Brenda Craig remembers her first experience with OSHA. “Every time they came to my father's food distribution warehouse, he would have a cow and get fined,” she recalls.
Such experiences convinced Craig to help companies avoid fines by staying current with regulations. She established Craig Safety Technologies Inc., Lenexa, Kan., to serve small- and medium-sized companies. “A lot of construction companies were confused about what to do and couldn't afford their own safety person, so I found a niche,” she says.
Craig Safety is an OSHA, DOT, and EPA regulatory management company that provides OSHA and DOT compliance services and products. “The ready-mix industry didn't realize they were in the transportation industry as well,” she says. To solve that, she developed her proprietary Workhorse online software, which helps companies track their equipment, personnel, accidents, injuries, and compliance to regulations.
Craig enjoys talking to her clients. She has found it isn't just a matter of tracking regulatory compliance, but talking to clients to see what they want to monitor, whether it is human resource or other information. “If we track finger injuries and find we're having a lot of injuries, then we know we may need training on how to avoid finger injuries,” says Craig.
Originally, Craig Safety had been an outsourced safety department providing OSHA, DOT, and EPA compliance support services, such as audits, training, and creating written policies and programs. It was during this time, Craig realized the need for safety training and tracking regulations was not being met in the construction industry.
She previously launched a venture entitled Craig Learning Solutions to sell employee training software, which included a line of safety CDs, but she was a little ahead of her time and the interest wasn't there. In addition to saving companies money with her regulatory compliance product, she now includes the training modules as well as several training courses, which are available at her Web site, www.craigsafety.com.
It's not surprising that Craig has taken the entrepreneur path. It's in her genes. Her father started with 50 peanut vending machines, which led to a successful career in food distribution.
That entrepreneurial spirit helped Craig learn the ropes quickly. She was a Women Who Mean Business honoree by The Kansas City Business Journal in 2005. The award is for outstanding women who have made significant contributions to their industry.
Being a woman in the concrete industry has helped her land some government work. Otherwise, being a certified Woman Business Enterprise has not provided opportunities.
While large companies have more men, you run into more women in the subcontracting areas, says Craig. But she still doesn't cross paths with women very often. It could be because she tends to work with the owner or safety director, who are often men.
Craig's company continues to expand, and her mission is to become the leading virtual compliance center for safety.