Get to Know Logistics Coordinator David Wallace

David Wallace, a logistics coordinator in Seattle, was recognized in our Safety Excellence Recognition program for demonstrating our Active Caring pillar while on the job. When David asked a fellow sheet metal worker a question and noticed their response was minimal and slow, he stayed with the colleague to make sure they were okay. When the colleague slumped to the ground, David acted quickly and got help from a medical professional. Without David’s quick and attentive actions, this could have been a more serious and dangerous situation.

In the Q&A below, learn more about David’s role at McKinstry and how he chooses to own safety every day.

Learn More About David’s Experience

What is your role at McKinstry/ how did you get there?

I started with McKinstry in 1991 as an apprentice. From there I bounced around from job to job, but always tried to make my way back to McKinstry. Currently, I’m working as the logistics coordinator for one of our Seattle jobs. I work as the liaison between all the trades on the job. It’s my favorite position I’ve ever had. I really enjoy the relationship building and mentoring I get to do with some of the younger folks.

Why do you choose to “own safety?”

I own safety for my children and my grandchildren. I have five kids and five grandchildren, but I know I’ll get more throughout the years. I want to be able to go home to them. I love my job, but I live by the motto, “I do what I have to do, so I can do what I want to do” and what I want to do is live as long as possible and enjoy my family. I hope that every day I can go to work, do my job, and come home and enjoy them.

How do you “own safety” on the job?

Owning safety on the job comes down to the individual. It’s on all of us to promote and encourage safety while at work. It’s important to be open-minded and hear every point of view. I might go to the same site and do the same things every day and it might not register in my mind that something I’m doing is unsafe. Someone new could come along and notice unsafe practices and point them out, but it’s up to me to make the change. I encourage everyone to be a part of it: every individual, every member of my crew, every person I see and talk to. Keep your eyes open, look around you, pay attention. If you see something, say something. We can have every tool in place, but it ultimately comes down to the individual caring about it.

How would you describe McKinstry’s safety culture?

In my 32 years in the trades, no company compares to McKinstry when it comes to not just the safety program but the safety culture. In previous jobs, safety was something talked about but not really demonstrated on the job. We did it because we had to and we were told to. At McKinstry, it doesn’t feel that way. Our people really care about us and our safety, and they encourage it. Getting people to understand that requires constantly doing the right things and showing the right things. We’re encouraged to speak up and share our needs to perform our jobs more safely. We’ve never been asked to sacrifice our safety for the sake of the job.

What do you feel is the best way to encourage safety awareness?

The best way to encourage safety awareness is to keep being honest. I truly believe that any time you encourage people to speak up and share their experiences and you listen to it, it changes things. It doesn’t get much better than that as an employee. I also think company values are a great way to encourage safety. Our Put People First value is important to me and really demonstrates that we’re cared about, and our safety is important. We all get paid, we all do our jobs, but getting treated right while we’re doing it is a great thing.

What do you do when you’re not working/ what’s one thing about you that would surprise other people?

I’m a pretty open book. Most people who have interacted with me know pretty much everything about me. When I’m not working, I like to exercise. I enjoy rock climbing, bicycling, hiking, running Spartan Races, and doing Tough Mudder competitions. I had my knee replaced seven years ago after years and years of beating up my knees. Most of the things I love to do now are things that came about after getting my knee replaced. I’m blessed that it helped me to enjoy more life. I also coached youth sports for 30 years and I’m currently working to get my group fitness instructor certification so I can teach group fitness in my spare time. I love to mentor and share my little bit of knowledge with people and McKinstry offers me a lot of opportunities to do that. I’m very thankful to be a part of this company and I plan to stay here until I decide to retire.

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