SAN JOSE, Calif.— California Water Service (Cal Water) received the 2016-2017 Larry C. Larson Safety Award for Class IV utilities from the American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) California-Nevada Section at its annual conference today. The award for Class IV utilities, or those with more than 500 employees, recognizes a large utility’s commitment to its employees’ health and safety.
According to AWWA’s California-Nevada Section, stringent criteria are used to evaluate utilities’ commitments to making their employees’ health and safety a main priority; boosting employee morale while achieving a more proficient and productive workforce through training and education; and decreasing costs by reducing or eliminating the potential for lost time due to accidents. The award reflects Cal Water’s adherence to best practices in its safety program, including policies, training, hazard identification and control, investigations, accountability, and recognition.
“The well-being of each of our team members is extremely important not only to the company, but to me personally,” said Martin A. Kropelnicki, Cal Water President and CEO. “I am very proud of our Safety Department and all of our employees for making safety a priority.”
In 2016, injuries at Cal Water recordable by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration decreased by 53 percent over 2012, and the utility’s rate for days away, restricted, or transferred (DART) decreased by 31 percent. Workers’ compensation claims in 2016 were 35 percent lower than 2014.
California Water Service serves about 2 million people through 482,400 service connections in California. The utility has provided water service in the state since 1926.