WEST VALLEY CITY — Utah's first Workplace Safety Week was designed to enhance a culture of safety in all or our workplaces.
As the week wrapped up, Worker's Compensation Fund awarded workers and students who make safety a priority.
Granite Construction is a name you may recognize. Even if you don't, you probably know their work. In Utah, they built some of the roads and bridges we drive on.
Cooper Bringhurst, a project superintendent with Granite, was among 13 individuals given safety awards by Worker's Compensation Fund. They were honored for taking the lead on safe practices on the job. Bringhurst has four children, one reason safety is so critical for him.
"I know a lot of my employees at work have families, and that's my number one goal, is to make sure on all of my projects, everyone goes home," he said.
Safety week sponsor Sen. Karen Mayne also awarded three high school students from the Granite School District $1,000 scholarships for their essays on workplace safety.
"If i were the cause of a nuclear meltdown, I know that graphite fires, steam explosions and an extremely angry boss would be part of my future," read the essay of winner Gina Sombatsaphay.
Sombatsaphay conveyed a message of personal responsibility, with a touch of humor.
"You, as a person, need to think before you do something," she said. "If you're ever in a situation that could be unsafe, you need to stop and reevaluate your situation before you continue doing something."
She started her first job a few weeks ago, and has a message for other young workers.
"It's a whole different atmosphere. You can't take the risks you usually take when you do other things," she said.
The Granger High School graduate starts at the University of Utah in the fall, majoring in business.