2018 Rising Stars of Safety
The National Safety Council presents the Rising Stars of Safety, Class of 2018
View Rising Stars photos and bios
CHOOSE A PROFILE
BROWSE ALL PROFILES
A fresh perspective to address hazards on and off the job
The National Safety Council was created by business leaders who saw that workplace fatalities and injuries didn’t have to be the cost of doing business, and who turned to new solutions to make a difference. More than a century later, people today are more than nine times safer at work than they are on the job. Each year, we strive to make a difference for the millions of workers across the country who depend on their employers to prepare for and prevent injuries at work.
For the first time in nearly a decade, fatal work injuries have surpassed 5,000 – marking the third consecutive annual increase in workplace deaths. We know that this increase comes at a time when a record number of safety professionals are nearing retirement. Nearly every industry has been affected, and because employees are far more likely to be injured or killed on the job, it also affects us at home and on the road, as injury deaths are rising across the board.
In this atmosphere, we need fresh ideas and new approaches. The Rising Stars of Safety examine age-old problems through a new lens, seek out hidden hazards and come up with creative solutions. Today’s young safety leaders aren’t afraid to take risks or try a new approach to help keep their colleagues and communities safe. The goal of eliminating preventable deaths in our lifetime means we need their ideas and initiative now more than ever. They certainly deliver.
Scientist Mary Baird used humor and creativity to address one of the most persistent types of workplace injury – slips, trips and falls. Turning a commonplace incident into a Tyrannosaurus rex character named “Trip,” Mary gave new life to a standard safety awareness initiative with great results – reducing slip, trip and fall injuries by 45 percent for the 5,000 employees at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions in Aiken, SC.
Safety Manager Brandon Tyler Batt started a program that not only engaged employees but encouraged family safety pledges to help Manhattan Construction employees in Washington, D.C., focus on safety through a “Family First” mindset.
Corporate HSE Engineer Muhammad Suhail Khawaja empowered workers at the First National Operation and Maintenance Co. in Saudi Arabia to stop unsafe jobs by developing stop-work authority guidelines to prevent dangerous operations and injuries, reducing the incident rate at NOMAC by almost 12 percent.
Each created a thoughtful campaign, developed effective communication and engaged others in his or her mission to eliminate preventable deaths and injuries on and on the job. Each member of the 2018 Class of Rising Stars of Safety embraces zero as the only acceptable number when it comes to injuries and deaths. They see a specific problem, they figure out how to solve it and then they act. Our Rising Stars not only help make safety visible at their respective companies, they help make safety visible for all of us.
We are honored to recognize their achievements and present their examples for others to follow and inspire the next generation of safety leaders.
Deborah A. P. Hersman
President and CEO
National Safety Council
Rising Stars profiles
Use these links to visit Rising Stars profile pages, or browse profiles using the navigation arrows at the top of each page.
Join the Young Professionals Division
Are you a safety professional younger than 45? Don’t miss your chance to further develop your skills and advance your career in safety leadership at the 2017 NSC Congress & Expo. Members of this group receive access to networking events, professional development opprotunities and exclusive invitations to leadership meetings. Be on the cuttting edge of safety and share your fresh ideas with your peers.
Learn more about how to get involved at nsc.org/ypd.
Ali Hassan Radhi Abdulwahab
Projects Safety Superintendent
Kingdom of Bahrain
“[Ali opted] to learn the language of the workers in order to link and communicate with them easily. His essence was to bridge the language barrier instead of using a translator. He managed to conduct all safety trainings in different languages, such as Arabic, English and Hindi. [He] also led the initiative of translating important signs in different languages. He also produced the first ‘Project SHE Guideline to Contractor’ for SHE practices, which was an achievement in itself.”
