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'Forever on the alert'

August 1, 2012

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As I sit at my computer, on the bulletin board facing me is a copy of a National Safety Council bulletin dated Aug. 2, 1915. It states, “The Accident Prevention experience of the Industries has proven that it is economical to make one man responsible for the ‘Safety’ of the Plant, who may be designated ‘Safety Inspector.’” Under the list of duties, my favorite is this:

“Generally to be forever on the alert to enthuse Safety Committees in their work; to find ways and means of making everybody from Manager to Office Boy a booster for Safety.”

Although the creation of OSHA has changed the meaning of the job title “inspector,” women have come a long way since 1915, and not many people would want “Office Boy” listed on their résumé, it seems to me that the job described in the bulletin remains as vital today as it was then. This month, almost 100 years later, Associate Editor Ashley Johnson presents the results of Safety+Health’s 2012 Job Outlook survey and explores the skills that respondents said are necessary for today’s safety professionals to grow – even as they remain “forever on the alert” for ways to boost the awareness of safe work practices.

The bulletin also notes that “all progressive employers are working for the elimination of Accidents.” If you work for a progressive employer, please consider submitting your CEO’s name for “CEOs Who ‘Get It,” the National Safety Council’s annual recognition of leaders whose actions demonstrate a personal commitment to creating a culture of safety within their organizations. Submission forms are due Aug. 31. The leaders who are selected for recognition will be featured in the February 2013 issue of S+H.

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