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Safety Champions 2021

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December 2021



UVA Facilities Management would like to recognize YOU — our employees — as our December Safety Champion. For nearly the last two years, FM employees have consistently performed and completed their ongoing duties in a rapidly changing environment as COVID-19 swept across the globe. In addition to this, employees rallied and cooperated within and outside of the department to create UVA-specific health and safety procedures and practices by sharing their expertise and institutional knowledge, which helped stop the spread of viral particles and kept the community safe. Thank you for your ongoing teamwork, cooperation, innovation, and support of our community.

November 2021

Hans McInturff and Matt Pannell

Hans McInturff and Matt Pannell

Hans McInturff and Matt Pannell are the UVA FM Safety Champions for November 2021. Each are Construction Project Managers in FM's Construction and Renovation Services group that were tasked with the Heat Plant Office Renovation and HVAC upgrade project. In order to access the HVAC equipment, FM employees would have needed to enter a roof to switch out the equipment. The area needed enough support for the weight of the workers. Matt and Hans worked with the trade teams and FM's Occupational Health and Safety team to come up with safe access options: They called in a structural engineer and scaffold specialist to shore up the roof from below and erect a complex, safe scaffold system to help FM employees safely complete their work. OHS would like to recognize their willingness and openness to be flexible on the job to prioritize safety and to defer to other subject matter experts when needed.

October 2021

Mark Conner

Mark Conner

UVA Facilities Management would like to recognize Mark Conner as the October 2021 Safety Champion. In addition to his commitment to safety for his own group, he recently went above and beyond to help a contractor perform their work in the safest way possible. Mark's extra effort to check that the vendor had a safe plan of work protected the vendor, Mark's team, and potentially the University. Mark's leadership and Facilities Management took note of this extra effort and will use it as an opportunity to reach out to other areas at UVA and within FM to educate and inform parties the correct work procedure. Mark's willingness to work with OHS to find a viable solution so that the vendor can complete their work in a safe manner is an example for all of UVA.

September 2021

Chris Harvey

Chris Harvey

Chris Harvey, Trades Utility Senior Worker with Housing Maintenance, has been selected as the September 2021 Safety Champion for UVA Facilities Management. Chris was nominated by his colleague for his thoughtful actions during a recent service call: Chris was called to Metcalf dorm to correct a motion sensor not working on a light. He checked the breaker to ensure nothing had been tripped or turned off. As he cycled the power to the breaker, he noticed a faint hissing sound, which concerned him. He called a coworker for an opinion and another set of ears. Together, they de-energized the panel and noticed that the bolt attaching the breaker to the busbar had been cross-threaded and stripped. Because of the poor installation, the breaker was not making a proper fit with the busbar and was causing a small arc which created the hissing noise they heard. Chris fixed the situation with a fresh bolt and correct fitting. Had Chris walked away from this issue without investigating it further, the outcome may have been much worse, resulting in fire or electrocution.

August 2021

Barry Wood

Barry Wood pictured with the electrical panel safety signage he designed

Barry Wood, a supervisor in Facilities Management Housing Maintenance, was nominated and selected as the August 2021 Safety Champion for his initiative to help keep electrical distribution panels accessible. It started with a panel one of the maintenance zones kept finding blocked. When Barry was looped in to help solve the problem, he enlisted the FM Sign Shop to create special signs to place on the floor in front of the panel to alert building occupants of its presence. West Grounds Zone is already seeing the benefits, reporting improvements. Barry's innovation can be easily instituted across Grounds and can alleviate hazards associated with blocked panels, including fire hazard and fire marshal citations, as well as improving access and response for maintenance and emergencies. If you are aware of areas on Grounds that need these stickers, create a work order for the Sign Shop!

July 2021

Tony Love

Tony Love

Tony Love was nominated for the July FM Safety Champion by his Health System Physical Plant Zone 2 colleagues for his safety mindedness at work. Tony, a Trades Utility Senior Worker, is lauded by his colleagues as being “a huge asset to Zone 2 with his work ethic and safety mindset.” He ensures that his colleagues and other teams on the job have access to up-to-date, well-stocked first aid kits, PPE, and other needed safety equipment. It's seemingly small actions and a disciplined routine that can make a world of difference in safety on the job site. The FM OHS team applauds Tony for keeping the workplace safe and healthy!

