Policy 3-2 CITY OF LAWTON GENERAL EMPLOYEE INJURY PREVENTION PROGRAM

COUNCIL POLICY NO. 3-2


DISTRIBUTION:    Mayor and City Council
All Departments                            

SUBJECT:    CITY OF LAWTON GENERAL EMPLOYEE INJURY PREVENTION PROGRAM

PURPOSE:    To promote and publicize safety by providing positive incentives and rewards for employees who maintain a safe work record, and identify and discipline those employees with unsafe work performance.

BACKGROUND:    Too often employees are rewarded for negative behavior.  Regardless of his/her own negligence, an injured employee often receives time off with full pay and perhaps even a significant monetary settlement for permanent partial disability.  This is not to say that employees injure themselves intentionally, but this does affect their resolve not to be injured and the urgency with which they return to work after injury. With the average injury costing the City over $7,500.00, it is certainly reasonable to modestly reward those who are not involved in incidents or injuries.

POLICY/
PROCEDURES:    The City of Lawton believes that safe working conditions for all its employees can and must be attained through the use of proper protective equipment, proper safety and job training for supervisors and first-line employees, frequent reviews and improvement in job safety practices and procedures, and conscientious supervision.  For these reasons this policy is established.

DEFINITIONS:    Chairman:           The City Manager or the City Manager’s designated representative.

    Chargeable:           A situation disregarding, showing or ignoring safety policies and
                                    procedures.
            
    Contributory Employee:  An employee, other than the injured employee, whose actions or
                                         omissions resulted in the incident causing the injury.  This could  
                                         include the injured employee’s supervisor.

    Incident:           Any unsafe behavior or action that could lead to personal injury.
    
    Incident/Accident-      A fiscal year in which an employee has had no points assessed
                                       FreeYear:                         against him/her by the Incident/Injury Review Board.

    Injury:               Bodily harm that requires an injury report.

    Preventable:                    A situation which results from not using the appropriate safety  
                                         precautions and procedures in the work area.

    Quorum:                           A minimum of three Incident/Injury Review Board members.

    Unsafe behavior:              Not following established safety policies and procedures.
            
BASIC    
PRINCIPLES:        The following principles regarding incident/injury prevention forms the
        basis for an effective safety program:

1.    Incidents/injuries can and must be reduced in number and severity.  

2.    Incident/injury prevention is the responsibility of all employees at all levels.  

3.    All employees must understand that it is to their advantage, as well as to the City's, to work safely and that they are expected to cooperate to this end.  

4.    Most safety hazards can be eliminated.

5.    Employees who exhibit unsafe behavior must alter this behavior or face disciplinary action, or removal from City employment for their protection and the protection of the public and fellow employees.  

6.    Active, concerned, responsible leadership is vital to the success of this and any other program.

7.    Incident/injury prevention is good business as it involves humanity, efficiency and economy.

I.    SAFETY INCENTIVE AWARDS:  This policy establishes a safety incentive program to encourage employees to work safely and to reward those who do so.

A.    Eligibility to participate - All regular full time general employees of the City of Lawton who are on duty for 1040 hours or more during the fiscal year are eligible to participate.  The Safety Incentive Program awards will be based on an employee’s incident/injury free record for one or more consecutive fiscal years.  Any incident/injury free years accumulated prior to July 1, 1992 will not be considered.  

B.    Disqualifying factors – Should any of the following apply to an employee otherwise eligible for an award, the employee will be disqualified from receiving an award for the award (fiscal) year in question:


1.  The employee was assessed one or more points by the General Employee Injury Review for an injury that occurred during the award period.  In such case, all accumulated incident/injury free time for the employee is lost for award purposes.


2.  The employee did not complete all safety training required by state or federal law or by City policy during the award period. In such cases, the employee loses credit for all cumulative years previously amassed for award purposes.

3. The employee has a written record of disciplinary action for safety related infractions during the award period.  In such case, the employee would lose credit for all cumulative years previously amassed for award purposes.

C.    High exposure general employees who qualify will be given annual safety awards as follows for cumulative incident/accident free years:

1 year - certificate of achievement.

2-4 years - $25.00 cash award and one (1) working day of non-charged leave time annually.  

5-10 years - $100.00 Savings Bond $50.00 cash award and one (1) working day of non-charged leave time annually.

11-14 years - $500.00 Savings Bond $250.00 cash award and two (2) working days of non-charged leave time.  

D.    Low exposure general employees will be eligible for annual safety awards as follows:

1 year - certificate of achievement.

