I find it hard to believe that I have been in office more than 120 days. The entire Oklahoma Department of Labor has worked extremely hard to stay focused on our vision, mission and goals. From my years of business experience I have always found it important to provide relative and substantive updates on measures of importance to those with an interest in my business operations with an emphasis on competence and continuity. I am continuing that practice as an elected official by providing a report on cost saving initiatives to businesses, Labor Department employee performance, and division accomplishments.
A recap of the first 120 days at the Oklahoma Department of Labor:
- Asbestos Abatement conducted over 2,200 asbestos compliance inspections July – March YTD with just 6 inspectors.
- Child Labor Supervisor Lester Claravall received a Joint Resolution for his “Paying Attention Pays” youth employment educational outreach program.
- Wage and Hour Unit hit an all-time record in largest wage claim collected of $55,000.
- Worker’s Compensation Unit offered mediation as an option to court hearing.
- Safety Standards Division issued 1720 licenses, did 1028 boiler inspections and 439 amusement ride inspection in March.
- OSHA Consultation has dramatically decreased workers’ compensation costs through a commitment to workplace safety. Consultants helped over 19 businesses become SHARP Certified, a rigorous safety program sponsored by Federal OSHA.
- PEOSH hosted two successful Safety Conferences in Oklahoma City and Tulsa providing attendees with important data to help businesses pinpoint safety hazards.
- Statistical Research Analysis has provided hundreds of hours in OSHA record keeping training.
- Oklahoma Department of Labor kicked off a new Employee Appreciation program honoring all employees for doing more with less.
- Participated in Quality Team day highlighting the many programs the Agency has to offer.
- Partnered with Parks and Recreation in the Oklahoma Safety Poster Awards Program honoring 24 winners with an awards presentation at the Capitol.
A recap of the first 60 days at the Oklahoma Department of Labor:
- ODOL recognized Safety Pays Consultation client CUST-O-FAB, from Sands Springs, who saw a large reduction in workers’ compensation claims within the first year of becoming SHARP Certified. Claims were close to $700,000 the first year they entered into the SHARP certification process. Workers’ compensation claims plummeted to $7,000 that same year. In 2010, CUST-O-FAB had workers’ compensation claims that totaled $0 and had completed over 500,000 man hours without one lost time incident. CUST-O-FAB is currently standing at 300+ days without a Recordable Incident.
- OSHA Industrial Hygiene Asst. Director Jason Young appeared in The Oklahoman, February, 2011 article, highlighting non-punitive safety consultation to businesses which result in lowering workers’ compensation rates and increasing a safer work environment for employees.
- Safety Pays Consultant Andrew McBride was recognized for identifying and eliminating 131 hazards in businesses he consulted for the month of January.
- Child Labor Director Lester Claravall will be the recipient of the 2011 National Public Service Award to be presented by the National Academy of Public Administration in Baltimore, Maryland. He is recognized for “Paying Attention Pays” youth employment educational outreach program presented at schools.
- Department recognition for Director of OSHA/Safety Pays Diana Jones and Director of Statistics Bettye Finch for their achievements in helping small businesses in Oklahoma drive down their work place injury and workers’ compensation rates.
- The Oklahoma Department of Labor is hailed as the “only” state in the Nation to collect and produce work-related injury and illness data for all public sector employers of the state as well as political subdivisions.
- Three internal units are developing a Public Sector Safety Pays program from existing resources that will provide cost savings to local governments by reducing workplace injuries.
- Two conferences are set for April 15 in Oklahoma City and April 22 in Tulsa to launch the Public Sector Safety Pays with city and county safety officials with Representative Lewis Moore participating as a speaker.
- Created ODOL Facebook fan page to communicate with the taxpayers of Oklahoma.
First 30 days of Reform at Labor Department:
- The Commissioner elected not to use a state agency vehicle ($6,036) and not to be reimbursed for mileage.
- Returned computer equipment (ordered by previous administration) resulting in a savings of $110,347.83. Cost of returning equipment was approximately $2,200.00.
- Cut travel expenses by not attending the Interstate Labor Standards Association Annual and Executive Conference. Savings of $4,141.20.
- Returned state agency car not in use for a cost savings of $4,680 a year.
- Reviewed all requests for renewals of subscriptions, memberships, or expenditures resulted in savings of more than $1,000.
- Doubled the number of Administrative Law Judges and cut hourly rate of ALJs from $75 an hour to $25 (saving $2,500). Wage and Hour Dockets in both Oklahoma City and Tulsa are used to eliminate the 9 to 12 month backlog of cases, setting a standard of 90 days for an administrative hearing.
- Met with State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones to request a turnover audit of the Department of Labor.
- Developed and implemented a written procedure for financial processes, which include accepted auditing standards.
- Established purchasing controls to eliminate duplication among department purchasing. Updated daily procedure for deposits.
- Launched new and user friendly website. Taking the website from side navigation to top navigation and from 12 tabs to 6 tabs.
- Implemented new technology – TAGS (mobile bar code) created barcode, when scanned will take the user directly to the ODOL website. First state agency to utilize this technology at no cost to the taxpayer.
If you have small businesses in your district that might benefit from reduced workplace injuries or seek to reduce their workers’ compensation rates, please call me at 405 850-1070 (cell) and I will have a Safety Pays consultant contact them.