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County receives state safety award

Patrick Waletzko. Tom Hintgen/Otter Tail County Correspondent.

Employees of Otter Tail County have been recognized by the Minnesota Safety Council. The county received the Minnesota Governor's Safety Award for Meritorious Achievement.

The award was displayed June 27 by Patrick Waletzko, Otter Tail County Safety and Emergency Services Director, during the regular meeting of the county board of commissioners at the County Government Services Center in Fergus Falls.

To receive a Meritorious Achievement Award, the county has shown that its injury and workers compensation claim rates are better than (i.e. lower than) the average for executive, legislative and general government for three years running from 2014 to 2016.

"We rated greater than 50 on a 100-point safety program evaluation scorecard," said Waletzko to county board members.

The scorecard evaluated Otter Tail County's safety program on 1) responsibilities and accountability, 2) identifying, controlling and analyzing hazards, 3) accident investigation and 4) communication and training.

Minnesota counties receiving a Meritorious Service Award, in addition to Otter Tail County, are the counties of Anoka, Blue Earth, Dakota, Stearns, Winona and Wright.

The following counties received an Outstanding Achievement Award, with their claim rates 51 to 90 percent better than the average for the industry: Carver, Fillmore, Hennepin, Morrison, Norman, Olmstead and Washington.

More about state safety awards

Since 1934 the annual Governor's Safety Awards program has honored Minnesota employers with exceptional safety performance.

"Applicants are judged on several years of injury data as it compares with their industry's national statistics," said Waletzko, "and on their progress in implementing a comprehensive safety program."

The Governor's Safety Awards were part of the 83rd Minnesota Safety and Health Conference, coordinated by the Minnesota Safety Council.

The conference is the oldest and largest gathering of workplace safety and health professionals in the region.

The Minnesota Safety Council, founded in 1928, is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in Minnesota by preventing unintentional injuries through accidents.