Safety is an issue that doesn't create much enthusiasm or interest until there is an accident or injury. Whether on the job and in the home, safety counts. Thinking and acting in a safe manner is good for your health and for your bottom line.
This past year, 27 area companies were rebated $160,563 because they participated in the Mid-Ohio Valley Safety Council program. Safety counts: 13 safety programs plus two safety seminars in 2010; 1,192 attendees at the meetings, and 50 companies had perfect attendance. The April 20 awards banquet will recognize the safety achievements of 80 local companies.
Featured speaker will be retired Marietta Fire Chief Tom Dempsey, who will take the audience on a journey back in time. In 1970, a fire destroyed the newly built Harmar House Nursing Home claiming the lives of over 30 people. This fire devastated our community and led to changes in the laws pertaining to fire and building codes in Ohio and in the nation. This is one example of the programs presented by the safety council.
While the monthly luncheons bring variety of safety topics to protect current employees, our safety council also prepares tomorrow's workers. Over 200 juniors participated in the fourth annual Youth Safety Day at the Washington County Career Center, taking safety and health classes in: texting and driving, diabetes awareness, accident analysis, fire extinguisher training, reality of drugs and Zumba. The students also met with representatives from Marietta Memorial Hospital for blood pressure checks, and blood sugar screening; Selby Hospital spoke about tobacco prevention; and DuPont brought the seat belt convincer.
Our future work force is better prepared to land a job, thanks to the joint efforts of the Career Center, safety council and the chamber. OSHA 10-hour training and certification is now offered to all the students at the Career Center, and OSHA 30-hour training and certification for those in the construction and welding fields. Certainly a plus on those students' job applications.
With 122 members, the safety council is a program co-sponsored by the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce and the Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation. In 2007, and again in 2009, the Mid-Ohio Valley Safety Council was recognized as Ohio's No. 2 safety council; and received honorable mention in 2010. An award-winning program encompasses safety training in many areas and in strives to provide knowledge in an informative and often lively manner. For the depth and breadth of the program offerings, the Mid-Ohio Valley Safety Council deserves the BWC recognition.
Pioneer Pipe president/CEO and safety council member Dave Archer noted, "Safety needs to be a primary concern of each and every business in the Mid-Ohio Valley. The safety council helps employers and employees work more safely through education and reinforcement of safety training. Joining this program provides training and contacts to other safety professionals in the region. We can and do learn from each other. The council's goal is to send every employee home safely each day. More important than any monetary recognition is the satisfaction of knowing that our employees go home to their families and loved ones each day."
This honor speaks highly of the dedication of the safety council board, consisting of President Susan Burkhart, Washington County; Vice President Dave Fleming, Greenleaf Landscapes; Past President Gene Mallett, Thermo Fisher Scientific; board members Doug Currey, Americas Styrenics; Machell Hague, Green Valley Co-op; Trevor Hayes, Degussa Engineered Carbons; Barbara Lockhart, Marietta Occupational Health Partners; Brent Powell, Triad Hunter; Carmen Shafer, Shafer Safety Solutions; and Ken Strahler, Ken Strahler Masonry; plus board advisors Cindy Bennett, Cheryl Kiggans, Pioneer Pipe, and Dennis Apple, BWC. Kudos to Safety Council Manger Lori Smith, who coordinates the many activities of this program.
For more information on safety council: Contact the chamber at 373-5176.
Reminder: Business After Hours, 5 to 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 12, at No Idea sports dining in Marietta's Comfort Inn. To RSVP: 373-5176 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Charlotte Keim, CCEO-AP, is president of the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce, The Riverview Building, 100 Front St., Suite 200, Marietta. Chamber Viewpoint appears every other Monday on Opinion.