ASLRRA congratulates our 2020 Safety Professional of the Year:

Travis Herod
SVP of Environmental, Health and Safety
Watco Companies

Throughout his 20-year career, Travis Herod has been a driving force behind Watco’s safety programs and training courses, including leading the company’s new shift in safety philosophy, Watco’s Safety Management System. The program has led to a much more proactive approach in preventing incidents and accidents, while also creating higher levels of engagement from Watco team members. This includes safety suggestions, near-miss reporting, and SAFE Observations. According to the company, the results from the program in 2019 were profound, finishing the year with record low safety metrics, and 2020 is trending even better, headed for a second record-breaking year in a row. 

“Travis has initiated a number of programs and training courses geared towards not only teaching safety but also being proactive when it comes to safety,” said Nick Coomes, Chief Operating Officer of Watco. “Travis is widely respected both within Watco and throughout the rail industry including by customers, suppliers, vendors, and other operators. He leads by example but is also able to develop impactful relationships fostering safe behaviors.”

Herod’s emphasis on safety extends beyond his on-duty time at Watco. Throughout the course of a workday, Herod reminds coworkers of safety procedures, both for work and at home. He serves as a mentor to new leaders in the safety industry. Each Sunday evening, he e-mails the entire Watco team with a safety message on relevant topics and positive encouragement.  On weekends and evenings, he volunteers for community safety organizations such as Operation Lifesaver and the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, which supports veterans causes, and veterans suicide prevention initiatives. On their horse farm in Alabama, he and his wife provide VA home visits, nursing home visits, and veterans and special needs outreach through equestrian activities.

Herod holds industry safety certificates including Licensed Safety Professional (LSP) through the National Association of Safety Professionals (NASP), and a Certificate in Safety Management through the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP).

2020 Safety Professional of the Year

The Safety Professional of the Year is open to any railroad management employee of an ASLRRA member railroad who is responsible for safety programs, training and the overall management of safe behavior and actions on their railroad(s), who demonstrate these criteria. To nominate an individual, fill out this form.

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