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions
“Mary developed a slip/trip/fall character through use of an inflatable Tyrannosaurus rex costume. She effectively marketed the character, naming him ‘Trip,’ using multiple communication platforms and a lot of comedy. This initiative became so popular at an organizational level that it was adopted at a company level. This initiative resulted in increased awareness of slip/trip/fall hazards across the 5,000-person workforce and reduced slip/trip/fall injuries by 45 percent. Mary also utilized her character to lead parking lot safety initiatives across the site, and created a ‘lip sync battle’ to motivate her organization to reach behavior-based safety observation goals.”
Adam L. Bates
Executive Director of Health, Safety and Security
Cooper Tire and Rubber Co.
“Adam speaks to young professionals at college universities in an effort to advocate for the career field but also as a leader. Adam has implemented a global world-class communication plan around EHS for the organization on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis to ensure engagement continues to grow as a ONE Organization Vision. It is critical to bring value as a leader through engaging all levels of the organization. Adam has led the integration of leading metrics in the global organization, such as near misses, training hours and observation-based safety metrics.”
Brandon Tyler Batt
Manhattan Construction Co.
Washington, D.C. Division
“Brandon is actively working to change the mindset from ‘Safety First’ to ‘Family First.’ He recently started a jobsite program where each employee has the opportunity to sign a safety pledge to the project and to his or her family. With the pledge, employees bring in a photo of them with their family, and all photos are displayed in a collage to highlight how many people are affected by jobsite safety practices. He organizes team-building events where employees can get to know each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and includes new Manhattan employees when developing programs to gain fresh ideas regarding jobsite safety.”
“When she came on board with the company, her facility was in the bottom quartile for leading safety metrics measured against division peers. Micah took a fresh approach to employee engagement, allowing opportunities for employees to feel ‘heard’ as the main driver. Through this seemingly simple approach, Micah was able to improve employee engagement and raise participation in proactive safety programs to an unprecedented level. An employee-led hazard recognition program experienced an impressive increase of 3,000 percent when looking at total hazards identified.”
Location Safety Manager
“When Ryan joined First Student in June 2010, he became an OBI/Driver Trainer. In 2012, when First Student revised its training program, he was hand-picked to become a Master Trainer, to learn what was required of the new program and, in turn, train Driver Trainers throughout Ohio. In 2017, when First Student made further revisions to its driver development program, Ryan was again selected to help implement the Professional Driver Development Program throughout Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, by training driver trainers. Over 100 Driver Trainers were trained in June 2017. After implementing the new training program, the FS locations in Ohio reduced preventable collisions by 39 percent FY18 over FY17.”
Brandon J. Hody
Safety and Occupational Health Professional
Concurrent Technologies Corp.
“When Brandon started work, he established a ‘Training Cell’ with a co-worker. They implemented a peer review process, developed an annual strategic plan for safety training, incorporated the consensus safety training standard ANSI/ASSE Z490.1 and, most recently, purchased a license for a webinar delivery system. They also developed an annual survey, requesting training topics from client sites to help meet client needs. These efforts led to an average 430 percent increase in webinar attendance and a 165 percent increase in training requests.”
Assistant Manager – Environment, Health and Safety
BYCO Petroleum Pakistan Ltd.
“Ammar presented to management and formulated the ‘Goal Zero Campaign.’ He arranged the launch ceremony, developed an HSE employee handbook, made a commitment wall and coordinated a campaign video/theme song. Strong safety passion rippled in Ammar after he lost his ex-mentor/work colleague to an electrocution accident at home. Ammar revived the off-the-job (OTH) HSE committee and provided impetus as forum secretary. He introduced recordkeeping of OTH incidents, performed OTH incident analysis and enhanced awareness by circulating OTH safety pamphlets every Friday.”
Senior Safety Specialist
“Josh was a key team member in the development of our updated lockout/tagout written program. He was also a leader in the implementation of our new LO/TO software, and assisted in the development of energy control procedures for the generation plants across our entire fleet. Josh was also one of the lead trainers on the updated procedure and went fleetwide training employees and his peers. Once training was completed, he conducted follow-up lockout/tagout assessments to verify employees were properly trained. As deficiencies were found, Josh led the effort to conduct additional training until employees had a grasp on the updated procedure.”
