Ethics and the future

For the Safety+Health editorial team, professional ethics are never far from our thoughts. Much more often than we’d like, we find ourselves reading about journalists who are accused of plagiarism and who, when confronted, claim to have unintentionally borrowed another reporter’s work. The proliferation of information on the Internet has made it easier both for a writer facing a deadline to be tempted to violate the basic tenet of the profession (your work must be your own), and for editors and readers to do their own fact-checking and uncover these career-killing ethical lapses.

I imagine the pressure must be even more intense for safety professionals facing ethical dilemmas, knowing that bypassing their standards could lead not necessarily to the death of a career, but to the injury or death of a worker. This month, Associate Editor Ashley Johnson explores how safety pros face potential gray areas and whether those areas are, as one source puts it, “more black and white than we are led to believe.” Also in this issue, Associate Editor Thomas J. Bukowski examines another type of pressure safety pros face – that of potentially being labeled a “safety cop,” or some other derogatory title, by the very workers whose futures they are responsible for protecting.

In his feature article this month, Senior Associate Editor Kyle W. Morrison talks with prominent OSHA-watchers about what the 2012 presidential election could mean for the overall future of worker safety, and if traditional perceptions about Democratic and Republican administrations might hold true.

And finally, the future of worker safety is further highlighted by this month’s cover story, which features the National Safety Council’s 2012 Rising Stars of Safety, now in its third year of recognizing safety professionals 40 or younger who are making a difference.

Thanks for reading S+H.

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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