The City of Southlake Public Works Department prides itself on customer service and occupational safety.
Not only do staff members work to respond quickly to any disruption in service or new service, but they always place a high priority on safety. Training plays a big role in their ability to perform their duties safely and efficiently. In fact, Director of Public Works Department, Rob Cohen, makes safety training a priority for his team. Director Cohen says, “We are continually seeking training opportunities to equip our employees so they can provide the highest level of customer service in the safest manner possible.”
This week more than 30 employees attended an on-site Confined Space Training course. The course is offered through the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service (TEEX), and includes a large on-site trailer for staffers to receive hands-on training. The course is designed to teach participants the proper procedures for entering a confined space, assist workers with entry and recovery, identify confined space hazards and hazardous atmospheres, and learn the proper use of ventilation systems.
The trailer is equipped to simulate wind, smoke, loud noises, darkness, and other associated dangers of working within tight spaces. Participants suited up in personal protective equipment and stepped through real world scenarios by using the TEEX Mobile Confined Space Safety Trailer. Director Cohen says, “Training courses like this allows our employees the opportunity to have real hands-on experience and be prepared for any critical situation. The TEEX training re-emphasizes the Public Works mantra of safety and teamwork; effectively and efficiently and safely solving problems.”
Each division deals with confined work areas on a daily basis. The unforgiving environment can be a large pipe, a Wastewater Lift station or excavated trench. Work in this environment also occurs in any weather condition and at any time of the day or night.
Additional training for public works staff will include CPR and First Aid training as well as an Electrical Safety class.