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NSSGA Names Safety and Health Professional of the Year

Louis Griesemer, president of Springfield Underground Inc., Springfield, Mo., has been named the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association’s (NSSGA) 2014 James M. Christie Safety & Health Professional of the Year. The award, established nearly 30 years ago, recognizes an individual for substantial contributions and commitment to safe and healthy operating practices within his company and the industry.

Griesemer, the 2007 chairman of NSSGA’s board of directors, is a certified safety instructor as designated by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA). He is an active member of NSSGA’s Safety Committee and is co-chair of the MSHA-NSSGA Alliance, which develops valuable occupational safety and health training programs to protect workers in the aggregates industry.

In his alliance leadership role, Griesemer has led the NSSGA’s Safety and Health Pledge program by which industry CEOs commit their companies to help the industry reduce its injury incidence rate each year. This program has substantially contributed to the industry’s success in achieving annual injury reductions. Additionally, Griesemer has testified before Congress on innovative ways for MSHA to focus limited resources on enforcement practices directed at the greatest risks to safety.

NSSGA Chairman Paul Detwiler III, president of New Enterprise Stone & Lime Co., Inc., commented, “Louis’ leadership and achievements stand as a clear illustration of our industry’s commitment to diligently working to reduce injuries in support of NSSGA’s highest priorities – preventing occupational injuries and illnesses.”

“Louis’ high standards on behalf of safety and health are a great example of the aggregates industry’s commitment to comprehensive worker wellness celebrated by the James M. Christie Award. Louis has made a substantial impact on workplace safety throughout the United States,” said NSSGA President and CEO Michael W. Johnson.

The James M. Christie Safety and Health Professional of the Year award was created in 1987 in recognition of Jim Christie, corporate safety director for Vulcan Materials Co. in the 1970s. Christie was an industry leader who, in the early 1980s, challenged the then-young MSHA agency to focus regulations on the safety practices of manager and worker behavior and not strictly on the conditions of a facility. When he died, the National Stone Association (predecessor to NSSGA) named its professional safety person of the year after him.

The James M. Christie Award will be presented as part of NSSGA’s Opening General Session, March 16, at NSSGA’s 2015 Annual Convention in Baltimore.