Ensuring A Beautiful, Safe Environment For Employees
Laynnea Jones smiles. One of her students, a distribution employee for L’Oreal, waves his hand to claim his prize. Jones knows that along with his prize he’ll take home more knowledge of safety rules and procedures that could save his life or prevent serious injury.
Jones (’04 industrial technology) is a manager of quality, safety, health and environment for L’Oreal—the world’s largest cosmetics and beauty company. Bingo is just one method she uses to make safety training fun at the distribution and assembly facility in Cranbury, N.J.
“My job is to engage employees of various backgrounds, educational levels and some for whom English is a second language in learning safety policies and procedures. Safety education can be difficult because of the complexity of regulations. Employees need to learn while having fun, but also take it seriously,” she says.
Jones also serves on an audit team for L’Oreal. She reviews the health, safety and quality compliance of the company’s distribution and manufacturing centers across the United States.
“We look for compliance to local, federal, state and L’Oreal standards, which are often the most stringent. We look at fire safety codes, eye wash stations compliance, housekeeping, safety validations and training programs in place,” she says. “Our visit prepares sites for third party safety audits and certifications and ensures they meet OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) requirements.”
Jones’ colleague, Jay Harf, says she maintains an impressive record of success.
“Her efforts resulted in nearly two years without a lost time accident as well as leading the site to the prestigious OHSAS 18001 International Safety Management Certification,” says Harf, assistant vice president of environment health and safety.
Setting records has always been a motivator for Jones, who attended Iowa State University on a full track scholarship. Despite being sidelined by injury, the New Jersey native lettered in track and remembers the kindness and “slow pace” of Iowa fondly.
“I never knew tailgating until I came to Iowa State University. And I’ll never forget storming the field after winning the Iowa (football) game. That probably wasn’t very safe,” she jokes.
She found the industrial technology major and emphasis in occupational safety and health in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences a perfect fit for her outgoing personality, interest in engineering and science and desire for hands-on experience.
Jones serves as secretary of her state chapter of the American Society of Safety Engineers and on a task force to charter student membership. She believes mentorship is key to success and is especially involved in Blacks in Safety Engineering and Women in Safety Engineering.
She is certified by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals as an Associate Safety Professional and is studying to become a Certified Safety Professional—the most prestigious Safety certification in the United States.
Jones says, “My motto is safety is not a destination, but a journey of continuous improvement. That can be true for any industry.”