SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois Department of Labor (IDOL) today recognized Michael Connors for his contributions towards ensuring the health and safety of Illinois workers for nearly four decades. The first Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health Award was presented to Mr. Connors on Feb. 29 at the Downstate Illinois Occupational Safety and Health (DIOSH) Day in Peoria.
“Mike Connors is an outstanding choice to be the first recipient of the Governor’s Worker Safety and Health Award. He is nationally regarded for his tireless efforts to promote the welfare and safety of workers on the job,” said Dir. Costigan. “I am particularly grateful to Mr. Connors for helping Illinois become a State Plan which has helped to strengthen our public-sector worker safety program. Mr. Connor’s decades-long commitment towards improving occupational safety and health conditions will have a lasting impact for workers and communities here in Illinois and across the country.”
Mr. Connors began his career as an industrial hygienist and worked his way up to become Regional Administrator for Region V in Chicago, a position he held for 24 years. Mr. Connors actively worked to reduce injuries, illnesses and fatalities on worksites through enforcement, consultations and outreach. He also created a positive and professional safety and health culture within Region V by encouraging Voluntary Protection Program (VPP) status, which promotes effective worksite-based safety and health, for each Area Office. Mr. Connors’ strong work ethic and dedication to occupational health safety garnered him respect from his staff, constituency and the OSHA management team. Mr. Connors recently retired from federal OSHA after working for the agency for 37 years.
Mr. Connors earned many accolades throughout his tenure at OSHA in addition to this inaugural Governor’s Award. In 1999, Mr. Connors received a President Rank Award for Meritorious Service, for his sustained accomplishments in consistently demonstrating strength, integrity, industry, and relentless commitment to public service. In 2004, he received the Distinguished Career Service Award and in 2008, the Distinguished Executive Presidential Rank Award. In June of 2009, he was awarded the Philip Arnow Award, the most prestigious honor given by the US Department of Labor.