Detailing SC&RA’s safety award winners
13 June 2023
Back in April at SC&RA’s Annual Conference in Carlsbad, CA, the Association took the time to formally recognize its 2023 safety award winners across both crane and rigging as well as transportation.
Anglemyer Crane Service, out of Azusa, CA, was one of those winners – having received a Crane & Rigging Zero Accidents Award and a Crane & Rigging Safety Award.
John Anglemyer, president, looks at these awards as a natural byproduct of his company’s family approach to success. “We’re family owned, and our crew members are like family,” he said. “As a result, we’re constantly on the lookout for each other to ensure a safe working environment, and our management team is constantly meeting to discuss our workload, where each employee should be working each day and to provide each other support to deliver safe and great customer service.”
When considering the top safety concerns in the lifting industry today, Anglemyer points to communication, electrical hazards, wireless distractions, material falling/slipping and caught-in-between hazards. “Safe operation of cranes demands qualified and trained personnel,” he explained. “We have regular safety meetings to communicate with our employees how important it is to maintain a high level of safety and to provide unsurpassed quality of work to our customers.”
Bill Petit, QHSSE Manager (Quality, Health, Safety, Security, Environment) at Roll Group in Dayton, TX, believes that winning safety awards reflects on a company’s commitment to excellence in delivering reliable, sustainable and innovative project solutions. Roll Group received a Crane Operator Safety Award, presented to John Watkins, and a Rigger Safety Award, given to David Isenberg.
Like Anglemyer, Petit knows that peer recognition for safety at the highest level is a reflection on two things more than anything else. “It’s echoed in our core values – a proactive safety culture and mindset – where everything possible is done to ensure safe, efficient and incident-free execution. And it’s a testament to our people – to John and David’s invaluable contribution towards the safe and timely execution of jobs here at Roll-Lift.”
A productive safety culture is something that Bill Vezina has also been building over time as director of Safety and Compliance at Bushell Transport out of Acheson, Alberta, Canada. As proof, Bushell took home three safety awards in April, including a Transportation Zero Accidents Award, a Transportation Fleet Mileage Category Award and a Driver Safety Award.
“I started with Bushell Transport back in 2012, and at that point, there was a little bit of a struggle in regards to compliance and related stuff,” he noted. “But the drivers and management welcomed me with open arms … it was a really good feeling to both see and understand how much everyone was willing to put the effort in to make a change.”
For over a decade, Vezina has been working alongside his operators and all other employees to ensure a company-wide, sustainable safety culture, and his people have responded in kind. “I might have helped, but essentially in the end, it was the drivers that made the change and all the improvements for us. Getting recognized says a lot about the people here and the steps we’ve taken to better ourselves. It’s not just one individual that makes a change – it’s a group effort. And it’s humbling.”
Tiffany Myhre, Operations & Safety manager at Precision Heavy Haul (PHH), Inc., out of Tolleson, AZ, knows a little something about a successful group effort. Like Bushell, PHH received the Transportation Zero Accident and Driver Safety awards, but also earned a Fleet Safety Award, for endeavoring to constantly improve their safety record.
“We’re so honored to win these awards, because our team works so hard to earn them,” she said. “Safety culture is not just policies and procedures; it encompasses every aspect of the business. Every person and role in the company contributes to it, because from the moment we get an inquiry from a customer, we start working on the details to make sure the load will be done right.”
Like Anglemyer, Myhre is fully aware that her own industry is rife with safety concerns on a daily basis. “Distracted driving, infrastructure growth and changing environments are some of the biggest ones today,” she said. “And that doesn’t necessarily mean professional drivers; the public is very rushed and distracted with little knowledge about the larger vehicles and equipment that share the roadways. Our drivers are constantly faced with obstacles on our roadways, and they have to be alert and aware of their surroundings at all times.”
PHH addresses these concerns in numerous ways, according to Myhre. “We’ve placed 360-degree cameras on our tractors for the safety of our drivers, and our drivers stay up to date with safety training. We also run routes prior to certain jobs to make sure we know the safest way. And we reward our employees and drivers for safety while working as a team to share knowledge throughout the entire workforce. In this way, we continue to learn and adapt to new challenges.”
If sharing is caring, then Deep South Crane & Rigging, out of Baton Rouge, La., has implemented a way to maximize both as a singular strategy within their safety culture. The result? At this year’s Annual Conference, Deep South was recognized for a Crane & Rigging Safety Award, a Crane Operator Safety Award, a Rigger Safety Award and a Driver Safety Award on the transportation side.
“We’ve been a family owned company since our inception, and we’ve always put an emphasis on caring – for our workforce, our customers, those we work with on jobsites and within our communities,” said Safety Advisor Louise Landry. “Winning awards, at least in part, is a recognition of that emphasis. That said, a number of years ago, we began a program that we call ‘What’s Your Why?’ – focused on encouraging all employees to ask that question. Why do each of us put safety first in all we do? And we believe that this focus has helped us grow our safety culture.”
Kristine Kennedy, president at Highway Heavy Hauling, out of Portland, OR, echoes Landry, and recognizes the importance of putting safety first. Highway Heavy Hauling picked up a Driver Safety Award at the Annual Conference.
“My brother Carson [vice president] and I have been in the industry since our early twenties and have seen what can happen to a company when family and safety are not prioritized,” she noted. “Putting your family first absolutely means that you are putting safety first, and we use the two interchangeably. And it doesn’t just mean ‘Everyone has to go home at the end of the day.’ It means that a driver or dispatcher is representing their family to our company, to our customers. They’re putting pride in their work and showing the ultimate professionalism. And professionals do not compromise the safety of their family, their team or others on the road.”
Kennedy believes that, as jobs and equipment only get more competitive and high-tech, and workforce challenges continue to impact the industry, safety only becomes more pivotal to success on every level.
“Safe practices are the key to success both externally and internally, due to a huge factor that all trucking companies share: the driver shortage,” she said. “If we don’t take measures to keep our drivers safe, then our workforce gets smaller, which could eventually affect not only our industry, but the world.”