For the third year in a row, starting in 2014, OCWA—Central New York’s Water Authority—has won the American Water Works Association, New York Section (NYSAWWA) Safety Award.  This award is presented annually to the New York water utility that demonstrates outstanding initiative in the areas of safety improvement and injury prevention.

OCWA’s receipt of the 2016 Safety Award is based on its work to expand its training program to include all levels of employees in safety.

OCWA employees, who operate/maintain 54 storage facilities, 41 pump stations, 13,000+ hydrants and 2,010+ miles of water main, have proposed and implemented numerous creative ideas for improving safety and efficiencies.  OCWA places a significant value on these ideas, as evidenced by the existence of two formal mechanisms to encourage input: a Safety Committee and a suggestion program.

The efforts of the Safety Committee and the Authority’s promotion of a strong safety culture have created a significant increase in safety awareness.  This awareness by employees has resulted in better and safer work practices, increased employee morale, and reductions in injuries and lost time incidents.

All of these factors emphasize OCWA’s understanding of how important it is for the utility to deliver high quality, reliable water, which in itself promotes and provides for healthy living, but at the same time keeping employee safety of paramount importance.

The American Water Works Association (AWWA) was formed in 1881.  The association’s purpose is to share information about source water and water filtration systems.  Established in 1914, the New York Section is the first and oldest section in AWWA and it currently represents 2,000 member water utilities across the state.