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Stories & News

Memories & Mileposts: TAPS Pride

2005: A tribute to the humble hard hat sticker

Hard hat stickers in their natural habitat.

In 2005, TAPS reached two milestones: 10,000 tanker escorts and 15B barrels of crude transported. These, like other events were commemorated by the design and distribution of hard hat stickers. You’ll find these small mementos affixed to workers’ hardhats around TAPS. They can be circular, oval, square, or in a creative unique die-cut; most are under 2 inches in diameter.

The decision to produce hard hat stickers is not always straightforward.

A selection of stickers throughout the years.

In 2011, TAPS crews worked 10 million hours without a Day Away from Work Case recordable injury. As the 10 millionth hour approached, there was fierce debate about creating hard hat stickers in honor of such an impressive feat – might the sticker “jinx” the achievement? In the end, the stickers were produced and distributed after TAPS reached the milestone. In 2016, SERVS tugs escorted their 13,000 tanker, but the number 13 is considered unlucky in the maritime industry. Instead, the hard hat sticker marked the 13,001st escort.

Over 45 years, TAPS workers have received tens, if not hundreds, of hard hat stickers. Some celebrate the arrival of an anniversary or significant achievement. Some mark the arrival of new equipment or vessels, like escort tugs. Some call out an incident that required the hard work and diligence of emergency response. All proclaim: “I was here when …”

Valdez Museum staff show off an impressive collection of TAPS hard hat stickers.


1993: The Insider employee newsletter

1996: Bob Malone and Alyeska’s Open Work Environment

2012: Alyeska’s Cultural Attributes are born

2016: TAPS exhibit installed at State Library Archives and Museum