2016 SPOT Recognition

Dino Novero Earns SPOT For Helping Pedestrian Accident Victim

12/29 Dino Novero
was given a SPOT Award for the actions he took when driving through Brentwood on his way to a job site. He noticed a car lose control going through an intersection and hit a young lady walking on the sidewalk. Dino quickly pulled over and used his first aid training to make sure she was ok and waited with her until medical help arrived. Though the young lady seemed to be OS, Dino’s quick action could have been vital in this type of situation and surely was much appreciated by those involved in this accident.

Joe Wright, Sal de la Madrid and Dave Stover Earn SPOT For Identifying Ladder Issue at Pumping Station

Joe Wright correctly identified a hazard in accessing the roof at Middle River PS. It was near impossible to maintain three points of contact on the ladder and close the roof hatch. Joe reported the issue immediately and Sal de la Madrid and Dave Stover were sent to investigate. Sal came up with a plan to modify the hatch so that it can be closed from the bottom of the ladder utilizing a rope and pulley system. The system has not only solved the safety concern, but has done so quickly and at little expense. All three were given SPOT Awards. Thanks to Sal, Joe and Dave for their quick action on this and for helping keep their co-workers safe!

Dave Huey Finds Error on Website, Earns SPOT

Dave Huey proactively identified that CCWD’s website was out of date relative to “call before you dig”/811 program. He researched what others like PG&E are doing and emailed Public Affairs who updated the website. By doing so, Dave ensured the safety of CCWD staff but also the safety of the public and contractors who dig around our pipelines and other underground utilities.

Pat McConnell Uses Duct Tape To Eliminate Tripping Hazard

12/29 Pat McConnell earned a SPOT Award when he saw someone trip on a ripped carpet at the Antioch Service Center, and then used Duct Tape to repair the rip and keep employees safe.

Daniel Dixon Suggests Longer Hooks To Save Backs, Earns SPOT

On the LV Watershed, Daniel Dixon and Carol Ginochio had been lifting grates covering storm drain to access filters that provide stormwater filtration for runoff pollution control into the storm drains. In order to pull these heavy grates, they have been using a pulling hook that required them to bend at an awkward angle to lift the covers, putting them at risk for a potential injury to their backs.

Daniel earned a SPOT for suggesting they get maintenance to fabricate longer hooks that would put them in a better ergonomic position, thus removing most of the potential for injury. As a result, maintenance will either fabricate or purchase longer hooks and remove the older hooks from service.

Sal De La Madrid, Dan Relei and Jim Meilandt Teach Class on Piranha, Earn SPOTS

12/29 Sal De La Madrid, Dan Relei and Jim Meilandt Earned SPOT Awards for taking the time to put on a hands on training with the fairly new 55-ton Piranha Iron Worker. They instructed and demonstrated the safe and correct operation of this piece of equipment with groups of two or three at a time and everyone that attended said all of them taught a great class, learned a lot and now know the various ways you can use this machine.

For those who don’t know what a Piranha Iron Worker is, it is used to bend, cut, shape and help us fabricate anything needed using 55 tons of force to do so. Could be a very dangerous piece of equipment when used incorrectly. Everyone that took part in the hands on training also watched a safety video that came with the Piranha beforehand. Great job by the guys and much appreciated.

Matt Fowler, Joe Coley & Jason Schneider Figure Out Safer, Easier Way To Assemble and Disassemble 25-Ton Crane

Dec. 1

SPOT 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.

Shane Pinto Earns SPOT Award For Helping Motorist, CHP, at Accident Scene

Dec. 1

Canal Patrol Officer Shane Pinto assisted a motorist who spun out and blocked two landes of Highway 242. He initially blocked traffic at the scene, and then helped the motorist move the car onto the shoulder.  Shane called the CHP to the scene and also asked for an ambulance, staying at the site until the CHP and paramedics arrived.    

Stan Rhodes Earns Two Safety SPOT Awards For Noticing Eye Wash Issues

Nov. 16

Stan Rhodes 
noticed things weren't right while taking water samples at two different pump stations and earned a pair of safety SPOTs. During a fluoride sample collection at the Willow Pass Pump Station, Stan noticed there was not an eyewash station near the chlorine booster system within the building. 

 In addition, while he was taking samples at the Pine Hollow Pump Station, Stan noticed the bottles for the eyewash station inside the analyzer building had expired. 

Both issues will be addressed. 

Gerry Morris Discovers Orange Jackets Are Class 2, Not Class 3, earns Safety SPOT
Nov. 3

Gerry Morris earned a SPOT Award when he discovered our orange winter jackets are only classified as Class 2 for retroreflective standards. 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 Health and Safety Manager Sarah Bogner, which corrected her assumption that the jackets were Class 3. Purchasing will now have to evaluate how to correct this oversight. This was a great catch.

