A safety legacy! Proud to carry on the message…

By Sharon Roney, BWC Library Administrator

I am the Administrator of the BWC Library. In a past career, I worked directly in the environmental science/safety field. I’d like to believe I came by this career because of my Grandfather’s influence. I’m sure he would be proud to know that I work in safety.

This year is the 50th anniversary of my grandfather, Sherman L Roney winning a new Ford Fairlane in the 1966 traffic safety slogan-essay contest of the Ohio Department of Highway Safety. That Ford was the car that got me through high school and college. This photo from the 1966 Ohio Monitor at the 36th Ohio Safety Congress shows the proud winner.

Blog Sharon Roney

My Grandfather was a fairly early proponent of safety in manufacturing. He was the safety director at Union Drawn steel in Canton, Ohio and national director of the American Society of Safety Engineers. His essay and safety slogan in 1966 won him the car and the license plate with just the number 1. His slogan was placed on 300 billboards throughout the state.

safety letter

His message to us 50 years ago still rings true. “Fasten your seat belts, heaven can wait.”  We know seat belts save lives. The data below from the National Highway Safety Administration (NHSTA) shows how many more Ohio lives could be saved if everyone wore their seat belt.

seat belt grid

An estimated 658 more people in Ohio would have gone home to their loved ones in the past 5 years had they been wearing their seat belt.

I’m sure that were he still alive, my grandfather would now be on a crusade to get us to all stop using our cell phones while driving. He would know the statistics on distracted driving. NHSTA estimates that at any one time during daylight hours 660,000 drivers are holding a cell phone to their ear while driving. He would be happy that the trends of deaths in vehicular accidents have been on a downward slope with the number of fatalities per 100,000 registered drivers reduced from 23.21 in 1994 to 15.42 in 2013 but recognize that we still have a long way to go.

Whenever I am assisting someone in the library I think of my grandfather. The library provides free informational services on the topics of occupational safety and health, workers’ compensation, and rehabilitation. We provide the only such library in the state of Ohio, and one of the few in the nation. While most special libraries are not open to the public, our library serves employers, local and state government, legal and health care professionals, Ohio’s work force and the general public.

Visit us
30 W. Spring St., Third Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-2256
1-800-644-6292
614-466-7388
614-644-0018 (video library)

You can e-mail the Safety and Hygiene Library if you have any questions or comments concerning our services.

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