JUNEAU — More than 300 Alaskans attended the 2010 Governor’s Safety and Health Conference, participating in training tracks in employer resources, ARC flash safety, youth safety, safety education, oil industry, transportation and hospitality, OSHA 10-hour construction course, OSHA 10-hour General Industry course. As transportation incidents are responsible for the majority of work-related deaths in Alaska, the keynote address was aimed at reducing transportation accidents.
Information about applying for the Voluntary Protection Program, which recognizes and promotes effective workplace safety and health management through a cooperative program between a company’s management, employees and AKOSH, was also provided.
A highlight of the annual conference is recognition of Alaska businesses that exemplify good corporate citizenship and a commitment to the health and safety of their workers.
Four organizations qualified for the Governor’s Special Achievement Award.
This award is presented for special outstanding achievements in the field of safety and health. Nominees must show a significant and measurable impact on the community, or must have made documented contributions or enhancements to the field of safety and health.
The awards went to:
• Municipality of Anchorage Department of Public Transportation for the safety awareness program “Don’t Go Out in the Dark Without It,” which distributed free reflective tape to People Mover bus riders who are among the highest risks for pedestrian/motor vehicle accidents.
• North America Outdoor Institute for the “Be Snow Smart” avalanche safety program, partnering with more than 50 supporting agencies and organizations to serve more than 10,000 Alaskans with hands-on training and many more through media campaigns.
• Municipality of Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services for its H1N1 Flu Response Team, which set up 13 public clinics that distributed 7,500 vaccinations plus the 19,000 provided through the public schools.
• Municipality of Anchorage Department of Solid Waste Services/Disposal Team at the Anchorage Regional Landfill, which has logged two years and more than 100,000 hours without a lost-time accident. Four organizations qualified for the Governor’s Safety Award of Excellence. This recognition is awarded to a group that has demonstrated excellence in safety and health systems that protect employees. Companies must show there is management commitment, employee involvement and a documented system for hazard analysis and hazard reduction.
• ASRC Energy Services Kuparuk Business Unit works in some of the harshest environmental conditions in the world, doing some of the most dangerous work. Its safety record shows a robust safety culture that is improving each year. The reported incident rates are more than 100 percent below the Bureau of Labor Standards Rates for like industries.
• Fairbanks Memorial Hospital for developing a safety and health system that now includes a safety/security director, involving employees, addressing the root causes of injuries and implementing an organization-wide prevention plan for prevention of injuries. The efforts reduced injuries from 300 in 2004 to 83 in 2009, with a substantial savings in workers compensation claims costs.
• TelAlaska, Inc.-Seward for a demonstrated commitment to safety, realizing four years and more than 65,000 hours without a recordable or lost-time injury. Since becoming a VPP Star Site, the Seward team has been a leader in safety for the rest of the company.
• City of Valdez Public Works Department has zero recordable injuries in the past three years. Department staff implemented a study to measure the vibration exposure to loader operators as they operate with traction tire chains. With management support, the employees were a key part of developing the study design.
The conference, which is sponsored by the Alaska Safety Advisory Council, focuses on emerging safety and health issues, and advanced safety needs that are unique to Alaska.