Administrative Policy 3-23 Safety Program

SUBJECT:Safety Program


PURPOSE: To establish a safety program which defines administrative policy in reference to safety practices and responsibilities.


BACKGROUND: The City of Lawton believes that safe working conditions for all its employees can and must be attained through the use of proper protective equipment, proper safety and job training for supervisors and firstline employees, frequent reviews and improvement in job safety practices and procedures, and conscientious supervision. For these reasons, this policy is established.


BASIC PRINCIPLES: The following principles regarding accident prevention form the basis for an effective safety program:


1. Accidents can and must be reduced in number and severity.


2. Accident prevention is the responsibility of all employees at all levels.


3. All employees must understand that it is to their advantage, as well as to the City's, to work safely and that they are expected to cooperate to this end.


4. Most safety hazards can be eliminated.


5. Employees who exhibit unsafe behavior must alter this behavior or be removed from City employment for their protection and the protection of the public and fellow employees.


6. Active, concerned, responsible leadership is vital to the success of this and any other program.


7. Accident prevention is good business as it affects humanity, efficiency, and economy.


GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES: The City of Lawton recognizes the need for the development of safe working procedures for every job. It promotes the advancement of employee safety in the design and use of all facilities, equipment, and tools, and in the City's overall work environment. In providing a positive safety program to develop and maintain an attitude among City employees to protect themselves, their fellow employees, and the City against bodily harm, equipment damage, and financial loss, the City endeavors to prevent the loss of tax dollars which are diverted from other essential City services and programs through costly accidents, injuries, and insurance premiums. It also seeks to reflect the humanitarian, economic, and legal aspects of the program through a sincere interest in people and the value of human life. The City Manager, department directors, and division supervisors will consider it an essential part of their jobs to administer and actively support the safety program.


SAFETY AND RISK OFFICER RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: The Safety and Risk Officer will provide technical, training, and administrative assistance to supervisory personnel and safety committees in support of the safety program. This will be done by identification and investigation of hazards, followup on accident investigations, inspections of work sites and facilities, conduct of safety training, recommending safety policies and programs, assisting with and coordinating job safety analysis, recommending safer procedures and appropriate protective equipment, and other actions as appropriate to provide the safest possible workplace for City employees.


The Safety & Risk Officer has right of direct access to all employees and employee work sites. He has the right to take direct action to correct all unsafe conditions or unsafe employee behavior he observes. He may suspend employee work activities if he deems the working environment or procedures being used pose a significant risk of injury to employees or the public or damage to City or private property. Work activity will not continue until the hazards have been mitigated sufficiently to satisfy the Safety & Risk Officer or as directed by the City Manager.


All employees, including supervisors at all levels and Safety Representatives, are authorized to directly contact the Safety & Risk Officer on any safety related issues.


EMPLOYEE RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES: All employees are required as a condition of employment to follow established and generally accepted safety rules, to use safe job procedures, to properly wear or use appropriate personal protective equipment, to provide proper work site identification and protection, and to otherwise help ensure their safety and the safety of coworkers and the public.


Employees have the right to refuse to work in unsafe conditions or be required to perform unsafe job procedures that put them at an unnecessarily high risk of death or injury. They will not be disciplined or penalized for such refusal. It is recognized that certain employees, such as Police and Fire personnel, who necessarily must perform inherently high risk functions, do not have the right to refuse to perform them unless lack of appropriate equipment or manpower to perform them in the appropriate manner cause the risk to be greater than that which should reasonably be encountered. Employees will not be disciplined for reporting safety concerns directly to the Safety & Risk Officer, the work unit Safety Representative, a higher-level supervisor, or the department director.


Employees have the right to be provided the appropriate protective clothing and personal protective equipment; such as hearing protection, eye protection, foot protection, respirators, etc. required in order for them to safely perform the tasks they are assigned. Tools, equipment, and vehicles provided for employee use must be safe and serviceable and appropriate for the tasks being performed.

SAFETY COMMITTEES: To assist in carrying out the safety program, the General Employee Safety Committee is hereby established. Safety or safety and health committees for Police and Fire personnel will be established as may be required by their individual bargaining agreements.


1. Bylaws: Each committee shall establish bylaws to assure efficient and effective participation in establishing and monitoring such programs as accident investigation, safety education, safety inspections, safety incentive programs, and other such programs as may be necessary and desirable to enhance the safety of the employees it represents.


2. Membership General Employee Safety Committee


a. Voting members shall include firstline, nonsupervisory employees, but supervisory personnel may also serve.


b. If possible, members should be selected from employees who volunteer to serve.


c. The sixteen-member committee shall be composed of Safety Representatives as indicated below:


(1) One each member from the following Divisions will be appointed by the Director of Public Works/Engineering: Street/ Drainage Maintenance, Water Distribution, Wastewater Collection/ Wastewater Maintenance, Wastewater Treatment Plant, Water Treatment Plant, Equipment Maintenance, Solid Waste Collection, Solid Waste Disposal, Animal Welfare, andSewer System Rehabilitation.


(2) The Parks and Recreation Director will appoint one representative from the Parks and Grounds Division and one representative from the Recreation Services Division.

(3) The Police Chief will appoint one representative (a general employee) for the general employees in the Police Department.


(4) The Community Services Director will appoint one representative for his Department.


(5) The Finance Director will appoint one member to represent the Finance Department.


(6) The Employee Advisory Committee will appoint an “At-Large” member to represent all general employees not otherwise represented.


d. The Safety and Risk Officer shall act as a non-voting member and advisor to all committees unless appointed by the City Manager as a voting member.


e. Members, Safety Representatives, will serve until removed from the Committee. They may be removed any time after six months at their own request, or whenever their department directors or division supervisors deem it appropriate that they be replaced. Member(s) may be involuntarily removed by vote of the Committee if they record more than two unexcused absences from the committee meetings in any six-month period, are involved in more than one preventable accident in a two-year period, or fail to engage in required safety activities.

