Ethics in Safety

By Bob Lapidus, CSP (Retired), CSMS

A good place to start for establishing ethics in safety is with the code of ethics created by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals (BCSP) and used by permission of the BCSP.  You do not have to have a certification to adhere to these practices.  Each of these standards stand-alone as an ethical way of working in the safety profession.

This code sets forth the code of ethics and professional standards observed by holders of documents of certification conferred by the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.  Certificants shall, in their professional activities, sustain and advance the integrity, honor, and prestige of the profession by adherence to these standards.  


  1. HOLD paramount the safety and health of people, the protection of the environment and protection of property in the performance of professional duties and exercise their obligation to advise employers, clients, employees, the public, and appropriate authorities of danger and unacceptable risks to people, the environment, or property.
  2. BE honest, fair, and impartial; act with responsibility and integrity. Adhere to high standards of ethical conduct with balanced care for the interests of the public, employers, clients, employees, colleagues, and the profession.  Avoid all conduct or practice that is likely to discredit the profession or deceive the public.
  3. ISSUE public statements only in an objective and truthful manner and only when founded upon knowledge of the facts and competence in the subject matter.
  4. UNDERTAKE assignments only when qualified by education or experience in the specific technical fields involved. Accept responsibility for their continued professional development by acquiring and maintaining competence through continuing education, experience, professional training, and keeping current on relevant legal issues.
  5. AVOID deceptive acts that falsify or misrepresent their academic or professional qualifications. Not misrepresent or exaggerate their degree of responsibility in or for the subject matter of prior assignments.  Presentations incident to the solicitation of employment shall not misrepresent pertinent facts concerning employers, employees, associates, or accomplishments with the intent and purpose of enhancing their qualifications and their work.
  6. CONDUCT their professional relations by the highest standards of integrity and avoid compromise of their professional judgment by conflicts of interest. For a BCSP certificant only: When becoming aware of professional misconduct by a BCSP certificant, take steps to bring that misconduct to the attention of the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.
  7. ACT in a manner free of bias with regard to religion, ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability.
  8. SEEK opportunities to be of constructive service in civic affairs and work for the advancement of the safety, health, and wellbeing of their community and their profession by sharing their knowledge and skills. The End


Ethics in safety include key words:

  1. Personal Respect: You need to respect yourself and surround yourself with people you can respect.
  2. Honor in all things
  3. Integrity – Be a reliable and true person
  4. Customer/employee focus
  5. Results-oriented but not at the expense of safety – The Department of Defense and other organizations have a slogan that fits this matter perfectly: Mission First, Safety Always
  6. Passion for safety
  7. Persistence in doing what is right


Conclusion:  Do not let down your guard for expediency sake.  Adhere to a level of ethical conduct for which you will never have to regret what you have done.


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For More Information:

Go to www.safetycenter.org for more information about Safety Center’s Safety Management Specialist Certificate.

After completing this nine-day program, graduates may take the exam to achieve the Certified Safety Management Specialist (CSMS) designation. Recipients of the CSMS receive a beautiful plaque and become part of an elite group of safety specialists who have achieved this recognition. Once this certification is attained, successful candidates keep it for the rest of their lives without any additional requirements or fees.