2012 SPOT Recognition

Tirelessly Worked to Improve Safety Training Database, Trained Employees on Workplace Violence Issues
December 17, 2012
Carlos Benitez initially suggested that the HRIS system could be used to not only track employee safety training records but use the system in a way help supervisors manage their employee training. Carlos worked tirelessly to assist Engineering in modifying the database, and helped implement the system District-wide. Carlos also volunteered to become an in-house trainer. His class on Workplace Violence issues was well-received by staff.

Found Safer Boot for Excavation Work
November 9, 2012
On his own initiative, Randy Anduza researched the availability of hip boots with a protective steel shank that could be worn for excavation work. Because of Randy’s efforts, Stores carries safer hip boots.

Supplied Rebar Caps to Make Work Area Safe
November 9, 2012
Jake Wallin needed rebar caps for work over in Central County Maintenance. Glenn Nelson supplied Jake with the rebar caps needed to make the work area safe. Glenn showed a good team player attitude in making safety a priority.

Extinguished Fire at District Center
October 26, 2012
As John Joseph & Jake Wallin turned onto Concord Avenue, they noticed a fire at the District Center grounds. They took action immediately and quickly extinguished the fire.

Taught MSEO Skills Class
October 26, 2012
Matt Fowler taught the MSEO Skills training class last month. The class was well-received.

Recognized Excavation Danger
October 17, 2012
Matt Dunn was asked to work in a contractor-prepared excavation at Sun Valley Mall that was over 5 feet deep and not shored. He spoke to the contractor about the danger and notified his supervisor, Dan Fitzpatrick. Dan then spoke to mall management and they are now aware of the danger of unshored excavations.

Helped Injured Cyclist
October 11, 2012
On his way to Rock Slough Fish Screen, Nate Porto noticed an elderly cyclist fall and injury himself at a major intersection. Nate parked his work vehicle in a way to protect the injured man from oncoming traffic while he helped him up. Nate stayed with the victim until an off-duty paramedic came and took over.

Extinguished Motorcycle Fire, Taught Forklift Class
October 2, 2012
Jon Adams saw a motorcyclist exit off the 680 freeway with his motorcycle on fire. Jon got the fire extinguisher off his vehicle and put the fire out. Jon also volunteered to conduct forklift training in Concord. The training was well-received and Jon is anxious to conduct more classes.

Put Out A Grass Fire
October 1, 2012
Jim Meilandt and Vic Smith put out a grass-fire they had noticed coming back from Middle River right next to the Old River bridge. They spotted the fire as they were about to cross the bridge, they both stopped got the fire extinguishers out of their vehicles, and between using the extinguisher and using a shovel to throw dirt on it they were able to put the fire completely out.

Made Sure Employee Used Correct Procedures at Reservoir
September 24, 2012
While Dustin Hinks and Mike Farry were in Port Costa working, they saw another District employee at the reservoir doing a site inspection. They called Control to see if any District staff were at the reservoir and Control told them no because the employee had forgotten to check in. Mike and Dustin stopped their work and drove up to the reservoir to investigate. When they got there they reminded the employee of the need to check in with Control and also discussed the PPE needed for working at the site. It is good to know that District staff is alert and observant while working at remote sites and that they are aware of both safety and security at all times.

Led Excavation Training
September 14, 2012
Shawn Kelly led the recent Excavation Awareness training sessions. Shawn’s experience in this area offered a “real” perspective of what we do at the District and how to perform these actions safely. Shawn is also encouraging others to volunteer as safety trainers for the “peer based” safety training program.

Had Vehicles Moved That Were Causing Unsafe Conditions
August 29, 2012
In follow-up to concerns expressed by Bollman staff, Dan Jones diligently investigated vehicles parked on Bates Avenue which were creating a hazard for drivers. Dan found that the vehicles did not belong to the District’s contractor, but determined that the vehicles were associated with a nearby paving operation. He contacted the paving contractor and notified them of the unsafe condition, which they agreed to correct. Dan’s follow-through with a non-District contractor helped increase public and District safety along Bates Avenue.

