A company culture that prioritizes health and safety greatly reduces accidents and exposure to harmful situations and substances
Jasmin Espino was born in Oakland, CA and grew up moving constantly between Mexico and California. Because of this, she felt accustomed to adapting to different environments and toggled between two languages. Jasmin became a Pegasus employee-owner in 2011. She began her journey at Pegasus as an Operations Assistant, then stepped into different roles within the company such as Receptionist, Accounting Assistant, Customer Service Representative, and is currently the Environmental, Health and Safety Risk Manager.
Being a first-generation American, Jasmin’s personal goal was to also be a first-generation college graduate. She enrolled into the California State University of Long Beach while working for Pegasus. Having an interest in human anatomy and business, she pursued a Bachelor of Science in Health Care Administration.
Jasmin currently serves as the EH&S Risk Manager at Pegasus by protecting the environment and maintaining the health and safety of our employees by creating organized efforts and procedures for identifying workplace hazards and reducing accidents and exposure to harmful situations and substances.
Do you have any impactful memories growing up in different cities that shape how you approach being an Environmental, Health, and Safety Risk Manager ?
Constantly moving for me was tough, but it forced me to open my eyes into reality and realize how hard my family had to work in order to provide a living. My approach as the EH&S Risk Manager is simple, to treat the employees how I would want my loved ones to be treated. This includes protecting them by identifying & correcting hazards, educating our employees on safe work practices and providing immediate care in case of an emergency. Unfortunate incidents can happen unexpectedly and unintentionally but what is key for me is to ensure that whoever is involved is treated with kindness and respect.
What do you feel Pegasus has done to help you manage life and work complexities during all the urgent changes posed by COVID-19?
I think it’s safe to say that we all went through an emotional rollercoaster during the pandemic and it is truly meaningful for me to know that Pegasus provides a life coaching program where you can confide in someone privately when needed. The news of COVID19 escalated quickly, and as such we needed to take immediate action. Pegasus did an exceptional job at going the extra mile for peace of mind such as providing early-on free COVID19 testing, increasing surface disinfection in the Pegasus offices, and performing hydrogen peroxide fogging upon request. At Pegasus, we have a natural instinct of helping one another. Together we implemented changes to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and provided resources to help feel safer at work.
It is known that employees want to feel safe while working and keep their families safe. What is one of the most important components in ensuring that employees are acknowledged and protected?
In my opinion one of the most important components is employee engagement. The employees are the experts in what they do and who better to learn from than the people who are actually performing the job. Effective listening is also crucial in ensuring employees have the proper resources and tools to perform their job safely.
How do you educate front-liners regarding safety procedures and get them to adapt to new safety policies?
The EH&S Department, along with the Training & Development Department conduct recurrent training and education such as new hire orientation, annual safety training refreshers, and monthly safety topics. Implementing new safety policies can be challenging but what is key is to remind employees that policies and procedures are in place to help protect them from an injury or accident. They say we are creatures of habit, so it only takes a small change in how we do things that can make a significant impact on our health and wellbeing.
What steps would you take to correct a safety inadequacy discovered during a workplace safety audit?
The first and best approach is to eliminate the hazard entirely if possible. If the hazard cannot be eliminated then controls need to be put in place to reduce the risk. Control measures can include substitution, engineering controls, administrative controls and personal protective equipment. Also, follow up training and inspections are crucial to ensure the safety inadequacy has been eliminated or controlled.