Your best safety resource

The FMA/CNA Safety Committee

June 12, 2003
By: Vicki Bell

Do you know the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International™ (FMA)/CNA Safety Committee? If not, you should. They're an excellent resource for guidance on workplace safety issues. And they're the force behind the safety focus on

The committee is made up of busy people—presidents, CEOs, vice presidents, directors, managers, and engineers. They come from businesses located in several states—from New York to the Deep South. They share the common struggle of helping their businesses weather the current economy, yet they also share a much more global concern—safety and health in the metalworking industry.

This collective concern has led to their participation in the FMA/CNA Safety Committee, an organization dedicated to providing FMA members and the entire metalworking industry with assistance on relevant safety issues through educational programs, expositions, publications, and other means as required to improve workplace safety.


Formed in 1989, the committee comprises representatives of FMA, CNA, and Norman-Spencer Inc. and meets two to three times annually. The members began by distributing safety bulletins to members of FMA and the Tube & Pipe Association, International® (TPA). They also developed a "Safety & Loss Control Manual" focused on safety issues related to the metal forming and fabricating industry and on the small companies that make up a large percentage of FMA and TPA membership.

Committee members contribute articles to FMA/TPA publications: The FABRICATOR®, TPJ-The Tube & Pipe Journal®, STAMPING Journal®, Practical Welding Today®, and They are responsible for the Safety Q&A column in the FMA/TPA member newsletter. And they are available to answer questions from the industry at large.

Representing FMA

Mark Paulson
George Eberl

Mark Paulson, P.E., vice president of operations at Aeroglide Corp., Cary, N.C., chairs the committee. He is a member of his company's safety committee and believes in the importance of a comprehensive program. "Providing a safe workplace for our people is our highest priority. With the implementation of an active safety committee, a thorough substance abuse screening program, and a renewed commitment to safety throughout, we have seen our accident rate fall dramatically."

Former chairman George Eberl is the longest-serving member of the committee. He joined in 1993 and served as chairman from 1997 through 2001. President of Eberl Iron Works Inc., Buffalo, N.Y., Eberl currently serves as president of FMA's board of directors.

Eberl Iron Works began a safety awareness program in the mid-'80s to reduce injuries and improve the company's workers' compensation rate. When compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA's) paperwork requirement became onerous, he sought assistance from FMA and was asked to join the committee. His goals for the committee include assisting the small business in improving safety and preventing OSHA fines for paperwork omissions.

David Withrow, president of Withrow Industries Inc., Chagrin Falls, Ohio, joined the committee in 2000. He has been active in safety matters that relate to machinery design and use for many years and chaired for more than 10 years the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) committees that write safety standards for strip processing lines and machinery. Withrow stated, "Unfortunately, these standards and programs are not useful until implemented by the companies that need them. So the publicity and promotion of the need and value of having safe equipment and working safely is a vital part of creating an awareness in the small-business owner."

William S. Roorda
Ron Wood

William S. Roorda, P.E., a consulting engineer with Alcona Associates, Harrisville, Mich, specializes in metal forming machinery and processes, and in machine tool safeguarding. He has been an active member since 1986 of the ANSI B11 Machine Tool Safeguarding subcommittees that wrote the three press standards and the two coil processing standards. In addition, he also is a member of: ANSI B5 Committee; American Society of Safety Engineers; FMA; National Safety Council; and Society of Manufacturing Engineers.

Ron Wood SPHR, director of human resources, ThermaSys Corp., Montgomery, Ala., has more than thirty years' experience in manufacturing and is certified as a Senior Professional in Human Resources. He has developed and administered safety and loss control programs for single and multisite manufacturing and distribution operations. In his current position, he is responsible for his company's human resources, training, safety, workers' comp program, and government regulatory compliance, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates. His philosophy is that "an effective safety and loss control program is just good business."

Cheryl Henderson
Ashok Shah

Cheryl Henderson, health, safety, and environmental (HSE) manager, Shape Corp., Grand Haven, Mich., and one of the newest members of the FMA/CNA Safety Committee, spent three years leading the Gerber Products Co. and the Novartis Consumer Health safety teams. Her current responsibilities include integrating HSE into workcells, loss control, and workers' comp. She also is responsible for environmental compliance, including ISO 14001, and training. Henderson would like to see the FMA/CNA Safety Committee provide guidance on new technology and required safety measures pertaining to areas such as complex cells and lockout.

Ashok Shah, vice president of engineering, the Lockformer Co., Lisle, Ill., also is new to the committee. He is a member of several ANSI committees, including B11-12 and TR-4, and his company's safety committee. Shah would like to see the FMA/CNA Safety Committee educate members on ANSI, OSHA, and local safety regulations.

Representing CNA

CNA is a global insurance company serving businesses and individuals with a range of insurance products and insurance-related services. CNA underwrites FMA-endorsed programs for metalworking companies. In the interest of promoting safety and helping keep insurance costs down, CNA partners with FMA on the Safety Committee.

Charlie McCarthy
Terry Stevens

Charlie McCarthy, now retired from CNA, was the original underwriter for the FMA/CNA business insurance program and continued in that role until his retirement. He continues to serve on the Safety Committee.

Terry Stevens, assistant vice president – casualty, also represents CNA on the committee. He contributes his extensive knowledge of the loss-leaders, those factors that are the leading causes of human and property loss—factors that should be addressed by the committee.

Representing Norman-Spencer Inc.

Paul Norman
E. Byron Spencer

Norman-Spencer Inc. (NSI) develops, administers, and markets industry-specific property/casualty programs. In conjunction, the agency assists in scripting safety programs that enhance and promote safety in the workplace.

Representing NSI are Paul Norman, CEO, and E. Byron Spencer, president, who are members of other national safety and insurance committees, similar to the FMA/CNA committee.

FMA Staff

Rounding out the committee are two members of the FMA staff, Mary Bohnsack, executive assistant to FMA's president and CEO, Gerald M. Shankel, and Vicki Bell, content manager for

Mary Bohnsack
Vicki Bell

Bohnsack is the committee's gatekeeper. She coordinates all committee meetings and prepares the minutes and meeting booklets.

Bell joined the committee in October 2002, when the committee decided to begin using as a means to reach the industry.

How to Use This Resource

Do you have a safety concern or question? The safety committee has answers. You can submit your questions by clicking "Send us your safety-related questions" on the Safety Focus page of Or you can e-mail your question to

If you're looking for the latest safety articles—many of which are authored by committee members—products, and news, bookmark the Safety Focus page and check it periodically. If you receive newsletter, look for the Safety Focus section that alerts you to new content.

When it comes to promoting safety and controlling losses in the metalworking industry, there's no better resource than the FMA/CNA Safety Committee. And the best part is, it's a resource that's available to you. Use it!

Vicki Bell

Vicki Bell

FMA Communications Inc.
2135 Point Blvd
Elgin, IL 60123
Phone: 815-227-8209