Safety Week 2020 - Safety Award for Excellence

Last year, our Health and Safety Committee introduced the Pennoni Safety Award for Excellence and this week our employees voted for this year’s winner. Read on to find out why each of our nominees were recognized and congratulations to Kim Chianese! In addition to the eight nominees we’d also like to recognize all of our employees for their energy, diligence, and commitment to health and safety during this challenging time.


Office Administrator for the Haddon Heights, NJ office, Kim has been the foundation of our success over the last 5 months of the COVID crisis. Kim is the person who makes sure our office follows proper safety procedures, posts signs and notices, and provides supplies to allow those of us in the office to be here safely. For the first 6-8 weeks of this pandemic, Kim was acting as an administrative assistant to many of our local offices. Kim goes above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we were all safe and productive. We are extremely lucky in these crazy times that Kim accepted this unexpected responsibility and greatly contributed to our safety.


Matthew is an Associate Industrial Hygienist in our NYC office. “He has never had a work injury, spends 80% of his time in the field on Asbestos identification surveys, mold assessments, lead testing projects, and asbestos abatement projects.” This type of work exposes Matt to a host of potential safety issues such as hazardous substances and asbestos, working from ladders and fall hazards, work in confined spaces, the use of hand tools, and sharp edges. Matt is known for his consistency in safety, whether it’s wearing the right PPE or performing his work safely.


Dave has been a Pennoni employee for more than 30 years as a surveyor in the Mechanicsburg, PA office. Field work is an essential part of Dave’s workload, and with that comes an increased risk of injury. Dave has shown his dedication to safety through a variety of ways, including compliance with company policies and a healthy respect for operating within a safety culture. This includes forward thinking prior to field work to ensure the proper safety equipment and PPE is available and in good working order and that his own coworkers are equally protected. As further evidence, Dave often shares his experiences with his coworkers to pass along lessons learned.


Jason is an Engineering Designer in the Columbia, MD Utility Group is described by his manager as the type of guy that “goes above and beyond” when it comes to safety. His manager cited many examples of safety excellence for Jason from vehicle care to modeling great safety behaviors. Here’s one example that stuck out: “Jason noticed coworkers returning from field visits extremely sunburned despite sun block lotion and long sleeve shirts. He requested and received approval for the purchase of sun shield visors that extend the diameter of our safety helmets, blocking the sun from the face and neck with an additional cooling effect.”


As the Admin Assistant for both the Dulles and Leesburg, VA offices, Renee has shown time and again that she cares about the health and well-being of everyone in the offices. During the summer, she makes sure the field crews have all the PPE, bug spray, sunscreen, and water they need to stay safe. During the winter, she lets everyone know when it’s icy outside and when people need to take precautions while walking. And during this Pandemic, Renee continues to show how much she cares by cleaning and sanitizing common spaces twice a day. She tracks daily office attendance and makes sure the supplies are well stocked. Most notably, she worked really hard to make sure each office had what they needed including getting cleaning supplies and PPE for each employee and creating signs and directions for staff and visitors. Renee is a great example of excellence in safety. She just thinks about people!


Andrew is an Associate Transportation Engineer in the State College office. Safety is often neglected, not intentionally, but simply because it’s not the first thing on our minds. Sometimes it just takes a subtle reminder or a proactive effort to get staff thinking about doing their work more safely. Andrew Pletcher is a young project engineer who has taken on the task of office safety coordinator and encourages staff to work safer through his approach. He takes safety seriously and reminds us in a unique manner, that just about any task comes with risks. Without being condescending, he shows us things that can cause issues and educates staff to overcome those issues by first thinking about approaching a task in a safer manner. He combines this with education and encouragement as well as enforcement of company safety policies and protocols. His enthusiasm in his role, combined with his engaging delivery make him an effective advocate for safety.


Joseph Dommestrup, Peter Clem, and Jason Bradshaw make up a survey field crew in our Winter Haven, FL office. “The hard-working individuals on this survey field crew have worked collectively as a team for more than 5 years without any lost time due to injuries.” Examples of challenges faced include regular exposure to excessive heat, thunderstorms, dangerous wildlife and insects, dense vegetation, and difficult terrain. The team has completed a laudable amount of construction site stakeout work and has risen to the challenge during COVID-19, including completing many overnight assignments. Nelson Shaffer, RVP of our Southeast Region, attributes this success to the team’s attention to care and safe protocols every day but he also shared this: “As we sit in the office, or in today’s situation WFH, we often forget about the conditions our field personnel experience on a daily basis and the extent of exposure to potentially unsafe and unforeseen conditions. We want to recognize Joe, Peter, and Jason for performing their work in a safe manner such that they are safe and are available to work and meet the needs of our clients!”


Mark Huber has served as our Design-Build group’s Safety Manager for 5 years. In that time, he has been the Senior Safety Officer for more than $52 million in prime construction projects without a major safety incident. Mark lives and breathes safety. Each morning the entire Design-Build team receives a daily safety toolbox tip to keep safety at the top of everyone’s mind. Mark offers his expertise to other organizations and assists the corporate safety team. Along with his safety manager duties, Mark serves as the lead scheduler for Design-Build and is an integral part of every project.


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