New York State of Mind
NYPD Detective-turned-Safety Director continues attention to detail in improving safety at the JIPSD
By Charlie Morrison
An organization’s dedication to workplace safety often begins and ends with the efforts of human resources department. At the James Island Public Service District (JIPSD) however, a body that task manages James Island’s fire protection, wastewater collection, and solid waste collection, looking out for the wellbeing of employees is taken a tad more seriously.
For their dedication to the ideal of a safe work environment for all their workers, the JIPSD Commission was rewarded nearly six years ago, when they hired Anthony “Tony” Cervino to be their Safety Director.
As Safety Director, Cervino is responsible for providing all of the JIPSD’s more than ___ employees with the tools and the training to both safely perform their day-to-day jobs, as well as prepare for the worst, a hurricane. The job requires attention to detail, as the details are everything in matters of safety.
As a former first grade detective with New York’s finest, the NYPD, however, details are Cervino’s specialty. His efforts have not gone unrealized, either. Since he took over, the number of incidents, injuries, and accidents that have occurred involving JIPSD employees and or equipment is down a whopping 44%.
On Monday, February 25, Cervino appeared before the JIPSD Commission to present his latest findings on the state of safety at the organization, findings he packed in a 2012 annual report.
As was the case in the four prior reports he’d produced the four years prior, the organization’s injuries and accidents were down amongst JIPSD employees, and overall safety was up, according to figures Cervino offered up at the meeting.
Cervino’s numbers put the total number of incidents, injuries, accidents reported in 2012 at just 21, down 38% from the previous year.
In regards to Cervino’s efforts to reduce the number of JIPSD vehicles involved in accident, incidents or the like, 2012 represented a major gain in safety. The JIPSD recorded a reduction in the total number of vehicle incidents from 26 and 25 in 2010 and 2011 respectively, to that of just 15 last year.
And while a one-year gain looks good, Cervino is steadfast in his dedication to the day-to-day.
“It’s an ongoing process … an ongoing process that lasts from January 1 to December 31,” says Cervino of the key to his work, the process of implementing industry best practices at the JIPSD.
“We live it, we breathe it every day,” he continues. “We take it to heart, what we do on the safety side.
“My first three years here the safety training was kind of intense. I did it certain topics I felt needed to be addressed but I did it so that things would improve … and they have,” Cervino continues. “The training the accountability has improved … we’re trying to make sure, and with that we get results.
“Safety is everybody’s issue. Everybody’s. When anyone feels that it’s somebody else’s that’s when there’s an issue,” concludes Cervino philosophically. “Once you grasp the concept that it’s everyone’s responsibility, we become each other’s conscience.”
For more information on the JIPSD, see www.jipsd.org. You can reach JIPSD Safety Director Tony Cervino by calling the main office of the organization at 795-9060 or by stopping by the JIPSD offices, located at 1739 Signal Point Rd.
© 2013 Wiser Time Publishing, Inc.