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June is National Safety Month, an occasion to recognize the importance of safe practices in the workplace and at home. Safety is a core value at the Regional Water Authority (RWA), and that commitment made Fiscal Year 2018 (June 2017-May 2018) the RWA’s safest year on record.
In the 1980s, the RWA recorded 60 injuries in a year, which resulted in almost 500 lost days of work. In Fiscal Year 2018, the RWA had four recordable injuries, all of which were minor and did not result in lost days of work. Utility employees regularly find themselves doing potentially hazardous work that could result in injuries. RWA’s strict adherence to safety procedures ensured that no employee suffered anything worse than a minor sprain.
“Safety is a way of life at the RWA and is featured just as much in every staff and board meeting as it is in every pipe repair by our field service teams,” said Larry Bingaman, RWA President and CEO. “By working together as a team to improve practices, the RWA has seen workplace injuries plummet by more than 93%. We are proud of this success, and use it as a motivator to continue improving and bring our injury rate down to zero.”
The RWA promotes safety by providing coaching and education programs to employees, and by providing positive reinforcement to employees who show an exceptional commitment to working safely. The RWA has also partnered with the United Steelworkers (USW) to conduct training and appoint two union employees to work with our safety ambassadors and safety administrator. The RWA’s commitment to safety extends to contractors and subcontractors as well. Properly-trained inspectors are required at every worksite. And, a strict “one and done” policy results in any contractors being removed from RWA projects at the first sign of unsafe practices.
National Safety Month is organized by the National Safety Council. Every year, organizations throughout the United States use National Safety Month as an occasion to promote safe workplaces and share tips and procedures to improve employee safety.