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William Steiger Memorial Award

2014 Awardee

The William Steiger Memorial Award honors individuals from the social/political sphere whose efforts have contributed to advancements in occupational safety and health. Tom O'Connor, MPH is this year's Steiger Award recipient for making such contributions.

Mr. O'Connor is the Executive Director of the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health, the umbrella organization for 18 state and local Coalitions on Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) groups. He has 25 years of experience as an advocate for workers' health and safety. He also coordinates the national policy advocacy efforts of Protecting Workers Alliance, a broad-based group of worker health and safety advocates.

Mr. O'Connor played a leading role in the founding of the National COSH organization in 2003 and has been active in the leadership of the organization since that time. Previously, he was the Executive Director of the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Project. Mr. O'Connor has written extensively on issues relating to immigrant workers and has presented at numerous conferences of labor unions, health professionals, and worker advocates over the years. He has a B.A. degree in History from Duke University and a Master of Public Health degree from the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill.

Mr. O'Connor has dedicated himself to the profession throughout his career. He served as a member of the following: North Carolina OSHA Advisory Board (1996–2001); Advisory Board of the North Carolina Occupational Safety and Health Resource Center (2001–present); Advisory Board of the Doctoral Program in Health Services Research in Occupational Safety and Health at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill (2000–2006); and various grant review committees for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences (2005–2009).

ACGIH® is pleased to honor Mr. O'Connor as the recipient of this year's William Steiger Memorial Award.

Previous Award Recipients

  • 1979 — Congressman David R. Obey
  • 1982 — George Taylor (AFL–CIO)
  • 1983 — Edgar L. McGowan, Commissioner of Labor, South Carolina
  • 1984 — Gershon W. Fishbein, Editor, Occupational Health and Safety Letter
  • 1985 — Congressman Joseph M. Gaydos of Pennsylvania
  • 1986 — William G. Philips
  • 1987 — Sheldon Samuels, Director, Health, Safety and Environment, Industrial Union Department, AFL–CIO
  • 1988 — Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia
  • 1989 — Richard F. Boggs, Vice President of Organization Resources Counselors, Inc.
  • 1990 — Joseph A. Kinney, Executive Director of The National Safe Workplace Institute
  • 1991 — David P. Rall, MD, PhD, Director of the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (1971–1990) and Director of the National Toxicology Program (1978–1990)
  • 1992 — Molly J. Coye, MD, Director of the Department of Health Services of the State of California
  • 1993 — J. Donald Millar, MD, DTPH (Lond.), the Assistant Surgeon General and Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
  • 1994 — Eula Bingham, PhD, Professor of Environmental Health; past Director of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration
  • 1995 — Margaret Seminario, Director of Occupational Safety and Health for the AFL–CIO
  • 1996 — James Merchant, MD of the University of Iowa, College of Medicine and Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa
  • 1997 — J. Davitt McAteer, Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Labor Department's Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) and Andrea M. Hricko, Deputy Assistant Secretary for MSHA
  • 1998 — Linda Rae Murray, MD, MPH, Winfield Moody Health Center
  • 1999 — Gerald F. Scannell, Director, National Safety Council; previously Director of the Office of Standards in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and Assistant Secretary of Labor for OSHA
  • 2000 — Phil Landrigan, MD, Mount Sinai Medical Center
  • 2001 — James Melius, MD, DrPH
  • 2002 — Congressman George Miller (D-CA) and Congressman Major R. Owens (D-NY)
  • 2003 — Brian Davies, CIH
  • 2004 — John Howard, MD, MPH, JD, LLM
  • 2005 — Ernest Mastromatteo, CD, MD, DPH, DIH, FABPM (Occ Med), CCBOM, MFOM (London)
  • 2006 — Charles E. Adkins, CIH
  • 2007 — Earl Dotter, Photojournalist
  • 2008 — John L. Henshaw, CIH, MPH
  • 2009 — Rosemary Sokas, MD, MSc, MOH
  • 2010 — Scott Schneider, CIH
  • 2011 — Roger Alesbury, MS, FFOH, CFIOSH
  • 2012 — Richard Fairfax, CIH
  • 2013 — David Michaels, PhD, MPH


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