Faces of Yuba Water Paul Breitag, safety and records coordinator

With 26 years of dedicated service, Yuba Water Agency's safety and records coordinator, Paul Breitag, is responsible for the safety of equipment and materials, and helping ensure that employees remain diligent while working on the Yuba River Development Project. Learn more about how he helps keep the agency in compliance and functioning as safely as possible.

What do you do for Yuba Water Agency?

I take care of most safety and hazardous materials needs, which includes keeping safety supplies and equipment in stock, in good condition and up-to-date for the maintenance and operations crews. I try my best to make sure that everyone goes home to their families at the end of their day alive and well.

What does your day look like? What are some of your essential duties?

I attend the daily, morning maintenance crew meeting and find out what their needs are from me, if any. Those can include fall protection jobs, confined space entry, safety equipment needs, etc. I observe different areas of work and projects going on, and just take care of the ever-changing needs as they come up on a daily basis.

Do your duties differ throughout the year? And if so, how?

Depending on the time of the week, month or year, I conduct different inspections for the project and safety equipment that are required to ensure safety and reliability. I compile the different reports that are required to several outside governing agencies throughout the year, including Occupational Safety and Health Administration, California Air Resources Board, Feather River Air Quality Management District, Certified Unified Program Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, just to mention a few.

(top and bottom left) Breitag monitors a tree trimming project at Oregon Peak near the agency's communications tower. (bottom right) Breitag meets with some of Yuba Water Agency's operators before heading into one of its powerhouses.

What do you enjoy most about working for Yuba Water Agency?

The people and friendships that I've made, the location and being outdoors around the project.

Tell us something about yourself that most of us don't know.

I am a two-time cancer survivor and I have an artificial right hip from an accident I received at a prior job.

Tell us about an experience or two that you've had while working for Yuba Water Agency.

I've enjoyed being part of the maintenance and operations crew here at the agency. I've been responsible for heading up certain, unique projects, such as the initial design and construction of the buoy that keeps boaters from getting too close to the bald eagle nest on Bullards Bar, the Cottage Creek parking lot improvement and boat ramp lengthening project, and monitoring seismic activity during the blasting of the new tunnel during construction of the Narrows 2 Powerhouse bypass valve.

Image: Breitag inspects one of the many confined spaces at New Bullards Bar Dam.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to go fishing and camping, and enjoy being a member of the Gridley Lions Club.