ADA — The Pontotoc County Board of Commissioners on Monday recognized the receipt of a 2006 Award of Excellence, Public Sector, from the Worker Safety Policy Council (WSPC). The award is one of five presented on May 25 at the 2006 Governors Conference on Safety and Health.

Pontotoc County achieved the honor for its “total program” - including consistent safety training, management and employee participation, and two-way communication to ensure safety and health guidelines are followed. Pontotoc County had a dramatic drop in medical payments due to work-related injuries and illnesses - from $13,447 in 2004 to $0 in 2005.

In fiscal year 2005, the state ‘Safety Pays’ OSHA Consultation program at the Labor Department first identified and then worked with employers to eliminate more than 3200 serious hazards in workplaces. Chad Letellier, Safety Director of Pontotoc County submitted the nomination on behalf of Pontotoc County, siting the steady decline in accident rates over the past three years for the 121 employees, including law enforcement.

“We have worked very hard to ensure effective safety practices are used and to instill in our personnel quality safety procedures.” Letellier said.

The board also approved a juvenile detention contract with the Texas County Juvenile Detention Center. A renewal of a cooperative agreement between the US Department of Agriculture, APHIS - Wildlife services was approved. A contract for the services of Rod Bottoms, expert in jail studies, was tabled for additonal information from a legal source. The $5,000 payment for Bottom’s services is contingent upon passage of a bond issue.

The Emergency Operations Plan developed by the public safety department was approved. The board approved the placement of advertising banners at the Pontotoc County Agri-plex on Sept.1-2 from Budweiser and Miller beer companies sponsoring the rodeo event. However, no alcoholic beverages will be sold at the event. Approval was given to seek bids for ballots and printing for the next election.

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