At a recent awards breakfast hosted by the American Water Works Association-New York Section (AWWA-NY) in Saratoga Springs, OCWA–Central New York’s Water Authority–was honored to receive the 2018 Safety Award in recognition of its “outstanding initiative in the area of safety improvement and injury prevention.”

Among the specific safety initiatives referenced in the awards package were:

  1. The commitment of all levels of OCWA personnel to safety improvement, including the proactive use of a written safety and health manual which is continually updated and enhanced
  2. Active engagement by OCWA’s Safety Committee to establish and maintain a safe and efficient work environment, to include evaluation and development of employee safety suggestions
  3. An extensive safety and health training program, to include a multi-day program for all new employees and annual refresher training for existing employees
  4. Employment of a full-time safety director who is responsible for overseeing the program, including spearheading recent enhancements to the Authority’s confined space program
  5. Encouragement of new ideas and enhancements to existing safety initiatives, including improvements to OCWA’s annul Back-Injury Prevention Training Program and a relatively new safety poster initiative
  6. A constant focus on safety, including the Safety Committee’s 2017 soft-tissue safety initiative designed to tackle the three main contributing factors to these types of injuries

As a result of these initiatives, OCWA has been able to significantly reduce the number of days employees are out of work over the past few years.  This has occurred thanks to the team approach at the Authority which has allowed employees to transition back to work as soon as medically reasonable.

Pictured below is the OCWA Safety Director Kelly Caramanna receiving the award from AWWA-NY leaders.