AFSCME members keep their co-workers safe during public health crisis

Even with less drivers on the roads, workers at the Department of Transportation continue to keep our roads and public facilities safe and maintained. And within their ranks, NDOT has two safety trainers, who are members of AFSCME Local 4041, to help keep NDOT employees, and the public, safe during the current COVID-19 public health crisis.  

Gary Sallee, a safety trainer and AFSCME member in Las Vegas, has found ways to adapt his training sessions for workers online. Over the last few weeks, he has facilitated online classes on hazardous materials and blood borne illnesses for both NDOT workers and emergency responders.  

“We have to keep these classes going and allow for NDOT workers to continue to have opportunities to improve their knowledge of safety procedures. Educating workers on proper safety technics doesn’t stop, even during a public health emergency,” said Gary.  

In addition to safety trainings, the NDOT trainers have also worked with department management to ensure worker safety remains a priority for the state. Oscar Fuentes, a safety manager and AFSCME member in Renohas been advising the department on how to adapt safety protocols in this age of social distancing and additional personal protection.  

“We have to continue our services to keep the roads and public facilities safe and maintained, but we have to do it in a way that protects the health and safety of workers,” said Oscar.  

Oscar and Gary continue to advocate for the health and safety needs for workers by addressing their concerns about proper safety protocol or helping high-risk workers to get placed on administrative leave.  

“These are challenging times, but the health and safety of workers continues to be our priority,” said Oscar.