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Pepper’s Ferry receives top safety award

PFRWTA safety awardBy MELINDA WILLIAMS

melinda@southwesttimes.com

 

Pepper’s Ferry Regional Wastewater Treatment Authority recently received a top safety award for having accumulated more than 400,000 employee hours without a lost work hour due to injury.

The Water Environment Federation (WEF) George W. Burke Jr. Safety Award was presented to Pepper’s Ferry at the annual Water JAM conference held by WEF’s Virginia association, the Virginia Water Environment Association (VWEA).

Thursday, Pepper’s Ferry Executive Director Clarke Wallcraft presented the award to the Authority’s board of directors. He said the board’s foresight in establishing a Stop Loss Control Policy in 2004 made it possible for the Authority’s employees to receive the award.

“The vision and leadership demonstrated by the board of directors in establishing the Stop Loss Control Policy has resulted in an aggressive safety program benefitting all employees,” said Wallcraft. He added that the board’s vision, the “outstanding participation” of Authority employees and the support of Virginia Municipal League Insurance Program “have been the three critical factors that have led to the success of our safety program.”

According to Wallcraft, VML provided the needed materials to develop and implement the Stop Loss program and train employees.

“We are deeply honored to have received this prestigious safety award,” Wallcraft added. “When one considers the hundreds of municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities in Virginia, this award emphasizes the dedication of the board of directors and employees of the Authority to maintain a quality safety program that results in a safe work environment. I couldn’t be more proud of the organization.”

The award, established by WEF in 1982, is presented annually to a municipal or industrial wastewater facility for establishing and maintaining an active and effective safety program. Wallcraft said it was named in honor of George W. Burke Jr. for his years of service to the water environment field and as staff manager of WEF technical services. He noted Burke was instrumental in developing WEF’s annual safety survey and producing safety training aids and promotional packets.

To be considered for the award, Wallcraft said the wastewater plant had to undergo a “rigorous” inspection by a team of three inspectors and an “exhaustive” review of its safety programs and records. Criteria for the award include a documented and illustrated safety program and safety record for the preceding calendar year.

Wallcraft said the more than 400,000 employee hours without a lost work hour have been accumulated since the Stop Loss program was implemented.