El Dorado Irrigation District senior plant mechanic Jim Sadler won the H.R. LaBounty Safety Award from the California Water Agencies Joint Powers Insurance Authority.
The 17-year employee at the Deer Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant won the award for inventing, fabricating and installing a safety device.
To reach a pump for servicing at the bottom of a treatment tank, Deer Creek employees would have to lean over the railing to grab a chain to which they would connect a power lift. The maneuver involved risk of back injury and fall.
What Sadler did was install in the concrete deck an anchor point to screw in a bolt holding a tiedown. The second part of Sadler’s safety plan was to make a section of the top rail removable. With these two features in place Sadler then hooked a stay wire to the anchor bolt and a safety harness he was strapped into. With the top rail removed he could easily reach the chain to the pump without the danger of falling in or injuring his back.
“Mr. Sadler’s safety improvement idea is an excellent example of personal responsibility and integrity,” said EID General Manager Jim Abercrombie.
EID employees have displayed an entrepreneurial bent. This is the second worker safety innovation to come from Deer Creek. At Reservoir 1 Water Treatment Plant employees designed and built the pump control system for the sodium hypochlorite when the plant was redesigned to eliminate chlorine gas. District electricians did the wiring for the upgraded computer control system in conjunction with that plant’s redesign.