Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Hood County earns 2023 Safety Achievement Award

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Hood County earned a distinct honor Tuesday during a regularly scheduled Hood County Commissioners Court meeting.

According to a press release from TAC, Hood County received the 2023 Safety Achievement Award from the Texas Association of Counties Risk Management Pool (TAC RMP) for its record of commitment to safety in the workplace, as well as for controlling the county’s workers’ compensation claims.

“We're recognizing some of the things that the county has done,” TAC Risk Control Specialist Joe Szewczyk said. “They implemented policies, and they kept losses at a minimum trying to reduce those losses with workers comp. This is a workers compensation award, and it recognizes everything that the county has done through training, policy implementation and mitigating risk."

According to the press release, Hood County works to reduce employee injuries and obtain substantial savings for taxpayers by minimizing workers’ compensation costs through its commitment to safe practices among county employees.

To qualify for the award, the county must participate in TAC RMP’s Workers’ Compensation Program, have a safety program or accident prevention plan, and meet additional criteria. Hood County is one of 19 TAC RMP members statewide to earn this award.

Governed by a board of county officials, TAC RMP has provided counties with protection against risks and liabilities for 50 years. TAC RMP’s risk control programs and services help Texas counties promote safety and save tax dollars.

“As your risk control consultant, I do all kinds of stuff — provide training and education to mitigate risk, help with facilities inspections, help look at roofs, and help find maintenance management tools for the county to use to stay up to date on maintenance," Szewczyk explained.

Following the announcement of the award, Hood County Judge Ron Massingill asked Szewczyk if this achievement will reduce the county’s rates.

Szewczyk responded that although he’s not the “rates guy,” the county can adjust its modifier based off losses and completed training to keep the workers’ compensation premiums from rising.

"Now if you add employees, your costs are obviously going to go up, but we can definitely minimize how much it goes up as a result of your efforts,” he said. “You guys did a great job. You should be very proud of the work the county has done.”