The APGA Operations and Safety Committee selected Greenville Utilities Commission (GUC) as the winner of the 2019 APGA Safety Management Excellence Award. This award recognizes one APGA member each year for consistently operating at the highest levels, clearly establishing itself as an achiever of excellence in the field of safety management. The committee looks for systems that have implemented innovative and effective employee safety practices. Safety is the highest priority in public gas systems, and it is always difficult to single out one system among all the deserving applicants. GUC will be presented with a plaque at the APGA Annual Meeting in Stowe, Vt.
One of the innovative programs adopted by GUC is its corporate commitment to reduce risk and enable employees to control exposure for themselves and others, every day. Through a series of processes, systems, and programs, GUC is giving their employees the tools and resources to manage their exposure on a daily basis. Under the GUC safety process, safety is initiated from the top. The GUC General Manager/CEO sets the tone for safety at GUC and the Board of Commissioners support efforts to improve employee safety. This commitment serves to activate GUC’s vision, “As a member of the GUC Team, I am empowered to protect myself and others from exposure to hazards. Leadership is committed to minimizing our risks. Together, we can manage all exposures to make zero injuries a reality.”
For 2018, the Gas Department worked an entire year without an OSHA recordable injury. Also, GUC as a whole worked over 2 million hours without a lost time injury as of March 2019. GUC’s corporate goal is to achieve 3 million hours worked without a lost workday incident, and GUC is confident that it can achieve this goal because of these innovative safety programs. In 2018 GUC completed 3,042 behavior-based observations, the highest number recorded by GUC to that date. In addition, in 2018 supervisors completed 1,868 Safety Contacts, as part of the SafeAlign initiative on its employees. Resulting in over 4,900 conversations around reducing or eliminating exposure to hazards. GUC continually works to reduce risk exposure and create an organizational culture that strives for zero injuries.
The Operations and Safety Committee urges all APGA members to apply for the 2020 Safety Management Excellence Award next year. For questions on this article, please contact John Erickson of APGA staff by phone at 202-464-2742 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org