Anita Orozco, manager of safety at the Tucson branch of Air System Components, has won the 2002 Safety Professional of the Year Award, underwritten by the Internet safety management tool KellerOnline.

Orozco was selected by a panel of judges made up of 12 consultants and industry veterans. She was selected over 150 other finalists as having the most innovative process in place to increase safety awareness in the workplace.

Orozco's strategy is to inspire people to care and motivate them to take personal responsibility for their own safety. She uses a four-stage process to assist her in identifying risks, developing programs, communicating them to people and measuring their results.

She also goes to great lengths to integrate the involvement of management, workers, and the safety committees. As an example, she created an initiative called "Caught in the Act," which rewards and recognizes teams of people who are "caught" working safely.

With 33 plants and more than 6,900 employees, Air Systems Components is the largest manufacturer of air handling components in North America. It is a division of Tomkins plc, London, UK.

Ray Ringerwole of Holland Special Delivery in Hudsonville, Mich., and Mark Nielsen of the Department of Public Safety in St. Paul, Minn., were awarded second and third place, respectively.

Orozco will receive the award during a special ceremony planned in Neenah, Wisc., early next year. The award includes a plaque, $2,500 and a year's access to KellerOnline for Orozco and her staff.