Cornerstone General Contractors
“Randee began working with Cornerstone two years ago as a consultant. During the past two years, she has taken the lead for the OSHA Chase program in Alaska, which is the comparative measurement tool for ranking the safety of construction companies in the state. Randee successfully led the Cornerstone Safety culture to the Gold Level, which only one other company has achieved in the history of the program. In addition, Randee helped Cornerstone win the State of Alaska AGC Safety Award, and finally the third-place National AGC Safety Award. She did all of this while building her own business, SafeLogic, and assisting many other companies to develop a safety culture as well.”
Muhammad Suhail Khawaja
Corporate HSE Engineer
First National Operation and Maintenance Co. (NOMAC)
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
“Suhail initiated the critical analysis of the accident to identify the human factor involvement in past incidents. During analysis, he observed that most of the injuries would have been avoided by simply stopping the unsafe job by co-workers. In order to resolve this issue, he developed stop-work authority (SWA) guidelines and [conducted] a detailed orientation and demonstration on the process map at each site. SWA cards were issued to each employee that provide the employee power, obligation and authority to STOP unsafe jobs. In 2017 and 2018, more than 370 unsafe jobs were stopped.”
“In our industry, stop-work authority (SWA) is often discussed and encouraged where an individual believes there is a potential safety or health hazard. Kyle, on multiple occasions, has executed on the principle of SWA to ensure that contractors were following proper safety protocol. On one jobsite, Kyle was driving past and noticed contractors not implementing proper trenching practices. Kyle immediately executed SWA to stop the job, had the individuals exit the trench, and reviewed and ensured proper trenching protocol were implemented for the depth of the trench. This is a direct example of Kyle’s commitment to safety as well as leadership.”
Evan J. Kutzin
Fire Captain/Training Officer
Borough of Old Tappan Emergency Services
Old Tappan, NJ
“Evan has earned his instructor credential and teaches firefighter safety and survival to area responders with a focus on developing the students’ ‘recognition primed decision-making’ skills. Evan is also a Coaching the Emergency Vehicle Operator instructor, imparting safe driving skills to firefighters and EMTs throughout the community. Evan has been an instructor in the National Fire Academy Incident Safety Officer course. He’s implemented an in-house training program using the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation’s 16 firefighter life safety initiatives. Evan has also implemented mandatory gear-washing requirements for all firefighters.”
Senior Safety Manager
San Diego, CA
“Two years ago, the district had three recordable injuries. Determining these were due to training gaps, Kristi and her team built a training regimen to be conducted in the field, not in the classroom. Three times a week, all carpenters, laborers and finishers practice together the task scheduled for the following days. This has engaged all employees to ask more detailed technical and safety questions, and to provide input. The training approach developed the habit of cross-functional team hazard analysis. The training helped the district achieve zero recordable injuries last year.”
Kevin P. McCann
Fluor, Forward Operating Base
“Mr. McCann recently created the ‘You Did It!!!’ safety program to highlight FGG employees who notice and report a near miss or unsafe condition. Photos of the hazard before and after its mitigation are posted alongside positive recognition of the employee for their attention to safety. In addition, Mr. McCann applies his background as a personal fitness trainer to teach his peers the importance of using proper lifting techniques and stretching prior to engaging in activity. He also educates his peers in proper nutrition and encourages them to make smart meal choices.”
St. Louis, MO
“When Cody first started at ARCO/Murray, the division to which he was assigned was averaging about 1-2 safety visits/ audits the entire job duration. Cody’s goal was to improve the safety culture and safety presence onsite and to average 2 total audits per week. Cody finished 2016 with 86 total safety audits averaging 1.72 audits per week or 7 per month. In 2017, Cody finished with 114 safety audits, averaging 2.28 audits per week or 9.05 per month. Year to date in 2018, Cody has completed 55 safety audits averaging 3.05 audits per week or 13.75 per month. Cody continues to push well beyond his initial goal and because of that, the safety culture within his assigned area has clearly improved.”
