Photo provided - The St. Joseph County Road Commission was recognized for low injury rates among staff during the annual membership meeting of the County Road Association Self Insurance Fund (CRASIF) on Sept. 14. Pictured are CRASIF Board Chair Tom Doty (left) and St. Joseph County Road Commission Manager John Lindsey (right).

Road Commission wins statewide award for safety

TRAVERSE CITY — The St. Joseph County Road Commission was recently recognized for its commitment to employee safety with a statewide award.

On Sept. 14, the agency made the Honor Roll of the County Road Association Self Insurance Fund (CRASIF), a Michigan based self-insured group fund that provides disability management and workers’ compensation to 70 road commissions. The Honor Roll recognized the St. Joseph County Road Commission for having one of the lowest employee injury rates among road commissions in the state in the past year.

The announcement was made at CRASIF’s annual membership meeting in Traverse City.

“Road construction and maintenance are dangerous jobs. Every year at least one person is either killed or seriously injured in this injury.” Jim deSpelder, CRASIF administrator, said in a statement. “Seventy-five percent of the roads in the state are maintained by road commissions employees. We remind the workers that they come within a foot of death many times during the day when working in traffic. Despite the best safety practices, road commission employees often are victims of speeding or distracted drivers or irritable motorists when trying to repair the roadways.”

“CRASIF’s Honor Roll recognizes member road commissions which make safety an integral part of their culture. Emphasizing safe operations and managing the risks of injury is a never-ending challenge,” Tom Doty, chairperson of CRASIF’s board of trustees, said in a statement. “With all the new construction and repairs this year our employees are at even greater risk of harm while just trying to do their jobs.”

“Road commissions that have lower than average injury rates qualify to be on our Honor Roll,” deSpelder said. “They should be publicly acknowledged for their achievement. Low injury rates benefit the employee, the taxpayer and the road commission. It is a win-win-win situation.”

St. Joseph County Road Commission Manager John Lindsey accepted the award for the road commission.

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