My Story: Michael Miele, CSP
It was 1978 when I started my career in the semiconductor industry as an equipment engineering/service tech. My initial motivation to become involved in safety came from several galvanizing events I witnessed early on, which included employees getting burned by acid and severe electrical shocks, as well as an exploding 11,000-gallon sulfuric acid storage tank. That’s when I volunteered to head up a safety and emergency response committee, in which I found the learning endless and rewarding.
In 1990, I joined an aerospace company as an operations supervisor. After several years in this role, I moved from operations into EHS full time. One of my challenging assignments was to align the site’s EHS management system to the 1996 ISO 14001 standard. The site was able to successfully register to the standard in 1997 – the first in Connecticut to accomplish this goal.
I spent over 25 years in aerospace, during which time I completed my first Master of Science with a focus on environmental management and technology. I eventually transferred to a sister division that made the Blackhawk helicopter as the senior EHS manger. This role, again, provided a ton of opportunity to learn.
I then got my second master’s in homeland security leadership, as well as passed both the ASP and CSP certification exams. My current role is a regional EHS manager for a power management company that, in 2020, reached world-class safety performance. My personal views on what it takes to achieve world-class safety performance in an organization lives and breathes with the employees on the floor. It’s my belief for safety pros that we must be much more than technically competent. We are industrial athletes, industrial psychologists, coaches, mentors and teachers. We must have the fortitude to lead when we need to lead and challenge operations when they need to be challenged. At the same time, we need to walk that fine line to ensure a critical partnership.
Finally, I am a firm believer that we are servant leaders. I have 10 key principles hung up on my fridge. Read them and, if they describe you, hang them up on your fridge, too.
Michael Miele, CSP
EHS Regional Manager