Q & A with Joshua Kreger, Pinnacol’s Director of Safety Innovation and Strategy.
Our Customers’ triumphs for the next 100 years and beyond is built in part on our ability to see beyond the ordinary and help them build a future that builds enduring success even in an uncertain world.
We sat down with our Director of Safety Innovation and Strategy to talk the future of Safety at Pinnacol.
How did you get into workplace safety?
I left a demanding career in corporate hospitality in 2010 and joined AmeriCorps for a year, teaching math and science in a low-income community in Washington state. Following my year of AmeriCorps service, I relocated to Denver and got my first safety job in the Department of Transportation compliance for RTD in 2011. Ten years, four companies and four safety roles later, I became the director of safety innovation and strategy for Pinnacol.
In regard to workplace safety, what are the biggest challenges you see for businesses today?
The biggest safety challenge businesses (regardless of size) face today is ensuring safety is prioritized and aligns with their overall business goals. Safety isn’t a stand-alone job; it’s a core competency of great leadership.
For example, businesses often obsess over their profits and losses or their customer experience metrics, but safety is forgotten or exists as a cliché at the enterprise level. The businesses that get it know that safety is a linchpin in profits and losses and customer experience. Without it, production cripples, products are designed that end up hurting customers, and a business’s reputation can be destroyed. Even worse than all of this, forgetting safety puts workers in danger.
Where is safety heading as an industry? What will safety look like in five years? Ten years?
Safety as an industry is treading in the right direction. COVID-19 served as a deadly reminder to the business community that vibrant safety programs and experts are a must to avoid exposure to what can become an intolerable level of risk. Predictive digital tools and intel-driven safety decision-making are still in their infancy, but they’re unequivocally the future of safety and one that we’re running toward at Pinnacol.
What can policyholders expect to receive from utilizing Pinnacol’s safety services?
Pinnacol differs from our competitors in so many ways, but in terms of safety, it ultimately boils down to one word: mindset. Most insurance carriers see their customers as a problem to control, referring to themselves as “loss control.” At Pinnacol, we see our customers as a safety solution. We believe that loss control isn’t something you can do to customers; you have to control loss with them. Our safety consultants are trained to use their ears 98% of the time and their mouths 2%. In the end, we’re here to help our customers do their best work every day rather than tell them what their best work should look like.
Safety professionals from all industries often find themselves getting that part backwards. Pinnacol’s Safety Services team is insanely passionate about the well-being of Colorado workers. We’re intensely focused on our customers’ experience and teaching safety best practices while listening deeply to our customers’ safety journey. Pinnacol customers can expect our safety professionals to be superheroes by their side rather than someone to be feared.
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Director of Safety Innovation and Strategy
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For well over a century, Pinnacol has been a trusted partner to Colorado’s businesses, providing not only workers’ compensation insurance, but a steady, guiding hand to help understand and manage risk—and keep Colorado’s workers safe.