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Illinois American Water’s Cairo District Earns National Safety Award

Print Article Contributed by FSM Staff

CAIRO, IL -- Illinois American Water’s Cairo District received the American Water Works Association (AWWA) Wendell R. LaDue Utility Safety Award for excellence in safety.

The award recognizes distinguished safety programs by water utilities and requires excellent safety records for five consecutive years, as well as a consistent safety program focused on continuous improvement. The Cairo District has been safety incident-free for 17 years.

The award was presented to Mike Brown, operations superintendent for the Cairo District, during the 2017 American Water Works Association Annual Conference in Philadelphia, Pa. Founded in 1881, AWWA is considered the authoritative resource on safe water.

Illinois American Water employees work around the clock to provide an essential service critical for daily life, public health and fire protection. The work performed can include daily hazards like working in confined spaces, among motorists and in extreme weather. Employees also handle chemicals, conduct excavation, operate equipment and complete heavy lifting.

Brown said, “Safety is on our minds every minute of every day. There is nothing more important than ensuring our employees go home in the same condition they arrived at work, if not better. We owe that to our coworkers and their families. There is no room for shortcuts when it comes to safety.”

Illinois American Water conducts both classroom and hands-on training on a regular basis. Employees also participate in facility and job site audits to ensure compliance with established workplace safety practices. This is the second time the local water team has earned this prestigious award. AWWA also recognized Illinois American Water’s Cairo District with the Wendell R. LaDue Utility Safety Award in 2011.

Brown said, “Receiving this recognition not once, but twice in the last six years means a lot to our team. Safety is a daily focus. We continuously evaluate and act to remove hazards to prevent injuries.”

The Cairo District’s five employees serve approximately 3,600 customers in Cairo, North Cairo, Future City and Patierdale.


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