The second annual Prevention through Design (PtD) Award was presented to Dr. Georgi Popov for his outstanding leadership in reducing workplace hazards through design methods. The award ceremony was a collaborative effort of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP) and the National Safety Council (NSC).
Championing worker safety and health can be addressed in many ways. One innovative and long-term solution is by assessing the workplace environment and “designing out” hazards. The annual PtD Award recognizes individuals, teams, businesses and other organizations that have eliminated or reduced hazards through design or redesign efforts – or have contributed to the body of knowledge that enables PtD solutions. This afternoon’s virtual award ceremony honored Dr. Popov’s work to advance PtD awareness and usage.
Dr. Popov currently serves as Interim Chair and professor at the University of Central Missouri’s Safety Sciences Program and carries more than 25 years of experience in the application and instruction of prevention through design concepts, occupational risk assessments and risk management. He is a leading researcher, instructor and speaker in the PtD and risk management field and has taught thousands of occupational safety and health (OSH) professionals in PtD and risk assessment. As a consultant and professor, Dr. Popov has helped identify and solve many design-related hazards.
“One of the best ways to prevent and control occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities is to ‘design out’ or minimize hazards and risk early on in the life cycle of workplace tools, equipment, processes, and organization,” said NIOSH Director John Howard, M.D. “In honoring all the nominees today and recognizing Dr. Popov’s years of contribution to the field, NIOSH hopes to further raise awareness of how useful these prevention methods can be.”
Since 2019, Dr. Popov has served as the Chair of the ANSI/ASSP Z590.3 Prevention through Design committee. Under Dr. Popov’s leadership and guidance, the PtD standard was revised and published in August 2021. Many of the concepts and methods that are incorporated into the new edition are influenced by Dr. Popov’s work.
“Few people have done more for the prevention through design field than Dr. Popov,” said Paul Vincent, executive vice president of workplace practice at NSC. “His decades of writing, researching, consulting and teaching helped instill the importance of design into the next generation of safety professionals. That type of ongoing contribution to safety is invaluable.”
Dr. Popov continues to serve on international and local technical committees and teams. Through his leadership in standards development, he has addressed gaps and developed guidance for safety practitioners on risk management methods and their application and has made sure to illustrate the financial and non-financial benefits – the business case in supporting PtD applications.
“Dr. Popov’s passion for communicating the value of PtD and the business case model he developed is evident in the thousands of occupational safety and health professionals and students who have learned from him,” said ASSP Senior Vice President Pam Walaski, CSP, FASSP. “I'm grateful for the opportunity to work with and learn from him over the past decade.”
In helping to lead and mentor the next generation of safety professionals, Dr. Popov has developed many training modules and course materials and continues to provide both in-person and virtual sessions to students worldwide. He has not only authored many articles and books on PtD but serves as a technical reviewer for other authors and is a frequent speaker at regional, national and international conferences promoting safety standards, receiving several honors and awards for his accomplishments.
Nomination instructions for the third annual Prevention through Design (PtD) Award in 2023 are now available on the PtD award website. Nominations are due the first weekday of April. For more information on Prevention through Design, visit the NIOSH PtD website.