Emily Merola
Principal Safety Specialist

Why did you join Air Products?
I had been working in the pharmaceutical industry and my company was going through a lot of upheaval. I decided to put some feelers out and see what was available. There was a position open at Air Products that was a very good fit for me with a lot of room for growth, so I took the leap and left my job to move here.

Why do you love working at Air Products? What is it that keeps you working at Air Products?
The people and the opportunities! Not only are our people incredibly talented, but almost everyone that I have met at Air Products has been willing to go out of their way to share their experiences and help each other grow. And in the 8 years that I have been with the company, I have already been able to transition between several projects and roles that have been incredibly beneficial for my development.

Please describe your career at Air Products to date. 
I joined Air Products in 2011 as a research chemist in the Global Technology Center. I later moved into Gases Technology where I transitioned into a full time safety role managing our R&D safety program, providing trainings, supporting hazard reviews, and updating policies and procedures in support of all global laboratories. I then took on additional responsibility, serving as the GEMTE Safety Lead as well, providing BSP guidance, analyzing incidents and recommending corrective actions, and organizing the annual Global Safety Week for the entire GEMTE organization. Most recently, I transitioned into our central EH&S team, with responsibility for our corporate safety reporting.  

Tell me about the most intriguing/satisfying thing(s) you’ve been involved in since you’ve been at Air Products.
One of the most satisfying things that I’ve done was to organize the FY18 GEMTE Global Safety Week. That year, the GEMTE leadership team decided that the organization would hold a global safety week to reemphasize its total commitment to safety. I was tasked with leading the initiative, which required me to define both the scope and format of the week. I supervised volunteers from across the organization as they planned activities, leveraging their individual interests and skills and empowering them to take ownership and make decisions. I worked with safety contacts across the regions to ensure local alignment with the overall initiative, and I scheduled speakers and set up contests that would be accessible to everyone no matter their location. Defining and executing a successful global event of this nature with only 4 months of planning was both stressful and gratifying!

What career advice would you give to those just starting out in their engineering careers?
Get involved and volunteer for something outside of your normal scope. You never know what opportunities will arise because of it, and I can directly point to how doing so changed my career path.     

Please explain what you do (in your current and/or previous job) contributes to sustainability?
My job IS safety – timely and accurate reporting of our metrics, communicating about data and trends, and managing our standards all contribute to everyone else in the company being able to do their jobs more safely.  

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