Guest contributor Tim Byrd shares success of one year without injuries

Today we are sharing an article prepared by Safety Manager Tim Byrd of the Henry County Public Service Authority.  This member has remained accident free for one year – a goal all members should strive for.  Do you have any tips, milestones, or stories to share?  We welcome guest contributions to the blog.  E-mail them to:

Henry County Public Service Authority celebrates one year with zero injuries – By Guest Contributor: Tim Byrd, safety manager, Henry County Public Service Authority

For those of us that are married, one of the worst things you can do is to forget an anniversary. That “significant other” can get pretty upset when you fail to recognize that important date….(hope that’s never happened to you!)

So it was only fitting that an important anniversary was recently recognized for some very special men and women.

On April 20, 2012 the employees of the Henry County Public Service Authority (PSA) reached a significant safety milestone. On that day, the more than 50 PSA employees had worked for one calendar year without experiencing an Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable injury.

Every day we have staff that may have to enter a potentially dangerous confined space, work with hazardous chemicals, work in areas that are in close proximity to vehicular traffic and powered equipment, repair and install energized equipment, work in trenches, and have to perform in other physically demanding labor in conditions.  Some of these conditions can be muddy, cold, and wet – and our employees have to be on call 24/7 to respond to emergencies in all types of temperature extremes.

And yet, for an entire year, they accomplished all of that with not one person having to experience the pain and suffering of a work related injury.

It would be easy to say that luck played a role in this achievement and I can appreciate that line of thinking. But I once heard luck defined as “when preparation meets opportunity”. I believe that definition fits our PSA staff… they met opportunities every day and their safety preparation and knowledge kept them injury free.

We celebrated this safety milestone by having catered breakfasts (provided by Henry County Public School Food Service) at Philpott Water Treatment Plant on May 8 and at the Henry County Service Center on May 9. Each employee received a cap courtesy of our insurance carrier and risk management partner, VML Insurance Programs, and also received a pair of safety glasses provided by Major Safety Services.

Tim Byrd, safety manager, Henry County Public Service Authority wears a VML Insurance Programs cap donated to celebrate one-year without incident at the authority

I think everyone enjoyed the food, fellowship and the gifts associated with reaching that milestone in safety performance. But the real gift was that each one of those employees has been able to leave work at the end of the day…injury free….to go home to family and friends and enjoy their life….which is a priceless gift that we never need to take for granted.

I appreciate everyone at the PSA and the role they played in helping us to accomplish this level of safety performance. So be proud….and remember that tomorrow brings with it another challenge to stay injury free.