Leadership

2018 CEOs Who "Get It"

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2018 CEOs Who
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Deborah A. P. Hersman
President and CEO
National Safety Council

What does it take to create a culture of safety?

It takes listening as well as leadership. It takes data and dedication. And it takes a CEO who gets it.

We’ve been successful at shifting safety culture in a positive direction over many decades because at every turn, we had key people who understood the paramount importance of keeping those around them safe, and then acted as safety sponsors. Safety sponsors challenge the status quo, create positive safety cultures and help redefine what often is taken for granted. Our 2018 CEOs Who “Get It” are safety sponsors in their own right.

These eight individuals not only are fearless and willing to take charge in the interest of safety, but they also are passionate about creating a world in which safety is at the center, starting with their employees and extending to their families, their clients and their larger communities. Shifting culture isn’t easy, but for the organizations with a CEO Who “Gets It” at the helm, it’s within reach. All of our recognized leaders have powerful visions in which safety is the right way to do things.

For example, Daniel Evans never lets safety take a back seat to cost or schedule at Fluor Federal Petroleum Operations in New Orleans, encouraging everyone to “Speak up! Listen up!” for potential hazards and solutions.

Dr. Abdulrahman Jawahery, president of Gulf Petrochemical Industries Co. in the Kingdom of Bahrain, instilled a sense of urgency in ensuring the highest level of safety practices and world-class standards, reaching a record 26 million hours of no lost time at the company. GPIC not only has trained all employees in first aid, but it has provided potentially lifesaving training to family members, contractors, university students and others in the community.

David Petratis supports Allegion employees’ innovative safety ideas through a Trailblazer competition at the Carmel, IN, hardware manufacturing company, where workers believe in the value of “Be Safe, Be Healthy.”

At the Day & Zimmermann engineering and construction firm in Philadelphia, Michael McMahon knows that safe workplaces and behaviors are cultivated not just by what people are told to do, but from watching others do things the right way. Like teens learning to drive, they have been watching and learning from the back seat for years.

A leader in any industry can enact change through policies, data sharing or advancing technology, but some make safety their highest priority. Leaders who walk the walk, not just talk the talk, are CEOs Who “Get It.”

We all can learn from and celebrate their examples. Hopefully, each one inspires not just the frontline and management employees at their own companies, but employees in other industries as well. Each leader nominated this year has a fantastic story to share, so while we learn about the eight individuals who rose to the top, join me in congratulating all our 2018 CEOs!

Deborah A.P. Hersman
President and CEO
National Safety Council


Browse individual CEO profiles by clicking on a photo below or by pressing the navigation buttons at the top of each page.

  • Garret DanosGarrett "Hank" Danos
  • Dan EvansDaniel M. Evans
  • Dr. Abdulrahman JawaheryDr. Abdulrahman Jawahery
  • Tammie JohnsonTammie Johnson
  • Michael McMahonMichael P. McMahon
  • Chris PappasChris Pappas
  • Dave PetratisDavid D. Petratis
  • Peter WilsonPeter A. Wilson
  • View the article as it appears in print in the digital edition.


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