Zero was the winning number for the City of Union.
Since 1990, the American Public Gas Association (APGA) has presented annual safety awards to members who have “the lowest overall incidence rate” of “reportable injury” in their gas utility during the award year. A reportable injury is described in the contest rules as “any injury arising out of and during the course of employment which results in death, days away from work, restricted work activity, or medical treatment.”
APGA Program Assistant Clark O’Connor said Tuesday that in 2011, the City of Union Utility Department’s Natural Gas Division had “zero deaths, zero accidents, zero lost hours.” It was this record that enabled the City of Union to win the APGA 2011 Safety Award in the category of 38,001-70,000 man-hours, the contest’s second-largest category. O’Connor said this was the first time the city had won the award.
The winners in the contest’s five categories were announced at the APGA Annual Conference in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, earlier this summer. In a June 28 letter to Utility Director Joe Nichols announcing the award, APGA President and CEO Bert Kalisch stated that “APGA is pleased to present you with the 2011 Safety Award. The City of Union had an outstanding safety record over the past year based on the safety contest form submitted to APGA. You should be proud of this accomplishment and we hope you display this certificate in a prominent place for all employees to see.”
Nichols said the city applies every year for the award and that winning it is a great honor.
“We have to apply every year for the safety award in the category of the size of our system along with the number of gas meters and the number of employees that work in the natural gas system and also clerical and management staff,” Nichols said Tuesday. “Once we applied we had no lost time accidents which in this day and time and working with such a volatile system is almost unheard of. To win in our category is a great honor and we’re proud of our safety record.”
The City of Union Utility Department’s Natural Gas Division has nine employees in the field as well as office staff.
About the APGA
Formed in 1961, APGA has more than 700 members in 36 states. Members are publicly owned natural gas systems that are owned by, and accountable to. The citizens they serve. APGA advocates on behalf of its members helping them strengthen their systems by providing access to the latest industry trends on safety standards, competitiveness, regulations and other important issues that affect their system, and is the only nonprofit trade organization that represents America’s publicly owned natural gas local distribution companies, from the smallest to the largest systems.