November 25, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 25, 2013
Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009
SHAPE worksites promote high safety standards
AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that the Fire Department of Cushing, Maine has earned the Safety and Health Award for Public Employers (SHAPE). This certification recognizes public-sector organizations that voluntary undertake a rigorous safety achievement program for their workers.
“I congratulate Cushing’s Fire Department for becoming SHAPE certified,” said Governor Paul R. LePage. “Safety is a best practice, and it is one that saves lives and taxpayer money. When municipalities invest in safety, everyone benefits.”
These awards bring the total of all SHAPE organizations in the state to 44 and the total of SHAPE fire departments to 27. A well-rounded safety and health program, such as those implemented by SHAPE departments, results in lower numbers of employee injuries and illnesses and provides for better employee morale and retention. Better safety means less lost time due to injury and illness as well as lower workers’ comp costs.
The SHAPE award was originally conceived in 2005 as a way to recognize public-sector employers and employees who are striving to provide a safe and healthful workplace. It is given only to exemplary public-sector employers after a thorough review and inspection of the employer’s safety and health policies and procedures by a SafetyWorks! consultant.
Municipalities and other public entities interested in learning more about the SHAPE designation should contact SafetyWorks! at 1-877-SAFE 345 (1-877-723-3345) or http://www.safetyworksmaine.com . SafetyWorks! provides a trained consultant with industry-specific expertise who will review the facility by appointment. The consultation may include such elements as recognizing safety hazards, sampling for air and noise exposures, recommending ways to reduce or to eliminate hazards, developing or improving a safety program, complying with regulations and identifying training needs.
The Maine Department of Labor has enforcement authority of health and safety standards for public-sector employers in Maine and is responsible for inspecting workplace injuries or fatalities suffered by public employees.