John Veitch Earns SPOT Award For Noticing Incompatible Chemicals in Antioch
Nov. 2 

John Veitch was given the 42nd Spot Award of the year by Dan Gonsalves. At ASC, John noticed that the Clean Green 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.

Stan Martinez and Frank Diaz Go 'Above and Beyond' to Keep Work Site Safe, Earn Safety SPOTS

Nov. 2

 Stan Martinez and Frank Diaz Earned the 40th and 41st Safety SPOTS of 2016 for exceptional work to keep a work site safe in the pre-dawn darkness on a busy road on a rainy morning. 

Jim Maniatis was looking for leaks on a main on Willow Pass Road near Market St. on Oct. 27. Willow Pass was recently repaved and many of the traffic lines had not been painted making it confusing for traffic in the dark and rain. The east bound lane becomes very busy in the early morning. The road gets large groups of cars coming off of Hwy 242 and from Market. The rainy and dark conditions increased the danger in this area, especially because of high speeds, lane changes and merging.

More than 200 feet of the far right lane had to be blocked off and made safe for Jim to work. Stan and Frank were there as traffic control for the job.

"I feel that the two of them went above and beyond to make the area safe for not only me to work but for all the people driving on the road," said Jim. "They put out more cones than required and put up multiple red flashing traffic signals along the taper to help light up and warn oncoming traffic. Instead of sitting back after the lane was taken out ,they both watched out for traffic and my safety as I worked in the lane.

 "At one point, a driver started honking and swerving through traffic causing other drivers to divert out of their lanes. Frank and Stan stayed calm and took control of the situation by slowing traffic and directing them safely past our work zone," he said. 

Jacob Elsberry Finds Leak on Trailer, Caught Before An Accident 
September 28

On a recent quarterly inspection, Jacob Elsberry identified a possible leak on the brake drum on trailer 036, earning a SPOT Award and preventing what could possibly have been a major accident. This is a trailer the District uses to transport backhoes..  

He pulled the tires and drum off of the trailer and discovered here was a leak and the inside of the brake drum had a significant amount of grease on the inner surface where the brake pads apply pressure to create the braking friction.  The leak was not obvious and only by very careful and thorough inspection was the problem identified. 

This is a safety win.  Proof of the professionalism and expertise of our in house staff performing these critical inspections.  This was a safety issue that was caught and is being fixed BEFORE an accident occured. The grease leak not only compromise the brake system, but the axle as well.  " I would like to personally thank Jacob for his good work and leadership in the BIT inspection program.," said Jason Todd, Central County O&M Maintenance Supervisor. 

John Veitch Makes Sure Employees Are Safe 
Setpember 3

John Veitch earned a Spot Award for his dedication to roadwork safety. His crew was assigned to remove the weeds and dead vegetation along the fence line at the Randall-Bold Water Treatment Plant on the Laurel Road side.

Since Laurel is a high traffic area, and vehicles are traveling at high speeds, John was very concerned for not only his own safety, but the safety of the entire crew working with him.

His insistence for staging "Crew Working " signs and safety cones along the road side, though they were not required. The crew was working on the sidewalk side by the property fence area and the signs gave the crew a safe feeling and an awareness knowing that the oncoming traffic was warned of work activity being performed.

This might be a small safety act, but it reminds us of why our organization is the "Leader" on why we practice safety.

 Reggie Harris, Chris Geer, Greg Dixon, and Daniel Sinosky Take Action When They Find Dumped Asbestos Pipe
August 12

 Reggie Harris, Chris Geer, Greg Dixon, and Daniel Sinosky all earned Safety SPOTS for handling a load of asbestos pipe dumped in the Bollman Spoils Yard 

Reggie took it upon himself to wrap pieces exposed asbestos cement pipe that had been dropped off by an unknown person at the Bollman Spoils Yard. Reggie's awareness and training of the pipe being unwrapped for any amount of time, prevented any further particulates from becoming airborne.

Chris, Greg, and Daniel removed the AC pipe that was wrapped by Reggie at the Bollman's Spoil Yard. They ensured the pipe was marked and labeled with the proper identification. The pipe was then transported to the Concord Maintenance Yard, where it was placed in its designated location. Chris, Greg, and Daniel's awareness and training assured the pipe had been properly handled and transported to the proper location.

