TUPELO, MS: As part of the National Park Service new strategy to enhance employee safety, the Natchez Trace Parkway’s Safety, Health, and Wellness Committee developed an Award Coin program. Since the award program started last fall, 20 coins were awarded to 18 employees. Employees are recognized for promoting safe behavior, reporting unsafe work conditions, promoting a safe environment, and taking the lead to encourage employee health and wellness.
“Ensuring employee safety is our number one priority,” stated Superintendent Mary Risser. “We want every one of our employees to go home at the end of the work day. We have recognized employees for taking the initiative to report a problem with our tractors that resulted in a nationwide stand-down until all tractors could be inspected, for identifying tornado shelters in communities along the entire 444 miles of the Parkway, for recognizing and reporting work hazards, for improving working conditions, for training new employees on situational awareness, for organizing weight-loss and fitness opportunities, and more. Employees can accumulate the coins and exchange them for either a cash or time off award.”
The National Park Service (Service) implemented a new Safety, Health, and Wellness Strategy (Strategy) in the fall of 2015. The Strategy provides the framework for creating a sustainable culture of safety, health, and wellness to protect and empower our employees’ input on improving the safety culture across the Service. The new Strategy includes leadership, management, and employee expectations, tools, and a way to measure performance. With this Strategy, we seek to build into that culture a personal and organized commitment to Safety, Health, and Wellness.
Safety Committee Chair Maggie Walker and North District Ranger Owen Simcoe developed the safety coin award program. “All employees must recognize and embrace their roles, responsibilities, and accountability for their personal safety, health, and wellness, as well as that of their co-workers,” they explained. “Employees are also expected to be assertive when actions by others could lead to negative outcomes. If they see something, they should say something. ”
For more information, visit www.nps.gov/natr