3M Science of Safety Global Podcast

Find Out More About the Global Science of Safety Podcast

The 3M Science of Safety podcast is for all who are curious about the science and systems behind workplace health and safety with a focus on personal protective equipment (or PPE) used to help keep workers healthy and safe. What’s more, the Personal Safety Division at 3M is excited to announce that the Science of Safety podcast is now being expanded to be globally focused going forward and more applicable to workplaces all over the world. Whether you’re a safety professional, Occupational Hygienist, someone with any level of WHS responsibility in the workplace, a user of safety equipment or a safety nerd, then this is the podcast for you!

Regardless of where you work in the world there are common hazards that many workplaces may have such as noise, working at heights, and inhalation hazards. Ears are ears, eyes are eyes, and lungs are lungs regardless of where you work in the world.

3M Mark Reggers Application Engineer

Mark Reggers, an occupational hygienist and the original host of this podcast is someone who likes to ask the questions ‘Why, How, and Please Explain.’ One of the biggest and most exciting changes to this podcast, beyond now bringing it to the global audience, is the addition of a new co-host, Dr. Laurie Wells.

3M Laurie Wells Application Engineering and Regulatory

Laurie has a professional background is audiology and started working in a multidisciplinary clinic, then had the opportunity to work at University of Northern Colorado in the graduate audiology program.  Here is where she learned about noise exposure to workers and developed a deep interest in protecting workers from noise hazards. After this experience, she decided to specialize in occupational audiology and became a consultant regarding occupational hearing loss and hearing conservation programs for employers of all sizes. Laurie joined 3M in 2012 in standards development and regulatory affairs for hearing protection.

Learn more about these two passionate co-hosts by listening to a brief podcast where they introduce themselves, discuss more about their background, who they are, what drives them and what they are currently working on within health and safety at 3M.

                                                                                                                               

Moreover, this season of the global Science of Safety podcast is going back to the fundamentals and focusing on selection of respiratory protection, hearing protection, and fall protection. The cohosts will cover some of the basic considerations for proper selection and also discuss other more advanced considerations for certain types of workplaces, applications, and segments. In addition, they will be talking about the importance of fit in this season of the podcast with a focus on respiratory protection and hearing protection.

This global podcast series will hope to not only give you another educational tool that you can use to help increase your knowledge but also something that you can share with others in your organization. The goal is to help provide a global perspective and foundation for those of you new to workplace health and safety and PPE while also providing information for more experienced professionals and complex health and safety challenges. 

This year the Personal Safety Division is also celebrating the 50-year anniversary of the first U.S. Government-approved 3M filtering facepiece respirator (a precursor to what is now known as the N95), and the 3M E-A-R Classic Ear Plug. To all of our customers who have trusted 3M brand PPE between then and now, thank you.

Below is the full transcript of the podcast:

Speaker 1:

The 3M Science of Safety Podcast is a free publication. The information presented in this podcast is general only, should not be relied upon to make specific decisions. Listening to this podcast does not certify proficiency in safety and health. You should always seek the advice of a licensed or certified professional in relation to your specific work or task. Always consult the user instructions for any personal protective equipment you are using and follow local laws and regulations. Information presented is current as of the date of the podcast and requirements can change in the future. 3M owns all rights to the podcast and any reproduction is strictly prohibited without permission.

Mark Reggers:

Welcome back to our previous subscribers and new listeners to the 3M Science of Safety Podcast presented by the 3M Personal Safety Division. This is a podcast that is curious about the science and systems behind workplace health and safety with a focus on personal protective equipment, or PPE, used to help keep workers healthy and safe.

Mark Reggers:

I’m Mark Reggers, an occupational hygienist who likes to ask the questions why, how, and please explain. Whether you’re a safety professional, occupational, or industrial hygienist, someone with any level of worker health and safety responsibility in your workplace, a user of PPE or a health and safety nerd, this is the podcast for you.

Mark Reggers:

Welcome back everybody. For those that may have listened before, we previously did a Science of Safety Podcast, which was produced in Australia with a very Australian focus and over the three years that we were running that specific podcast, which was really well received, we did gain a global audience over that time. So I’m excited to be back and to announce that the Science of Safety Podcast is now being expanded to be globally focused going forwards and more applicable to workplaces all over the world, not just in Australia.

Mark Reggers:

Regardless of where you work in the world, there are common hazards that many workplaces may have such as noise, working heights and inhalation hazards, ears are ears, eyes are eyes, lungs are lungs, gravity is gravity, regardless of where you work in the world. We want to extend the discussion and conversation our listeners in Australia have experienced on the science of workplace health and safety to the rest of the world. For those familiar with the previous iteration of the Australian Science of Safety Podcast, we will still be discussing a wide range of workplace health and safety topics.

