Safety culture Leadership

2016 CEOs Who 'Get It'

The National Safety Council recognizes seven leaders who demonstrate a personal commitment to worker safety and health

2016 CEOs Who "Get It"

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

Every year, I look forward to honoring our CEOs Who “Get It” because they embody what it means to build a culture of safety. It takes an unrelenting dedication to safety that requires courage, conviction and commitment. These men and women care deeply about the safety and health of all of their workers and are setting their organizations up for success. On the following pages, you’ll find Q&As with each of our 2016 CEOs Who “Get It.” Reading through the nomination forms, it was clear to me that each honoree deserved this recognition. Here is a sampling of what a few of the nominators had to say, illustrating how deeply these leaders touch others’ lives.

Gerry Anderson has a high degree of focus to assure we stay on track to become the safest energy company in North America. It’s not a slogan. It’s not a belief. It is purposeful action. It is the way Gerry leads our company, every single day.” – Lynette D., DTE Energy

Andrea [Bertone] is not someone who simply talks about safety, but rather, she transforms her words into action. Biannually she rolls up her sleeves and spends the day working alongside plant operators. This hands-on program allows her to fully understand the hazards that exist in DEI’s operations while forming personal connections with frontline workers.” – Michael B., Duke Energy International

Colonel Farrell’s belief is safety is not an expense, but a long-term investment. The results of Colonel Farrell’s safety acumen and leadership have earned the District distinction among peers as one of the most forward-thinking and supporting safety departments in the United States Army Corps of Engineers.”– Shawn C., U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Sacramento District


Does your CEO 'get it'?

The National Safety Council looks to recognize leaders whose actions demonstrate a personal commitment to worker safety and health. It doesn't matter if your organization has 50 employees or 50,000. If you believe your CEO should be recognized, submit a form telling us why.

As you can see, these leaders do more than just “walk the talk” – their passion for safety comes from within. I’ve had the opportunity to meet many such CEOs over the past two decades, and those who “get it” truly transform the culture of their organization.

I hope you will share this article with your leadership. Regardless of where your organization is on the Journey to Safety Excellence, focusing on what matters most – the safety and well-being of your workers – can have infinite benefits.

Congratulations once again to each of this year’s CEOs Who “Get It.” You are building a legacy that will positively impact lives for many years to come.

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

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