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City recognized for workplace safety

The City of Yuma was honored at the Arizona State Capitol last week for its commitment to worker and workplace safety.

During the first-ever Industrial Commission of Arizona (ICA) Day, held in mid-March at the Capitol, 13 entities were recognized for their focus on workplace safety and two for supporting the families of those injured in the workplace. The City of Yuma was the only municipality honored at this event.

Hundreds of stakeholders attended the ICA Day. State Sen. Kimberly Yee presented the opening remarks, applauding ICA for focusing their collaborative process of working alongside businesses to increase safety through voluntary, performance-based criteria for a managed safety and health system, in which sites are invited to apply, and then applicants are assessed against these criteria.

The City of Yuma became the first public agency in Arizona to sign the Public Entity Partnership Program (P.E.P.P.) with the Arizona Division of Occupational Safety and Health (ADOSH) in February 2015.

Since then the City has had several ADOSH inspections and held additional cooperative trainings in areas for which ADOSH thought the City could use a boost. The City anticipates multiple-day ADOSH inspections to take place quarterly in the upcoming year.

The inspections have assisted in updating the focus on safety standards that needed more attention due to a fluid regulatory environment, noted City of Yuma Safety Specialist Robert Duffy.

“Signing onto the P.E.P.P. has helped us promote safety to a higher level,” Duffy said. “We strive to emphasize our workers’ approach to safety as behavior-based, instead of reaction-based.”

P.E.P.P. was designed by the ADOSH Consultation Program in an effort to help public entities achieve a high safety and health awareness.

This awareness is achieved through routine visits and training tailored to aid the public entities in reducing injury and illnesses for their employees, according to ADOSH. The goal is to reduce injury and illnesses in the public-sector workplaces, which have seen higher injury/illness rates than many manufacturing industries, according to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The event was held “to recognize partners in the community working to develop proactive safety and health programs and to honor Arizona workers that have been injured or lost their life while on the job, according to information from the ICA.