2016 STAR Recognition

Little Giant Crane Fix Earns Alfredo Ibarra a STAR Safety Award

12/12 Alfredo Ibarra earned a STAR Safety Award -- the 21st Awarded in 2016 --  for going above and beyond his duties to fabricate a safety feature on the Little Giant crane to make it more user friendly.  There is an air dryer for the compressor on the crane that sits over the controls for the out riggers outside the cab that is about head level. When the dryer is full, it relieves a quick shot of air out of it.  Now this quick shot of air isn’t strong enough to do any physical damage to someone walking by,  but it is strong enough that when it goes off and hits you in the face, it could scare you! This could be enough to where you could jump back and possibly slip, trip or fall…… or worse yet, hit one of the out rigger controls as you try to get out of the way.  Alfredo fabricated a screen that goes around this dryer that blocks the air from hitting anyone in the face and routes it upward instead.  Alfredo did a great job and it looks good as well.

"Alfredo recognized a safety issue and took the initiative to identify a safe fix and implemented that fix, removing the potential for injury going forward. This shows how one employee looking out for safety issues can make changes that will have a long-term effect of the safety of others! Great job Alfredo!" said Safety Chair John Parsons.  

Matt Fowler, Joe Coley and Jason Schneider Make Lattice Crane Procedure Changes To Make Assembly Safer 


STAR Safety Awards have been presented to 
Matt Fowler, Joe Coley and Jason Schneider for their efforts in figuring out a safer and easier way to assemble and disassemble Antioch’s 25-ton lattice boom crane, one of the most potentially dangerous pieces of equipment in the District's inventory. 

They called their supervisor to go over the new procedure and proposed a plan on how they thought the crane should be broken down and reassembled.They worked together with their supervisor to review what was in the crane manual and crane SOP and came up with a way to see that was safer and more efficient.

CCWD reached out to the manufacturer and spoke with one of their certified crane inspectors to go over the procedure we had come up with. After checking with the manufacturer that the new procedure was correct, Mathew Novak asked that Mike Bartzi and Sarah Bogner review the edits made to the SOP and they both signed off on it.

We are now updating the Lattice Boom SOP with this procedure and everyone now should know how to assemble and disassemble the crane safely and correctly.

This was tremendous work by these three employees. Safety Committee Chair John Parsons also congratulated their supervisor, Charlie Wise, for this work on this project.   "The change in procedure took great effort and teamwork to complete and we applaud each of them and the part they played as the team worked to improve the safety procedures," he said. 

Gerry Morris Discovered Incorrect Class of Winter Jackets

Gerry Morris, discovered that our orange winter jackets are only classified as retroreflective Class 2. This means that
they are not sufficient to be worn during hours of darkness or on roads with speeds 45 mph or greater. Gerry wasn’t
sure of the rating so he took it upon himself to figure it out. This has implications for all field staff as these jackets are
often worn during cold (and dark) times. Gerry immediately reported it to his Safety Committee Representative, who
confirmed our prior assumption that the jackets were Class 3 was incorrect. We are now evaluating how to correct this
oversight. This was a great catch, and earned Gerry a SPOT and Star award. Well done Gerry!

John Veitch Notices Chemicals That Should Not Be Stored Together

At ASC, John Veitch noticed that the Green Clean algaecide, which is corrosive, was being stored next to flammable
chemicals. These chemicals are incompatible and should not be stored together. John critically assessed his work
area, found a problem and corrected it by relocating the algaecide. After John brought the issue to light, Supervisors
purchased two self-contained units dedicated to storing the Green Clean algaecide. In addition, areas at ASC are now
designated specifically for the storage of these algaecide containers. John relocated the containers of Green Clean
and ensured that the proper signage was installed, earning first a SPOT and then a Star award. Moving forward, the incompatibles will not be stored together.
Awesome job and follow through John!

Ramon Gasca Ensures Man in Pain Receives Medical Attention
Sept. 16

Ramon Gasca received a  “SPOT" and the Star award for going above and beyond his duties to help a man on the canal right away that was suffering from abdominal pain who was later taken away in an ambulance. After initial contact, the ambulance was called by Ramon when the man complained of severe abdominal pain. Once the ambulance was called, and all the gates were opened by Ramon so the ambulance could reach the injured man quickly. Medical staff reported that the man’s pain were indeed critical.

