Bedford Regional Water Authority uses root cause analysis to update safety policies and procedures

“Safety has to be a proactive step supported from the top down,” says Daryl Burks, safety coordinator with Bedford Regional Water Authority. “When you have managers and supervisors buying in to the program it allows employees to buy into it too.”

The Bedford Regional Water Authority has recently implemented new processes for receiving bulk chemical deliveries. The change was prompted by an incident that occurred this spring.

On April 15, 2022, the authority had an incident where the wrong chemical was offloaded into the wrong tank, causing a chemical reaction.  In response, the authority has implemented a new process involving a written checklist, in addition to strengthened policies and training.

The checklist verifies a host of information, including:

  • The chemical being delivered.
  • The tank being filled.
  • The tank levels.
  • The SDS matches the bill of lading.
  • The seal numbers.
  • That PPE is being utilized.
  • That there is enough space to hold the chemical; and more.

The new system also provides monitors and alarms to alert operators if there is a release.

The resulting policies are an example of how a root cause analysis, utilizing all levels of employees’ knowledge, and developing policies and procedures based on this analysis, can help an organization grow and prevent future incidents.

Learn more about the authority’s new process in the video below. If you are interested in developing similar procedures for your organization, please contact your VRSA safety consultant who will help set up a program with you.