The Annual Wastewater Facility Safety Survey for the 2014 work year will be sent to facilities throughout the six New England states next month. The survey allows the committee to:
- Collect regional incident and injury statistics and publish them for use by all wastewater professionals to benchmark their safety programs.
- Identify those areas and activities where injuries are occurring so that facility managers can better focus their safety efforts.
- Gather information regarding the status of safety programs at wastewater treatment facilities throughout New England.
Survey Results from 2013 Work Year
For the 2012 work year, 40% of those facilities returning surveys reported at least one incident. For 2013, that rate decreased to 28%. There were a total of 56 injuries reported, with 25 of those causing lost workdays – meaning almost half of incidents reported were severe enough that the employee incurred lost workdays. Those 25 injuries resulted in 411 total lost workdays.
The body part most frequently injured in 2013 was the back. The majority of those injuries were strains caused by lifting, pulling, or reaching (e.g., turning a wrench on a fire hydrant, opening a chain valve, pulling the stop gate at the aeration tank, etc.). Hand injuries were the second most common and the majority of those were cuts caused by “struck against” injuries (e.g., cleaning out the screw press, pump repair, sawing pipe, etc.).