January 19, 2023

Marilyn Adkins Helps Create a Safety-First Culture at EquipmentShare

Marilyn Adkins on the job in an EquipmentShare yard

When she enrolled at the University of Central Oklahoma, Marilyn Adkins thought she knew what she wanted to be. She wanted a career where she could help people stay healthy and safe, and nursing seemed like the perfect choice. 

There was just one problem. She realized she wasn’t cut out for some of the grittier parts of nursing.

Fortunately, she learned there were other jobs where she could help people stay healthy. In classes about worker safety policies and bloodborne pathogens, she met students who were preparing for safety professions.

“I was talking with these students, and they didn’t have to deal with the everyday stressors of nursing, so I wanted to know more,” Marilyn said. “I officially switched my major to industrial safety, and I haven’t looked back. I could still help people and get them home safely — without being in the medical field.”

After college graduation, Marilyn took a job with a major online retail company. She moved to the Baltimore area to assist with opening a robotic facility, but had no time for herself.

Marilyn and her grandmother

“I was working in a very demanding environment. I was missing holidays and birthdays and important moments with family and friends. It was hard to make plans and show up and be present. I came across as flaky,” Marilyn said. “I was looking for a change but still working in safety, and I found EquipmentShare.”

Marilyn joined the team in 2022 as a regional safety manager. In this role, she travels to EquipmentShare branches in the eastern U.S. and helps each location maintain high safety standards. During each branch visit, she tours the facility with the general and service managers and creates a plan of action for the future. The plan can range from housekeeping to general safety, such as wearing the proper PPE for tasks.

Marilyn (second from right) and her siblings

“I go to the branches and build relationships. I’m not just a person with a clipboard coming in to tell them what they are doing wrong — I am there to help and provide support,” Marilyn said. “I do a safety review of each location, highlight the things they do really well and discuss the areas of opportunities. My job is to support them and let them know I am there to help remove any barrier they may have regarding safety.”

EquipmentShare is committed to being a People First company, and that means putting safety top-of-mind with the company’s Seven Seconds of Safety Program. Creating a safety-first culture in a dangerous industry is something Marilyn takes seriously and is very passionate about.

“Everyone has to buy into the idea of safety-first,” Marilyn said. “Fortunately, everyone I've worked with has been open to this and respectful of my role. I explain why it’s important and that being safe is how you get back to your family each night. Safety has to be in everything you do. People, environment, product — safety is in everything we do and becomes our culture.”

Would you like to find out more about EquipmentShare’s People First, Safety First workplace culture? Read more about our current openings and apply at equipmentshare.com/careers

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