Ensured Safe Access for Canal Survey
August 24, 2012
Rich Madrigal and Rick Johnson were recognized for assisting with safe access to the Canal (at water’s edge) at Pumping Plant 1 and Marsh Creek siphon for Engineering survey field work. Rich and Rick established a rope tether system to assist with climbing up and down the steep banks of the canal that are lined with vegetation and rip rap. They both remained on site for the duration of surveying to ensure work was completed safely.

Recognized Need For Additional Staff
August 24, 2012
When Pat McConnell was in the role as acting Canal Maintenance supervisor, he recognized that the Maintenance section (Sal de la Madrid) was in need of additional staff to safely hoist a pump and motor from Old River PS. Pat arranged to provide staff to help rig the load and provide signal person support.

Provided Insight at Two Accident Sites
August 24, 2012
After a serious vehicle incident that resulted in a jack knifed truck and double trailer carrying an 80,000 pound load, John Howard noticed contractor employees trying to pull and straighten out the truck/trailer with tow chain rated for only 7,000 pounds John brought this to the contractor’s attention and they immediately got a proper tow chain, possibly preventing an even more serious incident. After another serious vehicle incident the following day, John encouraged an injured driver of a truck/trailer tip-over to seek medical attention. John investigated the causes of both incidents and wrote up a thorough report.

'Took The Bull By The Horn' to Correct Safety Issue
August 27, 2012
Steve Welch observed maintenance crews replacing a defective mixer in Taylor Reservoir. The mixer was mounted poorly, subjecting crews to ergonomic and fall hazards. Steve recognized the concern and went directly to the Engineering department for corrective action, cutting though the bureaucratic process. The crew believes management really cares about them when after the problem was noticed, Steve “took the bull by the horn.”

Conducted Tailgate Meeting, Developed Training Material
August 7, 2012
Richard Broad was recognized for his effort on conducting tailgate meetings prior to performing field surveys to ensure proper safety precautions are taken. To further reinforce field survey safety for his team, he proactively developed training materials to be used as part of our safety training. He is also being recognized for his on-going effort on scheduling safety training classes as part of the Safety Training project.

Warned of Hornet Nest
August 3, 2012
On July 27, Stu Engle was traveling to a job site and when he passed through one of Mallard’s gates he noticed that hornets had made a nest inside the gate tubing. Knowing that Canal Patrol makes security checks in that area, Stu contacted Shane Pinto to warn of the hazard so that Shane wouldn’t be attacked by the hornets. Stu went further by notifying the appropriate maintenance staff to respond and eradicate the nest and followed up to ensure it had been completed.

Demonstrated Blood Pressure Monitor
August 3, 2012
Harvey Nieto became aware that some workers in section 415 were not aware of the new Blood Pressure Monitor located in the Operations Management Break room. He took the time to demonstrate its use to the group which increased employee health awareness.

Showed Leadership on GPS Safety Issue
August 3, 2012
Ken Swenson found that the GPS antenna on his vehicle was not installed correctly. The antenna wiring was interfering with the function of the side air bag. Ken brought this issue up in the Safety Committee as an action item. This led to inspections uncovering 4 other vehicles with the same problem. Ken's leadership on the District Safety Committee is outstanding.

Noticed Static Electricity Buildup
July 27, 2012
Ken Dooley notified his supervisor, John Parsons, that when he was batching non-ionic polymer, static electricity was building up. When the operator would leave the batching platform, he would be electrically shocked when touching the handrails. Maintenance was contacted and Larry Spishock, Electrical Technician, installed a grounding strap on the non ionic system to prevent static buildup.

Instrumental in Ensuring Safety Was Not Compromised on Bollman Roofing Job
July 25, 2012
Don Nickells did an excellent job overseeing the roofing contractors working at Bollman Water Treatment Plant (WTP) for the past 6 weeks. Don’s awareness of and attention to the many safety aspects of this difficult, sometimes dangerous job, as well as dealing and communicating with both the roofers and Bollman personnel has been exceptional. The roofing project was not an easy 1 to manage with noise, odors, complaints, setbacks, delays, weather, etc. However, Don was instrumental in ensuring that safety was not sacrificed or compromised in any way as work progressed.

Developed Training Materials For Personal Safety Course
July 25, 2012
Shane Pinto helped in the development of the training materials for the Personal Safety course. He also graciously agreed to present 3 Personal Safety classes that were well-received. Shane offered his unique perspective drawing from his law enforcement training, and his experience as a security officer and Canal Safety Guard. Shane also helped with the development of wallet cards that contained important emergency contact information.

