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Keeping Up With The Port of Long Beach

As the safety and business continuity manager for the harbor department, Steve Choi constantly prepares for worst-case scenarios. In his role, Choi develops, coordinates and implements a safety plan to ensure that each division keeps functioning during an emergency. “It could be a major earthquake, or the loss of a building or of personnel,” he explained. A typical day may involve conducting safety trainings or responding to issues in the field. “I oversee a construction safety program, so I have staff that I work with who are at various construction sites, overseeing contractors,” he said. “I could also be at my desk, drafting policies and procedures, or out investigating incidents or doing job hazard analyses.” Choi joined the port about five years ago. Before that, he worked for the Long Beach Public Works Department, starting out as a safety and disaster preparedness officer. He then worked his way up to become the city’s safety officer in the human resources department. Choi took the opportunity at the port since the position allowed him to “wear two hats,” in coordinating both safety and business continuity. “It’s the second-largest container port [in the U.S.]. If something goes wrong, we have to make sure the cargo keeps flowing,” he said. “The responsibility is great. It’s a little nerve-wracking.” The Palm Springs native is a graduate of the University of California, Irvine, where he majored in biology. His first job involving public safety was as a consultant for mold inspections. “It kind of escalated from there,” he said.

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