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Safety is Personal Video Series: A Conversation with Kent McElhattan

NSC President and CEO Lorraine Martin speaks with the McElhattan Foundation Board chairman about his long career in safety and dedication to eliminating workplace deaths.

January 10, 2023
YouTube Video


Kent McElhattan learned the value of safety early in his career. During the more than a decade he spent working for a mining manufacturing company, three service workers lost their lives on the job.

“If you talked to those families today, they would talk as if Fred was killed yesterday,” the Discovery Robotics CEO and co-founder said. “This was 35 years ago. The pain never goes away.

“That’s what makes it personal.”

Since then, Kent has dedicated his career to reaching a goal of zero workplace fatalities. First at Industrial Scientific and now with Discovery, he has worked for decades to build projects and technologies that keep workers safe from harm. As chairman of the board at the McElhattan Foundation, he helps support the NSC Work to Zero initiative, which aims to eliminate workplace deaths by 2050.

Kent took some time to speak with me for the National Safety Council Safety is Personal video series. In this series, I engage in conversations with safety leaders on the reasons behind their passion for safety, and what keeps them committed to saving lives.

Please join Kent and I for this dialogue, in which we discuss his safety story, career and decades-long commitment to ending workplace fatalities.

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