With an Emphasis on Safety, Minnesota PRO Draws PSAI Honor

With an Emphasis on Safety, Minnesota PRO Draws PSAI Honor

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The accolades are many for Jeremy Johnston: Multiple safety awards. A top performer with perfect attendance. And now runner-up for the Portable Sanitation Association International’s Service Tech of the Year award.

While the 37-year-old Johnston has worked at St. Paul, Minnesota-based On Site Cos. for eight years, he previously worked for another portable sanitation company, as well as in concrete work, so he’s no stranger to hard work. “He’s been in the industry a long time,” says Nate Ahrensfeld, On Site operations manager. “Jeremy is always looking out for the safety of himself and the team. He’s made a great difference at our company.”

Ahrensfeld nominated Johnston for the PSAI honor. “Nate worked very hard to keep it a secret,” Johnston says. For Johnston, the award was simply a bonus to the respect he already receives from his co-workers. “It was really cool because there are so many people in our St. Paul shop who I know have admiration for me,” he says. “I already felt good because they appreciated me as a co-worker before I got the award.”

Safety has been a key tenet for Johnston in his work. For the past four years, he has won the company safety award. “Only people who have had no safety incidents for the entire year are eligible for it,” Ahrensfeld says. “And only a service technician can fully appreciate how hard it is to make driving a 16-unit portable restroom hauling trailer look easy, but Jeremy routinely does that too.”

In addition to his noteworthy safety record, Johnston also sets an example for other techs in terms of attendance and customer service. “He usually arrives at the shop early and sets an example for others,” Ahrensfeld says. “In 2017, he had perfect attendance for the year and won a company award.”

Conscientious on the job, Johnston uses his knowledge and expediency to help train new technicians. “Now when I hire new techs, I make sure they go with him,” Ahrensfeld says. “He’s very good at explaining how he does things.”

Johnston spent his first few years doing “anything and everything” for the company, and his advice to new techs is to realize there will be different phases, and challenges, in the job. For example, if he ran up against an issue — like damage or graffiti — Johnston would “see it as a challenge to make it look like it hadn’t been there.”

Johnston says he enjoys being able to do as much as he can on the job. “Pretty much since day one, I’ve always tried to do more,” he says. “Now I’ve settled into routes, hauling the trailer and training.”

But he admits he likes most things about his job. “No matter what job you have, there is always something you don’t like, but I like being outside, being independent. It just fits my personality.”

Ahrensfeld would agree. “He truly goes the extra mile to ensure the customers’ satisfaction,” he says. “He gladly accepts additional tasks from dispatch when necessary to serve customers or help his colleagues.”



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