CVR Safety

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Safety is a major concern in the water/wastewater industry and has always been a high priority with me. I took on the responsibility of keeping the work place safe soon after I became plant manager creating rules and stressing the need for thinking about safety in all our activities. I also bought safety materials such as the MOP 1 and made them available to all employees.

As our operation grew, I designated one of the operators as safety coordinator. They expanded on my work by implementing safety inspections and periodic safety meetings. By the time the city hall decided to create a city wide safety program, we had our own well established program.

Even though we were already doing many of the activities encouraged by the Safety Chairman, our relationship with him was mutually beneficial. He had numerous ideas which we implemented that improved and enhanced our safety program. However, he was given virtually no budget so I helped him accomplish one of his goals by using the wastewater budget to join the National Safety Council. To date, our NSC membership is still payed by the wastewater department.

We developed a relationship with the Carroll County Fire Department for safety training, most significantly SCBA training. They also fill our tanks for us free of charge allowing us to keep them fresh and ready for use at all times. All plants are equipped with a minimum of two modern, high quality SCBA units.

We also developed other programs such as confined space entry and lock-out/tag-out. These type programs are often passed up by smaller cities due to the costs to get them off the ground. We found them to be worth the investment and we discovered that once started the programs cost very little to maintain.

Due to the emphasis on safety, there were only about a dozen departmental injuries during my years with the city. Four of these were serious, two broken legs and two exposures to chlorine gas during the same chlorine leak. An investigation was performed in each case to find and correct the cause of the accident helping to ensure that future accidents would not occur.

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