Sharon McNulty's Safety SPOT Reflects Well

August 2

Sharon McNulty earned a Safety SPOT after she recognized the need for a ceiling/wall safety mirror to prevention pedestrian collisions on the second floor at District Center in the HR & Risk Division. She contacted Tracie to initiate installation and now we are all safer! She's the second woman to earn a Safety SPOT this year. 

Pointed Out Tripping Hazard at District Center
July 7 

Colleen Knutson became the first woman to earn a Safety Spot  in 2016 after she pointed out that a parking lot curb at District Center was higher than the landscape, causing a  "lip" that was a tripping hazard.  It was fixed on July 1.

Kept Public and Construction Workers Safe at Work Site, Earns Safety SPOT
June 28

 On Friday, June 24, Johnny Esskew and the Heavy Crew were excavating for a fire service at the new Kelly Moore Building. The trench is nine-feet-deep and Johnny noticed multiple dump trucks throughout the day hauling in dirt for the new Kelly Moore parking lot. At the end of the day, the crew installed traffic plates over the trench in the street and Johnny wrote with white paint on the traffic plates "DANGER, NO TRUCKS" and set up (2) barricades over the plates. On Monday, the crew pulled up to the job site with multiple concrete trucks lined up on the street to pour the new sidewalks inside the new Kelly Moore parking lot. The concrete truck drivers approached Johnny and said they did not park on the plates because of the "DANGER, NO PARKING" signs.

Johnny noticed a potential hazard of heavy trucks driving over and parking on out traffic plates.  He did a great job keeping an eye out for any changes in jobsite conditions.  Thank  you Johnny for keeping the public safe when CCWD employees are both on and off the job. 

Pat McConnell & Anthony Gonsalez Assist Firefighters, Earn Safety SPOTS
June 28

Pat McConnell and Anthony Gonsalez
both earned Safety SPOTS 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.

Ryan Lindsey & Ronnie McCoy Put A Lock on Vault
June 21

During routine maintenance activities on June 17, Ryan Lindsey and Ronnie McCoy discovered a confined space vault without proper locks installed. Locks are put in place to prevent unauthorized entry into a potentially dangerous environment, and to prevent others from tampering with equipment. Ryan and Ronnie recognized this deficiency, and installed CCWD locks on the vault prior to leaving the area.

Curiosity About Hazardous Hydrant Earns SPOT Award For James Carey
June 17

James Carey was driving in to work and noticed the yard lights at the Pacheco 7-11 were on. Knowing that there had been a damaged light pole that was energizing our fire hydrant six months earlier, he reported to Jason Todd that the lights were on.

Jason dispatched James to investigate and we discovered that the light pole had not been repaired and the hydrant was carrying 100 volts to ground. We were able to get Jerry Johnson involved and the power has been isolated by 7-11, making our hydrant safe again. This was great situational awareness and great safety mindedness on James' part.

Watching Out For Others' Safety,  Jason Schneider Spots Wasp Nest & Reports It
June 3

While cleaning up at the end of the day on Friday June 3rd, Jason Schneider noticed wasps flying in and out of an opening near the roof line of one of our storage buildings at ASC near the admin building. Understanding the threat these wasps posed to his co-workers, Jason quickly reported the possible wasp nest and some ideas on how to get rid of them to his Supervisor. We were able to assess the situation and get a pest control company to respond and take care of the issue. Thanks to Jason for looking out for his fellow co-workers!  This is the second Safety SPOT Jason has earned in 2016. 

Four Employees Earn SPOT Awards for Door Safety Video


May 25

Four spot awards were given to today for great innovation! Robert Stalf, came up with the idea to shoot a video to explain how the new District Center “delayed egress door” works. Oliver Symonds and Justin Fivella worked to shoot and edit the video, and Dominic DeBellis starred. Justin is the first person to earn two SPOT Awards this year, both coming in the month of May. 

The video can be seen here:

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

Justin Fivella demonstrated great safety leadership during his work with the LV staff. 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!"  

Health & Safety Manager Earns SPOT Award For Noticing Faulty Paper Cutter
April 11

Health and Safety Manager Sarah Bogner earned a  Spot Award for identifying a long-existing safety hazard. Sarah was using the paper cutter in the O&M building and noticed that the finger guard on the cutter was missing.  She brought it to the nearby supervisor’s attention that the guard was missing and that we need to replace it before some gets cut by the blade. The new paper cutter has already been ordered.

Noticed Loose Pins, Prevented Disaster

April 4

Carlos Butler has been nominated by a coworker for a SPOT award for a great safety catch he made last week. On April 1, the vacuum  trailer returned from service at the manufacturer. At the yard, Carlos did an  inspection of the trailer and noticed that the hinge pins had come loose and  were almost about to fall out. Had this happened on the road or while  operating, it could have caused serious damage. The trailer was able to be  immediately repaired. Great job, Carlos!

