GALVESTON, Texas (Jan. 5, 2017) – Born and raised in the state of Kentucky, where attending the Derby every year is a ritual, Sarah Futrell decided to make her first out-of-state move when she was offered the position as a safety and occupational health specialist at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District. It was a significant change from growing up in the countryside to residing along the Texas Coast, but Futrell was ready to leave her comfort zone for a more challenging opportunity.
“I had been at the Louisville District for over seven years and fondly known around the office as Safety Sarah,” said Futrell. “Louisville District is where I launched my career and where I got my start with the Corps of Engineers. When I was offered the position at the Galveston District I felt ready for a change and excited about the prospect of personal and professional growth.”
Although Futrell held the same title as a safety and occupational health specialist at the Louisville District, her role at the Galveston District is vastly different. In Louisville her main focus was on military construction safety at Fort Knox and Fort Campbell. Here at the Galveston district, she provides safety support for civil construction projects. She reviews accident prevention plans, load handling equipment plans, diving plans for upcoming projects and performs field visits to ensure contractors are working safely.
“What I really like about my current position is learning about the dredging and coastal safety and how important USACE is to maintaining commerce in the United States,” said Futrell. “I am currently working to promote safety awareness in the form of a newsletter, as well as through other USACE platforms such as videos for Instagram and Facebook. My goal is to make safety a top priority for everyone in Galveston District, especially because we are working on projects that bring so much value to the nation.”
Futrell is most proud of her temporary assignment at USACE Headquarters Safety Office where she completed the final review of the Engineer Manual 385-1-1 and arranged the official printing of the manual. She was also the USACE point of contact for creating the mobile app for the manual for Android (goo.gl/xZNqSG) and Apple (goo.gl/jxgGh1).
“As a safety professional, it is my job to ensure my coworkers have the proper knowledge and tools to perform their jobs as safely as possible,” said Futrell. “What I like most about my job is encouraging coworkers to take ownership in safety and integrate a safety culture into the organization.”
Futrell earned a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Safety and Health from Murray State University, Kentucky, a Certified Safety Professional Accreditation in 2015, Department of Army Safety and Occupational Health Career Field ANSI Accredited CP-12 Professional Certificate in 2015, and the Certification of Safety Trained Supervisor in Construction from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals. Among her many accomplishments she was awarded the Louisville Safety Specialist of the Year in 2011. When she isn’t promoting safety, you can find her exercising at her CrossFit gym, working on do-it-yourself projects or traveling.