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Safety Hero: Anthony Vossler of Clear Creek Metropolitan Recreation District

If you live around Idaho Springs and have had the privilege of visiting the beautiful parks facilities of Clear Creek Metropolitan Recreation District over the last three years, then you may have come across the handiwork of Anthony Vossler.

Vossler has been the district’s Maintenance Supervisor since 2015 and handles a variety of tasks such as building improvement projects, maintaining indoor and outdoor recreation facilities, and perhaps most importantly minimizing district safety hazards. In light of Vossler’s continued commitment and enthusiasm towards his job, his district nominated him as the next CSD Safety Hero and we are happy to extend that honor to him.

Mission Critical

When fully staffed, Vossler oversees ten people while managing the district’s maintenance and safety operations. Vossler is in charge of ordering products needed for repair, maintains his own budget, and is a Certified Pool Operator.

His role for the district is to make sure that anything broken, any unsafe condition, ultimately gets repaired or abated. His biggest concern, however, is always the safety of his staff and patrons to the district’s recreation facilities.

“Making sure the facility is clean and safe for all users and customers is my main goal,” Vossler says.

Vossler oversees the district’s main building, which consists of two weight rooms, a cardio room, basketball court, lap pool, rec therapy pool, hot tub, and a sauna.

Additionally, he is charged with maintaining the district’s fleet of vehicles. This includes a 15-passenger ADA bus, two enclosed trailers, and two work trucks. Alongside his staff, he maintains three parks outside of the facility and a sports complex consisting of two baseball and four soccer fields.

Lastly, Anthony maintains a hiking park within the district that is specially designed to be accessible to the blind and those in wheelchairs. This unique park consists of specially-designed trails and interactive displays that use audio to describe the surrounding area. There are also several ADA seating areas in this area to make it a truly unique experience for everyone.

“I also have tried to make the facility and parks as efficient as possible by switching the way we staff, and what products we use.”

Safety First

Vossler checks equipment on a monthly basis, performing repairs as needed, and scheduling preventative maintenance. Anthony knows that training isn’t shelf-stable. It has an expiration date, so he holds safety meetings once a month and makes sure to always focus on a different topic. This ensures that training is always fresh and the district is not taking for granted that someone was trained in something a year or even years prior.

“I’ve worked at places that do one training a year, and it’s easy to forget,” Vossler says. “Small bursts of training every month is much more effective.”

Where Training Meets Accountability

Vossler is responsible for the creation and implementation of CCMRD’s Job Safety Analysis program. This program is designed to train all of the maintenance employees about safety specifically.

To accurately do so, Vossler has developed a training records system to ensure that every employee completes his or her training before using a piece of equipment for the first time. It took some time, but Vossler determined this was the best way to keep his district both safe and informed.

“I need to keep my staff informed, but how do I do that?” Vossler said. “By going through constant training with them.”

The training is all based off an OSHA guideline document that Vossler modified for district use. Districts might not have to comply with OSHA, but it’s guidelines should be seen as good minimum requirements for self-policing. Each month, he covered a different topic with his staff.

Topics recently covered include lockout/tag-out procedures, safe lifting protocol, how to fill out SCS sheets, and safety around chemicals. Vossler has spent over 80 hours during the past two months developing the program, forms, and topics. Now, each month, Vossler takes on two different training programs, one he always does with his custodial staff, and the other is tailored to his seasonal maintenance workers. Vossler is always working on which topics to present next.

“Our next topic is PPE [personal protective equipment]. With the custodians dealing with so many different chemicals…we will go over each area in the facility and discuss where each piece of protective equipment should be worn and why.”

During Vossler’s tenure, he has noticed an improvement and positive change in how CCMRD does business. Recently, the district has started using safer chemicals, and even utilized a new dirt-mix for their baseball infields. He believes that his work has gone on to help make the district a safer place, now that he has the ability to reach the community as well.

“Incidents are way down. We moved onto using safer chemicals and a dilution kit for our chemicals. We have stopped a lot of negligence, such as when custodians might have lifted heavy items on their own before.”

Vossler also does his part to assist with community events that CCMRD hosts, including a bluegrass music festival known as the Rapid Grass Festival, the Canine on the Creek fund raiser,
Slackers Annual Half-Marathon, and youth events at the skateboard park.

While his role varies depending on the event, he primarily works with the program coordinator to meet the logistical needs of setting up and tearing down equipment in a safe and efficient manner.

Above all, Vossler loves the work he does. The best part of his job comes from seeing his co-workers take pride in their work, and that there is always something unique and challenging to accomplish.

“I have no two same days. When I come to work, I don’t know if I’m fixing a boiler, an HVAC, or maintaining the pool. I like it like that. There is never any monotony.”

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