Marion County’s safety program became the most recent recipient of the Member Safety Award during the Marion County Board of County Commissioners regular meeting on Tuesday.
During the meeting, Mike Marinan (Director of Member Services for the Public Risk Underwriters of Florida) awarded the organization’s annual Member Safety Award to Marion County team members Sheri Wiley (Risk Manager) and Thomas Futch (Risk Liability Asset Analyst) who are in charge of the county’s safety program.
Public Risk Underwriters, a public entity insurer in Florida with more than 400 client members, is the administrator of the Preferred Governmental Insurance Trust which handles excess insurance coverage for Marion County.
The annual award recognizes a member within the trust that does an outstanding job in the following areas: reduction of accident frequency/severity; identification, evaluation, and control of hazards; and the development of safety-conscious policies and procedures.
Outstanding members are recognized annually for their contributions to mitigating risks in their respective organizations. The Marion County safety program was nominated as this region’s program of the year.
Wiley and Futch oversee a comprehensive and effective safety program whose goals are to decrease preventable accidents across the county, bring attention to the county’s safety needs, and keep safety as a top priority for all employees by promoting participation in safe practices.
Some of the key components of the program include a required monthly training and a recognition program for participants, as well as creating safety liaisons within each department to encourage ownership.
Since the program was established in 2017, the number of accidents in Marion County has steadily decreased each fiscal year and are now down 18% overall. County teams have also shown increased interaction at Safety Committee meetings and are now holding each other accountable when it comes to safety, according to a press release from the county.
A safe and healthy workplace not only protects workers from injury and illness, but it can also lower injury and illness costs, reduce absenteeism and turnover, increase productivity and quality of services, and raise employee morale. Marion County is taking steps to lower the cost of insurance by reducing preventable accidents within departments, which in turn will save taxpayers additional costs.