The safety of our employees is our number one priority. In 2016, we revamped our approach to safety and created a national structure aimed at improving and standardizing our safety practices. We expanded on this program in 2017 with the launch of internal processes to close safety gaps, better track and communicate safety performance, and formalize regular communications to share best practices.
Our safety has increased its number of regular trainings and inspections to help provide safe workplaces, distribution of monthly tips to foster safety awareness, ongoing worksite assessments and a culture of empowerment that encourages employees to stop work in the case of safety concerns.
Safety committees across Aqua’s footprints expanded their reach in 2017. Recent committee initiatives included a peer-to-peer pilot program in Ohio, the formation of a national written policy committee and the addition of members to local state committees.
In 2017, Aqua employees completed more than 16,000 hours of training, which is 138 percent of our 12,000-hour goal as company. Our training covers Occupational Safety and Health Administration compliance topics, as well as data-informed training that looks at common injuries within the company and provides additional resources to reduce or the number of injuries.
National safety days
As important as it is to identify risks, it is also important to celebrate success and gain essential feedback from employees. This occurs at our safety day celebrations, which recognize employees for feats that range from saving a life on the job to exemplifying safety excellence in their daily lives. In 2017, we expanded our safety day programming to feature presentations on helping upset customers, dog bite prevention and emergency preparedness.
Thanks to these efforts, Aqua had the best-ever safety metrics in 2017.
Lost time injury rate (per 200,00 hrs worked)
Lost work days
OSHA recordable injury rate
Thought leaders from across Aqua Ohio’s 33 systems have taken their commitment to safety to new levels by completing the OSHA 30-hour General Industry Safety Training, in conjunction with the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation. Aqua Ohio used the curriculum, developed by the Department of Labor (OSHA), as a tool for its director of operations, area managers, production managers, field supervisors, all members of the Joint Safety Committee, and key members of the engineering team to better understand OSHA standards and create a culture of safety.
Key elements of the program include: origins of OSHA, interpretation of safety standards, hazard recognition in the workplace, hazard management and correction, and implementation of hazard mitigation training.