Getting the ear of upper management is relatively easy. The hard part is making the ideas stick, or preventing lip service.
Remember, upper management is entrusted with the task of the overall growth of the organization; if results aren't matching upper management requirements, it will invariably hamper the growth of the organization. It could also lead to a situation wherein the organization loses sight of its original aims and objectives. The point is to get familiar with the CEO’s own set of responsibilities and goals, and then align your safety improvement map as clearly as possible with what the CEO wants and needs to accomplish.