ASSE Honors Joseph Sbaffoni for Work during Quecreek Mine Rescue

The American Society of Safety Engineers' (ASSE) Government Affairs Committee presented the first-ever "Award for Excellence in Advancing Workplace Safety, Health and the Environment through Effective Government" to Joseph Sbaffoni of Fairchance, Pa. chief of the bituminous mine safety division of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The award was presented to Sbaffoni by Jim Fix, ASSE Region VIII vice president, at ASSE?s Western Pennsylvania Chapter meeting October 23 at the Meadows Racetrack in Meadow Lands, Pa. The award recognizes individuals dedicated to making a difference in occupational safety and health through government.

Sbaffoni directed the initial response at the Quecreek Mine water overflow and provided technical assistance to the DEP and to Pennsylvania Gov. Mark Schweiker, and conducted regular briefings for the media during the rescue operation of the miners. He presented a session on the rescue operation at the chapter meeting, in addition to a presentation by Rob Zaremski, territory manager of Targeting Customer Safety Inc., who demonstrated the victim locator kit, a confined space tool used in the rescue.

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