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'Take personal responsibility to ensure the District always considers safety to be its top priority.'

Safety Committee Looks at Updating Evacuation Responsibilities, Guidelines For Overtime

4/25 District Safety Committee members discussed a variety of topics at their April 13 meeting, including new online training programs, evacuation procedures and guidelines for very long overtime.  

DC Evacuation:  There was an incident recently where unattended food in the microwave burned and set off the fire alarm system at District Center.  Although there was an initial drill when the building was reoccupied, this building evacuation revealed some issues in the evacuation procedure.  One issue is that with the recent vacancies, the District was left with a shortage of Zone Captains – the Health and Safety Manager (MHS) is actively trying to recruit more captains.  There was also confusion about where the new gathering points were located. During the evacuation, there were customers in the building, which also brought about the question as to who is responsible for customers during an evacuation. There will likely be a Zone Captain for customers going forward to make sure nobody comes into the building and guide customers already in the building as to where they need to go. There was also confusion about who should call 911 to provide supplemental information to emergency responders beyond the fire alarm system. The MHS will schedule a meeting for next week with the Zone Captains.

Debris Pick-up Along CanalThere was discussion about the procedure for clearing out hypodermic needles in problem areas where there is a higher concentration of this type of debris.  Field crews have safe containers to hold a few needles, but on at least two occasions, crews have gone out and picked up 30-50 needles at once and did not have a way to contain or dispose of them.  Large containers that can be sent back to the vendor for disposal need to be purchased. An environmental contractor may also be used for this type of clean-up if necessary. 

Target Solutions Training: During the next two weeks, supervisors, managers and admin staff will receive training on the new system now that it has gone live. Epicor is still up and running, but will eventually be discontinued. Everyone is in the system now and has a login, so they can sign in to view their requirements and sign up for classes. Everyone’s login is their email address and the password is “ccwd2015”.  There will be more information sent within the next month.

16-Hour Fatigue Guideline at Morgan Territory:  After the last SC meeting, the Director of Engineering and MHS met with the Director of O&M to discuss the procedure followed during the repair work at Morgan Territory.  The Morgan Territory repair work was considered an emergency, both the County and CCWD declared an emergency, and the fatigue guidelines provide some guidance regarding emergency response situations. The MHS and Director of O&M will be reviewing the fatigue guidelines to determine where modifications or additional clarification is needed.    Better communication regarding the emergency determination as well as transportation for fatigued workers at the end of shift were initial improvements identified following this event. 

Safety Committee Membership: There are several positions that are open this year (Engineering/Planning, Construction, Distribution, Los Vaqueros Watershed, East County Maintenance and Water Operations/Treatment.  Applications will be reviewed at the June Safety Committee meeting.  If interested in becoming a member, staff should complete an interest form and submit it to the MHS by May 26.  If currently a Committee member and do not wish to continue another term, it was requested these members provide assistance recruiting their replacement.

Updated 'Contractors' Safe Practices Handbook' Available Now Online

3/30 If you work with contractors, they and their employees need to be familiar with the updated "Contractor/Consultant Safe Practices Handbook". It's now available online. Click on the link below, or find it in this website's Safety Library.

Read the Handbook

Contracators Safe Practices Handbook-1

Brian Breklemans and Aaron Christensmith Earn STARS For 'Getting Involved' & Possibly Preventing A Disaster 

3/21 Brian Breklemans and Aaron Christensmith earned only the third and fourth safety STARS of the year when they tried to help an unconscious woman in her car.

The woman turned out to be intoxicated. Brian and Aaron made sure she did not drive her car and called police.

The STAR is the District's highest safety honor.

"It is very easy to see someone in this condition and either call 911 and leave, or just walk away to not get involved," said Safety Committee Chair John Parsons.  "In this instance, this woman could have woke up on her own and decided to drive away, potentially killing herself and/or someone else along with her!

"Acts like this do not happen nearly enough, and should never go without being recognized as selfless and responsible acts within our community," said John.

While performing daily routine work Brian and Aaron noticed the woman slumped over the steering wheel of her running vehicle in the Starbucks parking lot on Contra Costa Blvd. in Pleasant Hill. 

After a few minutes, they became concerned that the woman may have a medical issue. The car was still running and she was unconscious. 

Brian and Aaron attempted to wake the woman without success. Aaron contacted 911 and they continued to try to wake the woman. The woman eventually awoke and was incoherent. It became apparent that she was heavily intoxicated.

After discussion with Brian and Aaron, she agreed not to drive, locked her vehicle and left the area. Pleasant Hill Police arrived, took a report and waited to see if the woman would return.

"Having staff ensure that she not drive certainly displays safety concern above and beyond what they would be reasonably expected to exhibit, but shows how they kept safety in the front of their minds as it relates to others who may have been impacted as well," said John.

