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Steps taken to protect Reservists from safety hazards

Master Sgt. Juan Escobar, 507th Civil Engineer 1st Sgt., cuts away at the sidewalk Oct. 3, 2015, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. The team used a combination of heavy equipment, circular saws and hand tools to tear out an unsafe concrete stairway, and covered the newly exposed earth with sod. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Krystin Trosper)

Master Sgt. Juan Escobar, 507th Civil Engineer 1st Sgt., cuts away at the sidewalk Oct. 3, 2015, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. The team used a combination of heavy equipment, circular saws and hand tools to tear out an unsafe concrete stairway, and covered the newly exposed earth with sod. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Krystin Trosper)

Staff Sgt. Michael Wallace of the 507th Civil Engineer Squadron removes landscaping timbers located next to a soon-to-be demolished stairway Oct. 3, 2015, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. The stairway was removed as a safety precaution, since the stairway cracked over time and became uneven and unsafe. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Krystin Trosper)

Staff Sgt. Michael Wallace of the 507th Civil Engineer Squadron removes landscaping timbers located next to a soon-to-be demolished stairway Oct. 3, 2015, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. The stairway was removed as a safety precaution, since the stairway cracked over time and became uneven and unsafe. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Krystin Trosper)

Master Sgt. Juan Escobar, 507th Civil Engineer 1st Sgt., cuts away at the sidewalk Oct. 3, 2015, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. The stairway was removed as a safety precaution, since the stairway cracked over time and became uneven and unsafe. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Krystin Trosper)

Master Sgt. Juan Escobar, 507th Civil Engineer 1st Sgt., cuts away at the sidewalk Oct. 3, 2015, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. The stairway was removed as a safety precaution, since the stairway cracked over time and became uneven and unsafe. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Krystin Trosper)

TINKER AIR FORCE BASE, Okla. -- Safety of 507th Air Refueling Wing Airmen is paramount, so the 507th Civil Engineer Squadron removed the hazardous stairway leading from Building 1048 down to Reserve Rd. Oct. 3, 2015, at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla.

"Through a couple of years of ground settling, the stairway became uneven and unsafe," said Staff Sgt. Jeremy Terry, a structures technician from the 507th CES. "For the safety of everyone who uses the stairs, we decided it would be better to remove them and not put anything back in their place."

The team used a combination of heavy equipment, circular saws and hand tools to tear out the existing concrete. Once the stairway was removed, the newly exposed earth was leveled and covered with sod.

Civil engineer members must beware of creating new hazards while completing projects.

"We want to finish the project to where there isn't any sort of an environmental hazard," said Terry. "We also want to make sure there is proper drainage of water."

With the winter season coming up, expect to see the 507th CES making improvements to other walkways and structures around the wing.