[Adopted 5-13-2003 (P-74A)]
This Policy establishes a safety program for Kent County operations and assigns responsibility for administering the program to the Division of Emergency Management.
Goals and purpose.
The goals of the safety program are to:
Create an awareness that County government activities are subject to risks of loss and that these risks can be controlled;
Teach department heads the five steps of risk management (risk identification, risk evaluation, risk treatment, selection and implementation, and monitoring); and
Motivate department heads to identify and control risks in their respective departments.
The Division of Emergency Management in the Department of Public Safety shall be responsible for the administration of a County-wide safety program and the County's risk management effort. At least two employees designated by the department head shall be the County's Safety Officers and responsible for developing and directing a workplace health and safety program by assisting operating personnel in achieving compliance with OSHA based guidelines.
At a minimum, the duties of the Safety Officers shall include:
Investigating every workplace accident and documenting steps taken to remove or reasonably reduce hazards;
Writing and distributing risk management policies and rules;
Creating a risk management policy statement;
Establishing inspection procedures to identify, monitor, and remedy key risks in each department;
Reviewing all major purchases, proposals of new services or designs for new buildings to identify loss exposures;
Developing and conducting safety training programs for employees;
Establishing procedures for reporting and investigating all claims, incidents, and safety violations;
Preparing a financial impact analysis of potential risks;
Developing and updating a safety procedure handbook; and
Monitoring and publicizing safety efforts.
The Safety Officers shall each be vested with the authority to order the work of any County employee or Department stopped if judged by either of them to be unsafe or posing the risk of injury or significant financial loss. Work may not resume until a Safety Officer has determined that it is safe to do so. In addition, a Safety Officer may close, block off, or otherwise prevent the entry or use of any County facility or equipment judged to be unsafe or posing a risk of injury or significant financial loss.
The Emergency Management Division Manager shall coordinate safety and risk management program efforts with the Personnel Office as the office responsible for County insurance administration; the Department of Finance as the office responsible for determining safety improvement costs; the Division of Facilities Management as the office charged with making building alternations; the Division of Wastewater Facilities, which has the largest employee base in a high risk environment; the Division of Emergency Medical Services, which is exposed to hazards unique to the field of work; the County Administrator to provide direction and leadership in assessing risk; and other departments in identifying and managing specific hazards.
Employees violating this Policy or disregarding the safety handbook shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.
An annual report shall be provided to the Levy Court detailing identified hazards, remediation efforts, compensable and noncompensable injuries, and related costs.
[Adopted 9-10-2002 (P-88)]
This Policy defines and prohibits acts or behavior which might contribute to workplace violence and establishes reporting requirements for the protection of County employees.
"Violence" shall mean an act or behavior that:
Is physically assaultive (including but not limited to fist fighting, punching or slapping);
A reasonable person would perceive as obsessively directed (grudge, etc.);
Consists of a communicated or reasonably perceived threat to harm another individual or in any way endanger the safety of an individual;
Would be interpreted by a reasonable person as carrying potential for physical harm to the individual or to another;
Is a behavior or action that a reasonable person would perceive as menacing;
Involves the carrying or displaying of weapons, destroying property, or throwing objects in a manner reasonably perceived to be threatening; or
Consists of a communicated or reasonably perceived threat to destroy property.
Violence or violent actions on County property or facilities, or while on County business, are prohibited and will not be tolerated. Any unlawful violent action committed by employees or members of the public while on County property or while using County facilities will be prosecuted as appropriate.
In the interest of maintaining a workplace that is safe and free of violence, except as hereinafter provided, possession or use of a firearm or dangerous weapons/instruments is prohibited on County property, in County vehicles, or in any personal vehicle which is used for County business or parked on County property. A dangerous weapon or dangerous instrument at a minimum is defined as any instrument capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that manifests an intent to harm or intimidate another person or that warrants alarm for the safety of another person. A dangerous weapon or dangerous instrument, as defined above, shall include, but not be limited to, all handguns, rifles, shotguns, knives or any instrument, device or object capable of causing physical harm or mental intimidation to another person.
Employees and members of the public may only possess a firearm on County property or in County vehicles if engaged in military or law enforcement activities; or legally in possession of a firearm for which the person holds a valid permit to carry a concealed deadly weapon. Small knives or similar instruments used in the performance of duties shall be permitted, if possessed for their intended lawful purpose.
Employees are responsible for refraining from acts of violence and for seeking assistance to resolve personal issues that may lead to acts of violence in the workplace; and reporting to their department head and/or supervisor any dangerous or threatening situations that occur or are observed in the workplace. Employees are also encouraged to report any situations that occur outside of the workplace which may affect workplace safety.
Department heads and/or supervisors are responsible for taking immediate action to prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of any act of violence and reporting said act or complaints of acts or possible acts of violence to the Personnel Director and Safety Officer for investigation and recommendation for appropriate resolution.
Employees violating this Policy shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination and criminal prosecution, where appropriate, to the fullest extent of the law.
[Adopted 9-22-2009 (P09-04)]
This Policy establishes provisions for the maintenance of County business operations during an epidemic, such as an especially virulent influenza or similar contagious disease/virus, and prevention of transmission of such diseases between employees and/or the public.
In order to protect the health of employees and the public, the County may offer annual seasonal influenza vaccinations to employees, when vaccine is available. Priority for such vaccinations shall be given to employees working in public safety, wastewater processing, facilities management, and directly with the public. Any remaining vaccine will be offered to other employees on a first-come-first-served basis and then to County retirees and employee family members. If vaccine for virulent influenzas or other communicable diseases is available, the County may offer vaccinations to eligible and interested employees/retirees in the priority order referenced above. Such vaccinations shall be provided to employees at no cost or reduced cost.
Employees exhibiting symptoms of influenza or similarly contagious diseases/viruses are encouraged to remain at home and, if necessary, to seek medical attention. Supervisors, after consultation with their respective department head, are authorized to direct sick employees to leave the workplace in order to avoid the transmission of a communicable disease to coworkers and/or the public. Employees are responsible for treating or seeking treatment for the illness and keeping their supervisor informed about the seriousness of their health condition and their anticipated return-to-work date.
Whenever a serious influenza or contagious disease outbreak occurs, the County Administrator, in consultation with the President of Levy Court and affected department heads, may initiate a Business Continuity Response, which affords him/her maximum flexibility to maintain County government operations with limited available staff. At a minimum, the response plan authorizes building closures or reduced operating hours, suspension of absence verification provisions, reassignment of work duties and personnel, authorization for overtime, establishment of alternative work environments, cancellation of nonessential business travel, implementation of employee health assessments, extension of compassionate leave provisions, waiver of limitations for care of sick family members, acquisition of supplies necessary to reduce contamination, mandated use of protective devices, etc.
The Personnel Director shall be responsible for coordination of the staffing components of this Policy and development of implementation guidelines.