Alerted Contractor to PPE Requirements
June 27, 2012
On June 20th, Stan Rhodes was collecting routine water samples from the Divide tanks in Clayton. While collecting samples, a maintenance employee from East County arrived to take photos of the hatch lock on the roof of the tank. As the maintenance mechanic began climbing the tank ladder, Stan noticed the climber was not wearing the proper PPE (harness and ladder climbing device). The climber was unfamiliar with the ladder climbing device. Stan called to the climber to explain the proper PPE requirements, and provided equipment and instructions on how to use the ladder climbing device. The climber was appreciative of Stan’s concern for a safe working environment.

Found Water Rescue Training Courses
June 7, 2012
John Howard worked diligently over the last 2 years to find a hard-to-find Inland Water Rescue training class for Watershed and LVRC staff. John took the time to work with the training, PPE and pool vendors, and schedule the training and the participants. The class was well-received by staff.

Safe Chainsaw Training for Employees
April 26, 2012
John Howard was recognized for taking the initiative to locate, arrange and attend chainsaw train-the-trainer training, and then provide training services to staff.

We identified through our recent training assessment that staff believe they get the best training from in house staff, yet rarely do in house staff volunteer to do training. John showed strong safety leadership by putting this training together and conducting it.

Found Safe Solution at Rock Slough
April 20, 2012
The Antioch Service Center staff recognized Tom Branch for observing a hazard at the Rock Slough Fish Screen vegetation collection pit and finding a safe solution. When the dump trailer is being hitched, it requires a spotter to help back down the truck into the steep narrow pit. Tom requested to hold back 2 surplus 4x4 trucks that were slated for auction. Parking a single truck in the pit makes it a much safer transition and a 1-man operation.

Led Boat Inspection SOP Talk
April 20, 2012
Jeff Summers led a discussion of the Boat Inspection SOP during Antioch Service Center’s “SOP Friday” meeting.

Led a SOP Discussion on Storm Water Preparation
March 26, 2012
Vic Smith voluntarily led an SOP Friday session for the East County crews and reviewed the SOP for Storm Water preparation. Vic was the 1st East County Crew member to volunteer to do this and he did an outstanding job in picking a timely topic, reviewing the SOP and answering questions.

Ensured Safe Crossing of Streets With Safety Vests
March 2, 2012
Bob Eagle was conducting field work that required him to get in and out of his vehicle multiple times and walk across several streets. Bob took it upon himself to wear a reflective vest and ensured his co-worker did the same. This simple safety practice provided an example of thinking about safety with every job.

Used Prudent Judgment With Angry Homeowner
March 1, 2012
Reynolds Salamanca went to change a stuck meter. He knocked on the door, did not get an answer, and turned off the water to start the meter change out. The homeowner, appearing unstable, came outside and started yelling at Reynolds. Reynolds tried to talk to the homeowner but when the homeowner could not calm down, Reynolds called Control and asked them to call the police. Control called the police and Pam Gibson. Pam waited with Reynolds until the police arrived. They asked the police officer to stay until the meter change out could be completed. Pam and Reynolds used prudent judgment by disengaging contact with the angry customer and asking for police assistance.

Woke Sleeping Driver, Prevented Inevitable Accident
February 23, 2012
Crew Leader Stan Martinez and Utility Worker Frank Dias prevented an inevitable accident or injury. On February 15, while waiting at a stop light on Meadow Lane, they noticed a vehicle not proceeding forward when the light had turned green, causing traffic to reroute around the vehicle. Stan and Frank observed the driver slumped over and unconscious, however, the vehicle began to inch its way into the intersection. Frank and Stan positioned the valve truck in front of the vehicle, set traffic cones and began to knock on the driver’s window. The driver woke up. He had fallen asleep with the vehicle in gear and his foot on the brake. Stan told the driver to pull over if he needed to sleep. Stan and Frank’s actions prevented a potential vehicle accident.

Electrical Safety Awareness Presentations
February 17, 2012
Bill Kough, Electrical Technician, and Rodney Johnson, Instrument Technician, received Spot Recognitions for developing and presenting electrical safety awareness presentations to the Central and East County Maintenance groups. The presentations included interesting electrical demonstrations.