Nearly two dozen counties and four outstanding individuals were recognized with TAC Risk Management Pool (TAC RMP) Awards for promoting safe workplaces and reducing risk in their operations.
Making a Difference Award
The Making a Difference Award is earned by an individual who exhibits strong leadership in promoting risk control efforts within the workplace and is not limited to safety activities. Candidates for the award dedicate themselves to the mission of risk control, show creativity and lead others to risk management success within their organization. The Making a Difference Award is open to any employee of a member county whose actions truly deserve high praise. Elected and appointed officials are also eligible.
Northwest Region: Loretta Key
Eastland County auditor
Key is a positive example of “making a difference.” Key’s commitment to loss prevention resulted in significant results for Eastland County in 2020: workers’ compensation loss ratio of 28%, no incurred property losses and the Public Officials Liability Program has not experienced a loss in four years.
Key worked with department heads and elected officials to implement an infection prevention and control strategy to reduce COVID-19 exposure. An on-site screening program was implemented at the courthouse to check the temperature of workers and visitors. Use of masks, cloth face coverings and physical distancing, as well as heightened sanitation measures in county offices, election areas, and courtrooms were enacted. Clear plexiglass desk shields were issued in offices, and hand sanitizer stations were placed throughout the courthouse. The courthouse was sanitized daily by maintenance staff to ensure safety protocol was intact.
Key created a Loss Prevention Control Program to reduce the threat of lost assets and income. A county-wide identification tag program was instituted where all assets are marked with a county ID tag. The ID tag numbers are entered into an inventory tracking system maintained by the auditor’s office, and a quarterly and annual audit is performed in each office to ensure accuracy. When an asset is at the end of its life cycle, procedures are in place to transfer the item to surplus property and the asset is sold or disposed of according to established procedures.
Southeast Region: Loretta Wallace
Comal County human resources executive office manager/loss control
In a very challenging 2020, Wallace has used her skills and hard work to overcome obstacles and collectively obtain results while making Comal County a safer place to work. Wallace played a proactive and pivotal role in ensuring safety was a top priority across the county by implementing safety training programs, analyzing performance data, and examining Comal County’s safety record to achieve intended goals. Leading the safety committee team, Wallace was instrumental in updating risk controls to the newly adopted safety plan for all Comal County employees that begins on day one of employment. Wallace has a firm grasp on the big picture of Comal County’s safety culture to reduce lost time. She uses effective strategies for return-to-work, while continuously and aggressively looks for opportunities to improve risk outcomes and eliminate wasted expense. Wallace identifies, encourages and enforces to achieve safety standards by empowering employees, and exemplifies an awareness of safety in the workplace that will send every employee home safely - everyday.
Northeast Region: Kami Webb
Rockwall County human resources director
Webb continuously works to facilitate risk management functions in Rockwall County through coordinated training for clerical, maintenance and road and bridge operations. Additionally, over the years she has aided in organizing various facility inspections throughout the county.
Early in 2020, Webb contacted TAC human resources consultants for assistance and developed a strategy to assist county departments in creating business continuity plans. In addition to business community initiatives, Webb developed policies and documents for pandemic response. These policies were then shared with other counties and continue to be a good resource for all Texas counties.
Webb understands the importance of maintaining relationships in county government. She not only works well with officals and department heads in Rockwall County, but she also develops a network with other county HR professionals, benefitting Rockwall County and many counties throughout the state.
Southwest Region: Roel Soza Jr.
Jim Wells County safety officer
When Soza began working for Jim Wells County on December 2, 2019, he hit the ground running to get employee buy-in through sharing 2019 incidents and county loss information with all county employees. As a highly visible resource, he has developed and implemented numerous processes to help keep county employees safe, including monthly safety stand-down meetings with the road and bridge crews and a near miss reporting system entitled “See something - Say something.” By utilizing Texas Department of Transportation standards and incorporating them into daily road and bridge activities, Soza has strengthened the county’s vehicle inspection program and instituted a site inspection program for the road and bridge crews. Despite the pandemic, Soza has coordinated training with the University of Texas at Arlington and provided work zone safety, beginner motor grader, intermediate motor grader and backhoe/front end loader trainings to the road and bridge crews. During his spare time, Soza obtained his vector and on-site sewage facilities licenses from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and conducts those inspections for the county. When asked about his accomplishments, Soza explained, “COVID-19 has slowed us down, but safety will never slow down.”
Safety Achievement Award
Val Verde County
Excellence in Safety Award
Jim Wells County