WASHINGTON, May 6, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has awarded Jeremy Bethancourt, Safety Program Director for Scottsdale-AZ based LeBlanc Building Co., Inc. their inaugural Triangle Award for Heroic Dedication today at the U.S. Department of Labor.
Given each year in honor of the 146 victims of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire in New York City, the "Triangle Award" honors a safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professional who, in the course of going beyond his or her normally assigned duties, either prevents or minimizes physical injury, loss of life or substantial property damage in a workplace.
In 2006, LeBlanc Building, a residential construction company, made a commitment to implementing stronger fall protection measures for its employees, Bethancourt played a key role in many hours of research and in the implementation of LeBlanc's new fall protection procedures. Since then, eleven construction workers employed by LeBlanc have had falls arrested, saving them from likely serious injury or death.
However, Bethancourt's efforts to improve fall protection at small to medium size residential construction companies did not stop with his employer. He has since taken his experience, and used it to promote the use of conventional fall protection throughout the industry, taking the cause to the state and national level, and all the way to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
In 2010, his persistence was an important influence on OSHA's decision to reinstate the requirement for use of conventional fall protection for residential protection (STD 03-11-002).
"While the overall number of resulting "saves" is not known, the impact made by Mr. Bethancourt has been substantial," said Matt Gillian of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) who nominated Bethancourt for the Triangle Award.
"He made a big difference for his own employees, but he did not stop there. He made it his job to share his knowledge and to push for change across the country."
Bethancourt received the award from ASSE President Rick Pollock, CSP as part of the kick-off event for North American Occupational Safety and Health (NAOSH) Week, which takes place on May 5-11, 2013.
"I'm thrilled that this might help the cause of fall protection, and bring it to the forefront all over again," he said, adding that he considers fall protection to be a moral choice for employers.
In addition to his position with LeBlanc Builders, Bethancourt is the Program Director for the Arizona Construction Training Alliance (ACTA), and serves on the Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health (ACCSH) as well as on the ASSE/ANSI A10.32 Fall Protection Standard Subcommittee. He holds a B.S in Justice Administration and Sociology from Arizona State University.
Founded in 1911, the Chicago-based ASSE is the oldest professional safety organization and is committed to protecting people, property and the environment. Its more than 35,000 occupational safety, health and environmental professional members lead, manage, supervise, research and consult on safety, health, transportation and environmental issues in all industries, government, labor, health care and education. For more information please go to www.asse.org.
SOURCE American Society of Safety Engineers