Published on Thursday, January 21, 2021
Thomas Cecich, CSP has been a safety professional for 48 years beginning in 1972 as a graduate assistant at the Industrial Extension Service at North Carolina State University. Much of his early work in safety was focused on injury and illness reduction in the furniture and textile industries where missing fingers, severe hearing loss, occupational asthma, and other debilitating injuries and diseases were common. During this period, he completed a master’s thesis which focused on effective measures to improve safety performance within the furniture industry in North Carolina.
Currently, Cecich is President of TFC & Associates, a global safety, health, and environmental management consulting firm. He also serves as a strategic board advisor for Avetta, LLC., a global provider of technology-based supply chain risk management solutions. He has presented hundreds of courses, seminars, and webinars, including at conferences on five continents.
In his corporate career, Cecich retired as Vice President of Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) Global Business Support at the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, where he held global EHS responsibilities for 100 global manufacturing sites with 100,000 staff members. He also held safety management positions at IBM and Allied Chemical Corporation and is widely recognized for his extensive experience in safety, health, and environmental management.
On June 28, 2016, Cecich was installed as the 102nd President of the American Society of Safety Engineers. He is an ASSP Fellow, the Society’s highest honor, and served on the ASSP Board of Directors for seven years. He also served on the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) Board of Directors and is a Past President of BCSP since 1997. He was previously the Chairman of the Board for the Manufacturing and Chemical Industry Council of North Carolina, a trade association that represented 70 companies with 70,000 employees.
Cecich was instrumental in launching the Center for Safety and Health Sustainability, a global nonprofit organization representing over 100,000 OSH professionals worldwide and served as the Center’s first Board Chairman. The Center is dedicated to advancing awareness of occupational safety and health as a vital aspect of a company’s sustainability profile. He is known in the OSH community for his efforts to advance awareness that worker fatalities, serious injuries, and high-risk worker health exposures have material impact on business performance and shareholder value.
In 1998, Cecich was appointed by President Clinton’s Science Advisor as the business representative to the first United States Climate Change National Assessment and is a co-author of the landmark study Climate Change Impacts on the United States, published in 2000. He was appointed by three North Carolina governors to serve full terms on the NC Environmental Management Commission, the NC Pollution Prevention Advisory Commission, and the NC Radiation Protection Commission.
Cecich earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Miami and his master’s degree from North Carolina State University, both in Industrial Engineering. He is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) and a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH). He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine where he has taught graduate courses in the Financial Aspects of Safety and Health. He was recognized by Industrial Safety and Hygiene News (ISHN) as one of the Safety Power 101—the 101 individuals who most influence the field of occupational safety and health in the United States.
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