L-66’s Willie Sandoval receives Kenefick Safety Award

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L-66 member Willie Sandoval Jr. receives the Union Pacific railroad’s highest safety distinction: the 2009 J.C. Kenefick Safety Award.
Photo courtesy of Union Pacific

Union Pacific recognizes locomotive shop Boilermaker

WILLIE SANDOVAL JR., a 40-year member of Local 66 (Little Rock, Arkansas), is the recipient of the 2009 Kenefick Safety Award from Union Pacific. Sandoval has worked injury-free for over 40 years at the railroad’s locomotive shop in Fort Worth, Texas.

“Willie is never shy and intervenes when he observes at-risk behavior, coaching and mentoring fellow employees to change their actions in a constructive way,” said Russ Lowe, UP director of regional operations. “In fact, he challenges employees to look after one another and congratulates co-workers on a job well done.”

Since its inception in 1986, the Kenefick award has recognized a UP agreement employee who has demonstrated outstanding on-the-job safety achievement.

As a Boilermaker in the mechanical department, Sandoval builds locomotives and repairs those with structural damage. He is a peer trainer and helped to develop UP’s argon gas welding training program.

Sandoval has taken the lead to peform job safety analysis for Boilermaker work. He has also helped other departments (train, engine, and yard employees) begin new safety programs by leading the railroad’s Forth Worth Critical 5 Team, which establilshes best-practice procedures for safe-working habits systemwide.

Outside the shop, Sandoval personally funds a quarterly “safety feed” for the first-shift employees — about 150 individuals. As the lead chef, he gathers everyone together as a family to give thanks and blessing for their safety. Money collected during the meal is donated to the Friend to Friend Network, a UP-employee club that helps active and retired ralroad families in need.

Story source: Union Pacific

Locals  L-66

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