Eastern Municipal Water District, which has earned national acclaim for its cutting-edge safety program, recently completed an entire calendar year without a single work day missed due to injury.
EMWD has gone more than 500 consecutive days without an employee missing work time due to an on-the-job injury, including the entire 2012 calendar year.
With its zero-percent lost work rate in 2012, EMWD placed well below the water industry national average of 4 percent. EMWD’s rolling three-year lost work rate is 0.32 percent.
“I am incredibly proud of our entire EMWD team for its ongoing effort to ensure a safe work environment for ourselves, our co-workers and our ratepayers,” EMWD General Manager Paul D. Jones II said. “Our ongoing commitment to safety is paramount and a matter in which we take great pride in.”
This marks the second time in the past five years that EMWD has exceeded 500 consecutive days without time lost due to an on-the-job injury. In 2009, EMWD also completed a calendar year without a lost day.
EMWD’s commitment to fostering a safe work environment extends through all levels of the 600-plus member organization. All employees go through rigorous training based on assigned duties.
“I think I can speak for every represented employee when I say that Eastern goes above and beyond to provide every employee and our customers a working environment that is among the safest in the industry,” said Steve Shockey, president/business manager of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 1436, which represents a majority of EMWD employees. “Our safety record is something that we are proud of and work hard each day to ensure that we are always working in the safest manner possible.”
This year, EMWD’s safety culture will vie for recertification with the California Voluntary Protection Program STAR program. Cal/VPP STAR is a component of the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s program that honors employers for exceeding minimum safety requirements and reaching best-practices levels of safety.
EMWD is currently the only public agency in the state to be STAR-certified, a distinction it first earned in 1999. EMWD is the only water agency nationally to be state or federally certified in the STAR program.
“This is due to the commitment of our line-level staff,” said Doug Hefley, EMWD’s Safety and Risk Manager. “Every single EMWD employee has made a commitment to our safety program. It’s the employees who go out every day and work safely who can help take responsibility for this.”
To view a video on EMWD’s safety program, please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCZMP7Q22ls.