Mark Reggers:

However, we are changing up a little bit. The previous Australian version was released on a periodic schedule. We started out releasing it weekly, then fortnightly and a bit different over the time, but this new global version will be released in seasons per year. We’re going to make sure we’re focusing less on regulatory specifics due to the differences around the world, but hope to provide global insights with a true global view. Even though there are those regulatory differences around the world, we want to speak to the commonality and provide information to help keep your workers healthy and safe. But the biggest and most exciting addition to the Science of Safety Podcast is the addition of a new co-host and I am so excited to introduce Dr. Laurie Wells. Welcome Laurie.

Dr. Laurie Wells:

Wow, thanks so much, Mark. It’s really exciting to be part of your successful broadcast and to be able to make it global. It’s very exciting.

Mark Reggers:

I’m very excited to have you on board and to share the co-hosting duties, but for all our listeners, new and old, can you please introduce yourself? Who are you, where are you from? What do you do, where in the world are you based and why did you want to get involved with this podcast or the relaunch of this global podcast?

Dr. Laurie Wells:

Oh, certainly. Yeah. My professional background actually is in audiology. So I’m all about ears and I have a pretty traditional kind of audiology background working in a multidisciplinary clinic and then had the opportunity to work at a university. So that gave me the opportunity to work in a graduate audiology program. And oddly enough, that was where I got my feet wet, if you will, in occupational audiology. That’s where I learned about workers being exposed to hazardous noise and I got very interested in learning how to protect them. And so much so actually that I had the opportunity to specialize in occupational audiology, this little niche of the profession, and I worked for a consulting company for several years.

Dr. Laurie Wells:

And of course our network is pretty small and quite intense. And so I met a lot of the people who work at 3M in this field of hearing protection and had the opportunity to join the 3M team about 10 years ago in a new role in standards development and regulatory affairs for hearing protection. So it’s been a nice move from a clinical background to preventing hearing loss and now working specifically with developing standards in a global position to help people protect their hearing.

Dr. Laurie Wells:

So how about you, what’s your professional interest?

Mark Reggers:

Well, for those that are new listeners, a little bit of my background is, as I said, in the introduction, I’m an occupational hygienist and graduated through my masters of occupational hygiene through the University of Wollongong, go UOW. My current role at 3M is I’m a specialist application engineer based in Australia, mainly focused on the respiratory portfolio. It’s not too much overlap between us here and I’ve been at 3M for just over four years. And a big part of my role is providing that technical end user advice, guidance on selection, use and maintenance for respirators, and a big part of that is respirator fit testing.

Mark Reggers:

I’m actually the current chair of resp-fit, excuse my Australian accent. There it is the Australian Institute of Occupational Hygienists, Respiratory Fit Testing, Training, and Accreditation Program. Bit of a mouthful there, but resp-fit. And I’ve been heavily involved with this development over the past couple of years, and now involved with a group of passionate health and safety professionals that manage and run that specific program here in Australia.

Mark Reggers:

I am also a member of the Standards Australia Committee for Respiratory Protection and also iron face protection. And prior to 3M, I worked for a risk management consultancy in the property risk occupational hygiene asbestos side of things. Though most of my career has been in and around the PPE and training and safety equipment industry. But personally, I live in a beautiful city called Newcastle, a couple of hours North of Sydney here in Australia. I’m married to my beautiful wife, Jess coming up to nine years. Where did that time go? And we have a little boy Sam who’s three years old.

Mark Reggers:

Love spending time with my family and friends, big basketball fans. So I still try and play socially when I can. And I do follow the NBA pretty closely when I can find the time. So as you can imagine, I am trying to get my son hooked on basketball as early as possible. So that’s a little bit about me.

Dr. Laurie Wells:

Well we’re lucky that we both live in beautiful places. I actually have home a office here in Loveland, Colorado. So I’m sitting across the other side of the world from you and I too have a lovely family. Married to Sal and I don’t know if it was because of music that got me interested in audiology or not, but I married a musician. And I like to try to pretend to be one too after lots of years of taking music lessons. So I get to be on stage every now and then with him playing the flute and sometimes even the bass guitar, but certainly not at the same time.

Mark Reggers:

I was going to say, be very skilled if that was at the same time there, Laurie.

Dr. Laurie Wells:

Yeah. And here in Colorado, there’s a lot to do outside. I like to hike, and go bird watching, and fishing, and be in the garden, growing vegetables and lots of hobbies and sharing the love of the outdoors with my husband and family.

Dr. Laurie Wells:

Now, you also mentioned something that made me realize we have something else in common Mark, and that was a passion for fit testing. And you talk about fit testing and you mean respiratory, but when I talk about fit testing, I mean hearing protection fit testing. So I’m pretty excited that hearing protector fit testing is growing in acceptance and we’ll be talking more about hearing protective testing as we go forward.

