J.J. Keller & Associates Inc. recently honored Harrold “Jay” Black — environmental, health and safety manager for Trex Co. — as the 2008 KellerOnline Safety Professional of the Year (SPOTY) in a ceremony held at J.J. Keller’s headquarters in Neenah, Wis.
The annual SPOTY Award, initiated in 2002, is sponsored by KellerOnline, an online safety management tool. The award program recognizes three individuals each year for their accomplishments in the safety industry, and winners are chosen from a field of more than 100 applicants.
Black received first place for having rebuilt a defunct safety program from the ground up and reducing reportable injuries by nearly 65 percent and near-miss incidents by nearly 80 percent within his first year on the job. In the year prior to Black taking over the safety role, his plant had 14 recordable injuries. The problems he had to deal with head-on included a high reportable injury rate, higher-than-normal incident rate and negative employee attitudes.
In addition to reducing reportable injuries and near-miss incidents, the efforts taken at Trex have resulted in a premium drop of several hundred thousand dollars for the company’s workers’ compensation renewal premiums. He credits his ability to make some rapid changes to KellerOnline and the ease with which he can find the information he needs to take action. His subscription to the service has saved him a significant amount of time in research because he can easily access the regulations, proposed rules, letters of interpretation, compliance directives and other reference materials that help him make decisions, write policies and conduct training.
Black received a $2,500 cash award during the special ceremony, along with a plaque, certificate and one year’s use of KellerOnline for himself and his coworkers.
Tim Palmer, director of environmental health and safety for TIC Holdings Inc., received second place. He received a $500 cash award (which he donated to his local United Way chapter), a plaque, certificate and a one-year subscription to KellerOnline.
Jason Neatrour, transportation manager for Liquid Environmental Solutions, was awarded third place. He received a $50 cash award, a plaque, certificate and a one-year subscription to KellerOnline.