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,
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).
Associated General Contractors, Oregon-Columbia Chapter - Wilsonville,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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).