Mark is the Health and Safety Manager for Frontier El Dorado Refining LLC. (FEDR LLC) Frontier is part of the HollyFrontier Corporation. HollyFrontier is a leader in the oil refining industry. Mark has worked in the Safety field for 29 years. FEDR LLC employees approximately 500 persons at the El Dorado Refinery.
A Passion for the Health and Safety of People
Mark earned a BS Safety Sciences degree from Indiana University of PA in 1982. Certifications include Certified Behavioral Safety Specialist and a Certified Safety Professional. Awards and Recognition while at Frontier include the National Petrochemical Refiners Association “Meritorious Safety Performance” award in 2007, 2008 and 2009. The Wichita Health and Wellness Coalition Working Well Award in 2006 and the Wichita Health and Wellness Coalition Innovative Award in 2007. The Kansas Governor’s Council on Fitness—Kansas Health Champion award in 2010. The Institute for Health and Productivity Management (IHPM) Award for Outstanding Leadership in Occupational and Health Safety in 2010 and the Wichita Business Journal’s 2014 Healthiest Employer Award in 2014.
“I believe my personal values and concern for the safety and health of persons was instilled in me by my parents. That concern helped lead me to becoming a Safety professional. While working as a Safety engineer in the petrochemical industry I saw five individuals killed in three different industrial accidents. This motivated me to become a Health and Safety Manager. I made that decision because I knew that safety for me was not about prestige, money or numbers –it was about people. I want persons not only to be safe at work—I want to see persons safe and healthy—at work and at home.”
“My most valued certification is as a Safety Professional. Occupational safety is more than occupational compliance. Being a Safety professional encompasses safety, physical and mental health. It values each person as a whole and not just a worker.”
When Mark became the Safety Manager for Frontier El Dorado Refining LLC he made the decision that his department was going to be about Health, Wellness and Safety. A Wellness Committee was established. The committee is made up or employees from all departments. The most successful program addresses a life style change called Transformations. Employees of the company are eligible to participate and are offered beginning lipid studies, two visits weekly with a personal trainer and through a coalition with our local hospital the persons see a dietitian weekly for nutritional education. The program addresses weight loss, nutrition and inactivity. Offering the volunteers a 90-day program that includes a YMCA membership, personal trainer visits and dietitian visits at no cost to them is the beginning of a lifestyle change-a Transformation in their lives. Significant others are invited to participate and after program completion we offer an ongoing boot camp at our local YMCA for the participants. Health status improvements include: 155 persons (about 32%) of our workforce have participated in the program. 2,825 pounds have been lost, body mass index reduced by 314 points, body fat loss of 400%, and cholesterol reduction of 7,390 points. Behavior changes have been noted by healthy snacks and meals provided and a culture change of personnel being “health conscious”.
CEO Support: Approval for programs is initiated at the site level and those include Transformations, tobacco cessation, a bicycle group and a runners group.
Cohesive Wellness Teams: Volunteers throughout each department comprise our Wellness Committee. This group helps with our annual health fair, blood drives and monthly wellness competitions.
Data is collected on the Transformations program, tobacco cessation, blood drives, and flu shot clinics and is used to assure budget money is allocated each year to Wellness.
Choosing Appropriate Interventions and Creating a Supportive Environment: Surveys are developed for interest in specific health endeavors. Our industry is comprised of 50% shift workers and we are willing to listen and implement healthy changes for this segment of our work force. We are developing a study to test for sleep apnea because it is highly probable in a shift worker’s life.
Evaluating Outcomes: We continue to listen to the needs and evaluate the data collected for wellness initiatives. This has evolved to include family members, contract employees and contract employee family members.
I “walk the talk” first by being a participant in our Wellness endeavors. I participated in the Transformations program. I attend all Wellness committee meetings and assure each department has information on our health fair, flu shot clinics and I listen to our personnel to assure their health needs are being met.
The most influential event: “As previously stated I decided to be a Health and Safety Manager when I worked in an industry where five individuals died. My primary goal is for persons to be safe and well-at work and at home.” I would advise practitioners in the field to be genuine and care about people rather than numbers.
Mark has lead in his field by promoting total health and wellness with Safety. Mark has advanced the industry by helping our sister refineries emulate our Wellness programs. Mark leads by promoting health and wellness in action rather than “paying” our employees to be involved in wellness. How has this worked? We have seen wellness events happening at our sister refineries. We have seen a reduction in off-time reports, we have seen interest in exercise, and nutrition takes a “front seat”.
“I think the biggest threats to the health promotion in the next five years are at the early years and the late years of life. We face inactivity among our youth and the need for instant gratification from our youth. Our dietary habits are often excluded in the home and there are not restraints on dietary items.”
“We also face an influx of aging population with decreasing medical providers and provisions. The cost of being well can be reduced by Wellness programs that address the person as a whole beginning in the early years-when careers are started. I plan to advance the industry by offering services to our employees, employee families, contractors and their families that are centered in wellness, health and safety. I plan to continue to educate our sister refineries on the value of healthy personnel.