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Utilities Kingston recognized with safety award

October 17, 2018 –

Utilities Kingston has received an annual Technical Standards & Safety Authority (TSSA) Safety Award for 2018. The award was presented at the TSSA annual general meeting on Thursday, Oct. 11.

"It's humbling to be recognized by our peers, serving to fuel our desire to be the safest utility provider in Ontario, and even Canada," says president and CEO Jim Keech.

The initiatives recognized by the award focused largely on safety leadership that supports contractor and public education and awareness. By increasing the knowledge in the community, Utilities Kingston promotes a culture of safety for Kingston.

"Our employees are experts in what they do, highly reliable, and demonstrate an obvious pride in their work managing, operating and maintaining community infrastructure. Nothing is more important than the safety of our workers, customers and community," says Keech.

Initiatives recognized by the award include the following:

  • The annual Safety Days event, jointly hosted with the City of Kingston.
  • A contractor session to ensure gas contractors in southeastern Ontario have the correct information while conducting gas work, inspections and processes for immediate and non-immediate hazards.
  • Participation in local Dig Safe events, and sharing locate and Dig Safe information with residents.
  • Customer awareness campaigns to help raise understanding of safety issues relating to natural gas. Topics that are covered on social and traditional media include "Call before you dig," sewer cross-bore safety, natural gas leaks and carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Adopting best practices and opportunities for continuous improvement. For example, in 2017 Utilities Kingston optimized its gas valve maintenance program by implementing the location-based application Collector for ArcGIS. Digitizing the process has resulted in more reliable information and increased productivity, helping to improve the safety and reliability of the municipal gas distribution system.

The annual TSSA Safety Awards Program was established to acknowledge individuals and organizations that work in related regulated sectors and have made significant contributions to public safety in Ontario. Nominations are submitted to TSSA by external stakeholders. Recipients are honoured at TSSA's annual general meeting. Two award presentations were made, with the second award going to Joel Prouty, 1st Class Power Engineer at Shell Canada.