Safety Orientation for Public Works Employees

Safety First is our Oakland Public Works Department program that is the foundation of employee safety, and it gives each employee the responsibility to conduct themselves in a manner that promotes safety and health throughout the workplace and in the public domain.

Posted: August 31st, 2018 3:44 PM

Last Updated: May 20th, 2022 3:30 PM

Each employee shall adhere to the Injury & Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP) and Code of Safe Practices. We are all accountable for our compliance to safety standards in order to reduce the risk to ourselves and for the public. We all want to work safe and go home healthy.

This webpage is intended as a brief overview to orient you as a New Employee to our comprehensive program for your safety. Please use the resources provided. We will help guide you in your actions to be safe and in compliance with all requirements. We also have an online overview of the program and a printed brochure.

The Goals of Safety First are to:

  • Protect the health and wellness of our Oakland Public Works staff and the public
  • Provide a comprehensive, high quality safety program
  • Maximize safety and minimize risk of injury through:
    • Training and education
    • Facility and equipment inspections
    • Protective gear
    • Written safety programs and procedures
    • Jobsite audits
    • Driving safety
    • Active Safety Committee

You are an essential piece in our shared success!

Care & Concern & Communication & Compliance

Who Enforces Worker Safety?

Federal OSHA is the national administration that identifies base level safety policies and practices that must be upheld by all employers in the U.S. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) of 1970 created the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to ensure safe working conditions for all employers and employees. The General Duty Clause allows OSHA the authority to regulate work environments by imposing upon employers the legal obligation to provide a workplace free of conditions or activities that either the employer or industry recognize as hazardous, and that can cause, or are likely to cause, death or serious physical harm to employees.

CalOSHA was established in 1973 as the State of California’s comprehensive OSHA program (CalOSHA). CalOSHA policies and requirements either meet or are more stringent than Federal OSHA. CalOSHA requires all employers to develop and implement an Injury & Illness Prevention Program (IIPP). Oakland Public Works IIPP requires that all managers and supervisors provide and maintain a safe and healthy work environment for all employees. The goal is to prevent and reduce the occurrence of accidents, injuries and occupational illnesses. For more information and access, visit the CalOSHA website at

Oakland Public Works Safety First also tracks and monitors compliance with your safety actions, training certifications, workplace injuries and vehicle accidents. We are all held to putting safety first in all we do to keep ourselves and others safe.

What are My Roles & Responsibilities as a City Employee?

As a government employee you (we all) are required by federal and state regulations to complete Emergency Response Training and to provide emergency aid to the Oakland community, if necessary in time of disaster. A list of required emergency preparedness trainings can be located on the Emergency Preparedness page of the Safety First Intranet. Below are the roles and responsibilities you maintain as a City of Oakland Employee.

Disaster Service Worker You are now a Disaster Service Worker! Before entering upon the duties of employment, all public employees take and subscribe to the oath set forth in the California Constitution that declares us to be disaster service workers in time of need. Employees agree to the oath during the hiring process. Visit the Intranet for more information regarding Disaster Service Worker duties and to complete the short, required online training. More on this is discussed in the City’s New Employee Orientation session. You must complete the online training within the first 30 days of hire.

Emergency Management We all have a responsibility to provide emergency management when necessary. Emergency management is learning to promote safer, less vulnerable work environments with the capacity to cope with hazards and disasters. Oakland Public Works employees are trained to build, sustain and improve the capability to mitigate against, prepare for, respond to and recover from, threats or actual natural disasters, acts of terrorism or other human-made disasters. Below are a few documents containing important emergency contact information. Please print them from the Oakland Intranet, Safety First, Emergency Preparedness page: Emergency Preparedness Summary, OPW Emergency Contact Numbers and the Police Area Map. You must take time to review these materials and to print out the contact info and keep it in your vehicle or desk for easy access.

Evacuation, Fire Drills, Earthquake Preparedness - Life Safety Teams & Floor Wardens Each building where Public Works staff conduct their work must have emergency procedures communicated to all employees. In multi-story buildings, an identified Floor Warden coordinates the response activities of the Life Safety Team. Every City employee needs to understand that each of us has a role to play in the Life Safety Response procedure and that by following the plan and the instructions of others, your safety is significantly enhanced. Your supervisor will provide you a walk through for emergencies, possibly assign you as part of the Life Safety Team, and you can get access for the recommended trainings on fire extinguishers, first aid & CPR, etc. in this safety orientation webpage. You must know what is expected of you when emergencies happen.

