Cumberland County Emergency Communications Center Wins Safety Award

WINDHAM -- The Maine Department of Labor has awarded Cumberland County with the Safety and Health Award for Public Employers (SHAPE), which recognizes public sector employers who maintain an exemplary safety and health management system.

Department of Labor/BLS/Workplace Safety and Health Division Director Steven L. Greeley attended the March meeting of the Cumberland County Commissioners to present the award, which highlights significant and consistent efforts to promote employee safety and health at the County’s Regional Communications Center in Windham.

“This award isn’t easy to earn,” said County Manager Jim Gailey. “It’s not just a matter of checking boxes on a form and moving on. It requires committing to a culture of health and safety, and it’s one more reason that the Regional Communications Center is a leader in the field, and a great place to work.”

SHAPE awardees must meet a list of voluntary requirements in order to qualify, that includes: a complete hazard identification survey through a professional consultant; involving employees in the consultation process; correcting all hazards identified by the consultant; implementing and maintaining a safety and health management system; lowering the company's Lost Workday Injury and Illness Rate (LWDII) and Total Recordable Case Rate (TRCR) below the state average; and agreeing to notify the Workplace Safety and Health Division prior to making any changes in the working conditions or introducing new hazards into the workplace.

Acceptance into SHAPE by the Maine Department of Labor distinguishes an organization as a model for workplace safety and health. Upon receiving SHAPE recognition, the worksite will be exempt from programmed inspections during the period that SHAPE certification is valid.

Cumberland County’s commitment to a culture of safety and health goes beyond the requirements in SHAPE, especially in regards to the County’s first responders. Earlier this year, the Communications Center collaborated with the Sheriff’s Office and corrections officers to launch a new health and wellbeing initiative. All public safety employees now have access to a confidential annual mental health check-in with a culturally competent clinician, and confidential 24/7 access to culturally competent resources.

The County also operates an award-winning employee wellness program that educates and incentivises employees toward healthy living through on-site classes, reimbursements for qualified health and fitness expenses, sponsored strawberry and apple picking at local farms, resources for financial health and estate planning, outings, friendly competitions and daily diet and exercise advice.