District Council 57

Sacramento County AFSCME Member Makes Safety a Priority for Everyone at Transit Agency

Every Tuesday morning, you will often find Rob Hoslett in a conference room standing in front of a group of workers talking about the importance of safety while working on the Sacramento Regional Transit District’s many bus and rail projects.

He always ends the meeting the same way: by giving them his cell phone number.

“I always tell them it doesn’t matter if it’s 11 o’clock at night,” Hoslett said. “I’d rather you call me and say, ‘I’ve got an issue. How do I resolve this?’ versus getting a call 30 minutes later from our light rail control center saying we just had an accident and somebody’s been hurt.”

For the last 21 years, Hoslett, an AFSCME Local 146 member, has worked for Sacramento RT. He is the senior safety specialist, which means he is in charge of employee safety, passenger safety and making sure that all equipment is running smoothly so that buses and trains can stay on schedule.

Most RT riders and Sacramento County residents probably don’t know his job exists. Quite frankly, that’s a good thing because if a transit agency has a good safety program, people won’t have to worry about accidents and occupational hazards thanks to employees like Hoslett who work behind the scenes to stay on top of things.

His department is supposed to have four people. Because of RT’s recent cuts and budget constraints, Hoslett is a department of one at the moment. But he never quits making safety a priority for the transit agency.

He also never forgets that when it comes to safety, people always come first.

When new RT General Manager Henry Li was getting ready to start his new position in July, Hoslett said, the agency determined there was a mold issue in his office. So Hoslett was called upon to fix the issue. He was able to make sure the mold was removed and the new GM had a clean, safe office before he officially started his job.

Hoslett said he would do the same for his AFSCME brothers and sisters—and any other employees—who work at RT.

“We can’t run a rail service if the operators are hurt and they can’t come to work,” Hoslett said. “We can’t do it if the mechanics can’t fix the buses. We can’t do it if the administrative assistants can’t sit in their chairs and do the necessary paperwork they are asked to do.”

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