Women of WiNC : Kelsey Unland Fortier Safety

To Kelsey Unland, her job is like a second skin. No matter what small question or big picture inquiry is put to her, she responds with clear and accurate information. That’s important when you’re talking about safety on the job. We did just that with Kelsey.

TLN: Tell us about your company and what services or products you offer.

KU: I’m with Fortier Loss Control Consultants (FLCC) and Fortier Substance Abuse Testing (FSAT). FLCC provides safety consulting. We help companies meet OSHA standards in order to reduce accidents on the job, eliminate OSHA citations, and help control overhead costs. FSAT manages drug and alcohol testing programs. We ensure compliance with Department of Transportation Regulations and state drug-free workplace programs. Over the years we’ve expanded our services to include background checks and physicals.

TLN: What is your role, Kelsey?

KU: I’m the Director of Client Relations. I handle marketing and business development for both companies. I also conduct a variety of training seminars.

TLN: Do you have a background in safety, Kelsey, or some medical field?
KU:(laughs) No. Masters in Business. I’ve been with Fortier for a little over 9 years now. But safety is the only line of work I’ve ever done. I was working part time in Fortie’s Knoxville office during college and was offered a full-time position in Nashville. And I don’t have plans to do anything else – Fortier is a great company that I’m looking forward to representing for many more years to come.

TLN: Are there any notable projects or clients to tell us about?

KU: FLCC and FSAT have developed some great business relationships with companies such as Clayton Manufacturing, Highways, Bell & Associates, Phillips & Jordan, Rose Construction, Advanced Drainage Systems, Vulcan Materials, Sherman Dixie, Lee Company, and TCW to name a few.

TLN: What do you think sets your company apart from your competitor’s?

KU: Lots of things! Fortier Loss Control Consultants has 8 full-time safety consultants available to support our customers locally and nationally. While strongly positioned in Tennessee and the southeastern US, we often travel throughout the country to provide safety services. Our consultants are highly qualified – with resumes to back it up. Each of our safety inspections are followed up with detailed inspection reports listing accurate safety and health recommendations and observations. We offer a range of safety services including safety programs, safety training, site inspections, accident investigations, and full-time onsite safety personnel. In regards to Fortier Substance Abuse Testing, it is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks out of the year to respond to your drug testing needs.

TLN: That’s impressive – I can’t think of any other 24/7 testing company.

KU: In the Middle Tennessee area, if you need a post-accident drug test after normal business hours, give us a call and our after-hours collector will be there within the hour. In addition, we contract with over 27,000 collection sites nationwide. Accurate test results are reported within 24 – 72 hours. And as I mentioned earlier, we ensure compliance with DOT regulations and state drug free workplace programs.

TLN: I’m glad you mentioned that. HireQuest Direct is on it’s way to becoming a Drug-free workplace, thanks in part to Fortier. I want to explain briefly for our readers that the few requirements for the State of Tennessee’s Drug-free workplace certification are explained on their website. (Basically, fill out the application, comply with training and education of employees as well as post the many resources and services available in the state). The benefits are numerous: improved employee morale, productivity, health and safety – but there’s also a surprise: a saving of 5% on Workman’s Comp Insurance through the program. Tell us where Fortier fits in.

KU: Well we provide the two hour-training session for a designated (Drug-free workplace) supervisor and a one-hour training class for the employees… as well as the ongoing drug-testing partnership. The most common call for drug-testing is three-fold: Pre-employment, post-accident, and random. Before new hires start work, a company should have a negative test result in hand. A drug screen should be conducted after any accident involving injury or damage to company property. And, finally, random selections are very important. Unfortunately, employees who are not randomly drug tested often do not take the substance abuse program very seriously. For example, if an employee’s last drug screen was 5 years ago when they started with the company, they are probably not too worried about being drug tested again. Therefore, they may risk using drugs outside of work or even at work. I believe random drug screens are a huge deterrent from drug use even if only a small percentage of employees are selected.

TLN: The construction industry in general seems wrought with safety hazards. What do you find is the single-most incentive for employees to maintain a safe work environment?

KU: Companies must make safety a priority – just like production – and this must start with management. Include a safety discussion at the beginning of each work day. Encourage employees to report accidents, incidents, and near misses. Investigate all and learn from them. Reward for safe behavior and no accidents. Discipline for unsafe behavior. Basically, in order to have a safe workplace the company must make safety a priority for all employees from top to bottom.

TLN: What’s the vision? Where do you see you/the company in 5 years?

KU: I’m excited for the future. Fortier Loss Control Consultants was established in 1984. Over these last 27 years, Fortier Substance Abuse Testing was established and branch offices opened in Memphis and Knoxville. 5 years from now I see continued growth in services and clientele. Our mission will still be to assist our growing customer base in protecting the health and safety of their employees and meeting compliance requirements by providing elite safety consulting and testing services.

TLN: Thanks Kelsey!

Fortier Loss Control Consultants, Inc.
2267 Jackson Downs Blvd.
Nashville, TN 37214
Ph 615-883-2816, Fax 615-885-1754


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