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Terrytown to review city safety standards: City’s Keno fund grows to $15 K, brings interest from Carpenter Center and RDC
March 13, 2014 Jerry Purvis   

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During their March meeting, members of the Terrytown City Council agreed to hire Safetyline Consultants to help them revamp the safety standards manual for city workers.
A recent visit from the city’s insurance carrier identified a number of areas where the city needs to tighten or clarify safety guidelines. And the city’s safety manual hasn’t been updated in some time.

Bob Hessler of Safetyline Consultants said his business helps other agencies comply with all state and federal safety guidelines for the workplace. In Nebraska, OSHA, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, cannot directly inspect or cite municipalities, state governmental agencies and schools. However, Nebraska has Workers Compensation laws that require all businesses and agencies, regardless of size, to have safety committees and programs in place. And when it comes to safety training, the state simply adopted OSHA standards.

Hessler told council members that more than 60 percent of workplace accidents are caused by employee negligence. “It’s been my experience that change is tough for employees. It’s just one those unfortunate situations,” he said. “If an employee is injured on the job, Worker’s Compensation takes care of that. But lawsuits can sometimes follow from family members who claim the city didn’t train the employee properly.”

Unlike many other cities, Terrytown only has two full-time maintenance employees. Projects like street sealing and trenching are hired out to contractors.

Council members voted to hire Hessler’s company to work with city employees to update the safety manual and determine whether further consulting services are needed.

In other action, City Treasurer Lonnie Miller told council members the city’s keno fund had built up to about $15,000 at the end of January. In the past, Riverside Discovery Center and the Carpenter Center had both asked the council for support. Council members agreed they would like to support those agencies going forward, but wanted to wait for the keno fund to grow before making any commitment to funding.

Terrytown started getting keno funds again when Kozy Keno Bar and Grill opened last fall. The city’s share of the profits is used for community betterment.
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