Robin Nicola

Robin Nicola

March 3, 1952 - June 9, 2018

The founder and legacy of Nicola Health and Safety.

On June 9th, 2018 Robin (our beloved Mom) passed away after a long 5 years of battling cancer. A true fighter! 

Both her children Jeff and Nicol continue her legacy, training and consulting employees on how to work safely in the wine industry. 

Robin began her career in occupational health and safety in agriculture while working for Robert Mondavi Winery in their vineyard department located in Oakville, California in 2000. She was invited to join the AgSafe Board of Directors that same year. Shortly after joining the AgSafe board, she created a regional safety group called Agriculture Resource Safety Alliance (ASRA). Robin still leads this safety meeting on a quarterly basis.

Robin worked two years with the Beringer Vineyard Dept for Foster's Wine Estates in St. Helena. There she worked with the field workers in Napa, Sonoma and Lake County, developing and promoting their safety program through training and awareness.

In 2005, then the President of AgSafe, was invited by the Chilean government and the Chilean Safety Association, to teach the AgSafe Safety Certificate Program to a group of Chilean agronomists and safety professionals. There she applied an emphasis on consistency and sustainable safety programs.

Robin later went to work for Diageo Chateau and Estates in Calistoga, California. She participated in the implementation of the Diageo Zero Harm Program which included:

  • Leadership in Safety
  • Safety Improvement Report Card
  • Charity Awards
  • Hazard Assessments
  • Accident Investigations
  • Safety Committee Meetings
  • Safety training in the field and winery

In 2009 she started her own business Nicola Health and Safety. She continues to teach the bilingual AgSafe Safety Certificate Program and is active on the Board of Directors. She is currently studying for her APMA (Agriculture Personnel Management Association) certificate.

In 2015 Robin was awarded the Professional Lifetime Achievement Award from the AgSafe and Dupont “Always Safe” Agricultural Safety Award Program.

Robin, her daughter, Nicol Cadet, and son Jeff Vargas own and manage Nicola Health and Safety Inc. They both continue to work and grow their safety caress as safety consultants for vineyards and wineries in the Northern California.

Robin lived in Sonoma and had a home in Costa Rica. There she was a safety consultant for several coffee and sugar cane plantations.

Robin's Resume

Key Qualifications:

  • Bilingual (Spanish/English)
  • Certified Safety Trainer
  • Certified First Aid/AED/CPR Trainer
  • Cal/OSHA Regulatory Specialist
  • Health and Safety Program Developer
  • Safety Commitee Management
  • Human Resources and Workers Compensation Case Manager
  • Hazard Evaluator


2007-June 2010: Diageo Chateau and Estates-Winery and Vineyard Safety Coordinator

  • Prepared and delivered numerous trainings sessions for winery, visiter and vineyard personnel
  • Performed audits and inspections of winery and vineyard operations for Cal/OSHA compliance
  • Assisted sites in the preparation, implementation and training for various H&S programs
  • Implemented Diagoe's Zero Harm Program across the wineries and vineyard properties

Zero Harm Program, elements include:

  • Zero DART (lost and resticted time injuries)
  • Charity Awards Program
  • Safety Improvement Report Cards (SIRC) Process
  • Risk Assessments for hazardous tasks
  • Accident Investigation following the 5-Why Process
  • Executive accident reviews for all DART injuries
  • Leading and Managing for Safety Training (for all people managers)
  • Implementation of sprain/strain/ergo injuries prevention program
  • Coordinated and Performed Safety Days
  • Implement Safety Culture Assessment Tools

Note: Implementation of the above elements along with Diageo's Zero Harm Program reduced DART injuries by 80% over the 4 years at Diageo. DC&E went from experience 31 DART injuries across 12 properties in 2007, to 5 DART injuries in 2010.

2009-present: U.C. Davis Extension Program - Instructor of Vineyard Safety Classess

2005-2007: Foster's Wine Estates Americas (Beringer Vineyard Department) - Health and Safety Trainer

  • Developed and implemented training for 200+ field workers on 30 properties, which spanned 4,000 acres across 3 counties
  • Worker's Compensation Field Coordinator, manageed the process between the injured field workers, Beringer's workers compensation manager and vineyard managment

2003-present: American Red Cross - Bilingual Trainer

  • Trainer for Adult, Small Child and Infant CPR/First Aid, AED and Disaster Preparedness

2003-2005: Nicola Health and Safety Consulting

2000-2003: Robert Mondavi - Health and Safety Training Technician

1997-2003: Robert Mondavi - Office Manager for the Vineyard Department


  • Napa Valley College: Viticulture and Winery AS Degree
  • AgSafe: Certificate in Agriculture Safety
  • UC Davis: Certificate in Intensive Health and Safety
  • American Red Cross: CPR/First Aid, AED and Disaster Preparedness
  • JFK University: Business courses
  • University of Costa Rica: Zoology and Botany
  • Aims Collage: Associate in Arts and Science
  • Certified Aquatic Instructor
  • Certified Sexual Harrassment Instructor
  • Certified Pesticide Trainer
  • Qualified Applicator Certicate (QAC) for SO2
  • Certified Forklift and Tractor Safety Trainer (Ag and production)
  • OSHA General Industry Safety and Health Training Course

Nicol Cadet-Cottam

Nicol started her career in Viticulture, working for Robert Mondavi Vineyards as a field sampler and later as Assistant to the Vineyard Manager at Domain Carneros. She finished her AS degree in Viticulture and Winery Operations at the Napa Valley College and pursued her Bachelors in Wine Business at Sonoma State University.

