Press Release

NAWC Releases 2021 Safety Benchmarking Report

For immediate release:

Results Show Sustained Leadership in Health & Safety, Cybersecurity

PHILADELPHIA (April 13, 2021) – The National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) released its annual Safety Benchmarking Report today focused on the work being done by regulated water systems to ensure worker safety and water security.

“A global public health pandemic, economic turmoil, and a cybersecurity breach at a municipal system in Florida were just some of the challenges water providers faced in the past year,” said NAWC President and CEO Robert F. Powelson. “NAWC member companies kept their eyes on the ball and managed to surpass 2019 safety benchmarks and provided uninterrupted delivery of clean and safe water to the communities they serve.”

The Safety Benchmarking Report focuses primarily on the health, safety, and security programs at NAWC member companies as well as accident incidence rates in 2020. You can access the full report here.

The survey found that NAWC member companies are continuing to make incremental gains on their health and safety program structures.

  • 3% of respondents (up from 88.9% a year ago) have a specific health and safety policy in place by management.
  • 7% of respondents (up from 94.4% last year) reported having a health and safety program. Almost two-thirds of responding companies reported having an internal health and safety audit inspection program, and a similar percentage conduct external safety audits of their systems.

“Safety, both of our colleagues and of our water systems, is something that benefits from unwavering diligence,” continued Powelson. “I am proud that the regulated water industry continues to be a leader in the critical areas of water system cybersecurity and preventing workplace safety incidents.”

Findings reveal that regulated water companies have both higher cybersecurity standards and lower workplace safety incidence rates than their public counterparts:

  • 9% of respondents reported having a cybersecurity program/plan in place, with 81.8% reporting that they have implemented elements of the National Institute of Standards and Technology cybersecurity framework within their operations.
  • The safety Recordable Incident Rate average was 2.2, far below the government rate of 3.0. Similarly, the DART (Days Away, Restricted or Transferred) and Lost Time Incidence Rates reported by respondents were lower than the government rates. (Both are Occupational Support and Health Administration measures of workplace incidents.)

Contact: Meredith Moore |

About NAWC

National Association of Water Companies (NAWC) member companies safeguard public health and promote environmental stewardship as they serve the water and wastewater needs of nearly 73 million Americans every day. NAWC members have an exceptional record of compliance with federal and state health and environmental regulations. Ensuring this high standard of quality requires extraordinary amounts of capital investment. The 10 largest NAWC member companies collectively invest nearly $3.7 billion annually to ensure their water infrastructure is well maintained and that safe and clean drinking water is available whenever needed. Learn more about NAWC and the companies we proudly represent at or follow on Twitter and LinkedIn.