OSHA announces winners of “Picture It: Safe Workplaces for Everyone” photo contest

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Dec 01, 2011, WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today announced the winners of its first ever photo contest to raise public awareness of occupational safety and health.

In celebration of its 40th anniversary, OSHA held the Picture It!: Safe Workplaces for Everyone photo contest. The contest challenged anyone with a passion for photography to capture an image of workplace safety and health and share it with OSHA. At the same time, OSHA held a second contest challenging OSHA staff to submit their images of workplace safety and health.  Some of the photographs are shown below.

This is the first prize winning one. It shows workers on a beach cleaning up after the infamous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. It was submitted by Aaron Sussell, Cincinnati, Ohio.

The one below got the second prize.


This one below got the third prize, it shows a machine shop operator working on a machine using proper personal protective equipment.


The one below shows a gas monitor being used for entering a confined space and it clearly shows the expected reading before one would enter. This one got an honorable mention.

All the six winning photographs, and seven honorable mentions, can be viewed at http://www.osha.gov/osha40/photo-winners.html.
“I am thrilled by the way these photographers have so creatively captured the challenges of workplace safety and health,” said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health, expressing his enthusiasm for the overwhelming response to the contest and the quality of the submissions. “Each winning photograph tells its own powerful story of the contribution of workers to our great country’s success, and America, and of the vital importance of protecting their health and safety. I am deeply grateful to everyone who contributed their time and talent to this contest.”

Aaron Sussell, of Cincinnati, Ohio, was selected from more than three hundred submissions as the first-place winner of the public contest for his compelling photograph of workers involved in last summer’s cleanup of the Gulf Oil Spill. “This is a great captured moment that tells the story of workplace safety,” said Kathleen Klech, Photography Director, Condé Nast Traveler Magazine and Photo Contest judge.

Second-place winner Roberto Carlos Vergara, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was lauded for the otherworldly display of light and shadow in his photograph; set high above the clouds, the photograph emphasizes the importance of the fall protection equipment that each worker in the frame wears. Roberto Rodriguez of Mesquite, Texas, placed third for his image of a worker safely operating a machine in the midst of a visually active factory floor.

The winner of the OSHA staff contest is Elena Finizio, who works in OSHA’s Braintree, Massachusetts Area Office. Ms. Finizio’s photograph of the eerie glow of molten metal as workers pour a casting was praised for its “visual drama” by photojournalist and contest judge Earl Dotter. Steve Baranowski, also of OSHA’s Braintree, Massachusetts Area Office, was awarded second place in the internal contest for his vivid portrayal of an OSHA compliance officer at work. Frank Wenzel of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries placed third for his dizzying image of wind turbine construction.

Several honorable mentions were also awarded to photographers whose work will be featured on the contest Web page. They are Koralie Hill of Oakland, California; Roy Berke of Sacramento, California; Paul Navarette of Riverside, California; Wally Reardon of Pulaski, New York; and Jorge Intriago of Columbia, South Carolina from the public contest; and Keith Tsubata of the Hawaii Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and McClelland Davis of the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries from the OSHA staff.

The winners will receive framed certificates from Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis (first prize) and Dr. Michaels (second and third prizes). All six winning photographs will be framed and hung in the Department of Labor’s headquarters at the Frances Perkins Building in Washington, D.C., where they will serve as daily reminders of the real-life impacts of OSHA’s mission. Winners were selected by an expert panel of judges that included Mr. Dotter; Carl Fillichio, the Department of Labor’s Senior Advisor for Communications and Public Affairs; Kathleen Klech, photography director for Condé Nast Traveler magazine; and Shawn Moore, the chief photographer for the Department of Labor. OSHA extends its thanks to these judges for their generosity and their critical expertise.

This contest was a great way to improve awareness of industrial safety amongst the public at large.