"Great job gentlemen, you are a shining example of how safety is put to work each and every day no matter where we are!"

Clayton Funk Designs & Builds Effective Barriers To Keep Visitors Safe At Los Vaqueros


On February 24, a child fell into the Interpretive Center Pond  at Los Vaqueros during a school field trip. Apparently the child did not realize there was water below and walked straight through a gap in the railing into the pond. 

The child was quickly pulled from the water by their teacher, soaking wet but unharmed. The gaps were identified as a safety hazard. A temporary repair was put in place immediately. 

Clayton Funk w
as then tasked with completing a permanent modification. He completed the project in an efficient, cost effective manner. His modification created an effective barrier, improved overall stability of the pier, and it looks very nice.! Clay went up and beyond the call of duty by not only solving the immediate problem but also improving the visitor experience, and he earned a SPOT Award. 
IC Pond Railing 2

Insisting on Red Tagging Vehicle Before Tour Earns First STARs of 2017 for Jacob Elsberry & Deion Gonsalves

Jacob Elsberry and Deion Gonsalves earned the year's first safety STARs, the District's highest safety honor, for insisting that a vehicle, scheduled to be used for a Board of Director tour, be taken out of service when issues were discovered with the parking brake. 

The night before the tour was to take place, Central County maintenance was told the vehicle had issues with its parking brake. The driver had been instructed to use the vehicle but not park on any inclines.


At the morning tailboard meeting, Jacob Elsberry and Deion Gonsalves were adamant that this was a safety issue and this vehicle needed to be red tagged until they could evaluate the nature of the brake problem.  Jason Todd had the vehicle red tagged and brought to the shop.


After analysis, the problem was not a simple adjustment of the parking brake, the parking brake was totally shot.  Using any District vehicle with a brake issue is a safety issue and a liability and Jacob and Deion did the right thing by insisting this vehicle be assessed properly by qualified mechanics before the decision was made to allow it to be used in any capacity.  They protected the public, our employees, and the Board Members who would have been using this vehicle.

 "Insisting this vehicle be taken out of service until it could be inspected exhibits not only the empowerment of staff as it pertains to safety, but is a prime example that safety is first when we perform our work," said Safety Committee Chair John Parsons.  

Employees Safely Respond To Slide on Dam Face, Earn Safety SPOTS

3/12 East County crews were asked to respond and repair the large slide on the face of LV Dam. The slide was approx. 75 ft. wide and 180 ft. long on a very steep slope and covered the dam’s v-ditch half way up.

Employees from East County Canal, East County Maintenance, and Central County Canal came together to conduct this work. This team was recognized for working together and completing a very large slide safely and effectively. It was great to see members from different departments developing a safe work plan, communicating together and doing a fantastic job. 

They had to walk up and down the face of this dam for three days with 50 lb. sand bags, stakes and rolls of plastic. Their work plan resulted in no injuries.

 Matt Fowler and Troy Railsback did a great job working together to get the mini excavator down the face of the dam from the v-ditch that had to be cleaned out. When the job was completed, two different employees reported to the supervisor that Matt Fowler did a great job organizing this task.

It’s great to be able to depend on District staff from any section at a moment’s notice to offer to help and work together safely. Here are the crew members: Matt Fowler, Troy Railsback, Rick Johnson, Jared Voelker, Dan Dickson, Pat McConnell, Vic Smith, Dave Perez, Daniel Sinosky, and John Gonsalves. 

Jeff Siemens Earns Safety SPOT For Lending Contractor Dust Mask 

3/12  Jeff Siemens earned the second SPOT award of the year when he noticed a lot of dust while a contractor was cutting a clay pipe with a grinder in a properly shored excavation. He loaned him a mask, and the contractor was very grateful

Finger in Sprocket Sets Back Recordable Injury Clock 

2/22 An  employee was working on a chain-of-flight system for one of the weed rakes Feb. 22 at Rock Slough Fish Screen when his finger was pinched between the chain and sprocket, causing a laceration to a finger. He required stitches, but was able to return to work on light duty.

This is the third recordable injury of the year, and came 29 days after another employee strained his forearm while lifting a jackhammer onto a trailer. 

2015-2016 Safe Practices Handbook Available Online

10/7 The updated 2015-2016 Safe Practices Handbook is now available online.

Within its 52 pages are everything from Safety Committee member names and lists, to guidance on operating equipment and working safely in the office.   Take a look! 
Year Number of Lost Time injuries Number of Recordable Injuries (lost time and non-lost time
2017                     0                                          3
The record without a "lost time" injury is 165 days, set in June, 2016 

The record without a "recordable" injury is 128 days, set in May, 2016.
00 days, 00 hours, 00 minutes and 00 seconds without a lost-time incident.

00 days, 00 hours, 00 minutes and 00 seconds without a recordable incident.