WSO Environmental/Occupational Safety Person of the Year: C. Kannan

Above-average support and dedication to the protection of people, property, resources, and the environment on an international basis, fulfilling at least three of the following requirements (may be retired, does not have to be practicing full time in the safety profession at the time of nomination):  other significant accomplishments may be submitted for review.


683C. Kannan | Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

C. Kannan is an Electrical Engineer and a Safety Professional by qualification and has 21 years of Rich Multi-cultural experience in Occupational Health and Safety. As Dy. Head Occupational Health, Safety and Environment of General Consultant (EM BYE) for Chennai Metro Rail Project-Phase-1, India, he has contributed to the project in a great manner and Society in particular, with his excellent domain knowledge.

Referring the last six years record of his experience, shows Mr C. Kannan is handling one of the mega construction project in India (Chennai Metro Rail), handling complex activities with more than 11000 work force daily and dealing with around 800 OHSE Professionals, which is very huge and voluminous job, watched by many Countries across Globe. He has contributed a lot towards Safe work place to them. As the project is carried out in the heart of the city, he has contributed much to the society (public and school children) by way of creating valuable awareness on OHSE, planted more than 68,000 saplings having survival rate of 77.17. In the coming years these saplings will grow into mature trees and will benefit the society. Also 80 numbers of trees as old as 100 years of high botanical value importance had been transplanted using modern technology that shows his special care for the environment.

Mr. Kannan is a member of many National and International OHSE Institutes, showing a hunger for professional growth. He is a Registered Safety Director in the World Safety Organization, Chartered Engineer from the Institution of Engineers (India), the Green World Ambassador, Chairperson for American Society of Safety Engineers’ India chapter- Construction sector, apart from vice chair for ASSE Newsletter and contributing much with his rich OHSE experience.

The Occupational Health, Safety and Environment Standards, Systems and Strict implementation of various international best practices by him in this project helped all Contractors achieve a very good OHSE standard and more than 1000 OHSE Professionals are benefitted. For all his achievements in OHSE, he received numerous International and National Safety and Environment Awards which show cases his worthy credentials. Such a OHSE Professional is rare and unique in the country.  He has suggested and implemented innovative ideas in the project, particularly in critical / heavy lifting operations, which is one of the highest risk jobs in the project, resulting in simplified lifting plans, excellent procedures to adopt by contractors and monitoring the same with efficient mechanism.

On safety training front, Mr. Kannan has strictly implemented various OHS&E trainings through approved third party agencies having highly skilled trainers, benefiting thousands of Engineers and workmen and improving the productivity indirectly. Also he was involved in the design stage safety aspects of the project, incorporating all hazards and associated risks, with necessary / appropriate control measures, which was ultimately implemented by all contractors, resulting in reduction of injuries / incidents. The safety standards, systems and strict implementation of various international best practices in this project helped all contractors achieve a very good OHS&E standards, well appreciated by Government of Tamil Nadu as well as Government of India, apart from JICA (Japanese International Cooperation Agency) , who are part funding this project.

Mr. Kannan provides safety related advice for the development of testing and commissioning periods for the Metro Projects including track access and movement of trains in test and degraded mode during the construction phase.  He also conducts specially designed audits (Occupational Health, Safety and Environment) for all Elevated Viaduct, Stations and all Under Ground Stations and Tunnels Packages on a monthly basis. It is worth noting that during his tenure that CMRL Project has achieved more than 197 million accident free man hours.

Mr. Kannan plays a key role in transforming Occupational, Health, Safety and Environment Culture across Chennai Metro Rail projects.