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Safety Comes First in the Most Difficult Work

Safety Comes First in the Most Difficult Work

Environmental engineers work at wastewater treatment plants,Water supply engineering working at Water recycling plant for reuse

A key group of awards were given out by Agency Director Jeff Pratt at the VCPWA 1st annual SAFETY Awards Presentations.

(VENTURA COUNTY, Calif.)  A compilation of years of safety training for the Ventura County Public Works Agency (VCPWA) teams that work with large objects, fast tools, and huge trucks was recognized in February 2022 by the VCPWA leadership team. 

The Public Works Agency Safety Program recognizes individuals and work teams who are taking extra steps to promote health and safety to reduce accidents that cause injury and work-time loss. Beginning January 2017, VCPWA started tracking ‘No Loss Workdays’ at operations and maintenance facilities. 2022 marked the first time a ceremony was held to celebrate the year’s recipients. 

“These awards signified one of our biggest achievements here at VCPWA. It is a credit to all involved that these milestones are achieved, and further proof of our dedication to innovation and excellence,” said Agency Director, Jeff Pratt.

VCPWA is continually working to improve the safety in our communities by providing maintained roads, clear water channels, and clean drinking water. Within their five departments, frontline workers and first responders have great potential for injury while they provide these services, which makes it vital to strive to maintain internal safety for their employees and communities. Training courses including hazard specific videos, the Safety Review Council, a safety committee comprised of all levels of leadership and staff, reviews all near-miss and actual injuries, have also been ongoing.  This year, leadership at VCPWA presented crew milestones with a plaque for display at their worksites and a personal hardhat sticker noting individual safety records.

The highest achievement to date goes to the department led by Augustine Godinez, Water & Sanitation: Achieving five years without a lost-time accident.

Preventing accidents through safety training is a high priority item for the Agency.  Attendance of monthly safety training was tracked for one-year.  Over the following year a Performance Improvement event was conducted analyzing the current process used for crew members to participate in safety training.  This was followed by the development of a process for increased compliance with all safety trainings.  The new procedure has been implemented with 100% compliance in training to date for greater than 150 participants.  Phil Raba, PWA Health and Safety Manager, stated, “Prevention through ongoing training is one of the many steps we have taken to keep every crew member safe, every day.”

Click here to see the full list of award recipients