Building A Rural Alaska Safety Culture

May 13, 2020

Backhaul Alaska is building a system of checks and balances that ensures communities have properly trained staff with adequate infrastructure to backhaul safely and effectively, in compliance with all applicable federal rules and guidelines. In doing so, communities are given the tools, gear, and training to build a rural Alaska safety culture. From handling batteries to driving them via 4-wheeler to the airstrip or barge port, all backhaul work is performed by Backhaul Alaska certified signers. These are staff trained and tested in Backhaul Alaska protocols, including USDOT HMR and OSHA 10 hr Safety. Backhaul Alaska sends out a full OSHA-verified list of safety gear for each crew member, including Hi-Vis vests, and mercury and battery acid spill kits. Also sent are erasable aluminum emergency contact signs example, the VPSO, State Trooper, Clinic, Local Scanner/VHF Channel, and the area’s alternate “911” number are all critical contacts that are not listed on stock Emergency Contact Signage. Finally, during the on-site training and inspection visit, the safety supply inventory is checked to ensure it is all in-place. The function specific safety training is reviewed, and training recordkeeping file checked and updated. When safety issues are identified with the storage/staging area or protocols that the staff are using, they are flagged during site visits and the Regional Coordinators assist the community in correcting them.