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For Immediate Release
July 24, 2002
Contact Information:
Kevin Weeks, Oregon OSHA, 503-947-7428 
Linc Mann, Bureau of Environmental Services, 503-823-5328

Portland BES Wastewater Group honored for workplace safety

Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman today helped the City of Portland, Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) Wastewater Group accept a safety award from Oregon OSHA honoring a major reduction in workplace injuries. Also present for the award ceremony were BES Director Dean Marriott, Oregon OSHA administrator Peter De Luca and BES Wastewater Manager Steve Behrndt.

Oregon OSHA's Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP) recognizes employers who make a commitment to improving workplace safety, reducing their injury and illness rates and develop safe practices which become a model for safe workplaces in Oregon. Safety and health management programs in place at BES created a lost-work injury rate which was 36 percent below the state average in 2000, and 30 percent under the Oregon average during 2001.

"Environmental Services Wastewater Group has developed a safety program that works and works well," said City Commissioner Dan Saltzman. "A safe workplace reduces injuries and illnesses on the job. When we work safely we are not only more effective we also save our ratepayers money. This award is an honor and I know Portland citizens are supportive and appreciative of the Wastewater Group's efforts".

"When you consider the average cost of a serious workplace injury is $28,000," says Oregon OSHA administrator Peter De Luca, "the cost savings and increased productivity are a benefit to the residents of Portland. You can only accomplish this level of injury reduction through careful planning and proactive management."

The BES Wastewater Group includes operations at the 133-acre Columbia Boulevard Wastewater Treatment Plant in North Portland and the Tryon Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant located in Lake Oswego. The agency treats Portland's wastewater, provides stormwater drainage services, and works in Portland watersheds to reduce stormwater pollution, restore native vegetation, and improve the quality of water in rivers and streams. The Bureau of Environmental Services owns and operates more than 2,200 miles of pipes and 93 pump stations that transport sewage to the two Portland-area treatment plants.

For more information about the SHARP program, please contact the Oregon OSHA SHARP Program Manager, Mark Hurliman at 503-947-7437. For additional information about the Bureau of Environmental Services, call 503-823-5328. On the Web, you can find out more about the Bureau of Environmental Services at www.cleanrivers-pdx.org and Oregon OSHA at www.orosha.org