Jeremy Bethancourt Receives ASSE’s Triangle Award for Heroic Dedication

As part of the kick-off events of NAOSH 2013, ASSE awarded Jeremy Bethancourt, safety program director for Scottsdale, AZ-based LeBlanc Building Co. Inc., with the inaugural Triangle Award for Heroic Dedication. Bethancourt was nominated for the award by Matt Gillian of CDC for his substantial contributions to and impact on fall protection in the construction industry.

The Triangle Award recognizes one safety professional who has gone above and beyond his/her assigned duties to prevent or minimize injury and loss of life or substantial property damage in a workplace. In 2006, Bethancourt played a major role in researching and implementing new fall protection procedures for LeBlanc Building Co. Those changes have since saved nearly one dozen employees from what would have likely lead to serious injury.

However, his commitment to protecting workers didn’t end with his own employer. His drive to improve fall protection has led him to push for legislation to protect those working at all heights. He continues to promote the use of conventional fall protection throughout the industry, and even took the cause all the way to OSHA. His persistence finally paid off in 2010, when OSHA decided to reinstate the requirement for use of conventional fall protection in residential construction. The overall effect of Bethancourt’s work is immeasurable, Gillian says. “He made a big difference for his own employees, but he did not stop there. He made it his job to share his knowledge and to push for change across the country.”

In his acceptance speech, Bethancourt admitted to a “compulsory desire to ensure [that] all workers go home to their families” that drives him to push for better fall protection laws. Bethancourt, who suffers from mild to moderate cognitive impairment from his own fall during summer 1999, knows firsthand the dangers of working without fall protection. He thanked all of his “partners in safety” across the country, including those who continue to support and educate employers on ways to keep workers safe, and he stressed the importance of breaking the silence when it comes to safety issues in the workplace.

Rick Pollock, Jeremy Bethancourt and Dr. David Michaels at the Triangle Award presentation.

Rick Pollock, Jeremy Bethancourt and David Michaels at the Triangle Award presentation.