Safety Recognition Program

The purpose of the Employee Safety Recognition Program is to foster a culture that values safety by recognizing employees who demonstrate exceptional dedication and leadership to improve District workplace safety and by enabling employees to recognize each other for their safe actions.

There are three types of safety recognition awards, Spot, Public Safety, and Star. Read about the Safety Recognition Program (PDF) for complete details. All awards should be given in a timely manner via the Safety Event Report Form, should include an explanation of the safety‐related act, and be given in front of co‐workers.

Safety Recognition Program
  1. 2019 Star Awards Q1
  2. 2019 Star Awards Q2
  3. 2019 Star Awards Q3
  4. 2019 Star Awards Q4

2019 Star Awards Q1

Ramon Gasca

Charlie Wise recommended Ramon for a Spot Award that was elevated to a STAR Award by the District Safety Committee. Ramon noticed that there were no mph signs posted along the canal in the Clyde Check 7 to Check 8 area. For those unfamiliar with the area, there are some sharp turns and steep embankments that could result in a vehicle rollover if the driver were to misjudge the speed and go over the side. Ramon took it upon himself to have speed limit signs installed every 100 feet because he felt this was a safety issue. He brought this to his supervisor's attention and a few of the crew members felt that this was excellent work by Ramon.

  1. 2019 Public Safety Awards Q1
  2. 2019 Public Safety Awards Q2
  3. 2019 Public Safety Awards Q3
  4. 2019 Public Safety Awards Q4

2019 Public Safety Awards Q1

Justin Fivella

A container of oversized holiday ornaments fell from a City of Concord truck turning from Bisso Lane onto Concord Avenue. The ornaments spread across two of three lanes on Concord Avenue creating a hazard for oncoming traffic. Public Information Specialist, Justin engaged his hazard lights and used his vehicle to protect the city of Concord employee from oncoming traffic. He then assisted removing the hazards from the roadway. Justin was recommended for and received a Public Safety Award. Excellent work!

  1. 2019 Spot Awards Q1
  2. 2019 Spot Awards Q2
  3. 2019 Spot Awards Q3
  4. 2019 Spot Awards Q4

2019 Spot Awards Q1

Stan Rhodes

Stan, in an effort to increase safety at the District’s treated water reservoirs volunteered to help the team conducting fall protection inspections at these sites. These inspections included detailed pictures and narratives of potential fall risks so that engineered solutions could be implemented to protect visitors at these sites from fall risk. This was a volunteer effort on his part, adding to his already busy work load as a Water Quality Inspector. Spot award was presented in December in a gathering of his peers and supervisors in the Water Quality Department (And we missed including this in an earlier newsletter – oops!). Great work Stan!

Joaquin Leal

Joaquin was given a Spot Award for investigating a fire alarm that was sounding at ASC when he arrived to work in the morning. As one of the first employees to arrive to the site in the morning, he conducted a thorough investigation to determine if a fire or other building emergency was occurring. After determining it was mostly likely a false alarm, he made the proper notifications so the alarm issue could be addressed and employees could safely enter the building. What a safety-way to start your day! Good job Joaquin!

Adam Barnwell, Trevor Spady, Matt Dunn, Nic West, and John Riccabona

Adam, Trevor, Matt, Nic, and John received Spot Awards from Mike Bartzi for their teamwork and commitment to safety. While setting up traffic control on Cowell Road, which is a very busy road compounded by the rainy and cold conditions, they were very professional and took it upon themselves to watch each other’s back to make sure everyone stayed safe from oncoming traffic. They went above and beyond to set up extra cones and signs, for extra protection, without being told. They helped vehicles through the area so there was no traffic problems and accidents; overall their commitment to safety, teamwork and getting the job in a safe and efficient manner was impressive.

Jason Schneider

Jason received a Spot Award from Charlie Wise for his improvement in safety trainings with the traveling screen. The District has a piece of equipment known as the traveling screen downstream of check 7. The Water Tech 1’s are heavily involved with the unit, as they clear the debris away that is brought up and out of the canal. Part of their job is to report when the pumps or the water system is down, so repairs can be made. Currently, the traveling screen has been removed from the canal and was brought back to ASC to be thoroughly inspected and so that the service provider could show the maintenance staff a full run-down on the unit. Jason Schneider requested that he and the other Water Techs were involved with the training to make them more familiar with the operation and to fully understand all the safety elements that they should be aware of since they are around the unit the most. This was a great request by Jason!