Jim Maniatis Makes Accident Scene Safe, Keeps Victims Calm
Sept. 16

On the way to work on Friday, Sept. 9, Jim Maniatis witnessed a vehicle accident immediately in front of him on a busy road in Concord. He turned on his work vehicle strobe lights, and used his truck to block the lane of traffic, as the two vehicles involved in the accident were immobile. He then used traffic cones to create a taper to guide traffic around the vehicles. 911 was called, and the operator asked Jim to stay onsite until an officer could get to the scene. There were no injuries, but one of the traffic accident victims was very upset, and Jim was able to calm her down and give her guidance on what do to while she was waiting for assistance. Upon the arrival of the officer, Jim explained the accident and ensured proper traffic control was set up before he left the site. Jim’s commitment to public safety and using his workplace skills and knowledge to assist the public is commendable.

This is yet another example of CCWD employees taking care of our customers. Great work Jim.  He also earned a Safety Star.

Greg Dixon Provides Vital Assistance at Motorcycle Wreck
Sept. 15 

At approximately 8:00 am on Sept. 14, Greg Dixon was enroute to the San Miguel Pump Station. He approached a motorcycle accident at the intersection of Treat Blvd and San Simeon Dr. Greg took it upon himself to assist three citizens, who had been trying to help the injured motorcyclist prior to his arrival. Greg then decided to place his vehicle in a way to allow room for the police, fire, and ambulance access the injured in safe way. Greg ensured the scene was safe and secure by coning off the lane prior to the scene and turning on his hazards to further warn oncoming traffic. Greg was requested to stay on scene by the police department until the injured were taken away by ambulance. He was given much appreciation by the police, fire, ambulance, and the public.  He also earned a Safety Star.

Matt Underwood

and Anthony Mazza React Quickly To Help Child in Wheelchair, Earn Stars
Sept. 2

A Safety Star, the District’s highest safety honor, has been awarded to Matt Underwood and Anthony Mazza after helping a child in a wheelchair who fell onto a busy street.

A Concord resident who saw the incident was so moved by the decisive actions of Matt Underwood and Anthony Mazza that he left a voicemail with the District sharing praise for their stand-up character. “They went above and beyond the call of duty to not only help a child in need, but to also help avoid a potentially dangerous scenario,” Concord’s Kirk Shelby said.

At approximately 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Matt Underwood and Anthony Mazza were turning from Concord Blvd. onto Grant Street in a District truck-and-trailer when they saw a child in a wheelchair bump the curb and fall from his chair, landing on the threshold of the sidewalk only inches from passing cars.

After several vehicles neglected to stop, Underwood and Mazza pulled their rig to the side and helped the child back into his wheelchair, assisting him with his shoes, spilled water bottle and ultimately, getting him back on his way.

“We did what any good person would do, we helped someone in need,” Mazza said.

The CCWD employees used their rig to shield the fallen boy from the passing traffic, keeping him free from harm and giving them the space to quickly come to his aid.

“We were just concerned for his safety and wanted to make sure he was OK,” Underwood said.

“ It is all too easy to keep driving by, thinking someone else will stop, it’s not my issue,” said District Safety Committee Chair John Parsons. “We constantly drive home the point of looking out for our co-workers and their safety, but this should absolutely extend to our customers and community in general. What a great example to our community how our employees respect and treat the folks in public.”

Safety Star For Jim Maniatis, And Hard Hat Sticker Idea
Sept. 2

Jim Maniatis earned a Star Award this week for his idea to create the emergency contact number hard hat sticker. Jim brought forward the idea to develop stickers to place on the underside of District hard hat brims that includes emergency response phone numbers. This will ensure that those numbers are easily accessible in a field emergency. Jim’s creativity and thoughtfulness resulted in the creation of an additional safety resource for field employees which is simple, easy to maintain, and increases the ease of communication during an emergency.

