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For Immediate Release
March 26, 2003
For More Information:
Kevin Weeks 503-947-7428  (direct dial)
kevin.s.weeks@state.or.us


Safety awards presented at 2003 GOSH Conference


The 2003 Oregon Governor's Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) Conference presented safety awards to eleven companies or individuals during a luncheon ceremony on March 5th at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. Awards recipients were selected by a panel of safety professionals from the American Society of Safety Engineers, Columbia-Willamette Chapter and the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA).


Safety Committee Award - Large Employer Category (99+ employees)
Walsh Construction Company - Portland, Oregon


The safety committee of Walsh Construction has made a significant contribution to health and safety within the company, including drafting new safety policies that have been accepted throughout the entire company. Employees throughout the company are encouraged to attend monthly safety committee meetings to raise concerns and identify potential hazard areas. During 2002, Walsh Construction's excavation crew worked over 25,000 worker-hours without an accident.


Safety Committee Award - Medium Employer Category (31 to 99 employees)
Boise Building Solutions, Manufacturing (White City Lumber) - White City, Oregon


The philosophy of Boise White City Lumber is "nothing we do is worth getting hurt." The company promotes this philosophy by aggressive employee involvement in safety committees, including activities such as walk-through inspections, monthly training programs and periodic review of company policies and procedures. Safety committee projects have included performing Job Hazard Analyses and ergonomic evaluations for each job.


Large Employer Award (99+ employees)
City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) Wastewater Group


Over the past 52 years of operation, the BES Wastewater Group has never had an on-the-job fatality. In 2001, the Wastewater Group did not incur a lost-time injury or illness, a remarkable feat in an industry with numerous electrical, confined space, power transmission and hazardous gas potential exposure. In 2002, the agency achieved Oregon OSHA's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) status.


Medium Employer Award (Shared) (31 to 99 employees)
Boise Building Solutions Engineered Wood Products - White City, Oregon
Pence/Kelly Construction LLC - Salem, Oregon


Boise White City Engineered Wood Products sends a message to employees that exceptional safety performance is an expectation. The message translates into a proactive team of employees working to create a "zero-accident" facility, and as of September 2002 the plant achieved a recordable incident rate of zero. About 20 percent of employees at the facility are actively involved in safety committee operations.


Pence/Kelly Construction instituted an inventive "three strikes and you're out" safety policy for employees and requires safety contracts for their subcontractors. When employees violate safe work practices, they are first given a verbal warning; on a second violation (and beyond) the employee receives a formal Employee Safety Violation Notice - upon receiving a third formal violation, an employee is dismissed. Pence/Kelly has an 'experience modification rate' for workers' compensation coverage that is 38 percent below the industry average.


Small Employer Award
Emerick Construction Company - Portland, Oregon


Emerick's safety record is demonstrated by their policy that if "imminent, serious and willful" unsafe acts or conditions are observed on a work site, all work at that site stops until the worker or subcontractor is removed and safe conditions are restored. The company has received numerous safety awards, including the 2001 National Construction Safety Excellence award for first place in construction safety performance in the United States. Emerick is marking their second year in the Oregon OSHA Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).


Association Award
Associated General Contractors, Oregon-Columbia Chapter - Wilsonville, Oregon


The Oregon-Columbia Chapter of Associated General Contractors (AGC) is the largest AGC program of its kind in the nation and is the only AGC chapter to have a full-time industrial hygienist on staff. In 2002, more than 200 on-site training programs and over 220 safety audits were conducted by AGC consultants to assist chapter members with hazard identification awareness and employee protection.


Individual Award
Gerald Gerlach - Prineville, Oregon


Following his own serious industrial accident in 1994, Gerry Gerlach became dedicated to making sure accident prevention was a priority at Pioneer Cut Stock in Prineville, where Gerlach serves as Human Resource Manager. Gerlach initiated an Oregon OSHA Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) at Pioneer Cut Stock that has contributed to a large reduction in work-related accidents, reduced absenteeism and turnover, created higher morale and increased productivity.


Labor Representative
Claudia Pitzler - Portland, Oregon


Claudia Pitzler serves as a field representative for the American Federation of Teachers-Oregon (AFT-Oregon) and is a core member of the American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) safety committee. Pitzler was recognized for her work in addressing air quality issues for teachers and her advocacy work on improving ergonomic working conditions. Pitzler was instrumental in designing a labor-oriented safety curriculum that was presented at the 2003 GOSH Conference.


Safety Professional
Kenneth Greenhill, CSP - LaPine, Oregon


Greenhill has served over a twenty-year career in construction safety, from field production, supervision and management. During a four-year period, Greenhill revised safety programs for Teufel Nursery that resulted in a 24-fold reduction in workdays lost. Greenhill is a highly sought-after safety instructor, teaching courses at regional conferences and Portland Community College, and serving as a trainer for the federal OSHA Region X Outreach Training Advisory Committee. Greenhill has also served on committees for the American Society of Safety Engineers, Columbia-Willamette Chapter.


Lifesaving Award
Don Blaske, Byron Wood, Peter Marth - Portland, Oregon


On November 15, 2001 a 61-year old customer at Heron Lakes Golf Course in Portland was concluding 18 holes of golf when the man collapsed on the green. Course Marshal Don Blaske saw the man fall down, rushed to his aid and began CPR after not finding a pulse. Blaske advised General Manager and Head Professional Byron Wood to grab an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) from the Pro Shop of the golf course. Wood also advised Clubhouse Manager Peter Marth to call 911 and request paramedics. Thanks to the quick actions of the team, the customer who was resuscitated is alive today.


The award is presented posthumously to Byron Wood. Mr. Wood died of a heart attack in September 2002 at age 58.


The GOSH Conference is presented in odd-numbered years at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland. The event is co-sponsored by the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) Columbia-Willamette Chapter and the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA).