By David Pierce
District 6 Safety Specialist
Suppose for a moment that every day when you arrive at your job, you have a brief meeting and then prepare for the physical labor that lies ahead. You may be heading to a wreck where someone lost their life. Other times you are doing traffic control, in which you temporarily stop traffic so that the road or bridge ahead can be repaired. At times people are polite, yet some get mad, drive passed you and even brush you with their car as they pass. You jump out of the way. It was a near miss
Your assignment could be to pick up debris for the day. In other words, you pull to the side of the freeway and wait for a break in traffic as your vehicle is rocked from side to side by the cars passing too close. Sometimes you may need to call CHP to create a traffic break for you, so you can step into the road to remove a bucket, box, trash bag, etc. You are uncomfortable. You know that 185 Caltrans employees have lost their lives doing the same job that you do every day. But it is your job. You take pride in it; yet, you are always in harm’s way. Finally it is time to go home, but something happens and you are asked to stay. You are needed. Eventually the day is over and you go home safe. Your family is happy to see you. You are exhausted and go to bed.
Now it is 2 a.m. and your phone rings. It is Caltrans. You are needed again. You go out and it is dark, cold, and wet. Your day begins early.
If I mentioned all of the things that maintenance does, I would need to write a book. Yet, there are times when we need to give honor where honor is due. I stand up and applaud Maintenance workers. Thank you Maintenance for all of your hard work and dedication!