By Jacob Mathias
Employees of the Town of Grand Rapids are being awarded for their safety record after years of zero workman’s compensation claims.
At a regular meeting of the Grand Rapids Town Board on August 11, the board approved the use of an insurance dividend payment to award its employees for clean safety records.
“We do recognize that our employees, including our police and fire know how to work safe and our maintenance crew uses all the proper protection items when they’re working with items such as chainsaws and hand grinders and that kind of stuff,” said Grand Rapids Board Chairman Arne Nystrom.
Approximately 20 regular full-time and part-time employees will be able to select an award up to a value of $50 while the variable part-time employees will have a $20 limit.
The town will also provide a meal for 50 firefighters at an upcoming Grand Rapids Fire Department meeting and eventually another piece of clothing.
Awards will be purchased from Grand Rapids-based Sully’s Sports that makes customized embroidered clothing. Nystrom said the awarded items will be emblazoned with the Grand Rapids town logo and a notice of safety awareness somewhere on the item.
“We try to use our local providers and business that are in Grand Rapids as much as we possibly can on all of our expenditure,” said Nystrom.
He said he hopes to have the selected award items ready in six weeks.
The awards given to the employees are funded by a dividend reimbursement check given to the town by their workman’s compensation insurance carrier for a safe year in 2013. Nystrom said the safety streak has continued and no workman’s comp. claims have been made since 2013.
“It was a payback to us because we had no claims in that year,” said Nystrom.
The Grand Rapids Town Board meets again on September 8 at 6:00 PM in the Grand Rapids Municipal Building.