Jackson County Expands Safety Training

While workers helped to beautify the county by planting hundreds of trees this week, soon they will be helping the county in another way. They'll be helping the county save money.

"We want every employee going home safe everyday, and that helps the county financially when they do that, also," Jackson County District 5 Supervisor John McKay said.

Last year alone, the county paid approximately $800,000 in workers compensation. Workers compensation premiums are based on how many injuries occurred in the last three years. Supervisor McKay says those cost affect their budget.

"That ultimately affects our county budget because our workers compensation rates have really gone out of sight."

Although County Administrator Allen Sudduth emphasizes that the county had an almost perfect safety record last year, he's glad the Board of Supervisors will be putting more of an emphasis on safety training.

"Knowing that they're emphasizing it, and that they're putting some additional monies behind it makes us look forward to the new enthusiasm," Sudduth said.

Last year, the county had one safety training session for the entire county. Now the same sort of training will take place year round.

"I don't think you can ever be too safe," Sudduth said. "I think we're doing safe work now, but I think we can always be safer. I think if we're stressing safety, we can never stress it too much."

by Claire Nelson