Water Hazard Policy Put in Place

Water Hazard Policy Put in Place

March 28, 2022

GUC’s CSI program (Corporate Safety Initiative) is always looking for ways to reduce employees’ exposure to hazards. Putting policies and procedures in place when new hazards are recognized is an important part of CSI. Recently, the Safety Operating Procedures for Working Near Water Policy was developed and approved.  

Sadly, another utility’s tragedy led us to developing the policy. During Hurricane Matthew, a neighboring utility experienced an employee fatality due to drowning while making repairs to electrical and sewer lines near a body of water.   

To reduce the chance of that happening here, the CSI Steering Committee has developed procedures to reduce our employees’ exposure to drowning when working over or near a body of water. These procedures are based on Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards for personal flotation devices (PFDs), personal protective equipment (PPE), fall protection, and skiffs and lifesaving boat requirements. These procedures apply to all permanent full/part-time GUC employees, as well as temporary and contract workers conducting work on behalf of Greenville Utilities. Employees performing construction-related activities above or near bodies of water shall follow all standards and procedures contained within this policy.  

Life saving devices have been purchased and will be housed in Fleet, ready to be utilized when working in these conditions. Basic Water Hazard Awareness training is being evaluated and will be provided to the appropriate employees in the near future. Employees will be contacted when this training becomes available.  

For your convenience, the Safety Operating Procedures for Working Near Water Policy and a tri-fold informational diagram, which illustrates some of the features of the policy, are available in the Safety Portal on MyGUC. If you do any work near a body of water, please take the time to review the information and discuss what is expected of you with your supervisor.