OSCAsafe Safety Trainer Spotlight: Thomas Bjorman

Tom Bjorman teaching an OSCAsafe class.

Meet OSCAsafe instructor Thomas Bjorman. Learn how his journey brings a wealth of real-life workplace safety experience and insights to every class he leads.

Author: Chantal Lapeyre

March 25, 2024

Welcome to the inaugural post of the OSCAsafe by Tang+Company Trainer Spotlight series. These blogs will introduce you to the talented instructors who are the driving force behind our training programs and show how their personal safety journey brings unique insights and experiences to the courses they teach.

In this first blog, we shine a light on Thomas Bjorman, our seasoned Assistant Training Manager at OSCAsafe.

Q1: Tell us a little bit about yourself and your role at OSCAsafe.

Hi everyone, you can call me Tom. I started working as a part-time instructor 7 years ago and worked my way up to a full-time lead. Later, I was promoted to Assistant Training Manager for OSCAsafe in Martinez, CA.

I’ve had the privilege of instructing various courses, including Principles of Petroleum, Refinery Safety Overview (RSO), Safety for Crafts, 1-day Safety Attendant, Cranes and Rigging, Signal Person, and Fall Protection. I also oversee OSCAsafe’s High-Hazard Facility Training (HHFT) in Northern California and have helped to promote this special 20-hour program into an industry standard for high-hazard facilities on the West Coast.

Q2: What motivated you to choose OSCAsafe to pursue your training career?

It was about looking for ways to advance my career while putting my experience and passion for safety to good use. A friend told me about OSCAsafe and their HHFT training. They needed facilitators, and thankfully, I was a good fit! That was 7 years ago.

Q3: Can you share your industry experience and expertise that you bring to the classroom?

For nearly two decades, I dedicated my career to the refining industry and have worn many different hats during my time.

I started as a safety attendant responsible for worker safety in hazardous areas, then moved up the ladder to a laborer training lead. After, I was promoted to more hands-on technical positions where I operated and mastered forklifts, JLGs, scissor lifts, and gradall.

My hard work was recognized, and I was promoted to a multi-craft maintenance mechanic, which allowed me to leverage my technical expertise. I also gained experience and expertise in other areas, such as the tool room, where I repaired impact guns, replaced switches in electrical tools, and managed tool and equipment inventory.

This enables me to bring extensive real-life knowledge to every course I instruct. It helps me provide trainees with a well-rounded education highlighted by practical insights. I believe sharing my journey and the lessons I’ve learned along the way can inspire our trainees. I show them the qualities that have been instrumental in my career and are crucial for success in this field. I enjoy providing the tools needed for people to succeed.

Q4: What is a valuable lesson you learned during your career?

My career has taught me three valuable lessons.

  1. Be an active lister because it will help you gain valuable insights and knowledge you may not gain otherwise.

  2. Learn from your mistakes because it opens doors for growth

  3. Never ask someone to do something you would not do yourself.

Q5: Who is your safety hero or the person who influenced your ideas on workplace safety the most?

I strongly believe that individuals who work in the safety industry and remain injury-free should be acknowledged as heroes. Having seen firsthand the dangers and risks involved in this line of work, I have the utmost respect for those who put their lives in danger to save others.

Q6: What do you find most rewarding about teaching safety?

Teaching safety allows us to learn from each other about changes over time. I always try to learn something new every day from the experiences and insights of those around me.

Q7: If you could give one workplace safety tip, what would it be?

To me, good tips are easy to remember. That’s why I always encourage my team to use the acronym SAFE.


You can apply this to all aspects of life – work, home, play – but especially while driving.

Q8: Can you share an interesting fact about yourself?

I am deathly afraid of heights! However, I have discovered an effective way to cope with my fear. Rather than fixating on the ground or staring straight down, I challenge myself to look up, look across, or even diagonally. By changing this one thing, I can appreciate the scenery and do any task without feeling overwhelmed by fear. It’s amazing how a simple change in perspective can make such a big difference!

Tom with his dog.

Q9: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I would visit Pearl Harbor. Not only is it a significant place in American history, but it also is personally important because my father was there serving on the USS Oglala during this tragic event. I want to know if the Oglala is still in the harbor and learn as much as I can about the events of December 7th, 1941. For me, it’s the best way to remember and honor all the brave heroes of that day.

Q10: Do you have a personal motto that you live by? If so, what is it?

A simple yet powerful personal motto I live by is “adapt and overcome”. I believe that with the right mindset and attitude, we can accomplish anything we set our minds to.