Watco Unloader Receives Two Safety Awards

May 2022 — Attention to detail is David Alvarado’s best trait, according to Watco’s Bayway Dedicated Terminal Operations Manager Nick Clayton.

It’s an attribute he embraces as an unloader at the terminal, a customer-owned refinery that Watco helps operate in New Jersey.

After coming onboard in 2014, Alvarado first assisted the Watco team at the customer’s crude rail rack facility. As a result of the team’s work ethic and commitment to safety, the customer awarded additional business to Watco in 2018.

Clayton said, “Because of the hard work from Dave and his teammates, the customer expanded its business with Watco to include the main loading rack of the refinery.”

Since then, Alvarado has served as an unloader of liquid petroleum railcars at the main rack. His job is laborious and requires him to follow a series of steps to safely unload railcars of their contents. From first verifying a car’s contents, inspecting, and pressurizing the car to unloading and eventually disconnecting, the process of emptying a railcar can take six or more hours to complete.

When recently conducting a pre-inspection of a railcar, he found a potential leak from the valves. Without hesitation, he exercised Stop Work Authority in order to avoid potential hazards or injuries associated with leaks.

“Dave is a key force when it comes to identifying potential issues for his team and the customer,” Clayton said.

Only after it was safe to do so, Alvarado unloaded the railcar. Once finished, he took the extra step to remove nitrogen from the railcar for mechanics to safely examine it while it was out of service.

A routine day for this detail-oriented unloader turned out to be an award-winning moment. Both the refinery manufacturing customer and Watco presented him with individual safety awards: the Safety Hero and Watco Winter FREEZE awards. Both recognitions are for mitigating potential hazardous situations.

“He’s certainly an asset to the Watco team,” Clayton said. “He shows up every day committed to putting safety first.”

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