CH2M HILL OMI safety practices secure milestones, awards

Over the past 10 years, CH2M HILL OMI employees in Coos Bay, Ore., have helped treat thousands of gallons of wastewater and maintain dozens of miles of sanitary and stormwater sewer lines. But they haven't had a serious safety incident once. Their 10-year record of no "lost-time accidents" -- officially celebrated Nov. 30, 2007 -- adds up to 3,650 days worked safely by the staff of 15. The company also earned eight more key safety awards across the United States...

DENVER, Jan. 30, 2008 -- Over the past 10 years, CH2M HILL OMI employees in Coos Bay, Ore., have helped treat thousands of gallons of wastewater and maintain dozens of miles of sanitary and stormwater sewer lines. But they haven't had a serious safety incident once.

Their 10-year record of no "lost-time accidents" -- officially celebrated Nov. 30, 2007 -- adds up to 3,650 days worked safely by the staff of 15. That's nearly the entire time that CH2M HILL OMI has been Coos Bay's partner in providing operations and maintenance services for its wastewater treatment system.

"I'm very proud of our team for reaching this milestone. Safety isn't just a switch you decide to turn on one day," says Steve Simpson, CH2M HILL OMI project manager. "It's about attitude and teamwork. It's about wanting to do things the right way the first time. It's about having people that are willing to help out when needed."

The longstanding record was one of the company's top safety highlights in the second half of 2007. The company also earned eight more key safety awards across the United States, and it closed the year with a 35 percent decrease in its "total recordable rate" and a 40 percent decrease in its "days away, restricted or transferred rate."

"These measures demonstrate the strength and persistence of the company's safety culture and commitment to safety for our clients," says Elisa Speranza, president, CH2M HILL OMI.

The CH2M HILL OMI-operated facilities earning safety awards in the second half of 2007 include:

• The water and wastewater treatment plants in DeFuniak Springs, Fla., both received the Florida Water & Pollution Control Operators Association's 2007 Safety Award for plants in the "C" size category, which recognize facilities that have "an outstanding safety record." In addition, the Quincy, Fla., wastewater treatment plant earned a 2007 Safety Award in the "B" category.

• On Aug. 30, the wastewater treatment facilities operated for the Roseburg (Ore.) Urban Sanitary Authority graduated from the Oregon Occupational Safety and Health Administration's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program. Oregon SHARP promotes and recognizes effective safety and health management and continuous improvement over a five-year period.

• The wastewater treatment plant operated for the North Hudson Sewerage Authority in Hoboken, N.J., received the 2006 Citation of Merit Award from the New Jersey Governor's Occupational Safety and Health Awards Program. The Citation of Merit recognizes a company, facility or department for working throughout the calendar year without lost time from a work-related injury or illness.

• The J.B. Messerly Wastewater Treatment Facility in Augusta, Ga., earned the 2007 George W. Burke Jr. Facility Safety Award in Georgia, sponsored by the Water Environment Federation and the Georgia Association of Water Professionals. The Burke Award recognizes active and effective safety programs in municipal and industrial wastewater facilities.

• The Lowndes County, Ga., wastewater facilities won the Georgia Association of Water Professionals' 2007 Groundwater Treatment Safety Award for the first time, reflecting more than five years without a safety incident.

• Greenwood Chemical's site in Greenwood, Va., earned the National Safety Council's Perfect Record Award, honoring facilities that have completed 12 months without incurring an occupational injury or illness. In fact, CH2M HILL OMI operated nearly 20,000 employee hours -- Aug. 1, 2000, through Sept. 1, 2007 -- without occupational injury or illness involving days away from work. CH2M HILL OMI provides groundwater remediation services at the site.

In the first half of 2007, CH2M HILL OMI people and practices earned seven safety awards. Most significant, the water and wastewater system operated by CH2M HILL OMI for Rio Rancho, N.M., earned the New Mexico Environment Department Occupational Health and Safety Bureau's highest designation for workplace safety -- the "Zia Star" status in its Voluntary Protection Program.

Clients in government and industry rely on the people of CH2M HILL OMI to provide a range of custom-tailored operations and maintenance solutions. The company's services include water and wastewater system optimization; contract O&M of water, wastewater and other utilities; and complete municipal operations, including administration, public works and community development -- all backed by a commitment to safety, quality, innovation and customer service.

Employee-owned CH2M HILL is a $5 billion global firm providing engineering, construction, operations and related technical services to public and private clients.

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