Ensured District Facilities Near Home & Garden Show Were Safe

April 4

Prior to the Home and Garden show, John Joseph conducted a site inspection of the Kirker Pass reservoir at Concord Pavilion. Ground maintenance work had been scheduled to take place later in the month. However, once on site, John noticed several locations that may be hazardous to show attendees. John then rescheduled his crew and gave them the tools and resources they needed to work at the site to make it safe for visitors. One location required four yards of rip rap to fill a hole near a walkway! The crew completed two full days of work on site and finished just hours before the opening of the event. Because of John’s proactive efforts, there were no reported site-related injuries during the Home and Garden show.

In a further show of safety commitment, John’s crew identified John’s superior actions and asked for Sarah to conside issuing John a Spot award for his efforts. Great work from this entire work group!

Helped Driver Get Car Safely Out of Traffic
March 23,2016

While returning to Bollman from Port Costa reservoir, Jim Clark and Kalle Vaananen noticed a vehicle stopped in the middle of Carquinez Scenic Drive. The driver informed them that she had ran out of gas.  To prevent a potential accident on the winding section of road, Jim drove the District truck up the road and turned on the hazard lights to warn other drivers of the hazard, while Kalle assisted the driver to move her vehicle safely to the side of the road.

Crew members, who worked with Brian Sweeney on a difficult night main replacement on Marsh Creek Road in February that netted a Safety STAR for Brian, were honored with Safety SPOTS 

March 1, 2016 

Trevor Spady – Utility Worker
Mike Gargalikis – MSEO
Johnny Esskew – MSEO
Reggie Harris – Crew Leader ( accepted the RANS to help with flagging )
Nick West – Utility Worker ( accepted the RANS to help with flagging )

Noticed Corrosion on Fluoride Tanks at Bollman

March 1, 2016

Jason Schneider was awarded a Safety Spot Recognition after being nominated by Dave Huey, Water Operations Manager. Dave wrote: “This morning Jason stopped me as I arrived early at the Bollman WTP and pointed out corrosion he had noticed on two bottom valves on the WTP Fluoride (Flourosolicic Acid) tank.  He noted that brass tags used to identify the valves may be causing dissimilar metal corrosion as the brass tags are hanging against the body of the valve.  I have turned this over to the treatment team to check and if required, replace with non-metallic tags. This is outstanding work in several areas:

  • Jason did not restrict his commitment to safety to just his work area. He looked beyond to find a potential issue.  This is very important as folks that see things day in and day out can become complacent.  His actions directly benefit the safety of his coworkers and the environment.
  • Jason took the initiative to point this issue out the District leadership in a timely manner rather than waiting for a future meeting.
  • Jason actions may also lead to safety improvements that will be applied beyond that area.  He showed excellent technical skills in identifying this as a possible dissimilar metal/galvanic action issue.

Notices Problems With Baseball Field Fence Plan, Notifies Builders

February 10, 2016

Nick Overstreet was given a SPOT award for his response to a USA ticket for Concord American Little
League where volunteers would be installing a new fence for the baseball field. When completing the
locate Nick noticed that the 6” customer service line would be in direct conflict with the proposed fence
and was concerned that the military personnel would not respond to the USA locate. He was also
concerned that the volunteers would not recognize the hazard. Nick brought this concern to the
attention of his supervisor who called and informed the volunteers of the conflict and provided additional
facility information to them. They were not well educated in USA procedures and really appreciated the
information provided.

Through Nick’s diligence and attention to detail, the volunteers were informed of an unseen and
unidentified hazard that could have resulted in injury and substantial financial hardship for this group.
Great job Nick!

Four SPOT Awards for Being Safe and Using Excellent Judgement at Port Costa Slide Repair
Jan. 19, 2016

Greg Dixon was lead at the Port Costa slide repair. He, John Gonsalves, Daniel Sinosky and Chris Delao all used excellent judgement in coordinating job site safety and maintained hazard awareness while removing spoils from the road. The job was well planned and organized. They not only kept the job site safe, but also set up good traffic control to eliminate a hazard exposure to the public. Well done!

Investigated Strong Odor at Bollman

January 1, 2016

Ken Shoemaker and Mike Wickham earned a Spot Award for taking the initiative to investigate a strong
exhaust odor at Bollman and found a contractor’s vehicle with an auxiliary motor running next to a
doorway. The guys had the vehicle moved and set up fans to ventilate the area. Their efforts mitigated a
potential serious hazard to employees in the building.