Representation of municipal utilities in state and federal government is a key service of MEUW. Advocacy efforts include meeting with state legislators and members of the executive branch of government, reviewing legislation and rules, testifying before legislative committees and negotiating contracts. We help our members succeed in an evolving policy environment and work to ensure that future policies support the needs of the industry.
Workplace safety is vitally important to municipal utilities. MEUW is committed to providing professional safety instruction and education. Over 100 communities belong to MEUWs safety services, all working to provide a safe working environment. And, in the true spirit of cooperation, MEUW members are invited to participate in the associations mutual aid program providing disaster assistance to any member community in need of emergency support.
This past month wrapped-up MEUW’s 2015 Excavation Competent Person Training. One of the many hazards employees encounter on a regular basis, are those posed by excavations. As with any hazard, a well-trained employee is the best defense against injuries on the job. MEUW was pleased to offer an 8-Hour Excavation Competent Person class held at four locations throughout Wisconsin. A total of 101 participants were in attendance representing 18 member utilities along with some cities and counties.
The class was instructed by Tim Palet, owner of SESCO LLC, who is well known by MEUW members for his 22+ years of training and expertise in excavation, confined space and fall protection. The class was designed to provide attendees with the requisite knowledge needed to ensure safe work practices during an excavation. Ultimately, the decision of who is a “competent person” rests with the employer to determine who is able to safely run an excavation site based on their knowledge and experience.Several years ago, MEUW hosted the same class at two locations in the state. As a testament to how much the safety programs have grown and developed over the years, the number of locations that the training was held at doubled this year and so did the number of participants. This is also a great example of the importance members are placing on the commitment to safety in the workplace. MEUW sends a special thanks to Kaukauna Utilities, Sun Prairie Utilities, Black River Falls Utilities, and Chippewa County for hosting these classes.