Safety awards are presented annually to Road and Bridge employees for achievements on an individual and crew basis. The Road and Bridge presented 85 individual safety awards in 2017.
Welding & Cutting Torch Certification Class
Many of Bell County employees use gas and arc welders to accomplish their work assignments. The Road and Bridge Department has a mixture of skilled laborers whose experience using the equipment range from entry level to very thorough ability. After an employee had an eye injury while cutting rebar on a jobsite, it was evident we needed to formally train our employees to improve their knowledge of safe operations.
The County Engineer organized a safe welding and cutting manual composed from various welding handbooks and guidelines. The Safety Officer conducted a one-hour safety certification presentation consisting of a review of the written material in the new Safety Manual, a written test, and a shop demonstration of the equipment. Employees had to attend the meeting and pass the written test with a 70% grade in order to show they were competent to use the equipment on the job. Those that failed the test were given time to study the manual and retake the written test at a later date.
Forty-six employees attended and took the safety test on September 3, 2014. Forty of the employees passed the test and have authorization to use the gas and arc welding gear. The exams and record of attendance will be placed in their personnel files. The list of authorized “welders” was submitted to the foremen and superintendent so they can monitor the use of equipment.
Safety of our employees is important in Bell County. Our goal is to insure our employees understand safe practices and eliminate future accidents. It was discovered we need to purchase some additional protective equipment for our worker’s safety. Some of the feedback received from the employees will be incorporated into the new manual.