2013 Safety Excellence Awards

Safety excellence awards honor exemplary achievements by employees to reduce the risk of injury or illness to employees or visitors. Award recipients for 2013 were:
Female park ranger in uniform
Amnesty Kochanowski

NPS photo

Director's Award, Individual Achievement
Amnesty Kochanowski, Zion National Park, Utah

Kochanowski is a powerful advocate for the park's Safety and Occupational Health program, integrating wellness and health concepts into daily operations throughout the park. She's engaged employees by conducting monthly field days with individual programs, coordinating multiple Operational Leadership trainings, and sponsoring a LIFE Fair heat stress prevention booth.

The park's reported injuries and illnesses have decreased under Kochanowski 's tenure, due in part, to her proactive approach. By purchasing high quality, comfortable equipment Kochanowski has encouraged staff use of personal protective gear. She coordinated a four-day confined space inventory of 216 spaces with Federal Occupational Health, introduced a sit-to-walk treadmill station available to all employees, and has met with each employee who initiated an injury report to discuss the incident and corrective actions. She also coordinated 84 audiograms and 26 respiratory clearances, instructed safety awareness training, and contracted an ergonomist to perform park-wide assessments and trainings.
Four trail crew members sitting on rock wall
Trail crew members on break at a job site

NPS/Kristen M. Caldon

Director's Award, Group Achievement
Trail Crew, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The work practices and sustained behaviors embraced by the Grand Canyon trail crew exemplify the value this team places on safety. In 2013 the crew reported no time lost due to accidents or job-related injuries. The crew conducts regularly scheduled safety meetings and solidly incorporates Operational Leadership practices in daily work:
  • All crew members complete annual CPR/ First Aid training, and permanent staff are certified as Wilderness First Responders
  • Tools, equipment, and vehicles are regularly inspected, repaired, or replaced as necessary
  • Vehicle checklists are maintained in all vehicle vehicles and inspected daily
  • Without exception, employees use required Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), and the crew regularly updates the PPE inventory, replacing outdated or non-performing items as needed
  • Work crews in the field are cognizant of visitor safety, maintaining clutter-free job sites, alerting people to potentially dangerous areas, and controlling access to work sites.
Grand Canyon's work crews maintain good communications between each other and visitors while working around loud equipment, in the vicinity of mules, helicopters, or heavy equipment. Livestock handlers routinely provide safety training to work crews and public. This trail crew was the most active participant group in the 2013 GRCA Summer of Safety Challenge.
Three park rangers in front of exhibit
Pictured from left to right are Dave Rickers, Molly Watters, and Greg Ficker; not pictured is Drew Hughes.

NPS photo

Andrew Clark Hecht Public Safety Achievement Award
Safety Committee, Homestead National Monument of America, Nebraska

Homestead's safety committee works closely with park staff, local law enforcement, and emergency and response personnel to make the park as safe as possible for staff and visitors. In 2013 this committee provided safety training at all monthly staff meeting on a variety of topics.

The committee facilitated staff training in CPR, First Aid, storm spotting, and hazard communications, HAZCOM. In addition, the committee uses electronic bulletin boards to share public information about navigating park trails, tick recognition, poison ivy recognition, and potential seasonal hazard conditions. Signs along trails and outdoor exhibits highlight safety issues.

Last updated: December 7, 2015