After receiving his Master’s Degree in Occupational Safety and Health Technology at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Eric Barger has never stop implementing the practices of safety within his lifetime. He started his career in 1993 as an Aircraft Mechanic in the U.S. Navy and worked his way up through a Quality Assurance position. He realized his highest potential: an active role of leadership in the Navy’s safety programs. In the next ten years, Barger spearheaded a multitude of safety programs and was an avid instructor in the Navy. He was a certified instructor who used extensive technical knowledge of 1700 graduates. His students maintained a 90 percent grade point average with a 3 percent academic attrition rate through his teachings.
After retirement, Barger wanted to continue his passion for safety implementation and took on the role of EH&S Manager for the IPR Southeast Division. He loves to help people do their job and get them back home safe after every project.
“The best quality of IPR is that they will put the material and effort in doing the job right” – Eric Barger.
For nearly a decade, Mr. Samonie has been an advocate for safety issues throughout the pipe-liner industry. He started his safety debut in Raleigh, North Carolina as a Safety Manager for Coastal Mechanical. He realized his passion for safe practices and began to become more involved in all aspects of safety. In only five months, Samonie was promoted as a Regional Safety Manager. He transferred to Infrasource in Ypsilanti, Michigan, and continued his talents within the Great Lakes area. Although he loved his work and travel, he eventually wanted to settle down and start a family with his wife. He moved down to Detroit, Michigan, and was offered a position within IPR as an EH&S Manager for the Great Lakes Region.
"One of the best qualities of IPR is the communication," said Mr. Samonie. "I love being in Safety because I love being able to make a difference in the atmosphere/culture of the men in the field."
At 17 years old, Fermin Flores worked directly for Shell Oil & Gas Refining as an administrative assistant in Deer Park, Texas. He was involved in creating multiple training modules and site safety protocols. Mr. Flores' duties as an assistant eventually converted into his life's passion. He wanted to make a meaningful impact. He decided to pursue a career in Occupational Health and Safety and continued working with Shell. From welders to boilermakers, Mr. Flores learned the backbone of manufacturing tasks and what is needed to provide a safe operation. He attained his Construction Site and Safety Technician certificate while he worked as a safety assistant. Mr. Flores later transferred his skills to the IPR team as the Environmental Health & Safety Manager of IPR South Central and has been working with the team for about five years.
To this day, Mr. Flores continuously works to keep employees safe and diligently pursues to reduce OSHA recordable within the company. "I was given a tremendous opportunity to start my career in safety at the age of 21 years old. IPR has seen exciting growth, but the company continues to emphasize safety in the pursuit of operational excellence. I enjoy what I do and every aspect of my job. I care about our employees and want to ensure that they return home safely every day to their loved ones. IPR has given me the opportunity, experience, and knowledge to grow in my professional career as a safety manager."
Starting in the Natural Gas Pipeline as a Field Worker in Louisville, KY, Mr. Yarbrough worked his way into a Foreman position. Knowing the importance of Safety, Quality, and Production he found his way into a Safety, Quality, Compliance Coordinator role. Wanting to be an all-around safety professional, Mr. Yarbrough acquired an MBA degree to learn the business aspects and has recently acquired an Occupational Safety and Emergency Management Degree from Eastern Kentucky University. Over the years Mr. Yarbrough has worked in various industries such as Construction, General, Manufacturing, and Pipeline industries. Herb is an OSHA Outreach Trainer that teaches OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 classes. Along with being a skilled trainer in trenching and excavation, confined space, and BBS (behavior-based safety) to name a few; Herb has designations from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals for CHST (Construction Health Safety Technician) and GSP (Graduate Safety Professional). Herb's favorite quote is: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” - Theodore Roosevelt
"One of the best qualities of IPR is working with the field workers and learning and teaching from a group of men and women who want to go home every day."