Since the mid 1990’s, Tom Poquette has been responsible for managing the safety and environmental affairs of several industrial facilities, from start-up operations to established fortune 500 companies.
His career started in New Mexico, managing safety and environmental compliance at a foam manufacturer that supplied automobile manufacturers. As the company’s first safety professional, he was able to transform four existing programs into a full set of safety and environmental programs along with accompanying training modules. Tom devised a job specific safety and environmental system to comply with a QS 9000 quality standard that strengthened employee safety knowledge, and reduced the number of accidents.
In 2001 he began working for a large wall board manufacturing company that had high injury rates, poor quality, environmental issues and poor employee morale. The facility was losing money and the company was seriously considering closing the New York operation. Tom executed an action plan that reduced the OSHA incident rate by 65% over a two-year period, and established a new plant record of 460 days without a lost-time accident. He was also instrumental with renegotiating an environmental consent order with the New York State Department of Conservation allowing the facility to become compliant and increasing the flexibility in their operations. During his tenure the number of injuries dropped, safety milestones were achieved, quality improved and within a few years the company invested $90M for a plant expansion.