2-4 years - $12.50 cash award and one-half (1/2) working day of non-charged leave time annually.  

5-10 years - $50.00 Savings Bond $25.00 cash award and one-half (1/2) working day of non-charged leave time annually.

11-14 years - $200.00 Savings Bond $100.00 cash award and one (1) working day of non-charged leave time.  

E.    Safety Incentive Leave Certificates must be used within one year after the date of issue.  If not used during that period, the certificate becomes invalid and the leave time is lost with no compensation.
    
F.    Designation of Risk Exposure Category and Employee Appeal Procedures.  The City Manager will be responsible for:

1.  Reviewing of all employee positions based on the current position descriptions on file in the Human Resources Department and determining the category, either high-risk or low-risk exposure, within which each position should be placed.

2.  Maintaining and publishing in a format accessible by all general employees, up-to-date listings of all affected employee positions categorizing each as either a high-risk or low-risk exposure position.

3.  Reviewing and establishing an evaluation procedure whereby newly established positions will be categorized as either low-risk exposure or high-risk exposure positions.

4.  Establishing a procedure by which general employees may appeal to have the risk exposure category for their assigned position changed.

G.    Divisional Recognition:
    
1.  The Mayor, City Manager, or an appropriate representative will present a plaque to each recognized department or division that completes an incident/injury free year.

2.  Each division that does not attain an incident/injury free year, but meets or exceeds its accident reduction goals as established annually by the General Employee Safety Committee will also be presented a plaque by the Mayor, City Manager, or an appropriate representative in recognition of their achievement.

H.    Provision for les than one (1) full day off shall not apply to exempt
employees.

II.    POINT SYSTEM FOR EMPLOYEE INCIDENT/INJURY INVOLVEMENT:

                       A.    This policy establishes a system by which points may be assessed against
                                                    the incident/injury record of employees who are injured while on duty.

B.    Incident/injury records will be maintained by the Safety and Risk Officer.

C.    Points will be assessed against an employee's incident/injury record according to the following schedule (as determined by the Injury Review Board):  

                    Item                Points

1.  Chargeable Incident/Injury                   3
2.  Preventable Incident/Injury                        2
3.  Non-chargeable/non-preventable
                                                         Incident/Injury                   0

D.    Violations for which the First Offense may Merit Immediate Termination: Some violations are of such a serious nature that the point system may be pre-empted and the initial occurrence becomes the cause for immediate termination of employment when recommended by the Department Director and Incident/Injury Review Board.

III.    INCIDENT/INJURY REVIEW BOARD:

A.    Board Composition: A four-member board is hereby established. The Board will be composed of the City Manager or designated representative; the Safety and Risk Officer, the Chairman of the General Employee Safety Committee, or Vice Chairman if Chairman is unable to attend, and Safety Representative for the Department/Division  to which the employee being reviewed is assigned or alternate safety representative should the designated representative not be able to serve in this capacity.

B.    Board Duties and Responsibilities:

1.  The Board is established to monitor incidents/injuries involving City employees and to determine appropriate actions to reduce the number and severity of incidents/injuries.

2.  The Board will review employee injuries and conduct formal hearings, including employee appeal of preventability rulings by the Board.  The employee, his immediate supervisor, division supervisor or department director may request a formal hearing before the Board if they disagree with the points assessed by the Board.  The request for formal hearing must be submitted to the Safety and Risk Officer within ten (10) days of the employee being notified of the Board’s initial findings and must be in writing with a justification as to why the employee fells that the initial findings of the Board were not appropriate.  The department director will ensure that the employee, the employee’s immediate supervisor if requested by the Board, and any identified witnesses, appear at the next regularly scheduled Board meeting for the employee to present his/her appeal.  The Board may elect to conduct a formal hearing on any incident/injury.

3.  The Board has final responsibility for assessing points against the incident/injury records of employees who are involved in or contribute to incidents/injuries.  In determining points, the Board may consider unusual or mitigating circumstances.  The decision of the Board after formal hearing is final, subject to applicable provisions of the Lawton City Charter and state law.
  
C.    Meetings.
    
Meetings will be conducted no less than monthly at times and places designated by the Chairman.

D.    Administrative Support.

The Safety and Risk Officer will provide the necessary administrative support, including preparation of the agenda, and act as or provide a recorder for the Board.

