Twelve leaders in occupational safety and health received awards from the Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health (GOSH) conference. The 30th biennial conference occurred March 12-15 in Portland.
Association Award (no full-time loss control staff)
Recognizes an Oregon trade association that has contributed to the safety and health of its members without full-time dedicated loss control staff.
Associated Builders and Contractors
Pacific Northwest Chapter
Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Pacific Northwest Chapter is a Tigard-based employer association representing the interests of construction professionals in Oregon and Southwest Washington. The Pacific Northwest Chapter, like other chapters of ABC, relies extensively on volunteers to meet the needs of chapter members for workplace safety and health.
The volunteer members of the Pacific Northwest Chapter’s Safety Resource Council work to keep each ABC member's worksite safe through comprehensive resources from National ABC; a network of strategic partnerships, including a partnership with Oregon OSHA; innovative training programs such as National ABC's STEP and OSHA's SHARP; and numerous updates on the industry's latest safety developments.
Association Award (with full-time loss control staff)
Recognizes an Oregon trade association with dedicated loss control staff that has contributed to the safety and health of its members.
Associated General Contractors (AGC)
The Oregon-Columbia Chapter of AGC is a trade association based in Wilsonville dedicated to providing AGC’s construction contractor members the tools they need to make their businesses more competitive. The Oregon-Columbia Chapter’s staff of eight safety professionals and one industrial hygienist provides loss prevention and safety or industrial hygiene services to more than 1,100 members.
Chapter consultants deliver more than 200 on-site training programs to members each year. They also offer safety program evaluation and assistance, job site safety hazard evaluations, and resources for safety and health questions. The future of construction is also a focus - the Oregon-Columbia chapter is involved in safety training for students at community colleges and high schools, and annually conducts more than 50 formal training courses for certification.
Employer Award (31 to 99 Employees)
Recognizes an employer with 31 to 99 employees that has made an outstanding contribution to occupational safety and health.
Pence/Kelly Concrete, LLC
Pence/Kelly Concrete has created a vibrant safety culture featuring worker safety training held early and often, job-specific safety planning, drug-free workplace screening and monitoring, and a zero-injury philosophy.
The commitment to safety has secured Pence/Kelly regional recognition for decades. During the past five years, the company has received 11 awards from Oregon OSHA, Associated General Contractors, and other organizations. More recently, Pence/Kelly expanded employee requirements for taking U.S. OSHA 10-hour training, implemented in-depth accident and incident investigations, and in 2006 joined the Oregon OSHA Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP).
The Pence/Kelly approach to safety is demonstrated in its statistics. During 2005, Pence/Kelly had no OSHA-recordable incidents or injuries on any job sites; in 2003, Pence/Kelly had zero OSHA-recordable injuries. The company in 2005 had an experience modification rate for workers’ compensation coverage 30 percent below the industry average.
Employer Award (100 to 299 Employees)
Recognizes an employer with 100 to 299 employees that has made an outstanding contribution to occupational safety and health.
Streimer Sheet Metal Works, Inc.
Streimer Sheet Metal Works, Inc. fabricates and installs sheet metal ductwork for industrial and commercial customers throughout Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and California. Routine worker exposures include heights, sharp edges, power and hand tools, chemicals, and working within confined spaces.
The company meets these challenges in three ways: by training all employees to identify and control hazards; by providing task-specific safety and personal protective equipment and training; and by engaging managers and employees, daily, to jointly create and maintain a safe environment for all workers in the field and office.
For Streimer, safety begins even before a contract is accepted. Project managers are expected to say “no” to jobs inherently too dangerous to bid, and to incorporate the true cost of safety into the price of every project they seek. The Sheet Metal and Air Conditioning Contractors’ National Association (SMACNA) has twice honored Streimer as Safe Contractor of the Year (2003 first place and 2004 second place).
Employer Award (300 to 999 Employees)
Recognizes an employer with 300 to 999 employees that has made an outstanding contribution to occupational safety and health.
Workers in the road construction and paving industry face a range of safety challenges, from the flagger on a busy street to the worker handling ready-mix concrete back at the plant.
