Kansas Consultation Partners with OSHA and Contractor to Keep Workers Safe at the Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant Expansion Project

Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility Partnership Signing, July 11, 2019
Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility Partnership Signing, July 11, 2019

Representatives from the Kansas Department of Labor - Division of Industrial Safety and Health (Kansas Consultation), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Wichita, Kansas Area Office, and McCarthy Building Inc. signed an OSHA Strategic Partnership agreement on July 11, 2019, to keep workers safe during the expansion project at the Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility. The partnership will address construction hazards, such as falls, struck-by, caught-in, electrical safety, and trenching and excavation at the 60-acre site. The partnership also encourage contractors to develop and implement safety and health programs and provide safety and health training to employees, employers, and supervisors.

The Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility was originally constructed in 1955 and has expanded over the years to treat wastewater flows from parts of Leawood, Overland Park, Olathe, and Prairie Village, Kansas. With the growth in population, the current facility is not able to handle the increased flow. The strategy for dealing with the increase has been to send about 60% of the incoming flow to Kansas City, Missouri and treat the remaining 40%. To address the increased wastewater flow, work began on the expansion project in April 2018, and is scheduled to be completed by spring 2022. See the project website for more details.

As a part of the partnership agreement, Kansas Consultation will participate in the quarterly safety meetings and walkthroughs at the site. Quarterly on-site non-enforcement verifications will be conducted by the OSHA Compliance Assistance Specialist or other designated OSHA personnel, and a representative of Kansas Consultation, to review and discuss the progress of the partnership. The review will typically include a presentation of site safety and health program status and activities by McCarthy Building, followed by a walkthrough of the worksite. During these visits, identification of serious hazards and effective implementation of safety and health management systems will be discussed. All serious hazards identified during the walkthrough must be corrected immediately.

Kansas Consultation will also provide training and education as well as compliance assistance visits to this location. Kansas Consultation has agreed with McCarthy Building to drop in occasionally unannounced to check on the project and offer consultation services to the various subcontractors that will be working on this project.