Five Municipal Departments Recognized for Workplace Safety Bookmark and Share

December 28, 2012

Harrington, Kittery, Durham, Houlton, and Waldoboro have SHAPE worksites

Contact: Julie Rabinowitz, 207-621-5009

AUGUSTA—Commissioner of Labor Jeanne Paquette announced that five municipal departments in Maine have 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.

The five departments are the Harrington Fire Department, the Kittery Water District, the Durham Fire Department, the Houlton Water Company, and the Waldoboro Fire Department.

“We congratulate these local fire and water departments for becoming SHAPE certified,” Paquette said.

“Organizations that achieve SHAPE status demonstrate that focusing on worker safety is of utmost importance,” she explained. “These departments know that keeping workers safe is not only good for the people of Maine, but also good for their communities and their taxpayers. Better safety means less lost time due to injury and illness as well as lower workers’ comp costs.”

These awards bring the total of all SHAPE organizations in the state to 49 and the total of SHAPE fire departments to 25. 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.

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 . 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 public facilities and investigating workplace injuries or fatalities suffered by public employees.