2017 Everyday Safety Hero Award Recipients
A distinguished award for 2017, the Everyday Safety Hero Award recognized those Hoosiers who have championed workplace safety and health excellence in their respective workplaces. Individuals, who may not be safety and health professionals, were nominated by their peers or organizations. Winners were selected based on a narrative provided by their respective nominators. This special award was created specifically for the 2017 Indiana Safety and Health Conference theme of the "Everyday Hero" and gave Indiana's businesses and organizations an opportunity to recognize a member of their staff for their dedication to workplace safety.
General Superintendent for Rieth-Riley (Goshen, Indiana)
Tragically in 2014, Dennis lost his son, Coty DeMoss, and fellow co-worker Ken Duerson while the pair were working along an interstate work zone. Despite this personal tragedy, Dennis persevered and stayed focus on the safety of his fellow co-workers and the general public. In his son’s memory, Dennis helped start the non-profit Road Construction Awareness Corporation, an organization that has successfully developed, financed, and installed INDOT-approved highway signs that read, “SLOW DOWN. SAVE A LIFE. WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER.” The organization also provides financial and personal support to families of deceased and injured workers in the highway construction business.
Director of Laundry and Transportation Services for Franklin United Methodist Community (Franklin, Indiana)
One may not expect to find a safety super hero in the laundry room, but Larry has been a blessing for the small department and many other areas of the Franklin United Methodist Community campus.
While much of Larry’s impact on safety and health may seem like simple changes to the laundry department’s procedures, they have gone a long way in preventing hazards and stressors among staff. Some of Larry’s initiatives include changing the chemicals used in the laundering process by ordering supplies from a company that offered a color-coded closed system to replace the previous supplier’s heavy 5-gallon buckets. Larry was also instrumental in the formation and implementation of the organization’s safety committee. Larry has been an advocate in emergency preparedness, especially workplace violence prevention.
Payroll Clerk for LSC Communications (Crawfordsville, Indiana)
While most safety leaders are on the frontline, Jennifer is a “behind the scenes hero.” She is a people-person who thrives on projects that benefit others. Outside of her normal work duties, Jennifer is an active member of the office safety team, VPP core and communication team, and inclusion council. Jennifer has served as chairperson on the VPP communication committee over the last few years and has attended the regional VPP conference to benefit LSC Communications. Her VPP committee creates quarterly safety contests for all employees to participate. Jennifer also created a coloring contest and activities for children so employees take safety home. She also coordinated the “Why We Work Safe” project, a program that encouraged employees to bring in photos for the reasons they work safely – family, friends, pets, hobbies, etc.
Equipment Operator for River Metals Recycling (Greensburg, Indiana)
Tony was a tremendous amount of support in River Metals Recycling becoming the first scrap facility in the state to achieve certification in the Indiana Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program.
Tony was the first non-supervisory teammate to attend a three-day safety training for supervisors offered by the company’s corporate office. He returned ready with new ideas for improving written job hazard analysis and offering solutions to eliminate numerous physical hazards. Tony was instrumental in establishing the site’s traffic control plan. Upon the facility’s new formal mentor program, Tony was up front and ready to serve as location’s mentor to new hires. He is now a coach for the company’s 90-day structured onboarding process for new employees.
Tony’s catch phrase at River Metals Recycling has been, “If you can’t do it safely – don’t do it,” something that everyone at the company reminds themselves of daily.