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Kim Kontz of Charps, LLC, Receives 2023 Gary E. Bird Horizon Award

Dallas, TX, November 13, 2023—Kim Kontz, vice president of health, safety, and environment at Charps, LLC, received the 2023 Gary E. Bird Horizon Award today at the International Risk Management Institute, Inc. (IRMI), Construction Risk Conference (CRC) for his submission, “The Energy Board.” This innovative program represents an in-depth analysis aimed at enhancing crew members’ ability to not only identify potential hazards but also effectively navigate and address them.

Unlike a haphazard approach to hazard identification, The Energy Board method concentrates on the diverse forms of energy present within the workplace. It increases the user’s ability to identify energies that are involved with tasks, in addition to creating a more visual and relaxed atmosphere that encourages verbal participation by the whole crew.

The Gary E. Bird Horizon Award, sponsored by Travelers, is presented annually by IRMI to recognize a demonstrated commitment to improving construction risk management through the implementation of innovative, cost-effective, and efficient risk management techniques.

Submissions are judged by an independent panel of seven industry professionals. The 2023 judges are as follows.

  • Steve Bird, director, risk management, Zachry Industrial, Inc.
  • Kathleen Creedon, owner/consultant, Wrap Strategies
  • David Dolnick, president, Dolnick Risk Advisors
  • Karen Keniff, head of construction, CNA
  • Jennifer Lee, vice president, national practice lead, loss-sensitive and wrap-up, construction, Travelers
  • TJ Lyons, safety consultant, Lyonetics Safety
  • Joseph Russo, executive vice president, regional construction leader—Northeast, Willis Towers Watson

“The concepts behind the Energy Specific Hazard Assessment program are straightforward and easy to communicate and understand,” noted Mr. Bird. “It seems like a very good idea to apply basic science to the task of identifying job hazards, enhancing workers’ abilities to recognize those that may not be in plain sight. The innovative methods developed by the candidate to accomplish this are, in my opinion, outstanding.”

“I see this as a game changer,” said Mr. Lyons. “Rather than a new way to inspect a site or philosophical approach to using unseen and unread data, this will move risk management away from some of the dangerous practices we allow.”

For more information, including how to submit a nomination for the 2024 award, visit

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