Personal Safety On-the-Job Our world is a complex place and staying safe is always on our minds.

  1. Being alert and aware of your surroundings.
  2. Getting away safely and then communicating is essential.
  3. Knowing who to notify and how to follow up is important for gaining support - from Police, Fire, Public Works, etc.

Here is a shortcut list to personal safety contact information. Please print them from the Oakland Intranet, Safety First, Emergency Preparedness page:

You must take time to review these materials and to print out the contact info and keep it in your vehicle or desk for easy access.

What Should I Know about Protecting Myself & My Safety On-the-Job?

Safety should always come first. Oakland Public Works has multiple resources to help you stay safe while on the job. Below are some of our resources to help you and your coworkers stay safe and healthy while working.

OPW safety men

Illness & Injury Prevention Program (IIPP) is the foundation of Safety First and lays out most of the goals and responsibilities for safety for our organization. You must complete the IIPP safety tailgate training with your supervisor and provide the completion data to Safety First so it can be tracked in your personal training and compliance records.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) and Administrative Instructions (AIs) guide how duties and tasks are conducted. You can find these documents on the page of the Public Works Intranet. You should review the relevant SOPs and AIs prior to conducting new job tasks, as part of the pre-job analysis. Standards & Procedures.

Safety First Program As an Oakland Public Works Employee, you are automatically a member of the Safety First Program, and as a member, you have access to free safety trainings and informational resources. To access current Safety First Program information and materials visit the Public Works Intranet. Ask your supervisor or your Safety Committee Representative for the brochure of classes and fliers that describe them.

Safety Shoe Program and Shoe Request Form
Safety Eyeglass Program and Request Form
Safety Gear and PPE Matrix
How and When to Report Accidents, Incidents and Other Safety Related Issues

Training & Education

Safety Training As a Public Works employee, you are required to participate in safety training workshops. Required safety trainings vary from job to job, based on your specific job tasks. View your Job Classification training checklist to identify which are required for you. You must complete these prior to conducting tasks that may put you at risk of injury or illness. For a list of future safety training workshops, view the Safety First training brochure and training workshop fliers that are posted on the Intranet or from your Safety Committee Rep.

Training Modes Trainings can be taken in-class, online or through safety tailgates.

  • To view and register for in-class trainings, use the Public Works training database, PDPlace.
    • OPW Target SolutionsTo log in: Username is your Employee ID and your password is safety
  • To complete online classes, use the City’s online training platform, Target Solutions.
    • To log in: Username is your Employee ID followed by coo (ex: 1234coo) & password is safety
  • Tailgate trainings are short meetings held every 10 days with staff and supervisors, where topics relevant to current working conditions are discussed. Outside courses may be accepted in-lieu of those offered by Public Works. Be sure you send us a copy of your certificate to receive credit. For a list of safety tailgates, visit the Safety First Intranet. Review links below for training information:
    • After completing a tailgate, supervisors send copy of training material and completed sign-in sheet to Safety First for entry into PDPlace database as your official file.

Safety Training Requirements

  • Guidelines by Job Classification for each Public Works Division are available by clicking here and searching for your classification.

Training Levels Training occurs in different ways for different requirements. If you have a question, please call us at Safety First (510) 238-3265.

  • Awareness Level: Beginning understanding of topic (online, tailgates, discussions, etc.)
  • Initial Safety Operations: When someone is new to equipment, procedure or operations, they may need specific hands-on training prior to doing a task.
  • Safety Compliance: For many staff, safety and prevention is supported by safety compliance on processes, equipment and knowledge.
  • Competent Person/Qualified Person: Specific staff are identified as task leads, onsite experts, and are required to have a higher degree of expertise in training and assigning others.
  • Refresher Level: Some CalOSHA regulations require periodic updates and refreshers to maintain compliance.