IV.    DISCIPLINARY ACTION:

A.    The appropriate level of disciplinary action for general employees involved in chargeable/preventable incidents/injuries is determined by the cumulative number of points assessed against their safety records in the 24 months immediately preceding the date of the injury being considered.  Points assessed prior to that time will not be considered.  The requisite disciplinary action for the various levels of point accumulation are as follows:  

Points                Action
                0-1            Informal Conference

                2-3            Written warning

4-5            Written reprimand.

6-8    Suspension for three days without pay.

                9 & above        Termination from City employment.


B.    Types of Incidents/Injuries Which Will Be Reviewed by the Board:

All injury incidents involving all general, non-contract City employees will be reviewed by the Board.  However, only those incidents where the resulting injuries are severe enough that an employee must obtain professional medical treatment will be considered for the purpose of assessing points against an employee's safety record.  First-aid only injuries, near-miss accidents, and any other instances where an employee may not have followed proper safety procedures or policies should be evaluated by supervisory personnel and disciplinary action taken as appropriate.  This includes disciplinary action for employees who cause or contribute to the injury of another employee.

C.    Process for Investigation, Submission to Board, and Determination of Disciplinary Action - Incident/Injuries:

1.  Upon notification that one of his/her assigned personnel has been involved in an incident/injury, the immediate or higher level supervisor shall immediately begin investigation of the incident/injury.  Written statements from available witnesses will be obtained.

2.  As a part of the investigation, the investigating supervisor must interview the injured employee to determine the employee's version of how the incident/injury occurred and how it could have been prevented.  The employee will be advised that points may be assessed against his/her safety record and, based on point total, disciplinary action may be taken against the employee.  Also, the employee will be told that he/she may be required to appear before the Incident/Injury Review Board.

3.  Based on the investigation, the supervisor will prepare a "Report of Injury" form.  If the investigation indicates that negligence or misconduct on the part of another employee caused or contributed to the injury, the supervisor will take appropriate disciplinary action and make appropriate written documentation of the action.  

4.  The department director will review the documentation for completeness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.  Based on the information available, the department director will recommend the appropriate point assessment in accordance with this policy. The recommendation, along with a narrative justification, will be forwarded to the Safety and Risk Officer for consideration by the Review Board.

5.  Copies of all documents relating to the incident/injury and subsequent investigation, along with the department director’s recommendations, will be forwarded to the Safety and Risk Officer within 7 calendar days of the incident/injury. Documentation will include a record of disciplinary action taken against a contributory employee if applicable.  

6.  The Review Board will review the incident/injury package and approve or reject the point assessment recommended by the department director. The employee will be notified in writing of the Board's preliminary findings.  If points are assessed, the employee will have the option of accepting the preliminary findings or appearing before the Board to appeal the findings. Upon final determination of the points to be assessed, the Board will forward to the applicable department director a report of the assessed points for the incident/injury in question, the employee's cumulative point total, and appropriate disciplinary action.  The department director will then ensure that the action is taken and a copy of any written documentation of the action will be provided to the Safety and Risk Officer.

V.    SAFETY RECORD MAINTENANCE, REVIEW AND UPDATE:

A.    Establishment of Safety Records for General Employees:

1.  The Safety and Risk Officer will maintain safety records for each employee. Records for new employees will be added by the Safety and Risk Officer at the time they are hired.

2.  Information in each record will include employee's name, social security number, birth date, job title, department, division, incidents/injuries, most recent record review date, and record of any actions taken by the department director as a result of a finding by the Review Board.

B.    Record Review:

1.    Annually, the Safety and Risk Officer will provide a copy of the safety record of each employee who has accumulated points during the fiscal year to the appropriate department director.

2.    The employee and the immediate or higher level supervisor will review the employee's record to ensure records are correct. If they are not, the employee is required to submit to the department director a written request signed by the employee with justification to correct or update the record.

3.    The department director will submit the employee's request to change the employee's record to the Safety and Risk Officer.  Along with the employee's written request, the department director will submit his/her recommended disposition of the request.
    
A copy of the recommended updated record certified by the employee and the supervisor will be returned to the Safety and Risk Officer who will make the determination to update the master record.

REFERENCES:    None.

EFFECTIVE DATE/
RESCISSION:    This policy supercedes supersedes Council Policy 2-4 3-2, dated November 17, 1995 June 17, 2003, and will remain in effect until rescinded.

RESPONSIBLE
DEPARTMENT:    Human Resources.



__________________________________
CECIL POWELL FRED FITCH
MAYOR
Date: June 17, 2003 February 12, 2013

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