The City has implemented a number of programs and initiatives designed to address employee safety concerns and minimize safety risks of employees performing work in the field. A number of initiatives were implemented in 2017 and 2019 and the City continues to reassess the effectiveness of the changes and whether additional measures are needed. The City will work to identify additional areas of opportunity to ensure the safest possible work environment for all employees. Lastly, Safety1st@milwaukee.gov was created for employees to forward safety concerns and suggestions to the Department of Employee Relations Safety and Risk Officer.
Based on the most recent assessment of field safety policies and practices, the following measures are in place:
- Safety Committees were established or strengthened in a number of departments. Safety Committee membership includes employees who are in a great position to identify safety issues and recommend solutions.
- Flight Plans or similar mechanisms requiring employees to report and document their anticipated stops for the day were implemented in departments. These protocols document the employee’s whereabouts for a particular day and require notification to the supervisor of any changes as well as a requirement to “clock out” at the end of the day.
- City cell phones were issued to field employees who did not have access to a personal cell phone or other communication device to use in case of an emergency.
- Uniforms or departmental branded items of clothing were newly requested and issued for certain departments and staff.
- Identification decals for personal vehicles were distributed to employees who perform work in the field and have a preference for City identification on their vehicles.
- The City’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and the resources available through the program are used by departmental personnel for training, incident response debriefing, individual support and referral, and other targeted interventions. When there is a notification of an incident, the EAP Coordinator responds immediately by contacting the department representatives or the employee involved in the incident.
- Peer Support Systems are available in multiple departments to assist employees after an incident occurs. The EAP Coordinator, Cris Zamora, is available to assist departments interested in establishing peer support groups and to help with implementation.
- Buddy Systems allowing employees to request the assistance of a team member or a supervisor based on known risks or problem areas were formalized in departments. The conditions and circumstances under which this is allowed varies by department. Some departments developed additional protocols for requesting assistance from MPD when the circumstances warrant it.
- Specific provisions of department specific Field Safety Policies allow employees to use their judgement and discretion to remove themselves from a potentially dangerous situation without fear of repercussion. These provisions permit employees to cancel or terminate field activities if they have a reason to feel unsafe.
- DER has implemented and continues to expand safety training that is available to all employees to address a number of safety areas of concern. Departments should contact DER’s Safety and Risk Officer, Angie Ogan to schedule training for their departments. Some departments have also expanded and offer safety related training to employees.
- Panic alarms were purchased and made available to employees who were interested in using that type of device.
- The Safety1st@milwaukee.gov email was created for employees to forward safety concerns and suggestions to the Department of Employee Relations Safety and Risk Officer.
- The Incident Tracker application was developed by ITMD and shared with departments to document incidents in the field and share data across departments. See below for links to access the tracker and report and view incidents.