County improving safety for employees

The Adair County Fiscal Court has created a safety committee to work toward improving safety for all county employees.

The committee met last week with Dwayne Litton from the Kentucky Association of Counties (KACo) to discuss their first steps toward increasing safety for employees in every department. KACo is a service organization that serves all 120 Kentucky counties. They provide assistance to counties and their divisions to improve county government.

Litton, a Safety and Loss Control Specialist for KACo, said that the committee will be responsible for educating employees of the county and reviewing safety needs of different departments such as the animal shelter, road department, the jail, and the sheriff’s department.

“A lot more emphasis is being put on safety training,” Litton said. “We are making sure we can understand why things happen and what we can do to fix it. We want to prevent accidents from happening, but if they do, we have to be able to learn from them and correct what happened.”

The committee reviewed 8 incidents that have happened in 2019. Of those incidents, five were vehicle related dealing with either minor accidents or broken auto glass. The three remaining incidents were related to on-the-job injuries.

“Adair County is doing a pretty good job now,” added Litton, “because I don’t see any real serious incidents here. We can always do better though. We’d like to see that number drop to zero.”

The committee, headed by magistrates Greg Caldwell and Terry Hadley, is tasked with ensuring training for all department heads who will then go back and train the employees in their respective departments.

“It is important that the committee involve the department heads and the employees in the department when creating safety rules or picking safety equipment. They are the ones who are out there every day on the job and usually have the best idea of what they need,” Litton explained.

The committee must also ensure that OSHA regulations are followed and review all accidents and losses.

“We want to meet with department heads as soon as possible to get the ball rolling on these improvements,” said Caldwell. “Our county employees keep everyone on the road, keep us safe, and help everyone when they need it. We need to make sure they are kept safe, too.”

“Dwayne has given us a lot of good guidance and we are going to have him back within the next few weeks to meet with us again to make sure we do everything we need to do,” added Hadley.

Judge Executive Cowan said she wants to make sure employees know it this isn’t about blaming anyone for any incidents. “We want to make sure that we are able to prevent things from happening. If something does happen, we want to be able to learn from mistakes so they don’t happen again.”

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