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Safety Mission Showcase: 97th Civil Engineering Squadron “Dirt Boyz”

97th Air Mobility Wing Safety Office logo.

97th Air Mobility Wing Safety Office logo.

97th Air Mobility Wing Safety Office

In the photo, left to right: (SSgt Adam Tallman, 97 AMW Occupational Safety NCO, SrA Kendrick Brown, SrA Jose Ramirez, 97 AMW/CEOHP) Image credit: TSgt Kenneth Oliver)

ALTUS AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. --

When you think of proactive safety, you may not think about a sidewalk, curb, or runway patch.  Recently, the Wing Safety office interviewed two members of the 97th Civil Engineering Squadron’s Horizontal Maintenance Shop, SrA Kendrick Brown and SrA Jose Ramirez putting safe operating techniques to work every day.  These Airmen detailed the hazards associated with concrete, and if you’ve ever poured concrete, you know.  It’s no easy task.

The “Dirt Boyz” exposed safety hazards associated with a simple concrete “pour,” one of the most common operations at Altus AFB.  Heavy machinery and loud equipment requires coordinated hand signals and hearing protection.  They place barriers and cones to keep general public a safe distance from their operations.  They prepare the space with sharp unwieldy rebar, and when the slab is ready for the “pour,” cement trucks arrive on scene bringing additional hazards—and hopefully, cement too.

Occasionally, new truck drivers unfamiliar with Air Force safety standards arrive on scene.  This requires a heightened level of situational awareness, instruction, and close supervision from the horizontal maintenance crew.  Gravity-fed cement truck chutes swing left-to-right, and if used improperly, can cause serious injury to anyone near the operation.

Once poured, measures must be taken to protect members on site from chemical burns and physical injuries.  In this case, protective equipment and proper techniques and procedures prevent injuries.  One concrete slab at a time, the members of horizontal maintenance get you where you need to go.

So, when using a sidewalk at Altus AFB, remember that attention to detail and basic risk mitigation went into paving the way.  Getting this job done is harder than it looks.