CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – City of Clarksville employees in several departments were treated to lunch Tuesday to celebrate a significant health and safety milestone.
During the first quarter of 2020, employees in Parks & Recreation, Parks Maintenance, Streets and the City Garage all worked safely without any recordable incidents under federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration guidelines.
“This really is a remarkable achievement,” Mayor Joe Pitts said. “This is perhaps the only time, or at least the first time in a long time, that these departments have posted a full quarter without a reported injury or safety incident. This has been a team effort, and I’m grateful for everyone’s focus on working safely.”
Wes Golden, Health & Safety Manager, said the success story starts with Mayor Pitts and the City Council agreeing to fund two new safety positions in the 2020 budget.
“Starting in December 2019, we began to make major changes to the safety program, including the hiring of two Health & Safety Coordinators -- Joe Bland and Jim Dabbs,” Golden said. “The support that these departments have given to these professionals and the buy-in to the program has been amazing.”
Bland and Dabbs said the first step in the process was a Job Hazard Analysis, which provided a full review of health and safety data and identification of trouble spots.
“The idea is to get workers to slow down and think,” Bland said. “We use weekly safety sessions with managers and monthly safety meetings with work groups to stress awareness of possible hazards. We also stress teamwork, and talk about how workers can look out for one another.”
For City Risk Manager Heather Fleming, workplace safety is good for employees and City taxpayers.
“We care about our workforce and we want them to return home safely every day,” Fleming said. “And, because the City is self-insured, we want to work safely to reduce financial risks and save taxpayers’ money.”
Keeping with the theme of safety-consciousness during the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday’s meals of barbecued pork loin, red potatoes, coleslaw and white beans were carefully prepared and prepackaged for convenience and safety.
Health & Safety Manager Wes Golden, left, Mayor Joe Pitts and Safety Coordinators Jim Dabbs and Joe Bland gathered Tuesday at the Street Department to serve lunch to employees and celebrate the City’s improving workplace safety record.