Town of Wilton earns SHAPE award

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Wilton Public Works foreman Dale Roberts and Fire Chief Sonny Dunham accept the Safety and Health Award for Public Employers. Bureau of Labor Standards Director Daniel Bolduc (center) presented the award to the town during the Board of Selectpersons meeting Tuesday. (Dee Menear/Franklin Journal)

WILTON — Daniel Bolduc, director of the Bureau of Labor Standards, presented the Town of Wilton with the Safety and Health Award for Public Employers at the selectboard meeting Tuesday night.

The certification recognizes exemplary performance of public-sector organizations that undertake a deliberate and rigorous safety program for employees.

Michael LaPlante, program manager for the bureau’s Workplace Safety and Health Division said the award signifies a commitment to protecting employees and the public from an occupational and safety standpoint.

To earn the award, public entities first have to apply to the program and then undergo site visits and consultations.

“We want to make sure written programs, trainings and inspections are in place; and facilities are in fairly good shape, LaPlante explained.

Not all who apply to the program earn the award, he pointed out.

The Fire Department and Police Department earned the Safety and Health Award for Public Employers three years ago. The award presented Tuesday includes the police, fire, highway, transfer Station, water, recreation and town office departments.

“The town has decided to push forward and get more departments in. We don’t give the SHAPE award  lightly. We only have 12 towns in the program, which is not a lot. This is a big deal. This is not easy,” LaPlante said.

Steve Greeley, director of Workplace Safety and Health Division said the award exempts the town from enforcement inspections.

“One of the reasons we can do that is because you have your programs in place, you are working with consultation, and you are not having injuries. You get it,” Greeley said.

“All of you are to be commended for your efforts to attain the SHAPE status,” Bolduc said. “You survived the audits, you made the necessary adjustments and now the Town of Wilton has made a statement that you care about safety and you have made safety a priority.”

The certification demonstrates a willingness to put your departments out there as a model for success; and a challenge for all the other public entities in the state to step it up just as you have. Promoting a culture of safety is infectious,” he added.

 dmenear@thefranklinjournal.com

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