Veolia Water North America Achieves Record Employee Safety Levels

02/25/10  • Water

Company sets industry safety standard and significantly outpaces national average

CHICAGO, Feb. 25, 2010 – Veolia Water North America (Veolia Water), the nation's leading provider of municipal and industrial water and wastewater partnerships, set a new safety record for the fourth consecutive year, continuing to significantly outperform private-industry water, wastewater and other comparable utility systems as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The company's Lost-Time Incidence Rate (LTIR) - injuries or illnesses resulting in time away from work - was an impressive 0.6 versus a BLS average of 2.1. Statistically speaking, Veolia Water's LTIR results were 78% better than the national average.

Veolia Water's Recordable Incidence Rate (RIR) was 2.9 versus a BLS average of 9.0. RIR includes medical treatment, restrictions and transfers, and lost-time injuries or illnesses. Veolia Water's RIR performance was approximately 68 percent better than the national average.

More than 80 percent of Veolia Water North America projects had no OSHA recordable injuries in 2009 and 95 percent of the organization's projects celebrated "no lost-time accident" milestones in 2009, ranging from one to 25 years.

"Part of the advantage of being a Veolia Water employee is having a safe working environment," said Laurent Auguste, president and CEO of Veolia Water Americas. "We are committed to the safety of our employees and the public first and foremost, and our track record proves it."

The Veolia Water culture holds everyone accountable for safety, ranging from the executive level to the project manager and shift employee. In North America, Veolia Water employees work in more than 650 communities and at approximately 100 industrial sites, and they are all held to uniform safety standards, including a program of continuous improvement designed to support working safety.

For instance, Indianapolis, the nation's largest public-private partnership for water services, recorded its best safety performance ever. Other projects, including West Melbourne, Fla., Edwardsville, Ill., Springboro, Ohio, and Woodmere, Ohio, celebrated completing 20 or more years without a single lost-time accident.

"Public sector employees want to be reassured of their safety when they transition to the private sector, and Veolia delivers," said Terry Heldstab, mayor of Junction City, where Veolia Water's East wastewater treatment plant just went 20 years without a lost-time accident "Veolia Water is committed to the technically competent employees that are at the heart of providing clean water services for Americans, and it shows in the company's improved training programs and safety-oriented culture."

Veolia Water's proven safety record is not only important to industrial and municipal customers, but to employees as well.

"Veolia Water is a company that recognizes the front-line employee is the foundation for its success," said Robert Reed, president of the National Conference of Firemen & Oilers, S.E.I.U. Chapter 131, and an employee at Veolia Water Indianapolis. "I see that first-hand, because the company has multiple training programs, face-to-face safety meetings, weekly safety reminders, safety tailgate meetings, and ongoing safety training and programs. The health and welfare of their employees is clearly a core value at Veolia Water."

"Our safety performance is clearly ahead of the industry, yet we will continue to do more," said Auguste. "Our ambition is not just to beat the safety status quo, but to work toward a perfectly safe place in which to work."

Based in Chicago, Veolia Water North America is the leading provider of comprehensive water and wastewater partnership services to municipal and industrial customers, providing services to more than 14 million people in approximately 650 North American communities. The company is part of the Veolia Environnement companies in North America, with 30,000 North American employees providing sustainable environmental solutions in water management, waste services, energy management, and passenger transportation.

Veolia Water, the water division of Veolia Environnement, is the world leader in water and wastewater services and technological solutions. Its parent company, Veolia Environnement (NYSE: VE and Paris Euronext: VIE), is the worldwide reference in environmental services. With more than 336,000 employees, Veolia Environnement recorded annual revenues of $50 billion in 2008. Veolia Environnement is in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index (DJSI World) and Dow Jones STOXX Sustainability Index (DJSI STOXX). Visit the company's Web sites at and
Matt Demo
Veolia North America
312.552.2887 (office)
312.316.9281 (cell)
Scott Edwards
Veolia North America