For the first time Morgan City received the Trust Accountability Program Safety [TAP] Award on Tuesday, April 24. The presenter, Jason Watterson expressed appreciation for the city council, city departments, and city employees for the work required to receive the award. Watterson’s job with the trust is loss prevention. Jokingly, he said, “The city has partnered with the trust for a long time. My job with the trust is to keep you out of trouble.”
Over five years ago the trust discussed what a city or town might need to have in place to prevent the common causes of loss. No one likes loss, injury, or lawsuits, and Morgan City is no different. Soon after the discussion, TAP was born. Morgan City decided to participate in TAP this last year. A choice finalized by Ty Bailey, the City Manager. Bailey said of the decision, “The city employees were really already doing much of what the program required. It just took about 8 hours of application effort to join the program. We will be participating next year too.”
Bailey said every 2 weeks the city managers meet to discuss safety with the playgrounds, sidewalks and other areas the community may need fixes and attention. There are some benefits if the city participates in the program. If they adhere to the requirements the city will receive back a percentage of their liability premium. This year they have already received over $1700. There are also discounts on the city’s worker’s compensation premium, about 1.5% up to 4% can be discounted if the city continues to receive the award.
Watterson said, “There are some monetary benefits, but it pales in comparison to the big picture if your people don’t get injured and are able to show up to work. That is where the real money is.”The program focuses on the community safety too, not just the city employees. Some requirements for the program include sewer inspections. Every manhole must be inspected every year. The trust used to spend over a million dollars a year responding to sewer backups. Yearly inspections provide a cheap way to prevent backups. The trust now spends around $100,000 a year on sewer backups.
Another requirement is monitoring driving records. Safe roads by making sure employees have valid driver’s licenses and no dangerous violations help everyone in the community stay safer while driving. But one of the most important aspects of the program is having the safety committee, Bailey and other managers attend regularly, look at city concerns and take action on those things. Though Watterson complimented Bailey for working hard to stay compliant with the program, he said, “All the department heads and everybody in the city have done a great job on this.”