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Seattle City (spot)Light: Keith Osborne

This September will mark Keith Osborne’s third year with City Light. As part of the safety unit, Keith is the utility’s ergonomist. “I develop the process, handle the assessments, visit the sites (both field and office), make recommendations, build metrics and manage the operations of it all,” he explained.

Born near Chicago (look for the Blackhawks banner at his workstation), Keith lives in Bremerton with his wife Lisa where they enjoy the quiet setting. “We really like to spend time in our backyard,” he shared. “It’s our own little oasis.” Before moving to Washington, they lived in Colorado, but not before Keith served 25 years in the United States Army. “The military was great. I would not be who I am and where I am now if it wasn’t for the military,” Keith said. “I would do it all over again.” He also holds two bachelor degrees — one in applied management and the other in business administration — from National American University along with a dozen certifications. In this week’s (spot)Light, Keith shares how his interests and career blend together.

Keith and Lisa at Ocean Shores, one of their favorite places to visit

“I had a lot of injuries when I was in the military and know what it’s like to work through pain. The ability to lessen the injuries or discomfort of others was appealing so I volunteered to lead the ergonomics and wellness program at my last job. I became a certified specialist. I was already certified as a master fitness trainer and corporate wellness specialist which also complements this line of work.”

“When I meet with employees it’s often ‘This the job I’m doing. These are the tasks I’m completing. This is the chair that I’m sitting in. Can you look at these to see if a) I’m doing it correctly and b) if anything needs improvement?’ Productivity is huge. People are more productive when they’re comfortable. We have an online assessment tool that folks can take. I review their assessment and schedule an appointment which will determine what’s needed whether it’s a different chair, keyboard, computer mouse, desk etc. We also spend some time discussing how they interact with their workstation.”

“It’s important to be active. That’s one focus of my job, encouraging folks to move throughout the day, but it’s also something I practice in my personal life. In my garage, I have a treadmill and TRX bands that are suspended by support beams. I like to get outside, too. My wife and I go hiking and camping. Golf is another hobby of mine. I also enjoy learning about military history.”

“I moved here three years ago and love it. The climate, the energy. I take walks during the day to absorb it all. Our favorite place in Seattle is the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. Ivar’s on the Pier and the Seattle Art Museum are also popular places with us.”

“I’m glad I work for this city. It’s been a great experience. People have been energized in wanting to get involved with the ergonomics process and growing it. Hopefully, we can keep getting good results, drive down the injury rates and make a good impact on this organization.”