EDINBURG — The University of Texas-Pan American Environmental Health and Safety Department recently received the National Award of Merit from the National Safety Council for an outstanding program.
"This award recognizes the excellent safety program we have here at UTPA," said Kenneth L. Sator, Environmental Health and Science director at UTPA. "Our safety program has been in operation for only two years, and we have already won a national award second only to the Award of Honor."
The competition encourages colleges and universities in developing innovative programs that solve or improve specific safety problems, while at the same time encouraging the sharing of these programs with other institutions.
Universities participating in the safety competition were judged on accident records, leadership policy, safety organization and the handling of information on accidents and safety conditions.
"The competition is intended to motivate universities to strive for excellence in designing and implementing their own safety programs and to incorporate a variety of efforts and ideas while complying with standardized regulations," Sator said.
According to Sator, universities often view these competitions as more than just a friendly contest between universities. They also are an important learning tool, he noted.
"We learn from each other at these competitions," Sator said. "The judges offer helpful and constructive comments and suggestions aimed at improving our safety program, while at the same time we learn new safety methods and procedures from other schools as well."
The award will be presented during an awards banquet at the International Conference on Campus Safety at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, July 11-14.
"This has been a wonderful surprise for the department," Sator said. "We have learned a great deal from the competition, and we are looking forward to competing next year."
For more information on the safety competition, contact Sator at 956/381-3690.