BLET member is BNSF's Safety Person of the Year

Brother Duane C. Wetsch recognized by peers for good attitude, dedication to safe operations

Duane C. Wetsch, a member of BLET Division 195 in Forsyth, Mont., was recently named Safety Employee of the Year by employees in BNSF Railway's Yellowstone Safety Team.

"Duane shows up every day with a good attitude and ready to help anyone who needs it. He makes sure the job gets done, and he makes sure it's done safely," his anonymous nominator's letter said.

Brother Westch is a long-time member of the BLET, having been initiated in November 1975, and holding continuous membership since then. He has also served for more than 20 years as Secretary-Treasurer of the Montana State Legislative Board, as well as serving as Legislative Representative from his home division.

"I was pleased to learn of the award given to Brother Wetsch," said Montana State Legislative Board Chairman Craig Gilchrist. "I have known him for many years, and he approaches his work on the railroad earnestly, the same way he does his work in the union."

For the 15th year in a row, the safety team invited employees and their spouses to a recognition dinner at the Forsyth (Montana) Country Club. The event is held to show appreciation for every employee who worked through the previous year without injury, according to Howard Tait, BNSF's trainmaster in Forsyth, Mont.

While the event provides an opportunity to recognize some of the safest and best employees on the system, collectively, it also gives employees a chance to acknowledge their co-workers' outstanding leadership in safety.

This year's winners received a BNSF coat, their names on a plaque and a clock. Employees nominated co-workers with anonymous letters, describing why they should receive the award.

The team also recognized Glen Greer, conductor on local M7101, as the TY&E Employee of the Year. He was nominated for "his attitude toward new hires. He mentors them in all parts of their workday. Glen is always helping to get them up to speed."

Congratulations to Brother Duane C. Wetsch, left, who was recently named Safety Employee of the Year by BNSF Railway's Yellowstone Safety Team in Montana. He has been a member of the Brotherhood since 1975 and has served as Secretary-Treasurer of the Montana State Legislative Board for more than 20 years. He is presented with an honorary plaque by BNSF Trainmaster Howard Tait.


© 2006 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen