Del Sandfort, Director of the Health and Safety Consultation Program housed in the Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences, has received the William J. Higgins Award from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, U.S. Department of Labor. The award recognizes a career of “exemplary work in safety and health and unwavering commitment to the small business community.”
The William J. Higgins award was created in 2005 to mark the 30th anniversary of OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program. Sandfort is the second person to be honored with the award since its inception. He has been affiliated with the DOL through Colorado State for almost 25 years.
Sandfort's background is in public health, agricultural health and occupational health. He is Director of the on-site Health and Safety Consultation Program for the State of Colorado. The program provides technical health and safety services to small businesses throughout the state. A unique specialty of the project is to help employers establish a sustainable, comprehensive safety and health program.
“Del’s dedication to his work and to small businesses in Colorado has created one of the strongest Health and Safety Consultation Programs in the nation,” said Dr. Lance Perryman, Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. “His expertise is valued not only in the state of Colorado, but in OSHA where he is highly regarded for his contributions to improving worker health and safety. Del is very deserving of this prestigious award.”
The Health and Safety Consultation Program’s fundamental mission is to provide safety and health services to small businesses. It’s a free service, and one where citizens can see their tax dollars at work. The program involves five major steps. First, a business must make an initial request. Second, an on-site visit is conducted with an initial conference, walkthrough, and safety and health assessment. Third, the consultation program provides a detailed evaluation and report listing ways to improve on the company’s safety and health program. The company must then correct serious hazards with the on-going advice and assistance of the consultation program if needed. Finally, a follow-up visit assures corrective actions have been taken. The program is funded annually through a $1 million contract with OSHA.