Barbara Berry, Safety Engineer

A Journey of Discovery: From Novice to Expert

My professional journey at Swinerton began after completing Cypress Mandela’s pre-apprentice boot camp, where I earned Swinerton’s scholarship for interns. Despite limited prior experience in construction, I was captivated by the industry’s dynamic nature. My interest in safety was sparked while volunteering in facilities management for a nonprofit organization. Empowered by empowerment classes at Cypress Mandela, I seized the opportunity to teach safety through their 16-week program. Meeting the Swinerton team during an interview marked the beginning of my rewarding career in construction safety.

Role and Responsibilities: Championing Safety on the Job Site

As a Safety Engineer, my role revolves around fostering a safety-first culture on our job sites. I conduct site safety orientations, walk the job site regularly, assist with pre-planning activities, attend meetings, and meticulously document safety reports. My contributions extend beyond routine tasks—I actively engage with craftsmen, reminding them of their responsibility to prioritize safety. By being a vigilant presence and a supportive resource, I help ensure the success of projects and uphold Swinerton’s reputation as a safety-focused company.

Overcoming Challenges, Celebrating Milestones

In safety, challenges often arise from schedule constraints and human behavior. However, I tackle these obstacles head-on by fostering open communication with craftsmen and management. By understanding their needs and concerns, I collaborate with them to devise alternative solutions that prioritize safety without compromising project timelines. A particularly gratifying achievement was successfully conveying a safety concern through a compelling PowerPoint presentation, leading to its implementation on the job site—an affirmation of the team’s trust and cooperation.

Empowering Advice for Aspiring Professionals

To aspiring women considering a career in construction, my advice is simple: seize the opportunity. There’s ample room to learn, grow, and make a meaningful impact in this field. Seek mentors who can guide you through your journey and embrace the diverse opportunities construction offers.

Swinerton’s Supportive Ecosystem

Throughout my tenure at Swinerton, I’ve experienced unwavering support for my professional growth. Mentors have provided invaluable guidance, and the company has facilitated numerous learning opportunities. This supportive environment has enabled me to thrive and contribute meaningfully to Swinerton’s mission.

A Personal Touch: Finding Joy Beyond the Worksite

What I cherish most about working at Swinerton is the daily interaction with people and the opportunity to learn something new daily. Outside of work, I indulge in the art of jewelry wire wrapping—a hobby that allows me to unwind and express my creativity.

Join me in celebrating the journey of growth, learning, and safety excellence at Swinerton. Let’s build a safer and more resilient future in the construction industry.

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