Joe Keenan, MBA, CSP, Environmental Health and Safety Management Consultant at Keenan Safety Solutions, knows the importance and the tie between employee engagement and safety.

With more than 23 years in safety, he’s also heavily involved with the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and served on the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program Participants Association (VPPPA) in the past.

Described by peers as an energetic leader who is dedicated to achieving the best safety results possible, keep reading to see the best piece of advice this Safety Hero has received to date—and what he says he wishes others knew about safety.

What’s the best piece of advice you have been given and who gave it to you?

Follow your dreams! One thing I have always loved about the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Field is I know I am helping to make a difference in saving peoples’ lives. Even though the EHS field can be very demanding and often times thankless—you are making a difference each day in your employees and their families’ lives. 

What do you think is effective to be in your role?

Always actively listen and solicit feedback from the hourly employees—they are the functional experts in what they do. Without hourly employee feedback, it is very difficult to establish an effective safety program. In terms of establishing an overall world class safety culture, it is very helpful to follow an established proven roadmap to get there.  

How do you see safety changing in the future? 

With technological advances ever increasing, our field will be constantly evolving. If you look at the increasing science of nanotechnology alone as defined by Webster: “the manipulation of materials on an atomic or molecular scale especially to build microscopic devices (such as robots).” 

We are on the cutting edge of what was once considered science fiction. What are the EHS ramifications of this field alone? How do you protect someone from nanotechnology particles that no present air filter can protect against? How is this going to impact the human body? The environment? I believe it is safe to say we will have job security for a very long time! 

What do you wish others knew about safety? 

Safety is something that needs to be adopted at all times—both on and off the job. Many companies have excellent safety programs but employees leave their “safety hat” off when they leave the job. Safety needs to be a 24/7/365 commitment! 

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