NEENAH, Wis., – J. J. Keller & Associates Inc. has announced the winners of the 2021 J. J. Keller Safety Professional of the Year (SPOTY) Awards, one of the most prestigious forms of recognition in the field of workplace safety. One of the award winners is Trevor Pellegrini, safety coordinator for Airstream Inc.
The SPOTY Awards honor the critical role of safety professionals in building a safety culture and ensuring employees return home to their families at the end of each day. The judging panel for this year’s awards included six J. J. Keller consultants and editors, who are experts in environmental health and safety, and guest judge Benita Mehta, chief editor of Industrial Safety & Hygiene News (ISHN).
“Our purpose at J. J. Keller is to protect people and the businesses they run,” said Rustin Keller, president and CEO of J. J. Keller, who presented the awards during a September 16 webcast. “The SPOTY Awards recognize those safety professionals who excel at sharing our purpose. As providers of safety solutions to companies large and small, our panelists have a unique view into what sets safety leaders apart in their profession.”
SPOTY Award winners receive free subscriptions to J. J. Keller® SAFETY MANAGEMENT SUITETM, delivering round-the-clock access to J. J. Keller’s most popular safety management tools, as well as cash prizes.
The first place SPOTY Award winner is Pellegrini.
After a six-week shutdown at the start of the pandemic, Airstream returned to record sales – and record hiring. Airstream Safety Coordinator Pellegrini has been instrumental in training these new hires, implementing COVID-19 protocols and ensuring Airstream associates are equipped with the best safety practices as they build the world’s most iconic travel trailers.
“We persevered during the pandemic and were also able to increase our total new hires by over 500, training them on COVID-19 protocols and how to safely share community tools,” said Pellegrini. “Furthermore, we have continually reduced our recordable injuries while hiring these new employees.”
Pellegrini has been with Airstream for four years. During this time, he earned associate’s and bachelor’s degrees in Science (Occupational Health, Safety and Environment) through the company’s tuition reimbursement program while working as an assembly associate and router operator. Now, as part of the company’s safety team, his efforts to adopt COVID-19 safety protocols have helped ensure the safety and security of the over 1,000 associates who work at Airstream production facilities in Jackson Center, Ohio.
Pellegrini sees long-term benefits from the measures taken, beyond protecting associates and the company during the pandemic. For example, the trend logs he created for COVID-19 exposures and rolled out to all production and office associates are now also being converted to trend logs for injury reports.
On an ongoing basis, Pellegrini sees empathy as critical when training on and enforcing safety policies. It’s a philosophy he has taken into work environment leadership from his volunteer work as a Christian Addiction Recovery Counselor and his former career as a firefighter.
Recent safety accomplishments by Pellegrini include:
• Data analysis findings that hands were most often affected by injuries in the workplace, and development of weekly training to prevent hand injuries
“At Airstream, the associates and the company hold themselves to a high safety standard,” said Pellegrini. “I attempt to go above and beyond to demonstrate that vision. The motto I learned as a firefighter is ‘Everyone Goes Home,’ and I hold that motto close to me in my current profession and life.”
The second place SPOTY award winner is Paul Power, assistant vice president, Northwell Health, New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer.
The third place SPOTY award winner id Kelly Weinhardt, Environmental Health & Safety coordinator for Texas – North Louisiana, Trane Technologies.