Interview with Solar Landscape’s Safety Director: Prioritizing Safety in Commercial Rooftop Solar

Meet Sonny Protzman, the Director of Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) at Solar Landscape, as we delve into the company’s steadfast commitment to safety in all aspects of its operations. In addition to holding multiple Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) certifications, Sonny is an OSHA outreach trainer and has created an entire curriculum to train on OSHA standards.


Q: Can you tell us about your role at Solar Landscape?

A: I was brought in to build a world class national safety program and that’s what I am doing.

I head up Solar Landscape’s Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) program. This involves ensuring safety protocols are adhered to on construction sites, during Operations and Maintenance (O&M) activities, in our warehouse, and corporate offices.  My team and I also educate our clients about our commitment to employee safety and how they can assist in the implementation of safety measures to prevent incidents.


Q: What are the company’s safety priorities this year?

A: Safety is a team effort, and our team has grown quickly.

With projects now active in Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey the focus is not only on our self-perform construction team’s safety, but also on all of our contractors, suppliers and other partners. Training is key, not just for our team but also for subcontractors, to ensure compliance with safety standards and regulations.


Q: How do you prioritize safety in the field?

A: I emphasize prioritizing tasks based on their potential to cause harm. Once critical safety aspects are addressed, we move on to other areas, continuously improving safety policies and procedures.


Q: What is the safety culture like within the organization?

A: Both leadership and employees understand that having a robust safety program is essential to our business operations and success.

We’ve fostered a culture where safety isn’t just a checklist item but an integral part of our operations. There’s proactive engagement and a shared understanding of the importance of safety throughout the organization.  Safety is paramount at Solar Landscape, evident from the investments made in our safety program and its regular discussion in company-wide meetings.

We recently overhauled comprehensive safety manuals for corporate construction and operations & maintenance (O&M).

Q: What are Solar Landscape’s safety goals?

A: Our primary goal is zero incidents, with the secondary aim of minimizing the impact when incidents occur. This involves rigorous vetting of subcontractors based on their safety records and proactive use of technology to analyze and improve safety efforts.

Solar Landscape’s commitment to safety is unwavering, with a dedicated team continually striving to uphold the highest standards in commercial real estate safety. We have one of the best safety records in the industry, and I work to ensure it stays that way.