Safety makes a difference

Some people make a difference. These are the folks who leave legacies that are bigger than themselves. The world is better because of them.

Pat Ostrenga is one of those people. He retired from the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), where he'd served for 34 years and received countless internal awards and commendations, and he earned the Safety Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Safety Council in his home state. He'd conducted training for the American Society of Safety Engineers and the National Safety Council.

Upon retirement, Pat opened a consulting agency, Occupational Safety and Health Auditing, Compliance Assistance Services (, in Milwaukee. He also is a board member for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, College of Education, Department of Occupational & Environmental Safety and Health.

Moss does not grow on Pat Ostrenga.

In addition to his other “retirement” activities, Pat has agreed to be one of the experts on our panel that is willing to address your questions with answers. It’s fittingly called Ask the Experts (, and you can read the responses from Pat and other like-minded industry thought leaders, or you can ask a question of your own to any one of them.

It’s really that easy. The new feature is relatively new, but, being Pat, he’s already started answering questions — this particular one regarding plant-wide safety programs.

“A safety and health program must have the inclusion of top management support or it dies,” he writes. “Safety is efficiency. When employees are free to bring up their perceived safety issues, they are then also willing to bring up workplace process suggestions. The program must include all levels of the facility, and all must be treated the same.”

Pat has been around the tree a few times, and he understands how industrial plant safety intertwines with all of production and the entire operation. Want to read what else he had to say? See the whole answer at

And, while you’re there, ask him or any of our experts a question of your own. They’re there to make a difference.