The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) has made a major commitment toward improving safety in and around the state's roadway construction work zones. The agency has become the first in the nation to help hundreds of its employees earn the "Safety Certification for Transportation Project Professionals" (SCTPP) credential endorsed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
David Walls, SCTPP Commission co-chair, president and chief executive officer of Texas-based, diversified construction firm Austin Industries, announced the state agency has entered a partnering contract with the American Road & Transportation Builders Association's Transportation Development Foundation (ARTBA-TDF) to enable 500 TxDOT employees to sit for the professional certification exam in their Fiscal Year 2019.
The SCTPP test was developed under strict ANSI guidelines by a consortium of safety experts from leading transportation construction firms, state transportation departments, federal agencies, trucking and insurance industry firms, and labor unions.
They were brought together in 2015 under the umbrella of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). The group was tasked with identifying core safety competencies that could serve as an international standard for the transportation infrastructure industry and then develop a rigorous exam to test knowledge and understanding of them.
The program, which earned ANSI accreditation in May under ISO/IEC 17024:2012 international standard, was launched in late 2016. The exam is administered nationwide at Pearson VUE Test Centers. The program is managed by the ARTBA-TDF.
The SCTPP is targeted at significantly elevating safety awareness among the thousands of non-safety professionals in the industry — planners, designers, field supervisors and inspectors — who are in decision-making roles from project conception through completion. The aim, Walls said, is to bring thousands of more "eyes" to the task of identifying and mitigating potential hazards for workers and motorists commonly found in transportation work zones — skills identified through the professional certification exam.
As part of the partnering contract, TxDOT employees will be given 24/7 access to online SCTPP prep courses available at puttingsafetyfirst.org/prep-courses/. The transportation project-specific courses have been pre-approved for Professional Development Hours (PDH) to meet licensing requirements for engineers in Florida, North Carolina and New York. The 38 states that follow the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) Model Rules for continual professional competency accept the PDHs as well.
For more information, visit puttingsafetyfirst.org.