Two VML Insurance Programs (VMLIP) members were awarded recognition for facility performance at the 2015 WaterJAM conference held Sept. 14 – 17 in Virginia Beach. WaterJAM is the annual conference and meeting for both the Virginia Section of the American Water Works Association (VA AWWA) and the Virginia Water Environment Association (VWEA).
Water and treatment plants are high-risk work environments. Risks include confined spaces, exposure to hazards chemicals, biohazards, slips, trips and falls, electric shocks, explosions, entanglement, and more. These awards recognize their recipients focus on safety and mitigating risk.
The Town of Smithfield was presented with the VA AWWA Larry Gordon Safety Award and the Prince William County Service Authority was presented with the Water Environment Federation George W. Burke Facility Safety Award.
The Burke award is a national honor recognizing a municipal or industrial wastewater facility for establishing and maintaining an active and effective safety program. The authority received this award for the H.L. Mooney Advanced Water Reclamation Facility. They also received this award in 2003 and 2010.
“Winning this award is a significant achievement for the service authority,” said Service Authority Safety/Loss Control Program Manager Joseph Del Priore. “We believe this award recognizes the commitment of our employees to making this a safe and healthy workplace.”
In 2014, employees working at the Mooney facility devoted 359 hours to safety training. The facility, located in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed, can treat up to 24 million gallons of wastewater each day. After treatment, the cleaned water flows into Neabsco Creek, a tributary of the Potomac River.
“The Prince William County Service Authority places a great deal of emphasis on safety to protect not only its employees, but also its customers and the environment,” said Environmental Services and Water Reclamation Director Evelyn Mahieu.
The Town of Smithfield’s Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant was awarded the 2015 VA AWWA Larry Gordon Safety Award for it’s outstanding safety program. The plant was awarded based on the facility’s safety policies and procedures, training programs, accident and injury records, and an on-site inspection of the facility’s maintenance, safety signage and hazard identification.
The plant has a groundwater withdrawal permit allowing 1.4 million gallons per day from the aquifer and is operated by the Smithfield Public Works Department. Jack Reed serves as plant manager and Sonja Eubank coordinates risk management for the facility.
“We are proud of the work that our facility and public works department staff are doing to mitigate risks and improve safety in the workplace,” said Smithfield Town Manager Peter Stephenson. “Safety is crucially important to reduce injuries in the workplace and to keep our facility running at its best.”
The facility has also recently received a Gold Award for perfect compliance and outstanding pollution prevention measures from the Hampton Roads Sanitation District, as well as an award from the Southeast Desalting Association for it’s outstanding process performance. The Smithfield Public Works Department has been granted accreditation from the American Public Works Association this year – a recognition that their policies, procedures and practices have been evaluated against nationally best-in-class recommended processes.
“Good risk management practices and procedures are evident when everyone works together to build a caring, and safe environment in which to work. When employees work together toward a unified goal for a safe work environment, it shows,” said Beth Rosenthal, director of safety services with VML Insurance Programs. “These two facilities are receiving these high level recognition because they are among the few who have been able to achieve this goal.
“Effective risk management starts with upper level management who supports health and safety initiatives. These two facilities have worked hard to achieve this honor and it shows.”
VMLIP offers more than just coverage. We are partners in risk management. How does your insurer stack up? Having all lines of coverage with VMLIP ensures that your organization is receiving comprehensive coverage and a wide variety of value-added services tailored to Virginia’s local governmental entities. Call for a quote today: (800) 963-6800. For more information on VMLIP visit: www.vmlins.org or follow us on Facebook.
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