My Story: Marycela Padgett | 2022-07-24

“Anything that can go wrong will go wrong” was a phrase that shaped my life while growing up on Murphy Street in Odessa, TX. Murphy’s Law, as it’s called, may sound pessimistic, but I learned at a very young age that if I can figure out what can go wrong, I can figure out how to get the opposite result. This skill has served me well during my 11 years in the occupational safety and health profession.

My family, with their knowledge of the construction industry, served as my teacher in the real world. My brother José and I were often hired as unpaid interns to repair and paint our family’s rental homes. Jose, who competed in electrical craft contests in high school, taught me at age 13 that electrical panels can look like art when put together correctly. My parents, especially my mother, Socorro, taught us the dangers early on. As a registered nurse, she remains my safety role model today.

Two additional factors narrowed down my career choice (from violinist to security professional). First, after briefly dropping out of college, I took a position at a funeral home, where I had real-life experience with dangerous outcomes and how to respectfully care for people in times of need. Second, motherhood has sharpened my skills in spotting present and potential dangers with my two cute, yet mischievous children.

Later, while my husband was deployed in Afghanistan, I embraced what now seemed like my destiny from those early days on Murphy Street. I graduated with a degree in OHS from the University of Alaska in Anchorage. When my husband finished his contract with the army, we returned to Texas and I went to work for the family electric company.

Eventually, I accepted a position with the Texas Department of Insurance’s Office of Workplace Safety, Division of Workers’ Compensation. As a Training Specialist, I educate members of the workforce on OSHA compliance and ways to stay out of the funeral home. I spend my days helping to change people’s hearts and minds – their safety thinking processes and the ways they can be a catalyst for positive and safe change on the jobsite and at home.

My goal is to help people make better security decisions.

For those who still believe in Murphy’s Law, I want to be part of its evolution: “Not everything that can go wrong doesn’t have to, so let’s plan to prevent it.”


Marycela Padget
Marycela Padget
Training Specialist V
Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers Compensation – Occupational Safety
Austin, TX

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