Safety Champion: Jeff Smith of Highway Operations

As a long-time member of Clermont County Engineer Highway Operations, Assistant Superintendent Jeff Smith knows well the potential dangers his team faces each day.

“The most dangerous thing is working on busy roads,” said Smith, who started as a highway worker in 2000 before promotions to sign shop foreman in 2010 and to his current role last year. “You’ve got to be aware of your surroundings, especially in recent years with the distraction of drivers due to cell phones. Also, you work around a lot of heavy equipment.”

Highway Operations consists of 39 employees in crews such as Mow and Trim, Ditching, Guardrail, Blacktop, Sign Shop, Culvert and Bridge. They are responsible for 386 miles of road and 421 bridges.

“We want all of our guys to go home after a safe day at work,” Smith said. “That’s our goal. Everyone provides for their family, and we want them to go home without suffering a workplace safety mishap.”

Smith appreciates the support of Gary Caudill, Clermont County Safety Coordinator. Caudill provides pre-hire safety training and checks worksites to ensure safe processes are in place.

“Gary is a big asset to us,” Smith said. “If we’ve got questions, we can call and get an answer. If he doesn’t know the answer, he will do research and get back to us. He makes my job easier.”

Caudill describes Smith as “a safety mentor for his co-workers who follow the philosophy that team member safety is our top priority.”

“Jeff’s commitment to workplace safety gets us closer to a perfect safety record every day,” Caudill said. “His daily contributions for jobsite safety make the Clermont County Engineer Highway Operations a safe place to work.”

Smith concluded: “To me, our job is to provide all the equipment and training our people need to make sure that they get home at the end of each workday.”