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Baxter hospital earns top governor's safety award

BAXTER — The Community Behavioral Health Hospital in Baxter recently received top honors for workplace safety and health.

The hospital and four other Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) facilities were among 161 employers awarded Governor’s Safety Awards by the Minnesota Safety Council last month. The Baxter hospital, a 16-bed facility that provides short-term, inpatient psychiatric care to adults, received the Award of Honor, the highest conferred. DHS chemical dependency and substance abuse treatment facilities in Anoka, Carlton, Fergus Falls and Willmar received Meritorious Achievement Awards.

“Every member of our team brings special gifts and talents to the hospital to help our patients define and then reach for their recovery goals,” said Richard Slieter, administrator of the Baxter facility, in a news release. “In return, the leadership of this hospital must do everything in its power to provide safe facilities and equipment and best safety practices.”

Governor’s Safety Award applicants are judged on several years of injury data as it compares with state and national statistics, and on their progress in implementing a comprehensive safety program.

Winners are recognized at three levels: meritorious achievement (76 winners) — Above average performance in incident rates and implementation of at least half of specified safety program benchmarks; outstanding achievement (42 winners) — continuing improvement and/or a continuing outstanding record and implementation of 75 percent of safety program benchmarks; award of honor (43 winners) — exceptional accomplishment in reduction of injuries and illnesses in the workplace and implementation of more than 90 percent of specified benchmarks.

“An effective safety program is an indicator of a successful organization,” said Carol Bufton, president of the Minnesota Safety Council, a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization. “Employers like the Minnesota Department of Human Services understand that protecting employees is not only the right thing to do — it’s also good business.”

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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