Zach Knoop, corporate director of safety for Knife River Co., Bismarck, N.D., was named NSSGA’s 2011 James M. Christie Safety & Health Professional.The award, established in 1987, provides national recognition to an individual who has made superior and substantial contributions to his or her company’s and the industry’s efforts toward proactive safe and healthful operating practices. The award presentation is scheduled as part of NSSGA’s Annual Honors Awards Ceremony on March 14 at NSSGA’s 2012 Annual Convention in Charlotte, N.C.
Knoop has been an active member of NSSGA’s Safety and Health Committee as well as a member of the MSHA-NSSGA Alliance committee, which works to develop practical programs for education and training on behalf of occupational safety and health. Knife River has helped lead efforts to boost compliance and adherence to the highest principles of worker safety and health. An example is the company’s implementation of the DuPont Safety Training Observation Program (STOP), which has enabled Knife River to achieve a 65 percent reduction in injury rate over the past five years. More broadly, the company has achieved injury rate reductions in each of the past 11 years.
“Zach’s diligent work to boost safety and health for all is a great example of the aggregates industry’s commitment to worker safety and health celebrated by the James M. Christie Award,” said NSSGA President and CEO Joy Wilson. “Zach has made a substantial impact not only on his company and workforce, but on workers and companies throughout the United States.”
NSSGA Past Chairman Bill Schneider, former president and CEO of Knife River, commented, “We are very proud of this honor being bestowed on Zach. He does excellent work in exhorting co-workers to plan for, and work, in a manner that’s both safe and healthful. He is a credit to Knife River, and I know that our industry is a better one in which to work because of Zach’s commitment.”
Dave Barney, newly appointed president of Knife River, said “Zach’s achievements stand as a clear illustration of our industry’s commitment to creatively and diligently working to eliminate injuries and fatalities in support NSSGA’s most important guiding principles – preventing all occupational injuries and illnesses.”