Thursday, 19 January 2023 14:31

Safety and Health Fair brings home Human Resource’s ZIP message

Latrice Williams prepares to answer driver safety questions from Fidel Savigne during the Safety and Health Fair at the Houston Health Center. Latrice Williams prepares to answer driver safety questions from Fidel Savigne during the Safety and Health Fair at the Houston Health Center. Photo by Pete Mayes


The mantra for the City of Houston safety advisors is ZIP: Zero Is Possible. One of the ways they strive to live up to it is through education.

That was the purpose recently at a Safety and Health Fair conducted at the Houston Health Department training room at 8000 N. Stadium Drive. There, employees were invited to come inside and learn the latest updates on how to improve their safety footprints both at work and at home through a series of interactive games and demonstrations. 

Events included a driving safety quiz consisting of throwing a rubber ball at a board and answering questions correctly to win a prize, a first aid demonstration using a practice dummy, and wearing special goggles which simulated what being under the influence of marijuana and LSD would feel like.

“I tried those goggles on a minute ago and it’s something. It’s a wonderful training tool,” said Zachery Thomas, HR safety advisor assigned to HHD.

Cory Worden, a safety administrator for HR Risk Management, said the fair is intended to show everyone how different safety messages and protocols look in the real world with the different types of hazards and how they show up both at work and at home.

“These are very practical steps people can take to make sure to either avoid the hazard or work safely with the hazard present. Once we have all our protocols and plans in place, we can communicate through our safety briefings, bulletins, newsletters and all that,” he said.

The fair amplifies that intent, Worden said. “In addition to the consistent messaging, we wanted to do something more three-dimensional, so that people can come in, see it right in front of them and do the activities.”

Thomas said the interactive approach was used because it not only provided hands-on examples for people, but the interaction allowed the safety advisors to talk them through different exercises.

“Take for instance the Safety Data Sheets. When we say it, we realize it has many sections to it, but when you can break it down and tell each person what the sections mean and why they are important, people go away with a much better knowledge and understanding on what we’ve done here,” he said.

HHD Staff Analyst Latrice Williams said she attended the fair because she wanted more information on first aid training. “I haven’t had the training in two years, and I know there have been updates,” she said.

She also took a moment to stop at the driver’s safety table answer questions about safe driving. Fidel Savigne, also an HHD staff analyst, was conducting the driving training.

Originally from New York, Savigne said driving safety is important for residents living in Houston. “I’ve lived here 15 years and I still do not understand the traffic,” he admitted. “I think it’s important for them to learn how to get from our garage to just driving along the major roadways.”

“You might know a lot about safety, but you can always take a refresher and you might learn something new,” Savigne said.

Thomas said the intent is to be able to educate people on doing their jobs safely. “When you say safety, it’s broad. In every aspect of our life and in every department, there’s some type of safety standard,” he explained. “Events like this can empower people and give them more knowledge about safety and other topics that we cover.”

“Safety is one of those deals where we’re trying to help change a culture of people’s perception and how they think,” Thomas said. “When you can guide a person through the process and show them things that explains why we take the approaches we do. It’s a win-win on both sides.”