Local News

Story published: 02-19-2013 • Print ArticleE-mail Story to a Friend

TOSHA wants updated safety program for county

By Karen Sells
Assistant Editor

Members of the Washington County Public Safety and Budget committees unanimously approved a resolution last week to establish an occupational safety and health program for county employees and provide a coordinator to implement the program.

Mayor Dan Eldridge said a safety officer was on staff when he took office in 2010, but the position was not filled after that employee retired.

The safety program has been handled on a part-time basis by county bookkeeper Diane Lane. Eldridge said Lane’s duties will now shift to full-time safety coordinator and part-time bookkeeper.

The impetus for the resolution, according to Eldridge, is a recent call from the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration requesting the updated safety program that is required to be submitted every five years.

TOSHA is a division of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development.

“We have no choice in providing the update, and I would like to put this in front of the commission at the February meeting,” Eldridge told members of the Public Safety Committee.

Washington County’s safety program was last reviewed in 2004, but the resolution provides for an overall program.

“We are layering this (program) in with the current programs (in some departments) to have an overall county plan with a safety designee in each office,” Eldridge said.

Because the safety program is already included in the budget, no additional money will be required to pay for the update and an appointed coordinator.