At J Bar, our employees are encouraged to Just Be Aware and Responsible in their daily operations in the yard and out in the field, traveling busy highways and servicing units in various environments.
While J Bar’s dispatch manager Rustey Ward is responsible for routing our sanitation and roll-off dumpster services, he also acts as safety supervisor – ensuring drivers and yard crew are operating to our safety standards to keep themselves and others safe on the job.
As Safety Coordinator, Rustey conducts monthly safety training for staff, enforces safety rules and deals with violations accordingly, and investigates all incidents involving J Bar equipment and personnel.
Rustey served as Chief of the Buchanan Fire Department in Llano County and is currently Assistant Chief/Training Coordinator/EMS Coordinator. In addition to that, Rustey is an emergency care attendant, incident safety officer, and working towards Incident Commander Type 4
Though the two industries are not necessarily related, the safety aspect of his training assists him in passing along knowledge to his crew.
“I have been in the fire service for 24 years and use my experience and training as a first responder to handle safety issues professionally,” Rustey said. “It also helps me in enforcing our safety standards because I can properly train our guys and ensure they go about their jobs with that training in mind.”
Being aware and responsible is something encouraged among our entire team, from the yard crew working with heavy equipment and maintaining J Bar’s fleet to the sanitary restroom and roll-off drivers traveling miles away from the yard into the many cities we serve on winding county roads and busy interstate highways.
“It is crucial to keep your eyes on the road at all times and be aware of your surroundings when driving a route,” Rustey said. “Too many incidents occur due to one or more drivers not paying attention, and that can really be avoided.”
J Bar’s fleet is equipped with many features that ensure the safety of our drivers and encourage them to adhere to safety protocol.
Our service trucks feature LED work lights so our drivers can see their work during early morning or late evening service; backup cameras for their reference and alarms to alert bystanders; and safety strobes for visibility.
A big component of enforcing our safety standards is the Lytx camera system that tracks drivers’ location. It records audio and visuals inside and outside the units. This helps Rustey and other management at J Bar determine the causes of incidents and keep an eye on where our fleet is traveling.
“These features are very helpful in maintaining the safety of our drivers and the customers they are servicing and helping us follow protocol when an incident does occur,” Rustey said.
On the other side of safety, drivers always mention staying hydrated – not only in the summer months when the Texas heat reaches new heights each year but especially in the cooler months when thirst and dehydration are not as easily detected to the comfortable temperatures.
“It is important to stay hydrated at all times,” Rustey said. “We get complacent when it cools off and stop drinking water, and many of us start drinking more coffee, but water and electrolytes are always the better options. During the fall and winter months, we are always reminding drivers and yard crew to continue drinking their water.”
Another thing you may not think of when heading out to a service route is to pack a change of clothes, Rustey says.
“It is always a good idea to bring a full change of clothing with you along the way, especially socks,” Rustey said. “Wet, cold feet suck.”
As new technologies and safety features come into play in the portable sanitation industry, J Bar is always ready to utilize the most useful equipment and software to ensure the safety of our drivers and customers. Rustey and the J Bar management team continue to stress the importance of remaining safe in the yard and in the field, so we can continue serving our communities as a leader both in the sanitation industry and in employee safety.