Safety STARS For Developing Addresses For All District Properties
August 9

Run Chen, Ron Zaragoza, Vic Smith, and Dino Angelosante
were recognized with STAR Awards for their efforts to develop street addresses for all of the District’s remote facilities (over 60!). They ensured these addresses were available on various mapping systems, like Google Maps, and installed addresses to the existing signs at these sites. This idea came up as a suggestion at the District Safety Committee and required considerable effort to implement as it involved obtaining address information from all the cities and counties within the service area. This work effort, which is nearing completion, helps improve worker safety by ensuring an accurate address can be provided to emergency responders and guide their access to the facility. Great teamwork!

Pat McConnell & Anthony Gonzalez Assist Firefighters, Earn Safety STARs
June 28

Pat McConnell and Anthony Gonzalez
 both earned Safety STARs after working with fire fighters at a brush fire near the Contra Costa Canal in Antioch. 

Upon arriving at the scene, they went door-to-door alerting nearby residents of the need to evacuate. They also assisted in closing the trail and allowing the firefighters access to a steep hillside,  At the same time, they kept their supervisors informed of the situation

One house was lost in the fire, and about 500 yards of brush along the canal were burned. Pat and Anthony's efforts kept a bad situation from getting worse. 

Bob Eagle Ensures Conservation Field Staff Stays Cool
June 28 

Bob Eagle was aware that the weather was heating up and he made sure the Conservation Field Staff were aware as well and took hot weather precautions. He suggested that we keep several (one time use) ice packs in the vehicles with the first aid. He said he learned in safety training that using an ice pack on the back of the neck and under each arm pit can help with heat related issues. He was very persistent and followed through to get the vehicles stocked. He saw a potential problem, had a solution, and followed through, earning a Safety STAR.

New Employee Justin Fivella Earns Safety STAR 'Took Proactive Step to Ensure Training Was Provided' 
May 10


Justin Fivella demonstrated great safety leadership during his work with the LV staff, earning a Safety STAR. As a new employee, he has already asked many questions about the potential hazards that the Interpretive Naturalists could encounter at Los Vaqueros while leading school programs. After discussing these hazards with Cary Richardson and John Howard, they came up with a plan for John to provide safety training for the Naturalists. These discussions and the training will increase safety awareness for all that attend school programs at the Interpretive Center. Thanks to Justin for identifying a gap in our safety training program at LV!

"Safety awareness and leadership are keys to improving our safety culture," said Safety Committee Chair John Parsons. "Being a relatively new employee is not always easy, but Justin took a proactive path to insure adequate training was being provided. Great job Justin for keeping safety as a top priority!"  

Dustin Hinks' Idea for 911 Stickers Earns STAR 
March 29

The District Safety Committee is pleased to award Dustin Hinks with its Star Recognition for superior commitment to safety. Dustin recognized the need to label our phones with the correct procedure to reach outside 911 responders in the event of an emergency. As a result, stickers will be made available for phones throughout the District as a response to Dustin’s recommendation during safety training.

Brian Sweeney

– For Safety Leadership on Difficult Night Main Replacement on Marsh Creek Road
March 1

“I would like to recognize Brian Sweeney for his safety efforts on Marsh Creek Road February 13th on Stand By," said his supervisor Charlie Wise. "Brian went above and beyond his duties to make sure his work site (at a main replacement) as well as his crew were very well protected and well noticed by the public driving up to them. This includes more spacing for all his advanced warning signs, cones, flares, lights and additional help with two flaggers. As Brian arrived at the site he needed  immediate help in diverting traffic until the crew got there so he reached out to Clayton PD for support. As the crew worked into the night Brian had noticed that traffic was not responding to the cones in a safe manor and called his OCS for road flares. Brian also called CHP to have them drop off some flares until the OCS could reach the site with the ones from the yard. I would also like to add that Brian was in a horrible area for internet to send out progress of the job so he communicated with his OCS to keep up his Leak Alerts until they were completed. These are exactly the efforts we expect from our employees whenever they are working in dangerous areas like Marsh Creek Rd with limited communication. Great job by Brian and his Crew.”
Brian's crew earned Safety SPOTS for their work.