Essential Elements


Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Hazards exist in every workplace so strategies to protect workers are essential. Controlling a hazard at its source is our first choice in mitigating a problem, because this will reduce or eliminate it from the workplace. When the hazard cannot be removed or controlled adequately, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must be used for the work to continue. PPE is equipment worn by you the worker, to minimize exposure to specific occupational hazards. Using PPE is only one element in a complete safety program that uses a variety of strategies to maintain a safe and healthy work environment. To view a list of required PPE for each job position, please view our Public Works PPE Matrix. Employees can ask supervisors for the PPE they need and want. You are expected to use, wear, inspect and replace PPE whenever required, as learned on the job and through training, in order to be in compliance with regulations and to KEEP SAFE! If you need to request safety shoes/boots, please have your supervisor complete this request form and submit it to Safety First.

Safety Shoe Program

Safety Uniform

Safety Eyeglasses

Driving for Public Works If you drive while on the clock, you must provide your driving information to your Human Resources representative, be enrolled in the City’s Fleet database, and finally take the online Driver Safety training online at Target Solutions. Contact your HR representative to ensure you are eligible to drive. You driver’s license must be in good standing to operate a City vehicle or drive a private vehicle while on the clock. I

OPW Driving

f you are involved in an accident while driving for the City, your supervisor and you both shall fill out an accident investigation report. Submit the reports to the Safety Program Administrator/ Accident Review Committee (ARC).

Written Safety Programs OSHA mandates that businesses have Written Safety Compliance Programs that are specific to the hazards and potential accident exposures that pertain to the work conducted by staff and address the safety standards for the industry. Oakland Public Work’s Written Safety Programs provide employees and management with plans that comply with government guidelines, standards and regulations. All Public Works Written Safety Programs are located on our Intranet.

Inspections Daily, monthly and ongoing housekeeping duties, as well as officially regulated inspections and audits are conducted by employees, consultants, the OPW Safety Team, supervisors and regulated agencies. They include pre/post-trip equipment logs, buildings and work area audits, CA-DOT visits and job site reviews. Visits and inspections can be planned or on-the-spot, so do your part to keep each of these up-to-date and safe.

What Do I Need to Know and Do So I Am in Compliance with Safety?

  1. You have the responsibility to work safe, be safe and help others keep safe while on-the-job.
  2. You are required to take safety training courses as part of your employment with Oakland Public Works.
  3. The Safety First page on the City’s Intranet contains all the information you need to be in compliance with safety regulations.
  4. To view required safety trainings for your position, visit the Intranet, Safety First page, and print out your Safety Training Checklist. You can use this to ensure you complete the classes on schedule.
  5. To view information pertaining to future training workshops login to PDPlace and view the interactive calendar, or view the and workshop fliers on the Intranet, or contact Rose Rubel, Safety Coordinator. Also Target Solutions to see which topics can be completed online.
  6. Periodically review your professional development training transcript to ensure you are in compliance with all of your required safety trainings and to receive credit for all training and education you complete.

Complete this Section

Safety First Orientation Checklist

Know where to get, use and wear your PPE: Safety Shoe voucher, Prescription Safety Glasses, gloves, etc.

  • Complete these safety training courses through PDPlace, Target Solutions, Intranet or a Tailgate:
    • Injury & Illness Prevention Program (IIPP)
    • Driver Safety (If driving is a function of your work, and before you drive for the job.)
    • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
    • Emergency Response (NIMS/SIMS)
    • Fire Extinguisher Safety
    • Hazardous Communication with GHS (HazCom)
  • Complete required job specific safety training and certifications. View the training requirements for your job classification on the Intranet.
  • Discuss your Division’s safety fire and evacuation/emergency plan with your supervisor.
    • How will you contact them if you are in the field and an emergence strikes?
    • Obtain Emergency Contact information from the Intranet, Safety First, Emergency Management page. Program these numbers into your phone and periodically look for updates.
  • Locate your Division’s Safety Data Sheets (SDS) and safety equipment, such as eye wash stations.
  • Find out which SOPs you are responsible for and review them carefully with your supervisor before starting a job.

Where Are Our Safety Resources?

Who Is Our Safety First Team?

Safety First Coordinator
- Kelly Pschirrer
Safety Consultant, Du All Safety651-8289Greg Elliott238-4993Safety First615-5420

Who Do I Contact if I Have Questions or Need Support?

OPW Question Mark Email or call 238-3265 for safety training & safety shoe program.
Email or call 615-5420 for safety issues, ideas and concerns.