After spending a number of months trying to develop a safety program which would meet State and Federal requirements, we realized that we simply did not have the time or the skills necessary. In January of 2008, the Board authorized the contracted services of Advanced Safety Technology, through Wisconsin Rural Water Association to build our program. That process is well underway with the first training modules completed.
In order to meet compliance requirements, it has been necessary for us to completely revise the way that we do work.
In February of 2009, the Delavan Lake Sanitary District fully instituted compliance with the OSHA regulations covering our type of operation. All operations staff has completed the required training, required safety equipment has been acquired along with appropriate training and we have successfully passed two unscheduled inspections.
Our Safety Program is ongoing with office or tailgate safety meetings once a week, training updates, as well as continuous team discussion in the workplace of the importance of safety awareness for all of our staff. Safety is something that you live, not a training session that happens once and then goes away. Our staff is committed to this program and the required changes to our operations have now become routine.
The two major results of the progress we have made so far are: that we are taking all recommended steps to ensure the safety of our operations staff and that everyone knows what to do to protect themselves and their fellow workers in the event that a hazardous situation arises.
We have more set up work to do and of course the weekly meetings and training will go on forever, but we feel that a great deal has been accomplished in the past year or so. Rather than increasing the time that it takes to perform our overall system inspections, we have actually reduced this time significantly. This is partly the result of an increase in our efficiency and the reduced need for daily inspections attributed to our upgraded system monitoring and communication system.
Ongoing equipment and facility upgrades have reduced the number of after hours call outs that we are receiving as well as the need for daily entry into our buried pre-fabricated stations. Currently we make twice a week entry into these Permit- Required Confined Spaces with a two man crew using tri-pod, harness, air monitoring equipment and all other required safety measures. A report is completed for each entry.
We are very proud of the progress that we have made and would be pleased to discuss this or provide more information. Just call the office and ask for James.