Health and Safety Consulting, born from a deep spirit of volunteerism


In the 1980s, inspired by explosions that severely affected the Gulf Coast region’s oil and gas industry and cost several lives, a local group of concerned business owners and stakeholders had the idea of ​​forming a security council.

The new organization would proactively address the risks, policies and procedures of the growing energy industry and act as an education resource for the growing workforce.

On September 25, 1990, the Houston Area Safety Council (HASC) was born.

“I was there. It was at two o’clock,” said Luis Aguilar, the council’s first employee.

There was a strong spirit of volunteerism even during those formative years, Aguilar, now the council’s chief executive, recalled at the 2022 EHS Seminar and Industry Trade Show, held recently in Galveston, in Texas.

“Without that spirit of volunteerism, we couldn’t have accomplished what we did, but we had humble beginnings,” he said.

The group’s first challenge was to find a facility in Pasadena, Texas, but the group initially raised only a small amount of seed money.

“We took what we had and started the business in a one-room garage office,” Aguilar said.

After this humble beginning, the band found a facility on Center Street in Deer Park, Texas where they could expand.

Aguilar dreamed of building something that would leave a legacy. “It really was an awful place,” he continued with a laugh. But Aguilar was convinced they “could turn it into something better. You have to dream”.

In HASC’s first year, 75 people volunteered “day after day to help me,” Aguilar said. “We created a learning center, and this team of volunteers taught over 30,000 safety training units.”

Their mission was very clear: to create safe workplaces by improving the quality and integrity of the workforce.

“It’s very powerful,” added Aguilar. “You know, life is priceless. We have to take care of people.”

It soon became apparent that HASC had another challenge ahead.

“Houston Ship Channel 100 industries needed site-specific training. It wasn’t generic training anymore. It was a new mandate,” Aguilar said.

Drawing on their creativity, the group built its own multimedia machines in-house at the Security Council.

Aguilar then told the committee that he needed $1 million for coding software. The veterans’ committee, made up of “grey-haired, blue-haired and hairless” individuals, Aguilar said, was in disbelief. At that time, this sum was far greater than the value of their building.

Finally, the funds were obtained. The result was that HASC won a national award recognizing its computer training.

Next Generation Safety Training

Fast forward to 2014 when the new 34,000 square foot HASC opened in Pasadena, not only providing vital training, but also expanding to include physical exams, drug test collections, vaccinations and 24-hour care. The next phase of expansion was completed in 2015 to provide skills development, an occupational health center and retail space. In 2020, the Pasadena campus expanded with three online learning labs to meet the demand of more than 2,000 interns each day.

“We have e-learning, we have instructor-led student development,” Aguilar said. “There are a lot of things we do for the industry.”

The opening of a satellite campus in Baytown and the NASA campus in Webster, Texas resulted in a more geographically appropriate name change – the Health and Safety Council (HASC).

Aguilar’s pride in HASC is evident.

“You have to dream big. And here we are, we have a beautiful facility. It’s state-of-the-art, and it’s the largest security facility in the United States and possibly the largest in the world. Everything is bigger in Texas!”

Aguilar said the center’s current strategy is that “we can reach the whole world.”

“We have a team that will take safety training to the next level and continue to support this great industry that we are so proud of. The sky is the limit.”


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