|We've got NEWS|
|Tuesday, November 10, 1998 |
Tommy G. Thompson
News Media Contact
DWD News Office
For more information, contact:
Gregory Krohm, 608/266-6841
Coalition announces major
workplace safety initiative
Madison, Wis. -- A coalition of business, labor and government organizations today announced a new statewide initiative to improve workplace safety.
The program, called "Report Card 98," features:
The announcement was made at Madison ceremonies featuring David Newby, state AFL-CIO president; James S. Haney, president of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce; Linda Stewart, the states Workforce Development Secretary, and Gregory Krohm, the state workers compensation administrator.
"Education rather than enforcement is the key to this workplace safety campaign," said Stewart.
"Campaign partners will act as safety resources to injury-prone employers to help them solve their workplace safety problems."
The first of 2,300 certificates of recognition was presented at the ceremony to United Brick & Tile, Inc., of Madison, representing all Wisconsin employers operating at least five years without a single "lost-time" workplace accident. The rest in the group of 2,300 will receive their recognition later this month.
Those receiving the written notices seeking improved performance were selected because they are in the bottom of their industries in the number of on-the-job injuries. The final list of recipients will be completed this week.
"These companies have lost-time injury rates 5 to 15 times above the average for their industry," Krohm said. "Practicing fundamental safety principles at these companies could reduce their insurance premiums by 30 per cent in one to two years."
Krohm said smaller employers "are responsible for much of the states employment growth, but many of them can not afford to keep their own safety specialists on staff. Our goal is to help them improve workplace safety."
Krohm said United Brick & Tile, Inc., "is a good example of how companies can improve workplace safety and reduce injuries."
Margo Goodwin, president of the family-owned brick and block construction business, said safety "is a priority in todays competitive market. Safety helped improve our bottom line through lower insurance premiums and fewer interruptions to customer service."
Goodwin said "a major part of our safety program is training employes on the proper operation of equipment and an evaluation every six months. Our companys family atmosphere lets employes know safety is a top priority."
The safety manual, "Putting Together a Safe Workplace," is the result of hundreds of hours of effort by safety experts and the partners in this safety initiative, Krohm said.
The manual provides employers with step-by-step information about ways to improve workplace safety. It contains tips, checklists, safety resource names and telephone numbers, and an inventory of safety Web sites.
The safety manual outlines initiatives taken by Wisconsin businesses that have been proven to reduce injuries. A section also stresses the importance of labor and management working together on safety committees to help create a safety culture within the workplace, said Krohm.
"The whole safety initiative is another fine example of cooperation between labor and management in guiding Wisconsins highly-acclaimed workers compensation system," Krohm said.
Information about the campaign and its major elements will be posted in the next few weeks at the Departments Web site at http://www.dwd.state.wi.us/wc_safe.
For an e-mail version of this news release,