J. J. Keller honors Safety Professional of the Year (SPOTY) award winners

Three safety professionals were recognized with one of the most prestigious awards in the industry at the Safety Professional of the Year (SPOTY) award presentation hosted online by J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. on October 22.

First-Place SPOTY Award Winner:

Brandy Bossle, Corporate Environmental & Safety Manager at AVX Corporation, Fountain Inn, South Carolina

Bossle tracks leading indicators for multiple safety objectives at AVX, including compliance with safety training, reports of unsafe conditions and near misses, safety in operating specifications, completion of risk assessments and on-time safety talks. She also led an innovative lockout/tagout training solution.

As Bossle watched what was occurring in China near the end of 2019, she developed a comprehensive plan to keep employees safe and production moving. The pandemic brought to light for Bossle the importance of overall employee health as a component of EHS. Her next goal is to bring AVX to the next level in safety by improving ergonomics in the company’s shipping warehouse.

“I’ve found that the secret to successfully getting buy-in for my EHS initiatives is to build relationships with employees, whether it be workers on the floor or management” said Bossle. “Once you’ve built that trust, it’s much easier to bring safety concerns to their attention and get them to be part of the solution. Shortly after receiving the J. J. Keller SPOTY award, I was promoted to Corporate Environmental & Safety Manager at AVX, so now I can have an even bigger impact on our EHS projects. I’m super excited for this opportunity!”

Second-Place SPOTY Award Winner:

Megan Silcott, Occupational Health, Safety and Environmental Manager with Nachurs Alpine Solutions, Marion, Ohio

Silcott manages environmental health and safety for Nachur Alpine’s seven manufacturing locations, coaching plant managers and working with local agencies. She leads the organization’s focus on reducing serious injury and fatality threats and the company’s environmental focus on stormwater and spill prevention, control and countermeasures. During the pandemic, Silcott also implemented the company’s infectious disease preparedness plan. She was instrumental in keeping essential employees safe and healthy, without impacting production levels.

Third-Place SPOTY Award Winner:

Steve Newton, Director—Safety & Driver Development at Challenger Motor Freight, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Newton leads a 27-person safety and compliance team. Under his leadership, this team has incorporated several safety goals into its larger strategic plan, focusing on injury performance, collision performance, CSA performance and CVOR performance. He also developed the company’s Mission Zero Program. Newton’s safety philosophy includes understanding that mental health is equally important as safety. Newton oversees a formal program for mental health. In 2020, Newton was the senior leader of the company’s Pandemic Response Team and their Crisis Management Team. This included developing an action plan for essential services and a restart and recovery plan to keep COVID-19 out of Challenger’s facilities.


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