Senior Industrial Hygienist
URS CH2M Oak Ridge LLC
Oak Ridge, TN
“Over a multiyear period, Stephanie championed and was integral to implementation and rollout of the BCSP Safety Trained Supervisor program as a companywide standard for supervisors. Stephanie spent significant time traveling to facilities throughout the country, providing training and leading implementation of the program. Her efforts have contributed significantly to multiple facilities achieving greater safety performance and reductions in injury rates while also helping develop AECOM into an industry leader in the safe and efficient performance of work.”
Strategic Business Unit HSE Lead
Baton Rouge, LA
“Jarred directed the 2017 safety program for our business unit consisting of nearly 500 employees. Jarred instituted two proactive management initiatives: a near-miss reporting campaign and a leadership site assessment campaign to uncover hidden risk in our workplace. Our business unit exceeded the corporate metric for near-miss reporting by 143 percent and our management team gained new insight into our employees’ beliefs, strengths and HSE challenges. We discovered risk-reducing solutions that improved our behaviors and enhanced our overall service to our customers.”
U.S. Air Force, 735th Air Mobility Squadron
Joint Base Pearl Harbor
“MSgt. Musall identified and repaired gaps in the Host/Tenant Support Agreement, resolved six-year strife with four base agencies to overhaul the installation confined space program team, revamped the installation traffic safety program, and identified an underground fuel tank fire hazard driving rapid mitigation and averting more than $200 million in damage/possible fatalities. Off duty, he built an elementary school mentorship program from scratch. The program’s success led to another local school adopting it, with plans to branch into two more, impacting more than 5,600 children.”
Jack W. Norray
Pacific Architects and Engineers – Antarctic Support Contract
“In 2017, Jack conducted a series of focused coaching and partnering sessions with employees, supervisors and managers on safety improvement techniques. These coaching and partnering sessions highlighted the safety benefits of near-miss reporting and aimed to evolve the long-accepted philosophy that injuries and incidents were an inevitable cost of doing business in Antarctica, to a message of empowerment and continuous improvement. ASC has observed a 40 percent increase in self-reporting for near misses and minor injuries.”
Eugen E. Oana
Senior EHS Manager
“Eugen initiated an effort to design, create and implement new PPE for team members across nearly 300 Valvoline Instant Oil Change service centers. Eugen trended the root causes of injuries and near hits. One trend was an annual average of five facial cuts and tooth fractures from slipped wrenches when team members performed bottom-side services. Eugen took personal responsibility for improving processes and PPE to prevent these injuries. He solicited input from team members to design a bump cap and faceguard that would be comfortable, ‘stylish’ and non-offensive to our guests. Eugen then worked with equipment providers to design and manufacture the preferred option.”
Leslie E. Pallister
FCA Group – Sterling Heights Assembly Plant
Sterling Heights, MI
“In 2017, our facility underwent a massive demolition and reconstruction initiative. There were nearly 4,000 construction workers onsite during that time. Leslie developed Contractor Safety Training and rolled it out to all contractors. She worked closely with the site safety representatives to ensure that every contractor worker received this training. As part of our Emergency Response Program, we conduct an evacuation drill each year. 2017 was unusual because 95 percent of the people onsite were contractors who wouldn’t ordinarily participate in such events. Leslie and her teams were able to successfully evacuate the entire facility in 11 minutes with 100 percent employee accountability.”
Philip Glen Pickle
Senior Safety Specialist
Entergy Services Inc.
“Philip led a team that developed internal criteria for confined space/high angle rescue teams within his business unit. He personally went on contractor rescue team evaluations to ensure that the newly developed criteria were being applied consistently. The results were that teams were much better prepared to perform rescues and a set process is in place going forward that everyone understands. Feedback from management and field personnel was positive. Employees felt safer after the initiative in that they knew the rescue teams were better prepared than before.”
