The Business of Being Safe with Tyler Foley

When Tyler Foley was just six years old, he experienced a tragedy no child should have to live through.

His father, who was a school teacher, had taken a sabbatical in 1986 to pursue his dream of becoming a restauranteur. The plan was to open a restaurant in Calgary — more than an hour’s drive from the family’s rural home. Multiple long days took their toll, and while driving home late one night, Tyler’s father fell asleep at the wheel, crashing into an abandoned concrete bunker from the Second World War.

“I will never forget for the life of me the sound that my mother made when our local physician and an RCMP officer were at the door and told her that she was never going to see her husband again,” said Tyler, who is now the managing director of Total Buy-In, a safety consulting firm in Calgary. “There were things that could have been done to avoid [my father’s death]. And I have dedicated Total Buy-In to the pursuit of ensuring that no one ever has to hear that their spouse can’t make it home.”

Total Buy-In initially began as a safety consulting firm but has rapidly expanded into a training and resource firm dedicated to improving communication within organizations.

“A lot of what I do is encourage executives and upper management to be authentic with why safety is important to them,” he said. “Because there isn’t a single executive out there who’s like, ‘Yeah, no, it’s okay if one of my workers dies,’ right? At least I would hope not … I think we are all caring people. And when you can say why something is important to you, what your value structure is and communicate that out to your employees, that’s usually when you have the most change, that’s when you get the buy-in.”

Tyler is also the author of the best-selling book, The Power to Speak Naked. And if he looks familiar to you, it’s for good reason — he’s also an accomplished film and stage performer, appearing in Freddy vs. Jason, Door to Door, Carrie, and the musical Ragtime.

He stopped by the Leading With Nice Interview Series to talk about why investing in health and safety training at your workplace might be the most profitable thing you do. Check out the episode below.