Jeremy Bethancourt: ASSE’s 2017 Safety Professional of the Year

Jeremy Bethancourt, a professional member and government affairs chair of ASSE’s Arizona Chapter, is ASSE’s 2017 Edgar Monsanto Queeny Safety Professional of the Year. The award is given annually to recognize an OSH professional who has demonstrated outstanding achievement in the safety field while making significant contributions to advancing the safety profession.

Bethancourt is safety manager/director for LeBlanc Building Co. Inc., cofounder and program director of ACTA Safety, and a member of the ANSI/ASSE A10.32 fall protection subcommittee. He is a tireless advocate for workplace safety, serving in a wide range of capacities, including chair of Arizona’s annual Workers Memorial Day ceremony, cofounder the Drive Smart Arizona coalition, and collaborator in research conducted by NIOSH and CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training. He also has played a lead role in getting billboards posted throughout Arizona to bring attention to OSHA’s National Stand-Down to Prevent Falls in Construction, the dangers of distracted driving and the hazards of heat stress.

For more than 10 years, Bethancourt has actively promoted the use of fall protection equipment among residential home builders. “His ability to inspire others and lead them toward a common goal has been nothing less than extraordinary,” says John LeBlanc, CEO and owner of LeBlanc Building Co. Inc. “Our achievement as a premier expert in worker safety and progressive fall protection is in no small part due to Jeremy’s technical understanding of the building process and his willingness to integrate new approaches to safety while maintaining productivity.”

Bethancourt’s drive to prevent falls in construction also led to his appointment to two terms (2012-16) on OSHA’s Advisory Committee on Construction Safety and Health. “The best way to see the impact of Jeremy’s continuing efforts is to look on the OSHA website,” says Bill Parsons, Air Force Chief of Occupational Safety, a former acting director of OSHA’s Directorate of Construction, and a member of ASSE’s New Mexico Chapter. “A lot of the information being provide to the residential [construction] industry is available thanks to the consultation and sharing [Jeremy has] provided. As with any great change, there is always someone who keeps the spark alive. Jeremy’s approach changed the industry and workers are safer for it because of the work he continues to do.” In 2013, he received ASSE’s inaugural Triangle Award for his commitment to promoting fall protection.

Bethancourt also volunteers for Kids’ Chance of Arizona and Kids Chance of America, organizations that provide educational scholarships to the children of injured workers. And, he is a regular speaker at ASSE chapter events and the Society’s annual conference.

Those who know him believe his passion for safety and serving others will likely drive him to push for even greater improvements. As LeBlanc says, “I can only imagine what else he will accomplish.”

Bethancourt will receive the award on Wednesday, June 21, during ASSE’s Safety 2017 conference in Denver, CO.