The Pinehills Wastewater Treatment Facility received the Water Environment Federation
(WEF) George W. Burke, Jr. Award last month during the New England Water Environment Association
(NEWEA) Annual Conference. The award is given to a selected municipal or industrial wastewater facility in recognition of an on-going safety initiative documented by the development, implementation and/or improvement of a comprehensive safety program.
Woodard & Curran took over operations of the Pinehills Facility in 2014 and has instilled the rigorous health and safety program
that the firm is known for. The facility’s program includes the Woodard & Curran Corporate Health and Safety Policy & Procedures Manual, which contains policies on 23 different topic areas and numerous worksite-specific written programs developed by plant staff to address actual conditions at the facility.
While safety awareness is a key element of the new employee orientation process, the Pinehills safety program stands out because of its continual emphasis on employee accountability and responsibility. Each member of the facility’s three-person staff is on the safety team and is encouraged provide feedback when they notice unsafe conditions and come up with suggestions for improvements. The safety program is implemented as part of an overall continuous improvement program to provide high quality services and it is strongly encouraged and supported financially by the owner. Substantial improvements to staff safety have arisen from this system, including innovative solutions that reduce heavy maneuvering in regular tasks to avoid risk of injury and damage to equipment.
WEF is a not-for-profit association that provides technical education and training for thousands of water quality professionals who clean water and return it safely to the environment.