3. Safety Committee Chairperson: The Chairperson for the General Employee Safety Committee shall be elected by popular vote of the committee membership each year in July and shall serve for a period of one year.


The Chairperson for police or fire safety committees will be determined in accordance with bargaining agreement provisions.


4. Meetings: The General Employee Safety Committee shall meet no less than monthly, at times and places to be indicated in committee bylaws.

5. Quorum: A quorum shall consist of a simple majority of the voting members of each committee, or as specified in the applicable bargaining agreement.


6. Duties and Responsibilities-Safety Committees: The duties and responsibilities of the Safety Committees and their members are as follows:


a. Recommend safety rules, policies, and programs for the classes of employees that they represent.


b. Review and act upon safety matters referred by the City Manager, Safety and Risk Officer, City departments, or employees in general.


c. Perform onsite safety evaluations and conduct periodic review of safety equipment usage.


d. Recommend appropriate safety education and training for employees.


e. Devise and recommend incentive and awards programs to recognize outstanding individual and group safety performance.


f. Serve as a voting member of the Injury Review and Vehicle Accident Review Boards when accidents or injuries involving an employee they represent are reviewed.


g. Review selected vehicle accident, property damage, and injury reports to determine preventability and appropriate action to prevent recurrence.


h. Publicize and promote employee safety and health.


i. Refer recommendations on safety matters determined to be outside their scope of responsibility to the City Manager.

  1. Qualifications of Committee Members:


a. Members will be provided with OSHA and ODOL safety reference materials, checklists, and periodicals to familiarize them with safety requirements. These materials will be available at the members’ workplaces for use in determining safe job procedures for the employees the members represent.


b. At least once each year, the Committee members will receive formal safety training.


8. Executive Support: Periodically, the Committee Chairpersonor the Safety and Risk Officer will meet with Department Directors and the City Manager to address the concerns and recommendations of the safety committees. The purpose of such meetings will be to:

a. Review actions and recommendations of committees and respond as appropriate.


b. Identify safety trends and problem areas for investigation by safety committees.


c. Approve/Disapprove resources commitment for major safety projects or programs.


d. Provide the impetus and support required to successfully implement safety programs.




1. The Safety Representative must be familiar with the job duties, equipment, facilities, and work environments of the employees in the work unit he/she represents. He/she will be allowed to visit his work unit’s job sites periodically to inspect for safety compliance and, as necessary, in investigating injury or damage incidents. The Safety Representative’s supervisor will ensure that sufficient time is scheduled to complete the required safety related activities.


2. The Safety Representatives are authorized to directly contact any employee that they represent in order to correct unsafe behaviors are unsafe work conditions. They have the right to suspend any work activity that they feel unsafe conditions or procedures pose a significant risk of injury to employees. The division supervisor and the Safety & Risk Officer will be immediately notified that work has been suspended due to safety concerns. The Safety & Risk Officer, Safety Representative, and division supervisor will meet at the job site to resolve the issue.


3. Safety Representatives have the right of unrestricted, direct access to the Safety & Risk Officer for consultation on any safety related issue and will not be disciplined or penalized in any way for doing so.


4. The Safety Representative will assist supervisory personnel in the investigation of all injuries or vehicle damage incidents involving employees he/she represents.

5. They may function as the Hazard Communication Coordinators and Fire Extinguisher Monitors for their work units.




1. Supervisors must be knowledgeable of the safety rules and regulations applicable to employee job functions.


2. They must be able to recognize and correct job site hazards and unsafe behaviors of assigned employees.


3. Supervisors must ensure that the tools, equipment, and materials provided for employee use are safe and appropriate for the tasks being performed.


4. They must directly consult with the Safety & Risk Officer on safety related issues including OSHA regulations, safety policies, accident investigation, and injury reporting.


5. Facilitate and support the work unit Safety Representative in carrying out his/her responsibilities.


DEPARTMENTAL RESPONSIBILITY: Every effort shall be made to resolve safety problems at the department operating level. In order to assure an effective accident prevention program, the following duties and responsibilities are to be assumed by the administration of each department and division.


1. Each department and division shall have a definite plan to properly indoctrinate and train all employees on the hazards, the applicable safety rules, required safe work procedures, and required and recommended protective equipment appropriate to the tasks that they will perform during their employment with the City.


2. Support and carry out the Safety Program of the City.


3. Cooperate with the safety committees and Injury Review and Vehicle Accident Review Boards in all aspects of accident investigation and prevention.


4. Allow safety committee members adequate time to carry out their safety related responsibilities. At least five percent of the members’ work hours are to be allotted for safety activities including inspections, accident investigation, training, and records maintenance.


5. Develop standards of safe operation in cooperation with the City Manager, Safety and Risk Officer, the safety committees, and the Injury Review and Vehicle Accident Review Boards.


6. Take remedial action, as appropriate, to correct hazards, unsafe job procedures, faulty equipment or facilities, and unsafe employee behavior.


7. Provide relevant records and reports as necessary to the Safety and Risk Officer, the safety committees, and the Injury and Vehicle Accident Review Boards.


8. Meet with safety committees as required.


9. Provide the safest and healthiest workplace possible for all employees.





DEPARTMENT: Human Resources

RESCISSION: This policy rescinds Administrative Policy No. 2-1, dated September 1, 1995, and will remain in effect until rescinded.




City Manager


May 23, 2005


Added, 05/23/2005