We have a lot of great trainers here at CSTC. We wanted to do some interviews so you could get to know them better.
Our second interview we thought was fitting to meet the Ben Laverty IV, son of the founder of CSTC Ben Laverty III.
What is your Name?
My name is Ben Laverty the Fourth
Where did you grow up?
I was born in orange orange orange. Orange California, Orange County and Orange Hospital. So I'm born in Southern California but my first memories are from Bell Ridge, California and which is here in the San Joaquin Valley. And then, we I spent until 12 growing up in Idaho, Burley Idaho. My mom's hometown is Oakley Idaho, which is about 20 miles from there and then back to Bakersfield and since then you know let's see, Bakersfield, San Luis Obispo and Adelaide South Australia.
What did you do before Safety Training? Do you think it helps you as a trainer?
What I did before safety training was be an elementary school teacher for six years. I taught 1st through 3rd grade and it absolutely helped me to be a good trainer. Same kind of mentality right, same kind of mentality you know, break it down to the straightforward basic points is what the, in my mind, is the best way to do safety training. Break it down to the easiest digestible moments.
What lead you into Safety Training?
Um you know, family business led me into safety training. So I've worked part time with my dad for many years before I started full-time 13 years ago.
What are your strengths as a safety trainer?
Well, I'll tell you one of my weaknesses as a safety trainer is I'm not that funny of a guy. So that's some of the feedback, we give each other feedback here and that's some of the feedback I've had. So I turned that into some humor. Strengths for me, again, would be that I break things down into digestible chunks or into chunks that make sense. So I really like to bring it into a focus, to focus on what's really important and the the main criteria and not get too bogged down with every detail that can be had for every topic.
What are you doing to become a better safety trainer?
I study, a lot. I spend a lot of time studying. Doing this video is a great benefit to me, I get to see myself, hear what I sound like. Also, just from a tech, what do I say, from the standpoint of knowledge, I don't, there's no way you can know enough but with the technology coming and having Google make information so accessible, for me as a safety trainer now, I really spend a lot of time trying to solve problems that are come up in the safety world. And so I feel like that the, the information now is so accessible that now what people really rely on is more of how do we solve problems.
What classes do you teach most often?
I teach the most often pesticide classes, monthly safety training topics, which cover a wide range, but lasts for a short period of time. I teach food safety classes, let's see, oh I do a lot of violence de-escalation classes or our version of active shooter and also a fair bit of fall protection classes, which is really my area of expertise within CSTC, is that I have a lot of expertise in fall protection.
What is your favorite class to teach?
I don't know that I have a favorite class to teach. If I was right now I've been really enjoying that violence de-escalation class, it's been great. We do excellent role plays, so there's a lot of activity, we model out what happens, you know do the punching and the blocking and that's a lot of fun so I've been really enjoying that class it's a really active class.
Tell us about an event during your time as a safety trainer, you will never forget
I was doing a quad class or ohv class off highway vehicle class and I will never forget, that the gentleman got on to the Moto or the quad and clearly stated that he didn't have a lot of experience, so I said okay go real slow, we kind of talked about it and knowing that the intent of the class is not to teach you how to drive it and he says okay I'm good to go. And then as he was backing up towards me, and I was standing off to the side, the boss came with his truck and parked next to me to start talking to me. And he got out of the driver side, and as the Moto is coming back, he ran straight into the boss's car.
So I will never forget that and I added to my practical classes then that, if they did not have experience driving, I wouldn't do it driving evaluation with them without having just tons of space around. There anyway, I'll never forget, the guy backing his moto into the boss's truck.
If you could pass on any wisdom to your friends and family, from your safety training, what would you share?
Leave 4 seconds of follow distance while driving. It is my, for accident prevention, I would say if I was going to give you one thing, leave extra follow distance in front of your car. It's the number one thing you can do every day if you drive, to be a little bit safer, give yourself a little more time to respond and react, and it's difficult to do. I'll just tell you, so leave more follow distance, 4 seconds.
What would you like to tell all of CSTC's clients?
Advice I would give clients, is to show that they care about their people, by doing training and encouraging them to be, not just safe in the workplace. I would make that a, part of an assumption. In other words, that no matter what work we were doing, it needs to be done safely and I would add show you care, by encouraging your employees to be healthy. I'm really into a whole, whole person view point for employers and as an employer here, I really like to look at it as, hey, we're all in this together, we're all going through this time together, so being healthy, mentally physically, spiritually and then being safe everyday. I think that's part of the whole package and I think sometimes we get focused on just doing the work. Like, let's really care about our people, encourage them, hey, have great habits, you know, encourage them to be healthy people. And I think that leads to safer workplace, happier employees, happier employers, just better world right, have a better world, by doing those kinds of things little things like that they show you care.
What is your dream vacation?
My dream vacation would be to spend three months, backpacking through Europe and then spend a another nine months traveling to a variety of destinations throughout the world, with my wife Kathy and just being able to have the time to be flexible and sort of live that sort of backpackers lifestyle. In Australia, when I lived there, they did a lot of, like gap year kind of things where they would go go on a walkabout. And I would love to go on a year-long walkabout as the ultimate vacation or holiday. So, that's that's probably what I would do.
What is one of your hidden talents?
I love to do art. I make art. I even, for the last probably five years, I specifically do what I call plywood art. And I take old pieces of plywood, that are sized up and I use the grains of the plywood and add color and shape to it and sand it, smooth it, add texture where I want to and make art by using plywood.
And not very many people know that I make plywood art. I have plywood art sitting over the top of my bed and I have several different pieces. It takes me a long time to do it, because I tend to not, you know, go spend a lot of time every day. It tends to be one of those things, where I'll go, okay today I'm gonna spend two or three hours on it. I'll get inspired and I'll just spend that time. So the first piece I made I would say probably took me about 300 hours. There's a lot of detail and I just worked on it a lot, over the course of like 10 years.