Michelle Hulsey

Michelle received a Spot Award from Sonja Stanchina for several safety program efforts she has led, including teaching driver safety training, submitting and receiving a $1,000 safety grant from SDRMA for employee PPE, and initiating the two-day SDRMA Risk Assessment inspection, completed in May. This is an excellent example of her being proactive to ensure our workplace is free from safety hazards and giving the opportunity to be corrected before a problem arises. In another effort to mitigate hazards and resulting claims to the District, Michelle also recently met with O&M Supervisors, Canal Safety Guards, and Meter Readers to discuss the importance of identifying potentially dangerous conditions in the field and reporting them to O&M in a timely manner. Great safety teamwork by Michelle!

Saul Sanchez

Charlie Wise awarded Saul, a new employee, with a Spot Award because he was recently told that if someone is continually working around the canal as the sun goes down, that they need to call for assistance and wait in a well-lit area until help arrives. Last week, Saul was working along the canal as dusk set in. Saul drove away from the canal, called Control for assistance and waited in a well-lit area until they arrived. Saul has only been with us for a few months but executed the procedure perfectly and we commend him for that. Way to take safety and working around the canal seriously!

2018 Star Awards

  1. 2018 Q1 
  2. 2018 Q2
  3. 2018 Q3
  4. 2018 Q4

Star Awards for 2018 Q1

Daniel Sinosky and Manuel Goodall

Daniel and Manuel designed and built a tool to open the blow-off in a permit confined space so that they would not have to enter the space. By using this tool, a valve key extension, they were able to safely operate the valve and fully open and close the valve without having to enter the vault. Creating this tool has eliminated the need to expose employees to a confined space during this task.

Both Daniel and Manuel identified a safety problem that had been in existence for years and made the effort to implement a solution. The tool will benefit future crew members, providing a long term positive effect to the safety program.

Great job, Daniel and Manuel!


Dustin Hinks

A contractor was working at a District excavation site to install rebar and pour a large concrete restrain block around a newly installed valve. The contractor was under the assumption that they could enter a partially shored excavation to form the rebar. The excavation was ten-feet deep. Dustin stopped the contractor and contacted his supervisor, Matt Underwood who then contacted engineering for clearance on a different approach to building and installing the rebar cage.

Dustin ensured that not only were our employees working under safe conditions, but the contractors were as well. This was a large project so it is commendable that Dustin made this effort. Our crews are under tremendous pressure to insure service is returned as soon as possible. The fact that Dustin kept safety as his top priority exemplifies the attitude and attentiveness we hope our employees exhibit. Sometimes doing the right thing is not an easy thing to do but Dustin bringing this to his supervisor’s attention kept all those involved safe. Recognizing efforts like this will hopefully make it easier for other employees to do in future similar situations.

Great job, Dustin!


Deion Gonsalves

The District has a natural gas fueled truck. Recently the District received a letter from PG&E regarding a fuel tank inspection for the vehicle. The vehicle was subsequently red-tagged until resolution was made on the inspection. The area supervisor contacted a vendor and set up to have the tank inspected. The need for inspection was discussed in passing between the Maintenance Manager and Deion. Deion, being familiar with these types of vehicles form his prior employer, took it upon himself to proactively go out and look at the vehicle. He noted that the tank life had expired. Deion then researched the issue, contacting people he knew that worked on these types of vehicles, and researched it through the internet to verify that indeed the tank was at the end of its life and the only option was replacement.

Deion was proactive in going outside of his area to look at a potential issue, getting involved and investigating something that could have been an issue. His leadership skills and initiative demonstrates excellent safety management. His continued efforts to go out of his way to ensure the safety of employees is applauded and recognized. Thank you, Deion, for your continued efforts and example of what the District strives for when it comes to safety.

Ryan Lindsey

In the course of exposing a water main leak, an excavation had reached more than 14 feet deep. Shoring had been installed in the excavation but became unsafe after leaking water undermined the stability of the shoring. Ryan stopped the job, ensured no employee entered the excavation, and notified his supervisor of the safety issue. Ryan’s critical evaluation of the excavation and willingness to speak up to stop the job kept employees safe and helped to communicate the crew’s safety concerns to supervisors and managers.

Using your stop work authority is not always an easy thing to do, and recognizing Ryan for using his authority sends a clear message to other employees that they will be supported. Shutting down a job is not an easy thing to do but Ryan recognized that the situation was unsafe. He made safety a priority for his crew.

Ryan’s actions are a clear example of what the District strives for to ensure the safety of its employees. Great job, Ryan!