Road Commission wins workers’ compensation award

The Manistee County Road Commission was recently recognized for having one of the lowest employee injury rates among road commissions in Michigan. Commissioner Richard Graham, left, accepts a plaque from Doug Robidoux, chairperson of the County Road Association Self-Insurance Fund. (Courtesy photo)

The Manistee County Road Commission was recently recognized for having one of the lowest employee injury rates among road commissions in Michigan. Commissioner Richard Graham, left, accepts a plaque from Doug Robidoux, chairperson of the County Road Association Self-Insurance Fund. (Courtesy photo)

LANSING — The Manistee County Road Commission was recently recognized for having one of the lowest employee injury rates among road commissions in Michigan.

“Low injury rates just don’t happen in our business,” said Jim deSpelder, administrator of the County Road Association Self-Insurance Fund. “Our business is working on the roads. Working on the roads is physically demanding and puts our workers at risk of being injured by passing vehicles.

“It takes constantly reminding employees that their safety on the job is a primary concern of management.”

The County Road Association Self-Insurance Fund (CRASIF) provides safety training and workers’ compensation coverage for road commissions.

The Manistee County Road Commission (MCRC) takes advantage of these trainings and has a positive track record of being recognized for its emphasis on safety.

“It primarily comes down to our employees using safe practices on the work that they perform on a daily basis here at the MCRC” said Mark Sohlden, Manistee County Road Commission manager, “whether they are performing maintenance or construction work out on the roads and bridges, working in the facility, supervising the employees or working in the office.

“Our employees earned the CRASIF award by performing their work in a safe manner to avoid injury.”

The MCRC currently employs 28 full-time workers, consisting of 23 hourly employees that work in the field or in the facility; two maintenance supervisors who spend most of their time in the field supervising employees and investigating service requests and other work; and three members of the office staff.

“Low injury rates also have monetary benefits to the road commissions,” said Doug Robidoux, chairperson of the Fund and a road commissioner with the Mason County Road Commission. “Lower injury rates results in lower workers compensation premiums. The monetary savings can go to other needs such as maintaining Michigan roads.”

Road commissions that have lower than average injury rates qualify to be on CRASIF’s Honor Roll, a designation Manistee’s achieved.

“They should be applauded for their achievement,” deSpelder said.

CRASIF is a Michigan based group fund that provides disability management and workers’ compensation to road commissions. CRASIF services 70 out of the 83 road commissions in Michigan.

Leave a Reply