Governor’s Safety Award Given to District 3 Operator

Sat November 03, 2007 - West Edition

Jerry Crabtree was honored for his ingenuity Aug. 24 at the 27th Annual Governor’s Employee Safety Awards at California State University in Sacramento. The Olivehurst, Calif., resident is a Caltrans Equipment Operator II on District 3’s Stripe/Stencil Crew.

The award program is an annual event, which recognizes outstanding performance of individual state employees and groups for improving job health and safety, responding to life-threatening situations and preventing and reducing the number of occupational injuries and vehicular accidents.

As an equipment operator, Crabtree saw a problem one day with the way he has always applied pavement markings to the roadway. It required a second person to place the aluminum stencils onto the ground while a third person had to watch traffic. This is a very repetitive motion, requiring a great deal of bending. Crabtree thought what if there was a way to make some kind of compact roll-able devise that could be moved along as the paint was applied. The “Roll-able Stencil” was born.

Crabtree started out by fabricating an aluminum frame with built in stencils to the proper measurements. From there he added wheels and a handle.

Crabtree included mounting for the paint spray gun, and added a tank and application nozzle for the glass spheres. This prototype was put to the test and it has evolved into a devise that eliminates the need for placing stencils for limit lines and crosswalks. It allowed the operator to do the job without all of the bending while a second person concentrates on watching traffic.

Now, instead of three people to do the job, this device allows the same work to be done by two employees in less time thereby reducing employee exposure to traffic.