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West Virginia Governor’s Safety Conference recognizes award nominees

West Virginia Governor's Safety Conference

Like many other events across the country, the West Virginia Governor’s Safety Conference was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, Governor Jim Justice, WVU Extension Safety and Health Extension, and WVU Extension Fire Service Extension would like to recognize those nominated for the West Virginia Governor's Safety Conference Awards.

During a time when safety and health is a top priority, it is even more appropriate to recognize individuals, companies and organizations that are working to ensure the well-being of employees in the workplace.

The Governor's Safety Innovation and Excellence Award recognizes a company, organization or individual that uses innovative approaches within the occupational safety and health field. These efforts result in measurable reductions of injuries, illnesses, fatalities, number of hazards/exposures in the workplace, or an increase in safety and health awareness, reporting, open communication or a shift in safety culture or climate. Nominees for the Governor’s Safety Innovation and Excellence Award include John Devaul, United Electrical Services; Duane Roberson, Blue Ridge Community and Technical College; Jason Porter, Apex Pipeline Services; Richard Harner, Summit Environmental Services; and Kim Murphy, Benchmark SHE LLC.

The Emergency Management and First Responder Award honors a department, organization or individual that has shown exemplary action or safety service during an emergency response. It also may be a first responder department, organization or individual that has introduced new concepts or programs that measurably reduce injuries, exposures or fatalities. The nominee for this award is Justin Koper, Healthnet Aeromedical Services.

In recognition of significant contributions in curriculum development, teaching or training, the Education and Outreach Award identifies a company, organization or individual whose efforts have resulted in outcomes that have improved safety and health knowledge, skills and abilities. It also may be a company, organization or individual that has shown an increase in employee identification of safety hazards or in reporting of unsafe conditions, changes in policies or procedures, or other positive changes toward a safer workplace. Individuals nominated for this award include Damon Porter, Lincoln County High School; Gary Winn, West Virginia University; and Brandon Riggs, Applied Construction Solutions.

The Rising Star Award honors a company or safety professional with under five years of operation or experience, who is making a significant impact within occupational safety and health toward improved safety and health performance, morale around safety and health, reduction in injuries, illnesses, fatalities or near misses. Michelle Mayor with ATI Industries LLC was nominated for this award.

Safety students who go above and beyond to be involved in the betterment of the safety and health field are recognized with the Emerging Safety Student Award. Nominees for this award are Michael Neace from Lincoln County High School and Dominic Oshoba from West Virginia University.

“The nominees are all exceptionally deserving,” Tony Michael, program director of WVU Extension Service Family and Community Development unit said. “I hope the state’s pandemic response highlights the importance of what the nominees do every day, promoting health and safety in the workplace.”

Look for information on the next West Virginia Governor’s Safety Conference, visit For more information about WVU Extension Service visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.