LTM Inc. meets these challenges with a no-nonsense approach. All LTM employees, subcontractors, and vendors must follow LTM’s safety policy, which is strictly enforced. There also are training requirements, a user-friendly hazard-reporting system, a successful safety incentive program, and drug and alcohol testing. New workers must go through pre-hire screening and orientation and wear an easy-to-spot yellow hard hat their first three months on the job.
LTM’s efforts to create safer, healthier workplaces earned the company membership in Oregon OSHA’s Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) in 2005 and 2006.
Recognizes the significant contributions of an individual who integrates safety into daily work practices.
Joe Soares has worked for LTM Medford for eight years, first as a job site foreman and then as construction superintendent since 2005. In this role, Soares is responsible for 14 highway construction foremen and 130 workers engaged in all phases of road construction.
Soares is respected as a proactive superintendent who stays on top of all the changes in construction work zones. He is a hands-on supervisor who is only in the office when conducting safety meetings. Otherwise, he is out on the job sites, conferring with workers and making their safety his top priority.
In 2006, Soares came close to achieving an injury-free year. His department logged nearly 147,000 injury-free work hours until late September 2006, when an OSHA-recordable injury occurred - ironically while Soares was on a well-deserved vacation.
Industrial Hygienist Award
Recognizes an industrial hygienist's outstanding contribution to occupational safety and health.
Alden Strealy has been an industrial hygienist at Associated General Contractors (AGC) since 1999. He helps 900 AGC contractor member firms in Oregon develop and implement their industrial hygiene policies, and identify employee safety and health training needs. He also performs site evaluations to help AGC member companies meet the safety and health management requirements contained in Oregon OSHA standards.
Strealy specializes in construction industrial hygiene, and is able to demystify this complicated science by clearly explaining how to anticipate, recognize, evaluate, and control health hazards. Last year, he presented more than 20 training sessions on health topics to member contractors, performed 34 full industrial hygiene surveys, and consulted with many others through reports, meetings, and presentations. He also regularly speaks at contractor forums and meetings and has presented industrial hygiene as a career at local school job fairs.
Safety Committee (31 to 99 Employees)
Recognizes a safety committee in an organization with 31 to 99 employees that has made substantial efforts in the reduction of workplace injury and illness.
Stepping Stone Residential Services
Stepping Stone is a private nonprofit residential program for people with disabilities. Founded in 1973 by four mothers wanting better lives for their children with disabilities, the organization began in a church basement in Grants Pass, and has grown to seven facilities employing 66 people. Though still a relatively small operation, Stepping Stone devotes significant time and resources to safety.
The staff's greatest exposure is patient handling, a challenge successfully met by Stepping Stone's collaborative, energetic safety committee. Composed of staff and management representatives from each unit, the committee's ambitious safety agenda includes engaging monthly activities, fun incentives to elicit worker feedback, and an enriching learning culture.
Injuries have declined 54 percent at Stepping Stone between 2002 and 2005. The employer received SHARP awards from Oregon OSHA in 2004 and 2005.
Safety Committee (100 to 299 Employees)
Recognizes a safety committee in an organization with 100 to 299 employees that have made substantial efforts in the reduction of workplace injury and illness.
Clean Water Services
Wastewater Treatment Department
Clean Water Services provides wastewater treatment and surface water management services to most of Washington County and parts of Multnomah County. Workgroups for the Wastewater Treatment Department's local safety committees oversee four wastewater treatment plants, 1,000 miles of sanitary and storm sewers, 41 pump stations, and administrative support buildings.
Many hazards are inherent in wastewater treatment, including waterborne pathogens, potential exposure to toxic or hazardous substances, routine chemicals, potentially explosive gases, and working in confined spaces. The committee works hard to make safety second nature to all workers and a routine part of their day. To help accomplish this, the organization contracted with a nationally respected safety expert and created a long-term safety initiative that includes employee recognition programs and peer-to-peer incentives, all-employee access to safety committee meetings, weekly tailgate meetings, tailored training plans for committee members, and redesigned facility inspections. The effort has produced observable, recordable results, including more safety-conscious employees, noticeably fewer injuries, and recognition through several safety awards.
