2015 Award for Innovation in Occupational Safety Management: Nominations Due March 31

InnovateNominations for ASSE’s Award for Innovation in Occupational Safety Management, sponsored by Cintas, are due March 31, 2015. The award recognizes individuals who have addressed workplace safety challenges in innovative ways. The winner will receive a $3,000 cash prize and be recognized at Safety 2015 in Dallas, TX, June 7-10.

“As a profession, we need to look to develop other tools, more predictive measures, of when and where a workplace injury might occur, and how we can then have better information to act on to prevent that injury or illness,” says Richard Gerlach, senior director of safety and health at Cintas Corp. “It’s time for the safety profession to embrace the idea of technology in a bigger way to help us do our jobs better.”

Submissions for the award should highlight a workplace challenge and an employee’s unique solution to the issue, which was either developed or implemented within the last 5 years. For example, Ali Husan Al-Failakawi, of Kuwait Oil Co. won the 2014 Award for Innovation for implementing a road safety program that helped reduce motor vehicle accidents. Another 2014 submission, which received honorable mention, was NextEra Energy’s Power Generation Division’s app for reporting near-misses and unsafe conditions. Kevin O’Donnell, principal safety professional for the company, says that the development of the innovation project was a team effort and support of management played an important role. “The support from both senior management and field personnel was critical to the overall success,” O’Donnell says.

Both ASSE members and nonmembers are eligible for the award, and nominations may be submitted by safety managers or employees on behalf of themselves or another person.

“When workers are engaged in developing a safe workplace culture, everyone wins,” says ASSE President Trish Ennis, CSP, ARM. “Last year’s award competition drew creative nominations from organizations spanning the glove, so we’re excited to see what safety ideas will be submitted this time around.” Visit the Innovate 2015 website for details on nomination criteria.

Be sure to check out Professional Safety’s March 2015 issue, which includes two “PS Asks” interviews related to the Award for Innovation in Occupational Safety Management. One is with Cintas Corp.’s Richard Gerlach, and the other is with Kevin O’Donnell.