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Announcing the 2013 CEOs Who 'Get It'

An introduction from Janet Froetscher, president and CEO, National Safety Council

February 1, 2013

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It is an honor for the National Safety Council to announce the 2013 CEOs Who "Get It." This year's leaders represent national and multinational organizations ranging from fewer than 50 employees to more than 40,000, from a wide variety of industries and locations. Each of these leaders understands that safety is not only the right thing to do, but also a business imperative. They have a firm grasp of the four pillars of the Journey to Safety Excellence – leadership and engagement, safety management systems, continuous risk reduction, and performance measurement – and have created a culture of safety throughout their organizations.


Leadership and engagement

Richard R. Sarles, general manager and CEO of Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, holds safety as the organization's first and foremost priority. Since becoming CEO in 2010, Sarles has rebuilt the safety program, including increasing the safety staff by 60 percent – putting them in the field, integrating them with line operations and conducting extensive safety training. Further, the Board of Directors now has a safety committee in place, demonstrating from the top down the organization's commitment to safety.

Safety management systems

David T. Seaton, chairman and CEO of Fluor Corp., requires the company's health, safety and environmental management system, which integrates the highest international standards, to be implemented in all Fluor projects worldwide. With 60 offices in 28 countries across six continents, this is no small feat. Seaton also makes a point of having Fluor's system continually reviewed so best practices can be applied across the board.

Continuous risk reduction

Bill Wright, president and CEO of Petrochem Insulation Inc., expects everyone at his organization to take ownership of safety and report all hazards through its "You See It; You Own It" philosophy. Petrochem also has "9 Fundamentals for Committing Safety Excellence" to promote an incident-free workplace. These principles include completing a job hazard analysis before starting work, wearing all required personal protective equipment and driving safely, among other risk reduction efforts.

Performance measurement

Anthony Orlando, president and CEO of Covanta Energy Corp., introduced a leading indicator program in 2011, which includes two quarterly snapshots of each of its facilities. One snapshot is done internally by facility personnel, and the other is led by a regional safety administrator. Covanta also recently conducted an employee engagement survey with the expectation that the feedback it provides will continue to solidify the company's safety culture.

These examples are just a glimpse of how this year's CEOs Who "Get It" are living the Journey. I encourage you to read each of the interviews on the following pages to gain insight and inspiration on how you might be able to improve your own Journey. Once again, I applaud each of this year's CEOs on their accomplishments. It is my privilege to recognize them as world-class safety leaders.

Janet Froetscher
President & CEO
National Safety Council

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