LEOMINSTER, MA, Feb. 1, 2011 -- The City of Leominster wastewater treatment plant's safety program has been ranked as one of the safest in New England by the Water Environment Federation (WEF), which recognized the plant with its George W. Burke, Jr. Award. Leominster's employees received the award at the annual conference of WEF's regional branch, the New England Water Environment Association (NEWEA), held in Boston last week.
WEF's George W. Burke, Jr. Award is presented annually with the purpose of encouraging an active and effective safety program in both municipal and industrial wastewater facilities. Leominster's safety program includes monthly training, an emphasis on accountability and strong project management leadership, backed by a longstanding record of safety. This is the second time the plant has won the award, having previously won in 1998.
"Part of the advantage of being a Veolia Water North America employee is a safe working environment," said Keavin Nelson, president, Veolia Water North America, Eastern Region. "This safety award demonstrates the absolute commitment of not only the Leominster staff, but all Veolia personnel, to hold everyone accountable for safety."
The Leominster facility has been managed by Veolia Water North America since 1983, when the city entered into a public-private partnership for its wastewater treatment. The partnership has been a remarkable success and recently marked more than 25 years without a lost-time accident, a safety milestone that only a few North American municipal water facilities have achieved.
The health and welfare of its employees is a core value at Veolia Water, which ended 2010 with record employee safety numbers that significantly exceed the national averages for private-industry water, wastewater and other systems. According to the most current data available from the U.S. Department of Labor -- Bureau of Labor Statistics, Veolia Water is approximately 37 percent better than the industry average for Recordable Incidence Rate (RIR) and 67 percent better than the industry Lost-Time Incident Rate (LTIR).
"Veolia Water North America is committed to the technically competent employees that are at the heart of providing clean water services for Americans," said Nelson. "The employees of Leominster live that every day, and we can't think of a more deserving winner of this prestigious safety award."
Formed in 1928, WEF is a not-for-profit technical and educational organization with 36,000 individual members and 75 affiliated Member Associations representing water quality professionals around the world. WEF and its Member Associations proudly work to achieve their mission of preserving and enhancing the global water environment.
Based in Chicago, Veolia Water North America is the leading provider of comprehensive water and wastewater partnership services to municipal and industrial customers, providing services to more than 14 million people in approximately 650 North American communities. The company is part of the Veolia Environnement companies in North America, with 30,000 North American employees providing sustainable environmental solutions in water management, waste services, energy management and passenger transportation.
Veolia Water, the water division of Veolia Environnement, is the world leader in water and wastewater services and technological solutions. Its parent company, Veolia Environnement (NYSE:VE) (BOURSE/Euronext Paris:VIE), is the worldwide reference in environmental services. With more than 312,000 employees, Veolia Environnement recorded annual revenues of $50 billion in 2009. Visit the company's Web sites at www.veolianorthamerica.com