Editor's Note

Editor's Note: Pause and acknowledge

This is the 19th year Safety+Health has featured the CEOs Who “Get It” – the National Safety Council’s annual recognition of leaders who demonstrate a personal commitment to worker safety and health.

The recognition holds extra significance in this age of COVID-19. As OSHA continues to announce penalties levied against employers who have shown disregard for worker health and safety during the pandemic, it’s good to pause and acknowledge leaders who make employee well-being a priority.

As NSC says in the introduction to this year’s profiles, “Every worker in America deserves a CEO who gets it, and these eight individuals not only inspire their own employees, colleagues and other industry leaders, but they also help people live their fullest lives.”

2021 CEOs Who "Get It"

Safety depends on leaders who understand and support it from the top down, ensuring every major business decision is made with safety in mind. That is the definition of a CEO who gets it. The eight honorees recognized this year are leaders with decades of experience.

Although occupational safety and health has been part of my life for many years, these past 10 months have been eye-opening. My sister teaches at a school that has in-person learning, and for the first time I truly understand the fear that comes with knowing a loved one could be exposed to a deadly hazard at work. It’s just one reminder of how privileged I’ve been.

Here’s another: Although I made the following request in an “Editor’s Note” several years ago, my newly heightened awareness of the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion has made it more meaningful, so I’d like to repeat it:

Throughout the years that CEOs Who “Get It” has been in existence, NSC has shone a spotlight on leaders from diverse industries. To help us showcase more diversity among the CEOs themselves, I’d like to encourage safety pros whose leaders are women and minorities to submit their leaders’ names for consideration.

Thanks as always for reading S+H.

Melissa J. Ruminski The opinions expressed in “Editor’s Note” do not necessarily reflect those of the National Safety Council or affiliated local Chapters.

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