June 2021

Jerry Craig & Jay Ortengren

Jerry Craig and Jay Ortengren

Jerry Craig and Jay Ortengen are managing a large HVAC renovation project by UVA FM's Construction and Renovation Services at the Lambeth Field Apartments. Before construction started, both Jerry and Jay identified several safety concerns to be addressed such as roof-top fall protection, electrical hazards, and the need for readily available first aid kits and fire extinguishers. They contacted and collaborated with Facilities Management Occupational Health and Safety while the project was still in the pre-construction phase to resolve these issues to insure a safe work site for all employees. This job involves UVA FM employees as well as multiple contractors. Jerry and Jay also had to plan and prepare for this project while many students were still in the dorms and COVID-19 restrictions were still in place. Jerry and Jay have made safety a top priority and an integral part of this project and did not allow hazards to go unaddressed due to financial or scheduling constraints. Their foresight and preparation should be a model for all FM projects.

May 2021

Glenn Tolbert, James Pace, Travis Eubanks and Matt Proffitt

James Pace, Travis Eubanks and Matt Proffitt

UVA Facilities Management Historic Masonry team members Glenn Tolbert, James Pace, Travis Eubanks and Matt Proffitt are FM's May 2021 Safety Champions for their work piloting a new Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) app. The work of the pilot group, in addition to implementing a new process, was to provide feedback on the app and its usability to the FM Occupational Health and Safety team. Once the app has been vetted and tweaked to appropriately serve the many teams at UVA FM, OHS hopes to deploy it across the organization. A JHA app on UVA mobile phones will mean that more FM employees can easily access one of the tools needed to start work safely and eliminate hazards and prevent jobsite incidents. Thank you to this masonry team for their usage and review of this new app!

March 2021

Ronnie Herring and Kenny Graham

Ronnie Herring and Kenny Graham

University of Virginia Facilities Management would like to recognize McCormick Zone Carpenter Lead Kenny Graham and Recycling Worker Ronnie Herring as March 2021 Safety Champions for their quick action last month: Their clear thinking and willingness to respond helped a fellow employee who had fallen on icy steps. Ronnie and Kenny jumped into action, performing first aid, and calling in a Medevac to help assess the injury and transport to the emergency room. Their quick response helped the employee receive the care needed in a timely manner. Thank you to Kenny and Ronnie for working as a unit to support an employee who was hurt on the job and for keeping UVA safe for everyone.

February 2021

Ryan McCarthy

Ryan McCarthy

Ryan McCarthy, second year plumbing apprentice at UVA Facilities Management, has been selected as the February 2021 Safety Champion. All UVA FM apprentices attend two weeks of intensive occupational health and safety training as part of their onboarding in order to best prepare them to enter the skilled trades workforce. Not only did Ryan excel at this initial training during her onboarding, she has embraced all aspects of workplace safety and wellbeing: She serves at the apprentice representative on the UVA FM Inclusive Excellence team, which engages employees to improve the culture at FM through the lenses of diversity, equity, and inclusion. In addition to this, she assists OHS along with other FM tradeswomen in finding better fitting personal protective equipment (PPE). We appreciate Ryan's enthusiasm and perspective as she works with the Occupational Programs team to create a safer, more inclusive culture at UVA FM.

January 2021

Safety committee chairs in a Zoom call together

UVA Facilities Management is celebrating the 2020 Safety Committee Chairs with the January Safety is Ours to Shape recognition. Marcus Klaton, Kristina Williams, Victor Martin, Jim Murphy, Johnny Gooch, Forrest Johnson, Zach Carter, Bernard Curry and Benji Boatwright have all done an amazing job engaging their respective Safety Committees this year. Throughout 2020 they made safety a top priority by submitting Safety Recommendations, hosting FM All-Staff Toolbox Talks, creating newsletters, increasing awareness, and engaging their peers to recognize safety hazards and Near Miss reporting. Their dedication to safety, safety mindedness, proactive approaches, and positive attitudes have truly made a difference in one the most trying years we have experienced. Thank you for being role models and leaders when it comes to everyone's safety!