SH&E Generations: David Schaller

GenerationsWe are always looking for ASSE members to share their stories of following a parent into the SH&E profession or having a son or daughter follow in their footsteps of spreading the safety message. Here’s the story of David Schaller, a professional member of ASSE’s Quad Cities Chapter.

 

I served 22 years in the U.S. Navy and in that time had many safety positions associated with my job. Although I did not initially think of doing safety when I got out, after only a short time as a construction glazier (windows and curtain wall) I was asked to be the company’s safety manager. Since then I have completed more education within the safety environment and have taught and managed the TEEX Region VI OSHA Education Center for a few years teaching OSHA and safety courses. During this time, my son, who is also a glazier, was working around the country. My son, David R. Schaller II, likes to go by Ray. He was a good glazier and had worked his way up to superintendent while in Kansas City, MO.

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David Schaller

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David “Ray” Schaller II

During that time the economy had slowed and he was finding it hard to find full-time work. Knowing that I worked in safety and seeing the kind of work I did, he decided that with my help he would try and follow me in this profession. I sent him through the CSHO certification program at TEEX. While attending he was able to network and find a job working for Beard Mechanical and held that job developing his skills until he was hired by Flintco, a general contractor located in Oklahoma. He was assigned a job as safety manager at the University of Texas at Austin campus for 3 years and was then promoted to regional safety director.

Currently he works on a project in Alabama and I am the corporate director of safety for West Liberty Foods, a 100% landfill-free company, in West Liberty, IA. I think that the most important thing about his choice to become a safety professional is that he is great at it. Being able to speak Spanish allows him to work well in the business and helps him work with all trades to improve their safety behaviors and surroundings. I am very proud of his contributions to safety and as a son.