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ASSE’s WISE Group Names Alameda’s Katherine Hart One of 100 Women Making a Difference in Safety

Posted in on Mon, Dec 12, 2011

DES PLAINES, IL (December 12, 2011)The
American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Women in Safety Engineering (WISE)
Common Interest Group has honored Katherine Hart, EdD, CSP of Alameda, CA, for
making a difference in the safety, health and environmental (SH&E) field as
part of the WISE ‘100 Women, Making a Difference in Safety’ project.
Women from around the world and throughout history have been honored for their
dedication to protecting people, property and the environment and for going
above and beyond to make a difference.

According to Hart safety has been in
her blood all of her life, and she began her work in the profession at the age
of 20, when she began working with the American Red Cross, educating the public
in First Aid, CPR and disaster preparedness.

In her adult years, she developed an
extensive career in the SH&E field as a safety officer for Crocker Bank
(now Wells Fargo), the safety and health specialist at Armstrong Industries
Worldwide, risk analyst at Zurich Services Corporation and senior program manager
for Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).

Hart and several other colleagues
were recruited to PG&E in 1997 to begin an organizational change project
that focused on integrating safety and health into the business operation.

“If you want health and safety to be
part of a company, it has to be interwoven into its business systems, structure
and culture,” she explained. “We started from a systems perspective. PG&E
leadership has always believed in safety, but recognized safety was challenged
with competing business interests. We worked to integrate safety into every
aspect of their business structure, rather than having safety as a standalone
management system.”

The work at PG&E prompted Hart to
pursue her EdD. in organization and leadership at the University of San
Francisco.

Her research focused on looking at
the transcultural differences in organizational change between companies in the
US and Laos. When asked ‘why Laos?’ she shared ‘it hadn’t been inundated with
American management methodologies prior to my research, so it was the perfect
antithesis to explore.”

In 2005, Hart founded ClearVision
Consulting, a global company specializing in improving
individual, team, leadership and organizational performance. While her focus is
still on the people side of the business, the shift has broadened from
individual physical health and safety to organizational health effectiveness.

“It is truly an honor,” Hart said of her
inclusion in the WISE ‘100 Women Making a Difference in Safety’ project. “I
feel very blessed to be a part of the profession and to have so many colleagues
that encouraged me to put in my application.”

In addition to her membership with ASSE, Hart is
a member of the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC), the Project
Management Institute (PMI), the national Organization Development Network (ODN)
and is a former board member of the regional Bay Area Organizational
Development Network (BAodn).

In addition to her EdD. in organization and
leadership, Hart has a bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis in
international business from California State University of Sacramento, and a
master’s degree in occupational health and safety from the University of
Southern California.

The ‘100 Women, Making a
Difference in Safety’ project honors women who, throughout history, have
dedicated their careers to promoting innovation in safety, health and
environmental issues.  The valuable contributions of women to the SH&E
profession have been recognized through this project and later this year WISE
will consolidate the profiles of all 100 honorees into a single publication,
titled 100 Women, Making a Difference in the Safety, Health and
Environmental Profession
as part of ASSE’s (1911-2011) 100th
anniversary.

WISE was established to foster the advancement
of women in the SH&E profession.  The group provides professional
development opportunities, evaluates the ongoing state of women in SH&E,
mentors women in the profession, provides opportunities for women to obtain
professional certifications and promotes the development and peer review of
written material related to issues specific to women in the SH&E
workplace.  For more information about WISE and upcoming events, please
visit www.asse.org/practicespecialties/wise/mission.php.

Founded in 1911 and celebrating its centennial, the Des Plaines, IL-based ASSE is the
oldest professional safety society and is committed to protecting people,
property and the environment.  Its more than 34,000 occupational safety,
health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research
and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all
industries, government, labor, healthcare and education.  For more
information, please go to www.asse.org and to view  ASSE’s – A Century of Safety
film go to www.asse.org/assecenturyofsafety.

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