Meanwhile she worked for various wineries in both Sonoma and Napa Valley.

Her mother Robin Nicola trained and mentored her in safety for over 10 years, as Nicol perused her OSHA certifications.


Nicol's Resume

Key Qualifications:

  • Bilingual (Spanish/English)
  • Highly Motivated Public Speaker
  • 20 years experience in the Wine Industry
  • Authorized OSHA Outreach Trainer (General Industry)
  • Certified Safety Health Officer (CSHO)


2012-Present: Owner, Office Manager and Trainer for Nicola Health and Safety, Inc.

2009-2012: Bilingual Wine Tours

2007-2009:  Sales Representative for the Henry Wine Group

2005-2007: Hospitality Manager for Moon Mountain Vineyard and Winery

2003-2005: Special Events for St. Supery Winery and Pine Ridge Winery

2000-2003: Hospitality Gundlach Bundschu Winery (Worked Harvest 2001)

1999: Assistant Vineyard Manger for Domain Carneros

1997-1999: Field Sampler for Robert Mondavi

1998-1999: Hospitality for Madonna Estates


  • Napa Valley College: Viticulture and Winery AS Degree
  • AgSafe: Certificate in Agriculture Safety
  • Sonoma State University: Wine Business Strategies
  • Tractor Trainer
  • Pesticide Trainer (field worker and handlers)
  • Forklift Trainer
  • Sexual Harassment Instructor
  • OSHA 10/30 Authorized Trainer
  • Red Cross: CPR/AED First Aid Certified Trainer
  • Certified Health and Safety Officer - Federal OSHA
  • Aerial Lift Trainer (Ives Training Institute)
  • Certified Fall Protection Competent Person

Jeff Vargas

Jeff has spent half his career working in Costa Rica’s Tourism Industry and the other half in California’s Wine Industry. He graduated from Costa Rica’s Universidad Técnica Nacional and went on to work as a Travel Agent specializing in customized Adventure Travel Vacations. In 2010, Jeff moved back to California and worked harvest as a cellar worker, then as an FLC Regional Manager, and to working for Treasury Wine Estates as Vineyard Operations Coordinator for Northern California.

Passionate about safety, Jeff enjoys working with California’s diverse Spanish Speaking Community. In his free time, Jeff loves to kayak and go fishing with his wife Margarita and discovering new California Wines.

Also, trained and mentored in safety by his mother Robin Nicola for over 10 years.

Jeff's Resume

Key Qualifications:

  • Bilingual (Spanish/English)
  • Excel, Power Point, Outlook, Agcode
  • Forklift Operator Trainer Certification
  • Aerial Lift Trainer (boom lift and scissor lift) Certified
  • Pesticide Applicator Certified Trainer
  • Respiratory Fit Test Certified
  • Hazard Evaluator
  • Health and Safety Program Developer
  • Accident Investigation and Workers Compensation Specialist
  • Skid Steer Trainer Certified


2017 -Present - Owner and trainer of Nicola Health and Safety, Inc.Wine Industry Safety consultant specializing in the development and implementation of Injury Illness Prevention Programs.

2014-2017 Vineyard Operations Coordinator - Treasury Wine Estates - Vineyard Operations and Winery coordinator for implementation of TWE Health & Safety, federal, state and regional policies, Corporate Interpreter, Worker’s Compensation claims, Operator recruitment, safety and equipment trainer, site inspector, and monitor of employee work practices for compliance with health and safety standards.

2012-2014 Regional FLC Manager - Jaguar Farm Labor Contracting- Managing Vineyard Labor Crews providing grower with vineyard labor while complying with all State and Federal safety and labor regulations.

2011-2012 HVAC Service Technician - Jeremy Jack Inc

2010 Wine Cellar Technician - Beaulieu Vineyard

2009-2010 Corporate Services Officer - British Embassy Costa Rica

2007-2009 Travel Agent - Costa Rica Expeditions

2000-2003 Technical Viticulture Harvest Intern-Robert Mondavi Vineyards

1998-2000 Vineyard Trellis Installation Technician-SK Fencing

1998-1999: Hospitality for Madonna Estates


  • 2001 Vintage High School, Napa, California
  • 2007 Universidad Técnica Nacional, Alajuela Costa Rica, Group Management
  • Instituto Costarricense de Turismo Licensed Naturalist Guide
  • American Red Cross Instructor CPR/First Aid, AED, Child and Infant AgSafe Safety Certificate Program
  • Pesticide Trainer
  • Forklift Instructor
  • Aerial Lift Instructor (Ives Training Institute)
  • Skid Steer Instructor (Ives Training Institute)
  • Respiratory Fit Test Instructor
  • Certified Fall Protection Competent Person

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