Bureau of Reclamation Mid-Pacific Region Banner
Reclamation Home             Reclamation Offices             Newsroom             Library            Projects & Facilities

Safety: The Region's Top Priority

interactive image:  photo - Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor, left, presents Reclamation’s 2012 safety award to Regional Director Don Glaser at the Reclamation Leadership Team meeting in Denver, Colo., in October 2012; click for larger photo
Reclamation Commissioner Michael Connor, left, presents Reclamation’s 2012 safety award to Regional Director Don Glaser at the Reclamation Leadership Team meeting in Denver, Colo., in October 2012.

Commissioner’s Safety and Occupational Health Award

The Region received the Commissioner’s 2012 Safety and Occupational Health Award for reducing illnesses and injuries and for improving its safety and occupational health program.

Through efforts of the Division of Safety, Health and Security, the Region achieved the second lowest “Recordable Injury Rate” and the lowest “Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred” rate among all five regions and the combined Denver and Washington offices.

The Region also had the largest reductions from its five-year average in both rates, with a 36.7 percent decrease in the RIR rate and a 43.3 percent reduction in its DART rate. Other justifications for the award included actions taken by the division, including:


Mormon Island Auxiliary Dam

The ongoing Joint Federal Project is the cornerstone for more than $1 billion in dam safety and flood damage reduction improvements to further protect more than a million residents in communities downstream from Folsom Dam complex, which is on the American River, about 25 miles northeast of Sacramento, Calif.

In September 2012, the Region completed a portion of that work, which involved the Mormon Island Auxiliary Dam. The $35.5 million project strengthened the foundation of the dam by constructing a concrete block that is 900 feet long, 55 feet wide and 40 feet in height. The structure is anchored eight feet into bedrock and further strengthened by pilings, braces and backfill.

The project involved excavating 120,000 cubic yards of sediment and rock, processing 60,000 cubic yards of concrete aggregate, onsite batching of 60,000 cubic yards of concrete, and placement of 60,000 cubic yards of compacted select backfill.


Dam Safety Exercises

The Region continued its program of conducting dam safety exercises to enhance disaster preparedness and emergency response planning and execution.

A full-scale emergency exercise was conducted in Trinity County in Northern California, along with tabletop exercises for Folsom, Nimbus, Whiskeytown and Terminal dams; and complex functional exercises for San Justo, Rye Patch and Lahontan dams.

The full-scale exercise in May 2012 simulated an earthquake that causes Trinity Dam to fail. The resulting flood along the Trinity River causes a simulated structural failure at a local school.

School staff and students acted out various types of injuries. The goal of the exercise, held in cooperation with local and state emergency agencies, was to coordinate and implement triage and transport of the ‘injured’ students before the leading edge of floodwaters arrived.

Ambulances, a California Highway Patrol helicopter, and local transit buses were used to evacuate the “wounded” to a local airport, where a mobile care site was set up by county public health professionals.

interactive image:  photo - Emergency workers load “disaster victim” aboard a California Highway Patrol helicopter; click for larger photo

Emergency workers load “disaster victim” aboard a California Highway Patrol helicopter.

interactive image:  photo - Emergency worker tends to a “disaster victim," click for larger photo

Emergency worker tends to a “disaster victim.”

interactive image:  photo - Emergency vehicles were part of the exercise; click for larger photo

Emergency vehicles were part of the exercise.

February 22, 2013