Safety is a top priority for Contra Costa Water District (CCWD) and we are leading the way on a new study to begin this fall.
CCWD is working with five water agencies in California, Georgia and Oregon to evaluate the effectiveness of a participatory ergonomics program intended to lower the risk of musculoskeletal injuries in water industry workers.
For us and many other water agencies nationwide, over half of lost time and recordable injuries are related to over-exertion, repetitive motion, or sprains and strains. These injuries not only result in pain, discomfort, and lost functionality and quality of life, but also increase medical, labor, and insurance costs. The intent of the research is to maximize employee involvement, and use their knowledge to identify ergonomics problems and develop effective solutions. The study will also look at practices followed in other industries.
Participating agencies include CCWD, East Bay Municipal Utility District, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Columbus Water Works (Georgia), and Tualatin Valley Water (Oregon).
We have been awarded $100,000 in funding from the Water Research Foundation (WRF). Participating agencies will provide match funds and/or in-kind services.
The study will begin in the fall and will take about one year to complete.