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ASSE’s Women in Safety Engineering Group Honors KY’s Kathy Coffey as One of 100 Women Making a Difference in Safety

Posted in on Wed, Aug 10, 2011

The American Society of Safety Engineers’ (ASSE) Women in Safety Engineering (WISE) Common Interest Group has honored Kathy Coffey of Lexington, KY, 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.

With more than 30 years of experience in the safety, health and environmental (SH&E) field, Coffey is the current safety director at Grayhawk, LLC, a construction company in Lexington/ Louisville, KY.  She began her career in the construction industry as a flagger during her college years and after witnessing a severe workplace accident, she shifted her focus to workplace safety and health and reducing injury and illness rates, as well as identifying hazards and reducing risks.  Coffey attended the Institute of Cultural Affairs, Morehead State University, University of Kentucky and several others with a focus on occupational safety and health. She graduated from Eastern Kentucky University and also completed the Georgia Tech Authorized Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Outreach Construction Training Program.

In addition to her many professional accomplishments, Coffey has helped four out of five companies to receive the Blue Level, a top award, in the Construction Health and Safety Excellence program, a partnership between the Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Kentucky and the Kentucky Occupational Safety and Health Program.  She has trained more than 1,400 employees in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) 10 and 30-hour construction safety courses and has helped reinforce the importance of workplace safety and health for all.  The Kentucky AGC recently recognized Coffey with the national level Skill, Integrity and Responsibility (SIR) award, making her the first in the state to receive such an honor for her commitment and dedication to workplace safety and health.

In her daily work as a safety professional, Coffey often refers to the following quote when it comes to safety on the job, “We now have unshakable conviction that accident causes are man-made and that a man made problem can be solved by men and women.”  ~W.H. Cameron

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

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 and to view the new ASSE – A Century of Safety film go to




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