The League of Oregon Cities awarded the City of Prineville its highest safety award at their annual conference last month

For the City of Prineville, keeping workers safe is of upmost importance.

“We want everybody to go home at the end of the day in the same shape they came in," said Human Resources Manager Mary Puddy.

Although that safety emphasis is in no way meant to earn special recognition, the City nevertheless won an award last month for their sterling accident record.

The League of Oregon Cities honored the City of Prineville last month with their gold safety award.

“It is an injury frequency rate that they have us calculate, depending on how many full-time employees we have and how many hours they work,” Puddy said of the award criteria. “What constitutes gold is that you have no one who had any time loss over the day they were injured.”

Out of the 148,727 hours of time worked by all employees during the 2012-13 fiscal year, the city had no accident reports.

“We are really proud of the fact that our employees pay a great deal of attention to being safe and secure in their jobs,” said Prineville Mayor Betty Roppe.

The safety statistics included the public works department, which uses heavy machinery on a regular basis, and the police department, whose employees face the threat of injury on a regular basis.

“We talk every year about hazards of moving quickly in the snow, whether you are chasing somebody or driving in it,” said Prineville Police Captain Michael Boyd. In addition, police are issued personal protective equipment including bullet-resistant vests, and are advised to send extra officers on calls for service.

“Classically, police officers are subject to a lot of injuries,” Boyd said. “So, we try real hard and our people are pretty dedicated and pretty careful. We have very few injuries here.”

The same holds true for public works employees, who have similarly enjoyed a historically low accident ratio.

“We don’t mess around with it at all at public works,” said City Engineer Eric Klann. “The big equipment the guys are running — one false step and somebody’s not hurt, their killed.”

Puddy said that their emphasis on safety

“We try to emphasize if you see anything that you don’t think is right, speak up,” she said. “Don’t just let it go by you.”

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