ASSP names Safety Professional of the Year

The American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) has named Matthew F. Herron its 2024 Safety Professional of the Year. The safety engineer and ergonomics specialist has been an ASSP member for 13 years and has helped advance occupational safety and health in many ways.

Herron, M.S., P.E., CSP, CPE, is lead safety engineer for the Mechanical Engineering Division at Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, TX. He has created numerous division-wide operating procedures and processes. This includes a safety initiative called “Safety 360” that empowers workers to identify, correct and report unsafe acts and conditions so everyone can return home safely at day’s end.

“Matt has been instrumental to the safety culture in our operating division of more than 300 employees,” said Shane Siebenaler, director of the Fluids Engineering Department at Southwest Research Institute. “Our environment presents hazards that range from explosives to high-pressure hydrogen to radioactive sources. Matt developed many of the safety procedures we use daily. His enthusiasm and diligence to safety is contagious and has a direct impact on our employees, clients and visitors.”

Herron is a nationally recognized speaker on ergonomics, having presented at ASSP’s Safety 2021 Professional Development Conference and Exposition in Austin, TX, and for the past three years at the National Ergonomics Conference in Las Vegas. He has been a guest lecturer at the Industrial and Organizational Psychology Department of St. Mary’s University, and Trinity University’s Engineering Science Department.

Herron’s involvement and impact on the ASSP community is extensive. He was a 2022 recipient of the Society’s President’s Award and Charles V. Culbertson Outstanding Volunteer Service Award as well as the 2023 Council on Practices and Standards Safety Professional of the Year. He currently serves as vice president for Region III, deputy vice president for the Council on Region Affairs, standards chair for the Ergonomics Practice Specialty, social media chair for the Engineering Practice Specialty and member of ASSP’s Advisory Group.

“Matt’s leadership skills shine brightly and ensure that all Region III chapters are not only functioning, but thriving in challenging times,” said Andrea Ball, CSP, ARM, vice president of ASSP’s Council on Region Affairs. “He is always willing to volunteer for projects and spearhead valuable programs.”

Herron is known for cultivating technical knowledge, sharing best practices, fostering professional relationships, and educating employers on the value of occupational safety and health. He understands that the future of the occupational safety and health profession lies with today’s students. He is the student affairs chair for ASSP’s South Texas Chapter and previously was the assistant vice president for student affairs in Region III.

Herron will be honored at ASSP’s Safety 2024 Professional Development Conference and Exposition, held Aug. 7-9 in Denver. The global event will bring together thousands of safety professionals to learn about best practices, industry trends and the latest product innovations in workplace safety and health.

Each year, ASSP honors an occupational safety and health professional who demonstrates outstanding achievement in the safety field while making significant contributions to advancing the profession. Visit the Society’s website to see past recipients of the ASSP Safety Professional of the Year Award.

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