The journey began when the Director, accompanied by an interpreter, was dropped off by taxi in the middle of a market outside the State Administration for Work Safety compound in Beijing. After knocking on the door (literally) we were taken to an English-speaking official who interrupted his table-tennis match in the hall-way to ask what we wanted.
Fortune smiled, for this was Liu Chang the assistant to the Deputy administrator with whom we worked for the next several years, up until Liberty obtained a license several years later – a span which allowed us to organize 6 major conferences, establish two research partnerships with premier universities and extended to meeting with a State Councilor in the Great Hall of the People with, as our guest, the Assistant Secretary for OSHA, and culminating with a meeting between Ted Kelly and the Premier, Wen Jiabao.
Clearly, many other parts of LM were involved but our role was well recognized when Tom Ramey of LI identified our role:
……we began to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace through our strength in workplace safety. I can’t say enough about Tom Leamon (director of the Liberty Mutual Research Center for Safety and Health), who established Liberty in China as the world-class authority and player in the field of workplace safety. As a result of his and others’ efforts, we have formal relationships with three prestigious universities in China, and we have institutionalized on a national level and with the government our Workplace Safety Forum.
The relationship, based on collaboration in the peer-review area of safety research, proved productive measures in terms of scholarly activities and collaborative ventures.