Patrick Karol

Speaker Expertise
Behavior, Change Management, Influencing Without Authority, Safety Culture, Strategic Planning

Pat’s work in the safety field began as a front-line supervisor with safety as a collateral duty, and now involves advising senior leaders on strategies to reduce risk. His experience includes over 20 years in the corporate safety departments of two Fortune 200 companies and the Federal government. Pat currently works as an independent safety and health consultant specializing in strategic safety planning, safety leadership workshops and motivational speaking.

Pat’s professional safety career includes:

  • Sr Director of Safety with EEC Environmental.
  • Safety Manager at ARAMARK Corporation Safety & Risk Control Department. Responsibilities include working with senior leadership to develop strategies and tactics to reduce the risk of injury, environmental exposure, and foodborne
  • Safety and Health contractor to the Transportation Security Administration where he managed a team that were responsible for compliance at all US airports in the southeast region.
  • Safety Manager at Delta Air Lines Corporate Safety Department. Responsibilities include investigation of serious accidents, development of procedures and training, identification of trends and development of mitigation strategies, and assisting with OSHA VPP applications.

Pat is a successful speaker and has spoken on safety and health at numerous regional and national conferences. He spoke most recently at Safety 2020, AIHce 2020 and The Indiana Safety and Health Conference 2020.

Pat is a Past President of the American Society Safety Professionals (ASSP) Philadelphia chapter and was honored to receive the Gold Level award for 2014/15. He is currently the Area Director for the ASSP Keystone (Pennsylvania) Area for 2017-2021.

The Art of Safety, Influencing Without Authority.

My Story of Influence as a Corporate Safety Manager

Leadership’s fundamental challenge is getting things done through others. Safety professionals, who are expected to influence without authority, are painfully familiar with this challenge. Our impact and success are directly related to our ability to affect the decisions and behaviors of executive leaders. Too often, we are seen as the “safety guy or gal” rather than an influential safety leader. We spend more time putting out fires than getting things done.

I know because I’ve been there having worked for 25 years in the corporate safety department of two global companies and the federal government. In this session, I will share my lessons about influencing without authority, focusing on executive leaders.

The learning objectives include:

  1. Understanding your executive.
  2. Identify and describe the factors that build trust.
  3. Apply the principles of influence.

Selling is about influencing someone to do what you want them to—influencing an executive leader whose limited time and attention span requires an understanding of influence principles and techniques. Safety professionals can get more done by applying these principles.

Selling Safety to Your Organization

This presentation answers the question that perplexes many safety professionals and supervisors, “How do I get my employees to do what I want them to do?” Selling safety is about making safety personal. This theme runs throughout this presentation. Lessons learned are shared through stories from his experience as an hourly employee, front line supervisor and 20-year safety professional. Pat explains the three key leadership characteristics for making safety personal:

  1. Vision
  2. Knowledge
  3. Heart

Pat relates these core characteristics to safety leadership and influencing employee behaviour. In addition, practical actions are provided that can be implemented today including how to apply the “Make Safety Personal” conversation format.

Target Audience – Safety Professionals, Operations Managers and Supervisors

You Are Safety 

Safety cultures start from the top, but it comes to life with an engaged employee group. Pat tailors his stories and messages to front line employees in this presentation. Stories from his experience as a front line employee and supervisor highlight the employee’s responsibility for safety within the work community. Pat emphasizes three key points:

  1. It’s better to be good than lucky.
  2. Make safety a habit.
  3. You are “safety.”

In addition, practical actions are provided that can be implemented today. Pat wraps up by encouraging attendees to make a personal commitment as part of their responsibility for building a strong safety culture.

Target Audience – Front-line Employees, Supervisors and Safety Professionals

Selling Safety to Upper Management

Many safety professionals lack authority, yet rely on influencing upper management to make changes that support a successful safety culture. Influencing without authority is an essential leadership skill that safety professionals need to develop. Pat shares what he learned about influencing upper management from his positions in the corporate safety departments of Delta Air lines, Aramark and the Federal Government. Pat explains three key leadership characteristics for influencing upper management:

  1. Build trust
  2. Know what they want
  3. Communicate persuasively

Pat describes how to use the “Safety Drivers” to tailor your message and how to apply the “Strategic Safety” conversation format with upper management.

Target Audience – Safety Professionals with responsibility for influencing leadership

See Something, Say Something

Everyone is a leader in their own capacity. Pat applies the “Make Safety Personal” theme and the leadership characteristics of vision, knowledge and heart to this presentation. It is all about the importance of speaking up when a hazard is identified, the responsibility for speaking up, and why it can be so difficult. Pat explains how to apply the “See-Say” conversation format to make speaking up easier.

Target Audience – Front-line Employees, Supervisors and Safety Professionals

It’s All in the Presentation, Techniques to Enhance Your Presentation Skills

Public speaking is one of the most common fears. Pat shares his speaking techniques to help you enhance your public speaking skills with a focus on:

  1. Knowing your audience
  2. Crafting your message
  3. Delivery

Pat Includes tips on effectively using PowerPoint. This presentation can be presented as a one-hour presentation or in a workshop format where attendees build their message and practice delivering it to the group. The workshop is designed four or eight hours.

Target Audience – Operations Managers, Supervisors and Safety Professionals

Selling Safety Workshop, a Safety Leadership Workshop

Many safety professionals and supervisors come out of the blocks with strong technical skills, yet lack the soft skills needed to influence change. The Selling Safety workshop based on Pat’s book, Selling Safety, Lessons From a Former Front Line Supervisor, fills that gap. His “Make safety personal” theme runs throughout this safety leadership workshop. Pat guides attendees through several hands-on exercises on such leadership characteristics as trust, vision and communication. Pat introduces his 10×10 Communication Rule, the ABC Rule and explains how to apply the “Make Safety Personal” conversation format. Attendees will complete a safety leadership self-assessment and use the results to develop their Personal Action Plan. This workshop is designed for two, four or eight hours.

Target Audience – Operations Managers, Supervisors and Safety Professionals


Hear what others have to say

This is the second time in three years that we have had Patrick here at our facility. Patrick is very talented and his passion for safety is evident in his message. I would highly recommend Patrick to other safety program directors. His message is clear and provides the audience with the tools to implement See Something, Say Something. – Scott

Patrick is easy to listen to and I feel like he can relate to my situation. His experiences tell me that he knows exactly the kinds of obstacles that I face each time I see something and should say something. Rick

Patrick’s presentation was just as captivating this time as it was when he was here 2 years ago. I really enjoyed listening to his presentation and appreciate his real-life experiences. Tim