Safety Matters in Tulsa’s Workplaces, Roadways

Commentary By DEWEY F. BARTLETT, JR.
Mayor of Tulsa

In 2012, the City of Tulsa’s safety and injury issues were first identified in an independent report, showing that the City of Tulsa’s worker’s compensation costs totaled $27 million, and incident rates were twice as high as similar-sized cities.

This was a wake-up call for the City of Tulsa. It was crucial for us to make a transformation in our existing workplace safety program. Rather than pay approximately $1 million for a contractor to create a new program, I challenged city leaders to create the program and form a Safety Oversight steering committee to review best practices and model our program on successes. I also asked city employees, supervisors and managers to take more accountability and responsibility for a safe work environment.

Since that time, we’ve celebrated many successes along the way, including a 25 percent reduction in recordable injuries from 2013-2014, which was a great accomplishment. Our progress these past several years has been steady, but we need to go further.

Our goal this year is to reduce recordable accidents and injuries by 20 percent. This is an achievable goal, but it will take all of our employees working together to attain it.

I’m pleased to say employees have taken on the challenge of transforming its safety culture to help improve their lives and make our organization a safer place to work. Employees have embraced the slogan featured on City of Tulsa posters, “Being Safe is No Accident.”

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

I invite you to watch the City of Tulsa’s new safety video, Safety Matters: Our Future is Now, for a brief look at our history and how safety has evolved in our workplace. It also highlights the generations of employees – mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, who work here at the City of Tulsa, as well as their families:

Updated 05-24-2016

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