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City of Tulsa's Recommitment to Safety Program

This article was archived on 12/7/2016

Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett Jr. met Tuesday, May 17, with City of Tulsa department heads, managers, and safety committee chairs to highlight the City's many successes since 2013 and recommit efforts to safety excellence.

Mayor Bartlett said, "We began our journey to safety excellence in 2013 and have celebrated many successes along the way, including a 25 percent reduction in OSHA recordable injuries from 2013-2014. We've accomplished much in a short time, however, as with any great program, we've reached a plateau. Our progress has been steady, but we need to go further. I'm requesting every City employee to join me as we recommit ourselves to safety excellence. Our goal this year is to reduce recordable accidents and injuries by 20 percent. This would bring down the number of injuries to the single digits to fall in line with our state's average injury number."

Since the City of Tulsa began focusing on safety as its core value, employees have embraced the challenge of transforming its safety culture to help improve their lives and make our organization a safe place to work. They've embraced the slogan featured on City of Tulsa posters, "Being Safe is No Accident." See below for a condensed timeline of the City of Tulsa's transformational climb to Safety Culture Excellence.

April 27, 2012: DuPont Inc. released an assessment recommending a sizable change in the City's safety program to improve workplace safety awareness leading to fewer injuries, claims and reduced costs. Rather than contracting with Dupont and paying $1 million for a new program, the mayor challenged City leadership to create one, form a steering committee to review best practices and model their program on successes. This also called for employees, supervisors and managers to take more accountability/responsibility for a safe work environment.

October 25, 2012: Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett Jr. hosted a kick-off meeting, including City leaders to announce the City's intention of reducing injuries and improving our safety culture. The Safety project team developed a five-year plan to improve safety by creating programming targeting the reduction/prevention of employee injuries and their costs. They also developed the safety mission, vision, goals and commitment statement. The Communications Department created the My Foundation brand for employees to easily recognize, health, rewards and safety communications, supported by monthly newsletters, stall talkers and email banners.

April 7, 2013: The Safety Oversight Committee (SOC) was formed and launched. The SOC's mission provides executive leadership to oversee all City of Tulsa safety-related policy and programming.

April 15, 2013: Mayor Bartlett and City Manager Jim Twombly signed the first "Safety and Health Commitment to Excellence" pledge of commitment at a special news conference/signing ceremony at AB Jewell Water Treatment Plant.

June - Dec. 2013: Implemented safety planning, observation and coaching classes for Management. All City employees signed the Safety Commitment pledge. A Leadership U team developed the City STAR safety excellence recognition program. The 905 A and 905 B injury investigation program/process is implemented, as well as the Job Hazard Analysis (JHA) program and process. The Communications Department produced the first "Being Safe is No Accident" poster, featuring Water and Sewer employees.

January 2014: The City of Tulsa's 2013 OSHA recordable incident rate was 15.1. The number of OSHA recordable injury cases reported to OKDOL for the 2013 calendar year was 566. The number of 2013 OSHA recordable injury cases showed improvement by 22 percent as compared to 2012.

Jan. - June, 2014: The City of Tulsa implemented safety planning, observation and coaching classes for all front-line employees. The near-miss program was developed and the 905A and B injury investigation database received improvements. The Oklahoma Safety Council and the Department of Labor presented the City of Tulsa with an award for its "Being Safe is No Accident" video, showcasing our safety culture improvements during the last two years.

January 2015: The City of Tulsa's 2014 OSHA recordable rate was 12.1 and the number of OSHA recordable injury cases reported to OKDOL was 427. The number of 2014 OSHA recordable injury cases showed improvement by 24 percent as compared to 2013.

April 15, 2015: Mayor Bartlett, joined by Oklahoma Safety Council Executive Director Dave Koeneke, and National Safety Council, Senior Director of Transportation David Teater addressed City of Tulsa department heads to announce new City of Tulsa measures to stem the rise of distracted driving due to mobile devices, and in turn increase the safety of its employees and Tulsa citizens.

May 1, 2015: The City of Tulsa's Distracted Driving Policy became effective May 1. This policy, a dedicated effort to improve employee safety and health in the workplace, as well as the safety of Tulsa citizens, can lead to a positive and transformational change in distracted driving behaviors we all may have acquired. The City of Tulsa is the first municipality in the state to implement a policy on distracted driving and is leading the nation through its mobile device and distracted driving policy efforts and awareness program.

May 17, 2016: Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett Jr. along with department heads, managers, supervisors and employees pledged a recommitment to safety excellence. The mayor also set a goal of reducing recordable accidents and injuries by 20 percent below our 2015 injuries.