Explosives Safety Specialist
U.S. Navy, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division
“After attending the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Process Safety Boot Camp, Cecilia brought back several lessons learned and implemented these into our monthly Process Safety Working Group meeting. At each meeting, she facilitates a discussion based on keeping operators engaged in safety. For the first topic, ‘Maintaining Focus,’ Cecilia prepared several questions revolving around safety focus in the workplace and then received various thoughts and feedback during the meeting. Through this active discussion that Cecilia hosted, operators retain their concentration on safety and gain a fresh perspective from others.”
Majestic Steel USA Inc.
“Geoff started by creating structure in the Safety Department. He improved and updated our safety policies and programs, created a safety new hire onboarding program, converted all programs to bilingual for our Texas locations, and created our first Safety SharePoint to control all safety documents. Geoff redesigned our incident-reporting program to an electronic version that sends alerts to top management. He has taken on additional responsibilities with our private fleet to ensure DOT compliance. Lastly, Geoff has taken our Powered Industrial Truck training to a new level by teaming up with a virtual reality company to recreate our environment and specific scenarios.”
Rachael Leone Phillips
Transmission Safety Supervisor
St. Louis, MO
“Rachael researched and led the development of a management program to measure and respond to Legionella bacteria exposures at Ameren’s 100-plus facilities. The sampling process of this program has identified a number of situations that warranted corrective action before they posed a significant hazard to co-workers. Through this program, Ameren facilities have been successfully treated and have a process in place to monitor. Based on the program’s success, Rachael was selected to present on her experience at the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) National Safety Conference in Houston.”
Division Safety Director
“Following a 2016 study on traumatic brain injuries from the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Seth recognized that traditional hard hats, while effective against falling objects, were much less effective when an employee fell. In spring 2017, due to Seth’s fortitude to push for the change, Clark adopted the KASK helmet for all 3,000 employees. Since the adoption of the helmet, Clark has two confirmed cases in which an employee fell wearing the helmet, but was able to walk away because the helmet stayed on and protected the individual.”
Christopher R. Reid
Human Factors and Ergonomics Technical Lead Engineer
The Boeing Co.
“Chris and his team worked together on the project that includes the Exovest and exoskeleton. Together, the team developed a project plan complete with actions, assignees and action completion dates. This was a challenge because the teammates involved were from different geographic locations and had other jobs. The project plan set high expectations, stretched everyone involved and delivered results. However, Chris and his team knew that this project would have a powerful impact on reducing risk and injuries with both building airplanes and beyond.”
Sadara Chemical Co.
Jubail Industrial City II, Saudi Arabia
“Rizwan led the Sadara Site Construction training and safety inspection team that has accomplished a milestone of orienting 280,000 workers (840,000 training hours) from 88 different countries. He inspected 25,000 vehicles and equipment during the construction phase of the project, where the world leading safety statistics record show the strength of its safety training program. Rizwan is also leading the Sadara EH&S Compliance Group. He has developed and implemented EH&S procedures. He is leading the Prequalification EH&S team for auditing 70 contractors supporting operations and maintenance activities.”
Ryan J. Shore
“Ryan was hired as an HSE specialist and, within four months, the HSE manager vacated their position. This left Ryan to assume the facility’s HSE leadership responsibilities for eight months while the manager position was vacant. Ryan’s leadership responsibilities included managing the Aleris 15 Point HSE Elements safety management system by assigning safety attribute champions and driving accountability to members of the management staff; leading incident investigations and presentations to corporate executives; managing the contractor safety programs and ensuring protocol was followed during plant refurbishing; and developing a safety training program for new-hire orientation, in-house presentation and online access for all employees.”
ENGRO Fertilizers Ltd.
“In 2017, Hammad led the team in development of safety programs, which were designed completely in Sindhi (a regional language of Pakistan), an initiative never taken before. He delivered the message of the importance of working safe to local workers by arranging regular safety sessions and distribution of brochures. All this was done under the banner of the safety campaign ‘Ghar Acho Mehfoz’ (translated as ‘Come Home Safe’). The campaign successfully delivered the message of the importance of working safe in more than 700 workers, which led to an injury-free year.”
