County implements safety program

Published 12:00 am Saturday, November 25, 2006

WINTON – After being threatened by the N.C. State Insurance Board, Hertford County has implemented a Safety Programs and Policies manual.

In October, Hertford County Commissioner Dupont Davis informed the board that the state’s governing insurance body had threatened to raise the insurance rates of counties that were not in compliance with state guidelines.

The most glaring deficiency in Hertford County was the absence of an updated safety program.

Davis noted the inability of the county to enforce policies and procedures on county employees without a proper set of guidelines.

As promised in the October meeting, County Manager Loria Williams revamped and updated the county’s manual to be in compliance with state guidelines.

The new manual was presented to the Board of Commissioners Monday for approval.

The new manual is divided into six major components, Management Support and Direction, Safety Orientation and Training, Control of Hazards, Emergency Procedures, Claims Management and Program Components and Reference Materials.

The manual states the County Manager as Chief Administrative Officer for the county has lead responsibility in carrying out policies adopted by the commissioners.

Claims Management was a key issue discussed by the commissioners in October.

Davis and Chairman Curtis Freeman were concerned about the inability of workers to file accident claims in a timely manner, which was the catalyst for the state’s introspection of many of North Carolina’s counties.

The new manual reiterates the policy of county employees reporting accidents within 24 hours of their occurrence.

The manual also mandates all county employees to familiarize themselves with current evacuation routes to be implemented in the event of natural disasters such as hurricanes and tornadoes.