By MICHELE YOUNG
City officials got a pat on the back for a safety initiative that has also netted hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings.
City safety manager Caleb Mierau told council Tuesday the Certificate of Recognition program undertaken by the City has translated to almost $700,000 in WorkSafeBC discounts.
The program comes under WorkSafeBC, and involves an evaluation of the organization’s documentation and 60 interviews with management and staff. The certification involves a three-year cycle, which in Kamloops ran from 2011 to 2013.
The goal is to create a safer and healthier workplace for staff, helps ensure due diligence and compliance and there’s also a 15 per cent rebate incentive.
Mierau said the City is at a 23 per cent discount from WorkSafeBC. That’s directly related to injuries and such, similar to safe-driving discounts offered by ICBC.
The rebates allow the City to use some of that money to reinvest in safety measures. The City has also hired an additional safety advisor as a result of the savings. That advisor will be such things as asbestos in municipal buildings.
Cathy Cook, executive director of the B.c. Municipal Safety Association, said there will still be annual audits required to get the incentive discounts.
“Kamloops has definitely developed a safety culture,” she said.
“It is a very in-depth process. A lot of municipalities haven’t gone there yet.”
Kamloops was one of the first; we just started certifying in 2010.
Mayor Peter Milobar said the almost $700,000 in savings over three years is not insignificant money — that’s almost a one year tax increase.
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The front desk at the Kamloops RCMP detachment won’t be staffed on Saturdays any longer.
City council voted at an in-camera meeting earlier this month to discontinue Saturday staffing at the front counter at the detachment and use the money for other needs.
City corporate affairs director David Duckworth said staff are looking to maximize staff with the resources they have. Historically, they have 20 to 25 customers on Saturdays, compared with 150 to 200 on weekdays. The only other municipality with an open RCMP detachment counter on Saturdays is Kelowna, and that’s only in the summer.
Mayor Peter Milobar pointed out if someone goes to the detachment on a Saturday, there’s still a phone there they can use to call through to speak to staff.