Dr. Laurie Wells:

So I think that we have things in common, even though we have different professional background. And you also asked me why I wanted to be involved in this podcast and that’s really why too is that I want to learn more than just about hearing and really excited to be part of an effort that takes me around the globe. And so as we produce this global presentation, I know I’ll be learning a lot as well.

Mark Reggers:

And so that’s what you’d say. That’s the area you’re most passionate about in health and safety, is that hearing loss and preventing hearing loss for workers?

Dr. Laurie Wells:

Absolutely. Yeah. I also have kind of a personal connection because my mother lost hearing not due to noise oddly enough, but her hearing loss showed me the frustration that she felt, the sadness that was caused. And so as an audiologist, I really had compassion for people who had hearing loss. And after working through the university, I realized I would rather be on the end of trying to prevent this from happening to somebody. And certainly noise is one of the most preventable types of hearing loss there is. Noise induced hearing loss. And I love to teach and I love to see people kind of start to turn on their excitement and understanding of the value of their hearing and to learn how to protect themselves so that they can hear those lovely sounds that they want to hear for the rest of their lives.

Mark Reggers:

And that could be you playing music as an example.

Dr. Laurie Wells:

Well, I won’t go that far. I mean, but certainly hearing protector fit testing has really changed our potential for teaching people how to use their hearing protectors effectively. I’m excited about the possibilities going forward.

Mark Reggers:

It’s interesting your journey. I think it’s very similar to a lot of health and safety professionals that I’ve dealt with locally here in Australia. And I’m assuming it’s very similar for others around the world where they’ve come into a situation and wanted to move into the prevention side of things rather than the dealing with the effects of a health and safety incident, whatever that may be. So I think that’s very common and for myself, I guess in my travels, why I’m so passionate about respirator fit testing is having been around respirators for most of my working life. You get a lot of workplaces and understandably are very focused on selecting the correct filters. And that is a very important component, but that protection, and I’m sure very similar to hearing protection, can come crashing down very quickly if that seal, being an acoustic seal in your world of things or being that facial seal in my world of things, as far as respirators go, that protection comes crushing down.

Mark Reggers:

So I’d heard of many workplaces who hadn’t heard of respirator fit testing, or who had heard of respirator fit testing, but was sort of, I guess, falling short of having reliable, repeatable fit testing in the workplace. So that’s an area I became really passionate about because it really is when the rubber hits the road so to speak. When you’re thinking about a respiratory protection program, you can select the correct respirator, the correct filter, but if it can’t fit, isn’t fitted correctly, well, it’s just not going to be there. That protection we’re expecting. So we’ve both got our areas of passion. So I guess if we both get on that fit testing role, we’ll put our warning out to all our listeners that we may get a bit excited about things, but just shows why we’re so excited to do this podcast and to share our passions with all our listeners across the world going forward.

Dr. Laurie Wells:

Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, speaking of going forward, Mark, would you like to give us kind of a overview of what we’re planning for the season of 2022?

Mark Reggers:

I absolutely would love to. I’m glad you asked. Really we’re going to be going back to the fundamentals. When we talk about the selection of respiratory protection, hearing protection, and and full protection, it is something that we covered in the Australian version, but way, way, way back at the start three years ago. So we thought it’s a good place to start again with some different guests and have some different perspective thinking about that global perspective.

Mark Reggers:

We’re also going to cover basic considerations for proper selection and also discuss some more advanced considerations for certain types of workplace’s applications in segments. We’re going to be talking about the importance of fit, no surprise. What we’ve just been chatting about and really excited that this podcast will be another educational tool that our listeners can help increase their knowledge and just like Laurie was talking, I’m excited to learn about different topics as well, and continue to do that. But we hope this podcast is something that you can share with others within your organization to help them in their journey with health and safety knowledge as we talk about this wide range of topics going forward.

Mark Reggers:

Look, our goal is to help provide a global perspective and foundation for those of our listeners that are new to workplace health and safety and PPE, while also providing information for the more experienced professionals and complex health and safety challenges, which we are certainly out there in many workplaces across the world.

Dr. Laurie Wells:

Well, we hope all of you who are listening are as excited as we are for this first global season of the 3M Science of Safety Podcast. Be watching for the first episode coming soon.

Mark Reggers:

Well, thanks for listening everyone. You can listen, subscribe or share this podcast through Apple Podcast, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or wherever you get this podcast from. If you have any questions, topic suggestions, or you like some assistance in your workplace when it comes to the appropriate selection use and maintenance of PPE, you can get in contact with your local 3M representative, wherever you are in the world. Around the world we aim to help everyone get the job done safely today, tomorrow, and in the future. Thanks for listening and have a safe day.

Dr. Laurie Wells:

Hey, stay safe out there Mark.

Mark Reggers:

Stay healthy Laurie.

Dr. Laurie Wells:

And be safe and sound.

The first global season of the Science of Safety Podcast is proudly presented by the 3M Personal Safety Division. Watch for the first episode coming soon.

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