Vice President Practices & Standards Candidate
C. Gary Lopez, CSP
C. Gary Lopez, CSP is the president of Risky Biz Services Inc. of Weston, Florida and an area assistant VP for Arthur J. Gallagher Risk Management Services, Boca Raton, Florida. Gary is involved in working with clients in both the public and private sectors in addressing the various risks to which their organizations are exposed and assisting them in reducing these risks.
Mr. Lopez has more than 35 years of experience in the chemical, pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, medical devices and construction industries. Gary spent the majority of his career with what was then ICI and then Zeneca Corporation, (now Astra-Zeneca). He holds a B.S. in Business Administration from West Liberty University and an M.S. in Safety Management from West Virginia University.
An ASSE member since 1980 Gary was recently the chairman of the Standards Development Committee. Over the years Gary has been involved in a variety of committees and special projects. He is past general chairman of the Executive Committee of the National Safety Council’s Chemical Section, he was chairman of the National Safety Council’s Standards Committee, chairman of the Chemical Manufacturers Association (CMA) Safety Programs Committee, as well as chairman of the CMA Committee that drafted the Responsible Care ™ Code of Practice for Safety Programs and the chair of the committee that drafted the Emergency Response Exercise Guide for the Responsible Care ™ CAER Code of Practice. Gary chaired a task group on the ANSI Z117.1989 Confined Space Entry Committee, was a member of the ISO 14000 US Technical Advisory Group, served as a member of the ANSI Safety & Health Standards Review Board and is currently a member of the Florida Workers Compensation Institutes Safety & Health Advisory Committee. He also served on the Safety and Insurance Committee of the American Road and Traffic Builders Association, (ARTBA).
Gary has also been involved in special projects. During the launching of the Hazard Communication Standard by OSHA, he worked with OSHA, the National Safety Council and local safety councils arranging a series of “road shows” across the country during which seminars were conducted explaining the content of the standard. He was also a member of the “Keystone Group” which was a joint industry/OSHA/BLS initiative that worked together in re-writing the BLS Recordkeeping Guidelines in the late 80’s.
In addition to his service with the American Society of Safety Engineers, Gary has worked with the National Safety Council, the Auditing Roundtable, The Chemical Manufacturers Association, (now the ACC), the Florida Workers Compensation Institute and the American Road and Traffic Builders Association.
Gary has also worked for years preaching the concepts of managing risks in the workplace versus managing standards. He had pioneered concepts in leading metrics and was instrumental in the development of the ANSI Z10 OHSAS standard.
The old adage that nothing replaces experience as well as experience is still true today, especially in the safety profession. But as with all other professions our goal should be to systematically amass this experience and pass it on to those entering and currently practicing in the field of safety.
The current state of the safety profession is in a period of great change. We are on the verge of a paradigm shift that will create a dramatic shift in our profession just as the medical profession experienced at the turn of the 20th Century. The medical profession was less a profession then an “art” until the practitioners in that field saw the need to lay down the fundamentals from both an education and experience standpoint in terms of what it would take to be licensed as a doctor of medicine. We in the safety profession are undergoing the same shift and should embrace it.
My vision is to have the ASSE intimately involved in shaping this new identity and turning what we do from an art to a profession. Who better then the organization that represents the majority of safety professionals across not just the country, but the world. As with all change there will be some who do not want to embrace such change or for that matter see it take place. But the time has arrived for a new generation of safety professionals to take their place not just on management teams but in the boardrooms as well. To make that transition we will require not just the education but the perception that we are professionals.
All of us who have built the field into what it is today should be proud of the accumulated knowledge we have worked so hard to amass and the degree of professionalism we have brought to our work. It is upon us to come up with formalized methods of passing this learning and image on to the next generation of safety professionals. We are not victims of our success, but rather the pathfinders for the next generation behind us to elevate the visibility and stature of the field of safety.
As VP of the Council of Practices and Standards I will work with the Society and our members toward realizing these goals.