EH&S Del Leader
Dow Benelux BV
Terneuzen, The Netherlands
“We were aiming that every facility should be capable of identifying two near misses per week. Guliz worked to create broad communication of the initiative, created a reporting tool, presented in forums to talk about the program and drove engagement. This resulted in many near misses being reported, and we have a company-leading frequency rate. However, her performance did not stop there. She went on to passionately demand and drive trend analysis, action identification and risk reduction. For example, we identified working at height as a knowledge gap with scaffolders. She initiated extended/repeat training with our two key scaffolding companies onsite.”
“With Houston affected by Hurricane Harvey and flooding, Haley’s proactivity contributed to no-injury operations during the devastation. During the onset of the Ebola virus, she led symptom identification, containment and PPE procedures – leading to zero incidents and a best-practice designation from the State of Texas Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General. Her communication engages employees at work and home through weekly messages culminating in 14 annual safety fairs and interactive activities in impairment awareness, defensive driving, hazard communication and more for employees and families, engaging 9,000.”
Thomas Van Leer
West Region Health and Safety Operations Manager
“Tom developed and implemented our 2017 Summer Safety Challenge. Tom determined six areas of opportunity. Those included heat-related injuries, lift/lower, push/pull injuries, backing accidents, Telematics data, and utilization of safety committee time. Tom rolled this program out with assistance from our district safety teams to 995 safety committees throughout our West Region. Prevention strategies, along with safety education and training, were administered by these committees from June through August. Results were tracked weekly and communication to the safety committees created strong competition. At the conclusion of the challenge, seven of eight districts saw reductions.”
Senior Risk Control Consultant
Liberty Mutual Insurance
“As an EIT and ASP, Michael has utilized his engineering technical background and his consulting skills to lead his operations to world-class safety. He has traveled to over 30 different states, working directly with local operations to assess safety processes and provide recommendations. Michael has also evaluated and developed engineering solutions to reduce material handling risk in flight gateways all over the world. He regularly uses loss data analysis and tracking of upstream safety metrics to continuously improve upstream health and safety processes and initiatives.”
Area Safety Manager
“Ryan has promoted the Flintco 4 LIFE enterprise safety initiative to Live Incident Free Everyday effectively on jobsites, including Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Ryan has led safety for all Flintco projects on the OSU campus since 2016 and has an exceptional record. When OSU asked to meet with Flintco recently to learn more about our approach to safety, they asked for Ryan by name. The university saw the Flintco safety culture in action through Ryan’s leadership, and sought him out to help instill the same passion and commitment in the OSU workforce. Ryan has since been asked to train OSU facilities personnel in safety – a remarkable (and unusual) validation of his abilities as a safety professional.”
Corporate Safety Manager
Swire Coca-Cola USA
“Brandon led the Phoenix facility (600 employees) to remarkable safety improvements. Using Six Sigma methodologies, Brandon helped to diagnose and tackle the most common injuries. In addition, he led the charge to understand employee perceptions of safety through surveys and focus groups. With that knowledge, Brandon led grassroots teams to change culture through projects and initiatives focused around the employee. Phoenix saw a 91 percent reduction in warehouse injuries and 68 percent reduction in driver injuries.”
Clinton T. Wolfley
Vice President ESH & QA
UCOR LLC at AECOM
Oak Ridge, TN
“As a former executive director of business development for the Board of Certi¬fied Safety Professionals (BCSP), Clint has spoken at more than 100 professional development conferences, seminars, universities, government committees and senior executive team gatherings. Clint has implemented programs at Department of Energy sites that have trained and mentored more than 400 candidates to successfully receive the Safety Trained Supervisor (STS) or STS-Construction certi¬fication. He has provided interpretation services for company policies and procedures for Spanish-speaking employees.”