Awards recognize safety efforts<br>

Park Super-intendent Joe Alston (center) honored employees for their contri-bution to worker and visitor safety. Honored were (from left) park Safety Officer Don Singer, Maintenance Mechanic Supervisor Pablo Garza, Bonnie Taylor of the park’s Visitor and Resource Protection Division and Ken Phillips, Branch Chief for Emergency Medical Services.

The awards were presented by Park Superintendent Joseph Alston at a recent managers’ meeting.

The Intermountain Region Safety Awards Program recognizes and celebrates efforts resulting in employee and public safety. Awards are given at three levels of park operations – individual, team and park.

Grand Canyon awards include:

Regional Director’s Safety Excellence Award for Employee Safety and Health Achievement.

Grand Canyon National Park won the Park Award for the entire park staff’s accomplishments in developing a safety program that reduced lost-time injuries by 66 percent over three years. The program involved park management, first-line supervisors and field employees.

This is the highest level award presented for employee safety achievement in the region. All regional employees (including volunteers) are eligible.

“The commitment and dedication of park staff to continuously improve the employee and visitor safety program is exemplary,” said Alston. “I am extremely proud of all of our employees and see them as true champions of safety excellence.”

Individual Safety Champion Award

Maintenance Mechanic Supervisor Pablo Garza received the Individual Safety Champion Award, recognizing his outstanding long-term achievements in providing leadership in safety excellence to his fellow employees at Grand Canyon National Park.

This award recognizes individuals who work outside the professional safety and health community and show innovative work and accomplishments that support and encourage no loss to human and material resources; build a favorable safety and health culture; and/or “champion” the leadership and development of a specific safety activity or program.

“Pablo’s diligent efforts over the past five years have highlighted his operation with the reputation of being the safest place to work in the park,” said Alston. “His achievements in establishing a top quality workshop environment of service-wide recognition, implementing monthly safety meetings combined with safety training, encouraging employee participation and ownership in safety systems, integrating the Job Hazard Analysis process into operations and upgrading the park’s scaffolding program are just a few of the highlights of his efforts. By fostering a ‘be safe’ culture, Pablo has influenced safety performance throughout the maintenance division. His commitment and dedication to continuously improve his safety program is exemplary and identifies him as a true champion of safety excellence.”

Regional Director’s Safety Excellence Award for Public Safety Achievement

This year the award went to the Visitor and Resource Protection Division for their outstanding efforts in the development of the highly successful Hike Smart program. Since its inception in 1997, Hike Smart has reduced the number of serious heat related medical incidents of park visitors hiking in the Grand Canyon by over 55 percent.

This is the highest level award for outstanding public safety achievement presented in the region. All regional employees, volunteers, groups, or non-employees are eligible nominees for this award.

“Staff members of the Visitor and Resource Protection Division can take great pride in the evolution of the Hike Smart program from an initial response-only format to one of a proactive educational program that prevents heat related incidents from occurring,” Alston said.

The success of the program started with effective analysis of the problem, development of an extensive public service announcement campaign, and providing staffing for Preventative Search and Rescue (PSAR) activities.

“Hike Smart is an exemplary program that highlights the commitment of park staff to continually improve public safety,” Alston said.

Recipients were presented with special plaques recognizing their achievements. During the awards presentation, Alston also recognized Don Singer, the Park’s Safety Officer, for his leadership, and dedication to continuously improve the employee and visitor safety programs at Grand Canyon National Park.

“Don provides direction and guidance to Park employees and has made substantial improvements to the Park’s safety programs over the last several years,” Alston said. “These awards are a testament to Don’s dedication to safety excellence. He is a great asset to the National Park Service and Grand Canyon National Park.”

Award categories include Park/Operating Unit Safety Excellence Awards for Employee and Public Safety Achievement; the Regional Director’s Safety Excellence Award for Employee Safety and Health Achievement; Regional Director’s Safety Excellence Award for Public Safety Achievement; and the Safety Champions Award Program.

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