The Butler County Engineer's
Office has received two significant awards for outstanding safety
practices, adding to a collection of similar awards and emphasizing
the organization's strong focus on work place safety.
The Ohio Utilities
Protection Service (OUPS) issued a special award to the Engineer's
Office for going two straight years without damaging or cutting
any underground utilities. A utility cut is defined as any damage
to existing underground utilities during construction and excavation.
This includes gas mains, electric lines, water mains, cable TV,
and telephone lines.
"With the number
of crews we have in the field and high levels of construction
activity in Butler County, that's an amazing record," said
Jerry Garrett, BCEO Utilities and Safety Manager. "OUPS
told us that they've never had anyone go two years without a
utility cut. So we're very proud of our accomplishment."
County Engineer Greg
Wilkens accepted the award on behalf of the BCEO Safety Committee,
a group of employees who develop policies and procedures for
safety in the work place and at construction sites. "Jerry
and all of our crews and supervisors are to be commended,"
Wilkens emphasized. "These are people who make safety a
top priority every day in what can be a high risk environment.
As County Engineer, it is an honor to be part of such an outstanding
Walt Pegram with OUPS
also noted that safety is a team effort, but that it takes commitment
from the top. "While the work crews that compiled this extraordinary
record are the ones most responsible for setting this fantastic
level of safety, it reflects on the commitment from the managers
and County Engineer Greg Wilkens to provide the support that
establishes a good safety program. The Ohio Utilities Protection
Service congratulates the Butler County Engineer's Office and
its employees for their efforts in setting a high standard of
safety and prevention of damage to buried utilities."
OUPS serves as a vital
communication link between excavators and utilities. With more
utilities being placed underground every year, it is a much greater
challenge for excavators to be able to safely locate underground
utilities and avoid damages and disruption. Garrett noted that
this can be as small as telephone service to one house or as
significant as a water main that serves thousands of people to
underground electric or gas that could be potentially life threatening
if cut by construction equipment.
Lost Time Injuries
The Engineer's Office
also received an achievement award for reducing lost time injuries
by more than 25 percent from the previous year. Presented at
last week's 61st Annual Awards Banquet by the Greater Hamilton
Safety Council, the award is in conjunction with the Ohio Bureau
of Worker's Compensation (BWC). Garrett again pointed out that
"this is a tribute to all BCEO employees for their commitment
to work place safety."
Wilkens noted that
reducing lost time injuries and fewer damages to underground
utilities saves taxpayers money. "This shows that we not
only care about our employees' safety, but that we take very
seriously our responsibility to utilize public money wisely."
The BCEO's primary source of funding comes from gasoline taxes
and license plate fees.
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- Click images to enlarge.
For more information
Petrocy, BCEO Public Information Supervisor
Greg Wilkens, P.E., P.S.,
Butler County Engineer
Phone 513.867.5744 Fax 513.867.5849