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WAPA Employees Complete Safety Training on Fall Protection and Prevention

WAPA employees from line, plant operations and maintenance, substation and engineering, participate in Fall Protection and Prevention Training led by Sage Services Group LLC on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2022, in the Sunny Isles Business Office Conference room on St. Croix. (Submitted photo)

The Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA or Authority) has announced that on Dec. 12-15, 184 employees completed a “Worker Fall Protection and Prevention” training event on St. Croix and St. Thomas.  The training, provided by the American Public Power Association (APPA) and funded through a grant from the federal government’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), benefitted employees across multiple departments, including line, plant operations and maintenance, substations and engineering.

As the Authority continues to prioritize safety on the job for its employees, proactively seeking out available training programs is a key part of safety adherence.  “This week’s training was well received and provided our skilled workforce with valuable information.  As we strive to offer quality training to our employees, grant-funded programs like this one allow us to do so without incurring additional financial strain,” said Josh Jones, director of Safety at the Authority.

“Safety is one of the most critical components of a utility’s operation and subsequent success.  We will continue to identify innovative ways to keep Authority employees and our community safe,” said Jones.

Rey E. Belardo Jr., line supervisor at the Authority, said, “Having been a lineman for over 17 years, refresher courses are extremely beneficial and offer great reminders of best practices — particularly around safety since falls are often the primary cause of injuries.  This week’s courses were great not only for apprentices but also for us senior guys.  I think it’s human nature to get comfortable in our positions, so courses like this one help us to remember to stay safe and vigilant.    I am happy the Authority prioritized this training for us, and it shows me that WAPA is heading in the right direction.”

Sage Services Group LLC conducted the fall protection and prevention training led by Sonya Hopson, chief executive officer. Topics covered included fall hazards and fall protection measures with an emphasis on the utility industry, in addition to causes of injury and death while on the job in the industry. Employees also learned about the importance of pre-planning and pre-job briefings as part of prevention.

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