November 26, 2014

Elyria
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Elyria gets gear to fix pipe breaks

ELYRIA — A new piece of equipment purchased with a grant will help city workers safely repair water main breaks while reducing the possibility of injuries.

Digging ditches is strenuous work that often leads to injuries. The city of Elyria applied for and received a grant through the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation to purchase a hydro-excavation system. The equipment cost roughly $48,000, and the grant will pay nearly $30,000 toward its purchase.

Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka said city employees are frequently called to repair broken water mains and the hydro-excavator will keep them safer when working in the close quarters needed to make the repairs. She credits city employee Dave Rothgery with finding out about the grant and applying for it.

Employees in the Water Department are responsible for more than 220 miles of piping, 2,500 fire hydrants, 5,000 valves and 25,000 service connections.

In total, the Workers Compensation Bureau awarded safety intervention grants to 10 businesses totaling more than $233,704 in November.

“Several employers took advantage of the program last month to improve safety in their workplaces and prevent injuries that can be costly and bring pain and hardship to their employees,” said bureau Administrator and CEO Steve Buehrer.

The program provides matching funds to purchase equipment to prevent occupational accidents and injuries. The Workers Compensation Bureau will provide a 2-to-1 matching funds up to a maximum of $40,000.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.