Celebrating the top safety leader of the year, PRECO Electronics is proud to announce Curv Compliance’s Fernando Figueroa as the recipient of the 2018 Excellence in Safety Award. Figueroa, who co-founded Curv and currently serves as its president, has spent his career dedicating his time and expertise to create successful training and educational programs to keep employees safer, businesses well informed, and reduce injuries and illnesses within the workplace.
Growing up, Figueroa visited his father at the many construction sites he worked through the years. Which is where, Figueroa caught what he coins, the “safety bug” at a very early age. After eight years in the United States Marine Corps, Figueroa started his career where he believed he would have a lasting impact: construction.
After serving, Figueroa was quickly selected as the safety lead for his company, and was soon fast tracked to the position of Safety Director for Yantis Company. Figueroa very quickly realized that the understanding of regulations and accident issues could have an incredible impact in helping to cut down on incidents.
With this knowledge, Figueroa started conducting training and site inspections, and workers were able to relate to him because of his past field experience. This connection helped to build the necessary relationships to get workers on board with his safety initiatives. When Figueroa began working at Yantis, the Experience Modification Rate (EMR) was over 1.7 and when he left, the numbers hit below .67 EMR. Due to his efforts, the company also saw a savings in insurance premiums of around $467k/annually.
“The biggest safety issues I see are the lack of training and tools provided to employees primarily due to the perceived cost,” Figueroa said. “Many companies, especially smaller construction companies who are also more likely to experience accidents, tend to treat safety as an afterthought. I work to educate these companies about the upfront costs and how they can end up saving money in the long run when they invest in placing safety at the forefront.”
Over time Figueroa has broadened his involvement in improving safety within his company, which then soon spread to his community and industry involvement. To expand upon his success in training and conducting site inspections, Figueroa helped launch Curv, a safety and compliance focused outfit that does turnkey work in safety training and general/construction industry compliance. Figueroa is extremely active within the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), San Antonio Chapter, where he is a board member, as well as Chair for the AGC Education Committee.
He is actively involved with several boards and associations associated with construction and safety, and he also works with local colleges to get students excited about safety. Through Curv, Figueroa works with construction companies, performing safety audits to help them reach their safety goals. Currently, Figueroa works to make Curv an outreach training center to help provide low-cost community training and continue to provide construction companies with the tools necessary to meet and exceed OSHA regulations. Figueroa hopes to have satellite branches, domestically and internationally, at some point in the future.
When he was nominated, Figueroa’s name and qualifications were submitted along with an anecdotal story, elaborating on one of the many instances where he proves to be an extremely dedicated safety professional.
“Figueroa was driving down 1604 in San Antonia, Texas and saw a company working on the access road. He noticed that the flagger was not directing traffic properly, so Figueroa made a U-turn and headed back to their jobsite. Figueroa spoke with the entire crew and conducted a quick training on the side of the road with them on flagging. He would not leave the site until he knew they were doing it correctly and not only were they safe, but all of the drivers going through there would be safe as well. He had no monetary reason to do this, and didn’t even know what company they worked for. He is just an extremely dedicated professional who enjoys his work and understands the importance of safety in all industries.”
Figueroa reminds us that it is also the small, every-day actions made throughout an individual’s career which show the true dedication to safety this award strives to recognize. Figueroa believes his efforts are saving lives and money.
The Excellence in Safety Award honors those with exceptional proofs of innovation, leadership, vision, and best practices in safety within heavy-duty industries. Through his work with Curv and his long standing history of devotion to improving safety everywhere he goes, PRECO is proud to recognize Fernando Figueroa for his contribution and commitment to protecting the lives of others throughout his career.
PRECO appreciates the growing participation and nominations for the award. It is an honor to be among outstanding safety leaders such as our nominees and to hear from those who support and recognize their hard work and dedication to safety. PRECO would also like to thank Doug McMurry, executive vice president of the AGC San Antonio Chapter, for hosting the award ceremony and attending in support of their members’ achievements.
About the Excellence in Safety Award
As a leader in heavy-duty safety, PRECO Electronics established the Excellence in Safety Award to honor safety professionals for their initiative and commitment to the advancement of safety within their community, business or industry. This award is intended to recognize an individual that demonstrates excellence in advancing best safety practices throughout the community, business or industry by continuously going above and beyond to integrate, innovate, and educate others to inspire change and improve safety.
- Initiative: The nominee demonstrates leadership, initiates open discussions, introduces programs, and gives voice to safety concerns within the industry, community, or business.
- Involvement: The nominee takes an active role in industry associations, community safety programs, and/or business/legislative policy changes to advance safety.
- Innovative: The nominee is creative and imaginative; introduces new ideas and suggestions to move safety into the forefront of the community, legislature, business or industry they serve.