As a company, we maintain the safety-oriented mindset that a little extra effort today can prevent tragedy tomorrow. Workplace safety being one of our primary goals at United Water; we are pleased with our progress on this area over the last year, particularly in comparison to the industry averages across the water and sewer sectors reflected in the Bureau of Labor and Statistics’ (BLS) most recent report.
In 2013, we outperformed our water industry and municipal peers in workplace safety. We realized a 40 percent decline in workplace accidents or injuries that resulted in lost time. We now have less than half of these accidents than a company that meets the industry average has. This is consistent with United Water’s 5-year trend in the right direction. What’s more is that 85 of our facilities even went the whole year without a single workplace accident that resulted in time away from work.
Statistics pertaining to less severe incidents came in at an impressive 43 percent less than the most recently published national average for state and local governments and 35 percent less than the water and sewer sector. Measured by the Recordable Incident Rate, this data includes injuries involving medical treatment and restrictions.
We believe that these impressive results stem directly from the time and energy our employees have dedicated to workplace safety. Over the course of the last year, our 2,250 employees amassed a total of 51,894 safety training hours, which divides out to about 23 hours per person. We want to keep upping the ante for ourselves and fulfill the goals we set for ourselves with the Drive to Zero campaign.
United Water CEO Bertrand Camus called these results “praiseworthy,” and others tend to agree, as New Jersey Governor Chris Christie awarded us the Annual Governor’s Occupational Safety and Health Award in recognition of the company’s safety achievements in reducing safety hazards and preventing accidents.
It’s important to celebrate our significant progress in this field and to enjoy the tangible effects felt from it, but United Water is keeping an eye to the future and continues to set new safety goals for itself. After all, when we are talking about people and families, we must continue to improve, despite difficult working conditions.