Safety Committee (300 to 999 Employees)
Recognizes a safety committee in an organization with 300 to 999 employees that has made substantial efforts in the reduction of workplace injury and illness.
City of Portland Water Bureau
The three safety committees for the City of Portland-Water Bureau represent 540 workers, including water treatment plant operators, watershed specialists, field maintenance crews, and administrative support specialists.
One of the three committees represents workers in the bureau's Portland building. Here the safety focus is emergency action plans, coordinated building-wide responses, and effective office ergonomics.
The second committee's challenges are tied to the diversity of work and skill sets of its wide variety of employees, which includes field construction and repair crews, service and maintenance workers, water-quality inspectors and lab personnel, security patrols, GIS/Mapping personnel, and office employees.
The third committee, representing water treatment and maintenance workers of the Bull Run watershed, faces the most challenges. Its scope includes the entire watershed, including three dams, three major reservoirs, two water-treatment facilities, and miles of road. The committee covers standard safety and health regulations, wild land fire certification, SnowCat and winter survival training, boating safety, PSM regulations, and exposure to wildlife.
The three committees meet quarterly for skills training and networking, essential tools for promoting team building and personal growth.
Safety Committee (1,000 or more Employees)
Recognizes a safety committee in an organization with 1,000 or more employees that has made substantial efforts in the reduction of workplace injury and illness.
Pacific Power-Corporate Office
Pacific Power’s safety committee, representing workers in PacifiCorp’s Portland and Salt Lake City operations, has brought health, safety, and emergency preparedness programs to a higher level of excellence. Safety committees meet monthly and are open to any worker via video and voice conferencing. The committees bring together a wealth of health, safety and wellness knowledge, and have been an excellent venue for exchanging best practices.
Health and wellness is a concern of the safety committee. Pacific Power workers can join walking and hiking groups, go to the annual safety fair, and attend popular monthly brown-bag sessions on topics such as cancer prevention, diabetes awareness, and stress management. Each building’s assigned first-aid responders are well-trained and well-equipped. Safety committee members help train employees in how to identify and correct potential workplace hazards. Employees feel more involved and empowered at work, and their sense of office safety has been revitalized.
Pacific Power is a division of PacifiCorp, one of the west's largest utilities, serving California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. In addition to educating employees, PacifiCorp reaches 50,000 to 60,000 community members each year regarding safety issues with newspaper ads and live presentations.
Safety Professional Award
Recognizes a safety professional who has made a major contribution to occupational safety and health.
Joe Miller has devoted a 30-year career to advancing safety and health in the Northwest, including the past nine years as manager of safety and loss control consultation at the Oregon-Columbia Chapter of Associated General Contractors.
Last year, Miller’s team conducted more than 200 specialized member trainings and more than 300 job-site safety audits. Miller encourages the AGC team to keep current on safety research and promote practical, innovative solutions for AGC’s members.
For example, Miller and his team use insurance injury and illness data to develop action plans for at-risk employers, successfully reversing loss trends and improving the employers’ bottom line. During Miller’s tenure with AGC, his team has generated more than $143 million in cost savings to members.
Miller helped implement AGC’s Safety PRIDE program, serves as AGC’s liaison with the Oregon Department of Transportation for emergency response and disaster planning, and is active on the national AGC Safety and Health Committee.
The Oregon Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health conference is presented in odd-numbered years as a partnership between the Department of Consumer and Business Services, Occupational Safety and Health Division (Oregon OSHA) and the American Society of Safety Engineers, Columbia-Willamette Chapter.
Oregon OSHA, a division of the Department of Consumer & Business Services, enforces the state's workplace safety and health rules and works to improve workplace safety and health for all Oregon workers. The Department of Consumer and Business Services is Oregon's largest business regulatory and consumer protection agency. For more information, visit www.dcbs.oregon.gov.