SHHS Contributor Organizations

Veterans of Safety

Veterans of SafetyThe Veterans of Safety began on October 8, 1941, only a few weeks prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The founding occurred at a banquet of senior safety practitioners during the National Safety Congress in Chicago. The participants sought to protect fellow workers and associates in business and loss control.

The organization was the vision of Charles A. Miller of Houston, Texas with support from Henry Boggess, Harry Guilbert and Art Rohweder. These men had a desire and saw a need for an organization through which those with many years of experience could meet in a friendly setting and share ideas and experience about business relations.

Initial participants selected an organization name: Veterans of Safety. Some sought to call the organization the “Old-Timers Safety Club.”

A focus of the organization has been using members to create a better and safer world while applying the slogan “Have a Safe Day.”

Learn more about the Veterans of Safety

General History

The Veterans of Safety began on October 8, 1941, only a few weeks prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The founding occurred at a banquet of senior safety practitioners during the National Safety Congress in Chicago. The participants sought to protect fellow workers and associates in business and loss control.

The organization was the vision of Charles A. Miller of Houston, Texas with support from Henry Boggess, Harry Guilbert and Art Rohweder. These men had a desire and saw a need for an organization through which those with many years of experience could meet in a friendly setting and share ideas and experience about business relations.

Initial participants selected an organization name: Veterans of Safety. Some sought to call the organization the “Old-Timers Safety Club.”

Contributing to the first banquet in Chicago were Henry W. Boggs, toastmaster, Arthur Rohweder and John Sandel, program organizers, J. B. Davies and Bob Donovan, managing invitations, and Charlie Miller and Henry Boggess, draft of constitution and Bylaws. The first election included Arthur V. Rohweder, President, Walter G. King, Vice-President, Harry Guilbert, Secretary-Treasuer, plus Charles Miller, Bolger Jensen and Lew Palmer, Trustees.

Over the years, Veterans of Safety met in conjunction with the National Safety Congress in Chicago and often used the Medinah Club. Later meetings were held at the Blackstone Hotel and the Stevens Hotel (now the Conrad Hilton)

A focus of the organization has been using members to create a better and safer world while applying the slogan “Have a Safe Day.”

In 1959 the Veterans of Safety became a not-for-profit corporation in the State of Missouri.

MEMBERSHIP

Membership in Veterans of Safety is open to any person engaged full time in one or more phases of safety, health and/or environmental specialties for a defined period of time.

  • “Member” status requires accumulated service in these specialties for a period of 10 or more years.
  • “Associate Members” status is available to those who served for a period of 5 to 9 years.
  • There are also membership categories for “Affiliate Member,” “Honorary Member,” “Member Emeritus,” and “Life Member.”
  • Veterans of Safety also recognizes members who made outstanding contributions to the advancement of the society with the title of “Fellow.”

MAJOR ACTIVITIES

One activity of the Veterans of Safety has been sponsoring monetary awards, often jointly with the American Society of Safety Engineers, for the Veterans of Safety and American Society of Safety Engineers Best Professional Papers.

Veterans of Safety was involved in the national effort to establish a uniform emergency telephone number. The organization promoted the concept and assisted in the introduction of the emergency “9-1-1″ phone number.

Probably the largest project of Veterans of Safety was establishing the Safety and Health Hall of Fame. Discussion started at the 1984 annual meeting to create an organization devoted to the idea. An ad hoc committee took on the task of finding a location for the activity. The group selected Central Missouri State University (CMSU) in Warrensburg, Missouri. The effort led to an agreement between Veterans of Safety and CMSU, signed on March 26, 1986. That led to establishing the Bylaws for the Safety and Health Hall of Fame International (SHHOFI) that were approved by October 1986. The Bylaws establish SHHOFI as a separate, not-for-profit corporation in the State of Missouri. 

Safety and Health Hall of Fame International (SHHOFI)

SAFETY AND HEALTH HALL OF FAME INTERNATIONALThe concept of SHHOFI was first considered during the annual meeting of the Veterans of Safety (VOS) in 1984.

The overall objective was to develop an organization that could provide a living legacy for outstanding safety and health professionals who have given unselfishly to freeing the world of recognized hazards. During the discussion, an ad hoc committee was appointed for the purpose of furthering that concept and to determine an appropriate site for housing a “Hall of Fame.” After much research and further discussions the ad hoc committee recommended Central Missouri State University (CMSU) (now University of Central Missouri (UCM) 2006) as the home for SHHOFI. During January 7-9, 1986 a meeting of VOS, CMSU and Civic Leaders was held in Warrensburg, MO to begin preparation for a formal agreement to establish SHHOFI at CMSU. On March 26, 1986, the agreement was signed and SHHOFI was officially established. Work began on establishing SHHOFI as a working organization. Bylaws were developed, circulated and revised. During October 1986, the bylaws were approved. The introductory sections on the bylaws spelled out SHHOFI’s mission, purpose and size.

  • Recognition of individuals and organizations who have contributed significantly to the field of safety and health, as set forth in the guidelines established by the governing bodies provided herein;
  •  A resource location and permanent physical facility for significant (milestone) events impacting the safety and health profession/activities/programs;
  • A location for ceremonial and other associated events;
  • A depository for relevant documents, artifacts and memorabilia;
  • A location for the preservation and display of safety and health instruments, devices and equipment.

SHHOFI was organized to provide participation from organizations having a vested interest in safety and health and/or concerns with the elimination of recognized hazards. Those organizations willing to serve as a cooperating organization could designate a representative for the governing council, which in turn elected from that membership, a Board of Governors. The Board of Governors was empowered to employ an Executive Director (SHHOFI was guided by VOS Executive Director Dr. Bob Baldwin) to perform ongoing tasks on a day-by-day basis and also to provide expertise for actions requested or planned by the Board of Governors and the Governing Council. From that structure, committees were formed to provide action in each of the organization’s business. Central to SHHOFl’s mission was the Selection Committee, which developed the format and process to be utilized in the selection of nominated candidates for induction in to the Safety and Health Hall of Fame International.

In October 1987 the first “Class” of six individuals was inducted in Chicago during the National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Exposition. From 1987 through 1996 SHHOFI remained at CMSU. During that period 52 individuals were inducted. SHHOFI was born of an idea promulgated by the Veterans of Safety. VOS obtained the cooperation of fourteen charter member organizations, a commitment from CMSU to house SHHOFI and to provide monetary support (CMSU Staff and student volunteers) for on campus leadership and administrative program activities.

A study and plan was put together on how to raise funds to pay SHHOFI’s share (7.6 million) of the construction costs for the building that would house SHHOFI. Fund raising was attempted on a number of different fronts. All of these attempts were unsuccessful. Note: VOS Hawaii Chapter ran an annual golf tournament that helped fund Hall of Fame Ceremonies for over 10 years.

A plan was formulated with the president of VOS (Dan Paine), the president of SHHOFI (Patrick J. Conroy) and the new president of the National Safety Council (NSC) (Jerry Scannell) to move SHHOFI to the NSC in Itasca, IL. On June 14, 1996, the three presidents along with CMSU leadership signed the documents to officially move SHHOFI to the NSC. After the October 1996 SHHOFI induction ceremony in Chicago, SHHOFI became part of the NSC. It should be noted that when this move was made VOS maintained three Board of Director positions on the SHHOFI board, which was part of the VOS/SHHOFl/NSC negotiated transfer contract.

After four years, SHHOFI was again moved to Hillside, IL (2000) and housed in the same building as the Construction Safety Council (CSC). VOS again maintained three board positions after this move. CSC staff as non-paid volunteers handled administration of SHHOFI in an outstanding manner. SHHOFI owes a debt of gratitude to Tom and Sharon Broderick, Gayla Hurson and Beverlee Alberico.

As funding became a problem due to the recession, the last induction ceremony was in 2008. SHHFOI has inducted 70 individuals. The list of inductees can be found below on this web page.

All SHHOFI plaques, memorabilia, historical documents and a small amount of funds are maintained in the greater Chicago area.

Attempts to engage larger Safety and Health organizations to assume control of SHHOFI were not successful.

During the VOS Board meeting on May 19, 2016 an in depth discussion was held concerning SHHOFI, e.g., options, logistics, expenses, administrative requirements and the long term impact of SHHOFI returning to the VOS family. A few new ideas were also discussed that could help keep SHHOFI a viable operation. This conversation was tabled to allow for contemplation by all VOS Board Members.

VOS President, Mark Rater reminded VOS Board Members that Article II, Section I of the VOS bylaws notes the purpose of VOS is “To work toward the establishment of a living legacy that will pay homage to those Safety and Health Professionals who gave unselfishly, so that one day all persons will enjoy life that is free of recognized hazards.”

During the June 2016 VOS Board Meeting the Board voted unanimously to assume administrative, financial and historical responsibility for SHHOFI.

SHHOFI will be guided by a VOS Board Committee that has begun planning the movement of all SHHOFI Plaques, historical documents and financial and administrative documents to a central location. Further, discussions are being pursued concerning a permanent home for SHHOFI.

Patrick J. Conroy, OHST, CHST
SHHOFI President (1994 – 1996) (2000 to present)
Past President VOS (1993-1994)

Hall of Fame Inductees

The following lists all the inductees to the Safety and Health Hall of Fame International.

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