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University News | Occupational Risk and Safety Science | Faculty Awards

UCM Faculty Member, Safety Advisory Board Chair Honored as ASSP Fellows

By Jeff Murphy, April 25, 2023


Bruce Lyon, left, a  University of Central Missouri alumnus who chairs the advisory board for the Department of Occupational Risk and Safety Sciences at UCM, and Georgi Popov, department chair, have received national recognition for  their contributions to the occupational safety and health profession.

WARRENSBURG, MO – Two individuals who have had an impact on University of Central Missouri students entering the safety profession, Bruce Lyon and Georgi Popov, have been honored as Fellows by the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP). They are among three 2023 recipients of this award, which is the highest honor given by the Society in recognition of significant contributions to the occupational safety and health profession.

“ASSP Fellows are influential leaders who have played key roles in improving workplace environments as well as the safety and health profession itself,” said ASSP President Christine Sullivan, CSP, ARM. Sullivan added that this year’s honorees are “highly respected experts who have broadly helped prevent injuries, illnesses and fatalities on the job.”

Since 1999, Lyon, P.E., CSP, ARM, SMS, CHMM, FASSP, has served as the advisory board chair for the Department of Occupational Risk and Safety Sciences  at UCM, which is his alma mater. He graduated in 1981 with a bachelor’s degree in Safety followed by a master’s degree in Occupational Safety Management/Fire Science in 1999. Lyon serves as the vice president of risk management services with Brown & Brown Inc., and has more than 40 years of experience in risk assessment, safety management systems and ergonomics.

In addition, Lyon serves as the 2023 president of the Board of Certified® Safety Professionals. He has authored dozens of articles, books and technical publications, including co-writing “Risk Assessment – A Practical Guide to Assessing Operational Risks,” a text which is required in many safety degree programs. He is on the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to TC 262 for the ISO 31000 risk management standards, and vice chair of the ANSI/ASSP Z590.3 Prevention Through Design (PTD) Committee.

“Bruce’s contributions to the OSH profession are as significant as any active professional I know,” said longtime ASSP member and a 1979 UCM Safety alumnus, Bruce Hollcroft, CSP, CHMM, ARM. “He has been innovative at creating tools and techniques in risk management to improve worker safety. He’s always eager to share his expertise to help others be successful.”

Popov, Ph.D., CSP, SMS, QEP, ARM, CMC, FASSP, FAIHA, is the chair and professor of the Occupational Risk and Safety Sciences department at UCM. According to ASSP, he took PTD from concept to reality in the development of the ANSI/ASSP Z590.3 standard, chairing the committee and being recognized as a pioneer in the field. His work has been published in many textbooks, articles and safety standards.

Popov has a safety and health career that spans more than 30 years. During this time, he has provided training to hundreds of professionals in PTD and risk assessment. He instructs students worldwide using course materials that he has developed and through in-person and virtual sessions. ASSP’s Risk Management Certificate program was also developed with Popov’s assistance.

In an ASSP press release announcing achievement by new Fellows, safety management consultant Joel Tietjens, CSP, CSHM, FASSP, noted about the UCM Popov, “Georgi’s knowledge and expertise are exactly what’s needed at the higher academic level of education. He uses real world experiences in the application of principles and theories. Without a doubt he is one of the most profound experts in risk assessment.”

Popov and Lyon share a history of collaboration that includes work on research articles. As an example, the ASSP Editorial Review Board recognized two research articles they co-wrote as being among the top three best member-authored works published by “Professional Safety Journal (PSJ) for 2019.
Popov’s recognition in his field this year also includes being named recipient of the AIHA President’s Distinguished Service to AIHA Award. This is the highest tribute paid to an AIHA member for distinguished and exemplary service in the advancement of the occupational and environmental health and safety (OEHS) profession and the unique technical and professional contributions made in the support and advancement of the mission and vision of AIHA.
ASSP will honor its new Fellows during the Society’s Safety 2023 Professional Development Conference and Exposition, June 5-7, in San Antonio, Texas. The honor of Fellow recognizes an ASSP member’s lifetime commitment, achievement and leadership in occupational safety and health. To be considered, nominees must have a history of major contributions to the profession for at least 15 years. The list of Society Fellows dates back more than 50 years. By being honored by ASSP, Popov and Lyon join a growing number of individuals who have distinguished themselves in their safety careers as ASSP Fellows, many of them are individuals who have close connections to UCM, either as program alumni, university faculty, and academic leaders.

About ASSP

For more than 100 years, the American Society of Safety Professionals has been at the forefront of helping occupational safety and health professionals protect people and property. The nonprofit society is based in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge. Its global membership of 35,000 professionals covers all industries, developing safety and health management systems that prevent injuries, illnesses and deaths. ASSP advances its members and the safety profession through education, advocacy, standards and a professional community. Its flagship publication, Professional Safety, is a longtime leader in the field. Visit and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.


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