The N.C. Department of Labor (NCDOL) recertified the Town of Dallas’s Public Works Department, Public Utilities (Electric) Department, Water and Wastewater (Sewer) Treatment Plants as NCDOL Public Sector SHARP (Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program) sites during the Town of Dallas Board of Aldermen monthly meeting on Tuesday, March 8. Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson provided brief remarks and presented the departments with certificates and a new flag.
“Congratulations to the Town of Dallas and the four departments/divisions on being recertified as NCDOL Public Sector SHARP sites,” Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson said. “Initially, becoming a certified SHARP site can be a challenging process and maintaining that status just goes to show how much the town, managers and employees care about workplace safety and health and the community that they serve.”
SHARP is administered by the labor department’s Consultative Services Bureau under its Occupational Safety and Health Division. The program is designed for small to mid-size employers that have established, implemented and maintained exceptional workplace safety standards. The Public Sector SHARP recognizes certain categories of public sector employers. Existing categories include public works, sheriff and police, public utilities, fire, EMS, and parks and recreation.
“My goal has always been to ensure our employees go home to their families every day,” Town Manager Maria Stroupe said. “I appreciate the efforts our employees make to achieve that goal. As management commitment is a component of the Public Sector SHARP program, the town manager and the board of aldermen are committed to meeting the needs of the town employees in their efforts to provide a safe workplace.”
The Public Works Department maintains and repairs over 22 miles of paved roads, street signs, signals, curbs, sidewalks and markings. The Public Utilities (Electric) Department works to provide reliable and responsive service to its customers while keeping the cost competitive. The Water Treatment Plant provides safe drinking water and can produce about one million gallons of drinking water a day. The Wastewater (Sewer) Treatment Plant can output about 350,000 gallons of sewage a day and serves both business and residential customers.
“We congratulate the individual departments on their hard-earned achievement and thank the town leaders for their continued support in those efforts,” Safety Consultant Gary Thorpe said. “We look forward to continuing and expanding our relationship with the Town of Dallas.”
The Public Utilities Department was initially certified as a SHARP site in 2013, while the Public Works Department received its initial certification in 2015. The Water Treatment Plant and the Wastewater Treatment Plant were initially certified in 2017. The Town of Dallas has worked with the Consultative Services Bureau since 2012 to improve its safety program and work toward the SHARP designation. The Town of Dallas’s Public Works Department received the first year gold award and the Public Utilities Department received the fifth year gold award at last year’s Gastonia Safety Awards Banquet.