ANNISTON ARMY DEPOT, Ala --Shawn Ankerich, an occupational health and safety specialist in the Safety Office at Anniston Army Depot, was recently awarded the 2020 Safety Professional of the Year award in the area of construction from the American Society of Safety Professionals Alabama Chapter.

The SPY award recognizes outstanding contributions of individuals who service the ASSP Alabama Chapter and their profession.

“It was really just a lot of ducks lining up over the years that helped me win this award,” Ankerich said.

Shawn Ankerich, a health and safety specialist, receives a Safety Professional of the Year Award during a ceremony hosted by the American Society of Safety Professionals Alabama Chapter.
Shawn Ankerich, a health and safety specialist, receives a Safety Professional of the Year Award during a ceremony hosted by the American Society of Safety Professionals Alabama Chapter. (Photo Credit: Courtesy Photo) VIEW ORIGINAL

According to Ankerich, a variety of safety changes were implemented by OSHA for the construction field in 2019. As a result, members of the ASSP were looking for guidance and mentorship on how to adhere to these changes. Ankerich stepped in to provide guidance and training to help companies remain compliant. He also became program chair for the ASSP Alabama chapter during this time.

“I did a lot of relationship-building to help members know what to do in order to be compliant,” he said. “I gave presentations, training and information that proved to be very fruitful.”

Ultimately, it was this guidance and mentorship that led to his nomination and subsequent winning of the award.

Rob Cunningham, acting safety chief, emphasized the importance of Ankerich’s win and the value of the work he does for ASSP Alabama Chapter and ANAD.

“Shawn is a hardworking and dedicated safety professional who takes employee safety to the highest level,” Cunningham said. “We’re proud to have Shawn on our staff and this award for him is well deserved.”

For Ankerich, the award is just a bonus, noting the many benefits of membership in the organization. “Being a part of ASSP Alabama not only gives you an opportunity to learn new industry topics, but it also gives you a diverse group of people to learn from who will ultimately help you keep our people safe here at ANAD,” Ankerich said.