Media release from Hawaii County Department of Parks and Recreation:
Hawai‘i County’s Department of Parks and Recreation has increased workplace safety dramatically, which has saved taxpayer money and boosted employee efficiency.
Employee-accident claims dropped 21 percent in calendar year 2011, Deputy Director Clayton Honma announced to parks’ employees recently.
“The safety of our workers is essential for the success of our operation,” Honma said.
The drop in accident claims occurred while the department has faced budgetary and staff reductions, while remaining focused on enhancing the varied recreational programs, services and facilities it provides and maintains island-wide.
A committed focus on safety, ongoing training and the skill level of the department’s employees all contributed to the reduction in workplace injuries, Honma said in congratulating the staff.
He presented a special certificate of recognition to Troy Tamiya, Hilo Municipal Golf Course Manager, for his staff having zero workers’ compensation claims during 2011.
Lowering the number of workplace accidents directly saves taxpayer dollars. Costly medical payments are averted, while having more workers on the job rather than home recuperating reduces overtime expenses. Also, fewer worker injuries allow the County to furnish continuous services to the public, achieve greater productivity and enhance worker morale.
As Hawai’i County’s second-largest department behind the Police Department, the Department of Parks and Recreation currently has more than a 420-person workforce, which rises to more than 500 when seasonal programs like the popular Summer Fun and Learn to Swim events are occurring.
The department’s improved worker-safety record highlights a county-wide trend in lowering accident claims. Hawai’i County’s total accident claims fell for the sixth straight year during the 12-month period that ended June 30, 2011.
This sustained trend results from a safety directive issued by Mayor Billy Kenoi, who has been committed to accident reduction and the promotion of safety consciousness since he took office in December 2008.
“Your safety is of the utmost concern,” Mayor Kenoi writes in a letter included in the employment packet given to all new hires. “Let’s all work together to make this a record year for safety.”