Recognizing the LHSFNA’s Scott Schneider, Occupational Safety and Health Division Director, for his professional contributions to the advancement of workplace safety and health, the American Conference of Government Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) honored him with its William Steiger Memorial Award on May 23 at its national conference and expo in Denver.
The Steiger Award is given each year to an individual “from the social/political sphere whose efforts have contributed to the advancement of occupational safety and health.” This Award is named after William A. Steiger (1938 – 1978), the Republican Congressman from Wisconsin who wrote the Occupational Safety and Health Act that created OSHA in 1970.
Schneider has served as Director of the LHSFNA’s Occupational Safety and Health Division since 2001. Previously, from 1993 to 1998, he directed the Ergonomics Program at CPWR – the Center to Protect Workers’ Rights, and he was a staff industrial hygienist at the Occupational Health Foundation/Workers Institute for Safety and Health from 1987 to 1993.
Noting his commitment to workers and his long service to Laborers in particular, LIUNA General Secretary Treasurer and LHSFNA Labor Co-Chairman Armand E. Sabitoni said, “Scott Schneider is the consummate professional. His lifelong commitment to workplace safety and health is truly admirable. Scott is always looking for a fresh approach to educate our members, contractors and the public with regard to the newest advancements in the field. This award is certainly well deserved. All of LIUNA can be proud to call him brother and friend.”
In a professional career so far spanning 29 years, Schneider has advanced the cause of workplace safety and health on many fronts. He is perhaps best known for his efforts to end the scourge of hearing loss among construction workers. He is also among the nation’s leading proponents of ergonomic innovation to curtail the sprain and strain injuries that are, aggregately, the most costly in American industries. Early in his career, he authored the Model Asbestos Standard submitted to OSHA by the Building and Construction Trades Department of the AFL-CIO and provided testimony before the Environmental Protection Agency on asbestos dangers. Following a similar line of analysis, Schneider has made alleviating silica exposures a consistent focus of his work. He has testified before OSHA on a variety of other hazard topics, including benzene, formaldehyde, wood dust, permissible exposure limits, motor vehicle safety, respirator protection and recordkeeping.
Segueing from an early interest in life science that produced a B.S. in biology from the State University of New York (Stony Brook) and an M.S. in zoology from the University of Michigan, Schneider earned his M.S. in industrial hygiene from the University of Pittsburgh in 1980. He was certified by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene in 1989.
An active member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, he led the development of its annual Upton Sinclair Memorial Lecture. He has chaired several workgroups of the OSHA Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) as well as two American National Standards Institute (ANSI) construction subcommittees. He was the main author of ANSI’s Reduction of Musculoskeletal Problems in Construction standard. He also serves on the NIOSH National Occupational Research Agenda (NORA) Construction Sector Research Council.
The Steiger Award was established in 1979. Previous winners include Senator Robert Byrd, AFL-CIO Safety & Health Director Margaret Seminario, New York State Health & Safety Trust Fund Administrator and LHSFNA Research Division Director Dr. James Melius, NIOSH Director John Howard, Congressman George Miller and photographer Earl Dotter.
Addendum, June 1, 2010: Scott Schneider is recognized by EHS Today as one of the 50 most influential EHS leaders in the U.S.