Columbia Southern University recently awarded its annual Outstanding Safety Professional of the Year Award to Chris McGlynn, a Certified Safety Professional® from Ville Platte, Louisiana.
McGlynn is the director of safety for Roco Rescue, a company that specializes in many aspects of rescue including training, standby rescue services and equipment. Roco Rescue was an industry leader in developing rope rescue.
“Our company provides some very unique services, so that keeps things interesting. Besides, who doesn’t like repelling on a rope?,” said McGlynn. Perhaps the thing I enjoy most is helping other aspiring safety professionals grow, develop, and achieve their goals. I’m extremely fortunate to work for an organization that understands the value and is supportive of my efforts to do so through involvement with American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and the Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).”
The VPP recognizes employers and workers who have implemented effective safety and health management systems and maintain injury and illness rates below national Bureau of Labor Statistics averages for their respective industries. McGlynn assists the Occupational Health and Safety Administration as a special government employee under the VPP and works during on-site evaluations of other VPP worksites. He helps with other OSHA outreach and compliance assistance activities.
Prior to his roles in safety, McGlynn worked as an EMT/paramedic for more than 10 years.
“I’ve always been one to help people. My mother is a registered nurse who worked in the emergency department for many years. When I was younger, we would visit her during her shift, and I got some exposure to what paramedics do. Somewhere in the mix of that, I decided that being a paramedic was a great avenue to help people, especially in their greatest time of need.”
His career in emergency medical services proved mentally and physically draining. So, McGlynn took the advice of a good friend and decided to pursue occupational safety and health as a career.
“That discussion sparked a thought – ‘What if I could work in a field that’s proactive and prevents injuries from happening as opposed to working in a field that’s reactive and responding to the horrific aftermath of accidents?’,” McGlynn said.
CSU’s occupational safety and health faculty members selected McGlynn, who holds a bachelor’s degree in occupational safety and health. He is pursuing a master’s degree in the same field from the CSU. He has won several safety awards and was recently chosen to serve as president of the Baton Rouge ASSP chapter and on the group’s national advisory panel.
The Outstanding Safety Professional Award was established by CSU to recognize National Safety Month, observed in June, and to celebrate its occupational safety and health students and graduates for their commitments to safety, professionalism and their accomplishments.