Peak Safety Performance is a regional safety consulting firm based in Greenville, South Carolina. Performance minded and character driven, the company’s approach is simple and intentional; Peak’s expert safety consultants help companies build a successful safety culture through strategic planning, performance improvement, and leadership development.
Owner and President David Lynn founded Peak Safety Performance in 2015 after gaining valuable insight from working in a regulatory environment as well as construction and manufacturing. GroundBreak Carolinas recently chatted with Lynn about the company and how his personal experiences have helped shaped his vision for the company.
What are you working on/focusing on in the near-term?
In 2020 we are focusing on Human & Operational Performance (HOP) tools. These are safety concepts that originated in the nuclear industry but also have applications in industrial settings. Through our teaching and coaching, we give organizations the tools they need to minimize errors that cause injuries.
Your office and training center are located downtown on Birnie Street, on the fringe of Greenville’s West End. Tell us how you chose this location, and how you and others can utilize your training center.
We found this location through one of my clients, IPI Group. Their office was in the same complex. Having the training facility allows us to conduct a full range of safety training (OSHA classes and Safety Leadership Development). We offer open enrollment classes and we host client-specific events at the training center. We have also partnered with organizations like Georgia Tech to deliver OSHA 510 and 511 classes. We have hosted events with the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, American Society of Safety Professions, and ABC Carolinas. In the future, we will continue to partner with clients that want to use our training center for meetings and training.
You’ve worked for OSHA, Duracell, Owens Corning, and Fluor before starting your own safety company. How did working for these companies prepare you when you decided to form Peak Safety Performance in 2015?
OSHA taught me regulations and fundamental auditing skills. Duracell exposed me to a fast-paced manufacturing environment. Owens Corning exposed me to various phases of construction, plant start-up, and operations. Fluor without a doubt exposed me to multiple high-performance safety cultures. I learned what it really meant to have an exceptional safety culture. I also learned that you have to perform to succeed. I draw from this library of experiences to help my clients.
You were injured on a jobsite when you were 18. Tell us about the injury, and its impact on your career path.
In 1987, I worked for a contractor that performed work in industrial environments. I was “summer help.” My supervisor asked me to move some platform grating. I loaded the sheets of grating onto hand trucks. The grating was heavy, awkward, and unstable. As I transported the load through the plant, I bounced over uneven surfaces. The grating started to fall off the hand trucks and I reacted to stabilize the load. I placed my right hand between two sheets of grating. The pinch point lacerated the top of my hand. Five stitches later, I became an OSHA Recordable injury. I look back on that injury and realize that people get hurt doing what makes sense at the time. My goal today is to understand the context of work and provide error prevention tools that help people have better judgment.
What are the 3-5 Leadership Principles that you have discovered and executed that have contributed to your success?
- Stay Grounded. We believe that faith influences our decisions both at home and at work. We strive to stay grounded in our Christian roots, which ultimately governs the way we do business.
- Over Deliver. We want to meet and exceed all client expectations through every service we provide.
- Enjoy the Trip as Much as The Destination. We love the work involved with achievement just as much as the reward itself.
You “walked on” the football team at Furman University. Tell us about that experience, and how that mindset helped determine your career path.
The experience taught me the value of perseverance which is invaluable when you start a small business. Furman gave me an opportunity to walk on. The problem was that I was not big enough to compete on that level, but I loved the game. The best way to describe the contrast between my heart for the game and my physical stature was that I was like “Rudy”… you know, the movie. I played my freshman year and I prepared to continue playing in 1988; however, I knew that I would never see much playing time. It was a lot of work for little playing time but I knew God wanted me to stick it out. I trained all summer before camp. On the first day of August camp, we had to run the mile and the 400 meters under time. I barely missed my times which meant that I would have to get up the next morning before practice and do it again. I let that setback break my spirit and I “retired” from football even though I knew in my heart it was not time to quit.
The moral of the story: Quitting football is one of my all-time greatest regrets that still haunts me today. Furman won the national championship that year (1988). I missed it because I cracked under the pressure and quit too early. God showed me that it NEVER pays to quit if it is not His time to do so. The mistake I made helps me persevere today. It is that simple.
Tell us one or more little known facts about yourself.
An interesting safety related fact: My grandfather was killed on a construction job in 1961. My family thought it was ironic that I went to work for OSHA. They also thought it was ironic that I worked as a Corporate Safety Director for Fluor because my grandfather worked for Fluor (then Daniel Construction) when he died. I also visited a project in Kingsport, Tenn. where my grandfather was killed, and I had the opportunity to talk to a former Fluor employee who was on the job when it happened.