jim_thorntonThe International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) honored James R. Thornton, CSP, CIH, with the 2016 Robert B. Hurley Distinguished Service Award, at the association’s Award Dinner on Nov. 30 at the Westin Alexandria in Alexandria, Va.

“The Distinguished Service Award is reserved for a special individual who has made significant contributions to the advancement and promotion of workplace safety and health,” stated Daniel K. Shipp, President of ISEA. “Over his distinguished career, he has shown an unwavering commitment and deep passion for worker safety, and serves as the “moral compass” to make sure that risks to workers are appropriately identified and mitigated to ensure that every worker goes home safely to their family at the end of their shift.”



Mr. Thornton is the Director of Environmental Health and Safety for Newport News Shipbuilding, a Division of Huntington Ingalls Industries. He received his Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Auburn University and earned his Master of Science in Industrial Hygiene from Texas A&M University. Additionally, he is board certified in the comprehensive practice of industrial hygiene by the American Board of Industrial Hygiene (ABIH).

He is currently chairman of the Government Affairs Committee and Council of Professional Affairs Committee of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE), the Virginia Manufacturer’s Association’s Safety, Health, and Environmental Committee, and the American Board of Industrial Hygiene. He was appointed by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to Chair the OSHA Maritime Advisory Committee for Safety and Health (MACOSH), and received the U.S. Department of Labor Distinguished Service Award for his work with OSHA. Mr. Thornton was the President of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (1999), and was formerly President of the Virginia Self-Insurers Association.

ISEA established the Robert B. Hurley Distinguished Award in 2005, and presents it to an individual whose efforts have advanced and promoted workplace safety and health. Bob Hurley was a life-long advocate for worker safety and health. He was also CEO of Fendall, Inc., the emergency eyewash manufacturer, and an ISEA Board member.  ISEA’s annual Fall Meeting is the association’s largest national meeting, where leaders in the design, manufacture, testing and application of protective clothing and equipment converge to address issues affecting workplace safety.