Safety Coordinator Brad Murphy of the Northern Kentucky Water District (NKWD) describes how a strong culture of safety starts at the very top and succeeds with effort from everyone.

What is your primary business operation, and how many employees work for NKWD?
NKWD, located in Erlanger, Kentucky, employs more than 170 team members who help serve water to nearly 300,000 people in Campbell and Kenton counties and portions of Boone, Grant, and Pendleton counties. We cover over 229 square miles of total service area with more than 1,325 miles of water main.

What role does safety play in your company’s culture?
Our board of directors, president/CEO, vice presidents, directors, and all other management focus on the safety and health of NKWD employees. The board demonstrates its ongoing commitment through investing in our established safety program and by supporting new initiatives.

Education and training are proven components in sustaining our culture of safety. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we shifted how we delivered education to our employees, and we continue to educate and train through our Learning Management System.

We have also rolled out several online classes, such as Confined Space, Globally Harmonized System, and Incident Command System, etc. Plus, we have instituted a Corrective Action Training program for vehicle accidents.

Additionally, NKWD’s leadership team encourages all employees to take the National Incident Management System (NIMS) online courses through Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Our experienced Safety Committee meets monthly to facilitate a safe workplace environment, address any safety concerns, and assist in the investigation and prevention of workplace accidents and injuries.

How has KEMI helped your company when it comes to workplace safety and reducing claims?
NKWD continues to conduct an annual review of our claims with KEMI to find the underlying cause of each one. Our goal is to prevent incidents from occurring at all and to avoid the same type of incidents from happening again.

Prior to the pandemic, KEMI’s safety team conducted an on-site 10-hour Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) class. Since restrictions for in-person gatherings have been lifted, we are working with KEMI to bring this educational opportunity back into our workplace.

What notable safety milestones or recognition has your company achieved?
From February 2019 to October 2021, NKWD set our longest record of no lost workdays due to accidents or injuries.

Additionally, as a direct result of the dedication of our leadership and employees for maintaining a safe working environment, NKWD has earned the KEMI Destiny Award for Safety 10 times from 2012 to 2022.