2020 CEOs Who 'Get It'

2020 CEOs Who "Get It"
2019 CEOs Who Get it
Michael K. Vanover

Michael K. Vanover

President and CEO
Clean Fuels National
Keystone, IN


  • Noticed that a safety program was needed within his small business and immediately instituted it. Implemented the suggestions of the safety program to standard operating procedures, risks assessments and safety management plan.
  • Motivates others to be safe and cares about employees as though they are family.
  • Personally involved in any safety issue that is not taken care of with haste.
  • Checks on the safety program weekly for updates and inquires about issues or roadblocks that have presented themselves.

Clean Fuels National, with its 85 employees, is the largest fuel tank cleaning company in the nation.


Why is safety a core value at your organization?

This is our family. We want everyone to go home at the end of their job duties healthy and safe. Fines and penalties are not even a concern. Human life matters above all.


Describe your personal journey to becoming a CEO who “gets it.” What experiences or lessons brought you to where you are now?

My personal core values and principles are what brought me to where I am. My experiences and lessons are varied and expansive. It is impossible for me to point out any singular experience or lesson.


What is the biggest obstacle to safety at your organization, and how do you work to overcome it?

We have the same obstacles as everyone else: human cooperation. It’s difficult to get everyone to participate at the level we, as management, feel necessary. We overcome this through training and incentives.


How do you instill a sense of safety in employees on an ongoing basis?

We do our best to empower our people and show them they matter. We tell them their families matter and their safety matters. We constantly remind them of our procedures and dedicate safety-minded individuals to verify our safety procedures are followed.


How does your organization measure safety?

Noticeable reduction in near misses and injury. Employees actively taking ownership of the safety program.


What are the leading indicators that show you how safe your organization is, and where do you see room for improvement?

Positive safety audits. No near misses or injuries. Third-party safety audits by customers at our request. I always feel there is room for improvement because nothing is perfect. We will continue to stay diligent and willing to evolve.


What role does off-the-job safety play in your organization’s overall safety program?

Poor driving records outside of our company will exclude you from driving. Take good care of your health. Reminders to apply good sense of safety practices at home.


What types of off-the-job safety and health programs does your organization offer to employees?

We never ask anyone to come to work injured or unhealthy. We pay people while they are injured or sick up until they come back to work. We also pay a large portion of our employees’ health insurance policies.


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