P3 Propane Safety’s John Horner Discusses Propane’s Biggest Challenges
The senior consultant, safety & training, talks about the workforce crisis & ongoing training opportunities
Describe your current role at your company.
The best thing about my role is that every day is different. Most days are filled with meetings and phone calls answering compliance questions. The days I love most are spent training propane professionals and helping them expand their knowledge and skill sets in a hands-on manner. It means a lot to me to have the chance to help develop the future leaders of the industry into safe and competent professionals.
What is the biggest challenge the industry is facing right now, and what are you doing in your company to overcome it?
I believe the biggest challenge in the industry is a workforce shortage. Employees of the propane industry are aging and retiring rapidly, and the job opportunities are not being filled at the same rate. Fortunately, P3’s sister companies, GeneratioNext Propane Pros and Vets2Techs, provide a platform to combat this issue. The job platforms cater specifically to the industry by connecting veterans and the next generation of trade school graduates with local companies searching for new talent.
In addition, the industry often falls behind on initial and refresher training services. P3 Consulting Services aims to remediate this issue by providing regular training services across the country, as well as training the future propane professionals of the industry. It’s our goal to ensure that the upcoming leaders in propane have the information they need to be successful and keep safety and compliance at the forefront of the industry.
What do you enjoy most about working with propane marketers on safety and compliance?
The most fulfilling part of my job is helping marketers develop a culture of safety and bringing their businesses into compliance. Everyone wants to do the right thing when it comes to safety and compliance, but there is just so much to keep track of and so much paperwork that it is easy to become overwhelmed. Showing customers a path to compliance and developing a culture of safety within their company is a satisfying job.
What are your best practices when you provide training opportunities in your region?
Always show up early, engage with everyone who will be attending the training, and encourage everyone to interact and ask questions.
How do you keep your skills up to date and continually focus on personal career growth?
I focus on continuous learning by reading, joining seminars and participating in online training.
Have you taken a huge leap of faith at work? Did it pay off?
I have always been comfortable and confident in my decisions at work. This culminates from my myriad professional mentors throughout my career, my faith in my propane safety knowledge and experience, and the privilege of working alongside a variety of well-versed colleagues.
What’s the coolest thing your company is working on right now?
We are currently finishing development of a bulk plant inspection form in the P3 Compliance System. It should be ready to roll out very soon. The bulk plant form standardizes the inspection process and flags any noncompliant values or errors for priority follow-up. The cloud-based software will store all your inspections on file and notify you of any issues that need to be addressed. This will save your safety team and management a lot of time and energy, not to mention reduce the likelihood of an error slipping through the cracks and pulling your company out of compliance.
Who has been one of the strongest influences in your career to date?
A gentleman by the name of Mark Cote. He was a regional vice president of safety at Ferrellgas. He started me on the path toward safety and compliance. He took me under his wing and instilled the importance of always following the rules and doing what is right.
If you could have dinner with anyone alive or dead, who would it be?
Former Dallas Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach. He was a superior leader and always placed his faith, country and family before everything else.
What’s your secret talent?
Being able to make the most stoic of people crack a smile at any given moment.
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