprise of?

Currently the Minden based HSE team includes two professionals and an onsite medical clinic.

Please share with us the direction of the HSE in the BN business.

We have always been focused on product safety as well as personal safety (from design of product, manufacturability of products, and service and installation at our customer sites.). We have a strong focus on compliance, management systems, and procedures. This allows us to identify and control risk throughout the life cycle of our products. We continue to find ways to improve our environmental sustainability. We have installed solar panels, upgraded critical infrastructure, and continue to look for opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint. We manage various environmental permits (air, water, waste). Our focus is on identifying ways to reduce our environmental impact. One example is the reduction of lead within our products.

During Covid 2020, how has the safety team pivoted to support our employees and customers? How will they continue to support through the pandemic into 2021?

In the beginning there were so many unknowns. Our teams spent a lot of time reviewing data from World Health Organization, Center for Diseases Control, to help us develop a pandemic preparedness plan. The team was able to leverage past work from other events (pandemics and natural disasters) to help guide us in the early days. A Crisis Management Team was established very early in the pandemic. We leveraged what we could from our teams in China and continued to adapt as we learned more.

In this dynamic environment we realize we may not always have an answer or solution to the problem, but we continue to take a conservative approach to managing the risks. We minimized the traffic within our fixed facilities and reduced building occupancy to address exposure potential (i.e. remote work). We supported our services teams with additional PPE, pre- mobilization protocols, and extra testing.

We will continue to manage through the fluidity of the ongoing pandemic. Regions, countries, and customers have different expectations. We follow the most stringent requirements. As vaccines roll out at different speeds, we continue to lean into our preventive measures.

What kind of feedback is the safety team receiving from the BN employees and the customers during the 2020 year that we can grow from and continue to support them with, with the lack of interaction while previously being face to face?

At our fixed locations the HSE team is in the office and supporting daily operations. Employees have different levels of concern regarding the pandemic. We have implemented screening checklists, hygiene measures (cleaning/hand washing), social distancing, and mandatory use of face coverings. We have implemented physical barriers in some areas where necessary.

Employees are fatigued and frustrated by the pandemic and are ready to return to “normal”. Our Service HSE team continues to support customers and Bently employees though the various challenges presented by COVID-19. We encounter daily flux in regulatory and customer driven requirements and we continue to adapt to the change to keep our teams safe. The service teams navigate the challenges of testing, travel, quarantining on top of doing their normal jobs.

What does HSE mean to you? To our employees? To our customers? Why is it so important?

HSE is a non-negotiable. Our people and customers deserve safe workplaces and products designed to be safe and environmentally friendly. We are focused on being a good neighbor and environmental steward in the places we operate.

Authors

Julie Roth
Health Safety and Environmental Manager
Bently Nevada, a Baker Hughes Company

Pamela Litka
Marketing Operations Specialist
Bently Nevada, a Baker Hughes Company

Our Experts

Julie Roth
Julie Roth
Health Safety and Environmental Manager
Bently Nevada
HSE Manager
Certified Industrial Hygienist
Environmental
HSE Manager
Certified Industrial Hygienist
Environmental
Bio

Julie Roth has over 12 years of experience in health, safety, and environmental management and has been with the Bently Nevada business over 10 years. She is a certified Industrial Hygienist through the Global Board for EHS Credentialing and she is currently the chair of the  AIHA Risk Committee. Julie graduated from Clarkson University with a B.S. in Industrial Hygiene and Environmental Toxicology.

Jeanne Fallon-Carine
Jeanne Fallon-Carine
VP Health, Safety and Environmental Digital Solutions
Safety
Industrial Hygiene
Environmental
Safety
Industrial Hygiene
Environmental
Bio

30 years  HSE experience, working in chemicals, power generation, oil & gas, hazardous waste services, construction, and electronics manufacturing. Lead a global team of HSE professionals providing expertise to our Bently Nevada colleagues, with multiple sites recognized as sites of excellence for HSE programs and performance through ISO or local regulatory bodies. We are working hard to ensure our people and our products provide safety for our customers and the communities we live and operate in.

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