Policy # 26: Safety
The City of Colorado Springs recognizes that the safety and health of its employees and the public are paramount concerns in the delivery of its services. Safety shall receive first consideration in the design and performance of any job. The safety and health of employees and the public shall not be compromised to provide expedient service.
Each Department Director/Division Manager or Council/Mayoral Appointee will use best efforts to ensure that an effective safety and health program is developed, implemented, and maintained. The health and safety program of the Department/Division, with its applicable rules and procedures, shall meet or exceed established federal, state, and city laws as well as accepted industry practices.
The Department Director/Division Manager or Council/Mayoral Appointee shall use best efforts to implement an ongoing program to identify and assess occupational safety and health hazards. Employees shall be provided ongoing training and education relating to preventive measures that minimize or eliminate work place hazards. Employees will be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment and shall be trained in its proper use.
For department/division, supervisor, professional safety staff, employee, and Safety Services section responsibilities, see the Safety Program Manual on the Risk Management intranet home page.
Fitness for Duty Approval Process:
Whenever circumstances indicate that an employee may no longer be able to perform an assigned job-related duty/duties or when safety concerns arise, an employee, upon approval of the Human Resources Director, may be ordered to undergo a fitness for duty examination. Such examination will be coordinated through the Risk Management Office.
Each employee of the City has a role to play in assuring a safe and healthy work place. The employee's responsibilities include, but are not limited to the following:
- Be safety conscious at all times.
- Follow established safety and health rules, policies, and procedures in performing work assignments.
- Maintain a valid, appropriate Colorado Driver's license, if required for the operation of City vehicles and equipment.
- Request additional information or clarification on assignments that are unclear and for which there may be a hazard.
- Operate all City equipment, tools, machinery, and vehicles in accordance with manufacturer guidelines, safety practices, and operator training instructions.
- Correctly wear and use all appropriate protective equipment.
- Use lap and shoulder belts, where provided, at all times while operating or riding as a passenger in a City vehicle or private vehicle on City business.
- Wear an ANSI-approved helmet and eye protection when operating a motorcycle, trike motorcycle, moped or scooter on City business.
- Wear a bicycle helmet while riding a bicycle on City business.
- Immediately report to the immediate supervisor and co-workers any unsafe working condition, equipment malfunction, or other situations that could endanger employees or the public.
- Report personal injuries to the supervisor and Risk Management office no later than 48 hours after injury.
Employees shall immediately notify their immediate supervisor, the Risk Management Office and, if appropriate, law enforcement authorities, of any accident causing injury to an employee which requires professional medical attention, damage to a City vehicle or property, or damage and/or injury to private property or citizen.
- Notification of Family Members: The Department/Division shall be responsible for implementing procedures for the notification of family members. Employees are responsible for providing and updating the name of the individual to be contacted in the event of an emergency. This information should be provided to the employee's Department/Division and to Human Resources.
References: Safety Manual; Policy and Procedure # 56, Vehicles (Usage of City-Owned); #57, Vehicles (Employee Responsibilities for City-Owned)
Policy # 28: Workers' Compensation
In accordance with the State of Colorado Workers' Compensation Act, employees may apply for workers' compensation benefits for on-the-job injuries. The degree of liability and the amount of the benefit are determined by the State.
The City pays the entire cost of the Workers' Compensation insurance.
Administration of Claims
The Workers' Compensation section of the Risk Management Unit is responsible for the intake, review, and administration of employee workers' compensation claims. Employees who are injured on-the-job must report their claims to the Workers' Compensation section in accordance with their Department's/Division's accident reporting procedures.
Injury Leave/Modified Duty
Regular, Probationary, and Special Employees: An employee who is temporarily disabled for more than three regular working days as a result of an injury, which is fully compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act, shall be granted injury leave not to exceed 720 hours per injury. To be eligible for injury leave, the employee must have physician certification, in writing, that the time off is related to the injury. The Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act provides payment of temporary disability benefits equal to 66⅔ of an employee’s average weekly wage, not to exceed a maximum of 91% of the State average weekly wage. The City, however, will provide 100% wage replacement for compensable injuries or illnesses. Injury leave wage replacement will be paid based upon the wage at the time of disability. Injury leave benefits are paid in place of and are credited against temporary disability benefits due under the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act. There is no double recovery from injury leave and the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act. Injury leave will be considered as part of and administered in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act except that employees are not permitted or required to use accrued leave in conjunction with injury leave while on FMLA status. Injury leave shall continue until the first occurrence of any one of the following:
- The authorized treating physician releases the employee to return to modified duty or full duty.
- The employee reaches maximum medical improvement.
- On the date a ruling of permanent disability is made.
In the event the employee exhausts injury leave and is still unable to return to work, the employee becomes eligible for compensation in accordance with the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act, C.R.S. Section 8-42-105, which governs state-mandated compensation. When injury leave is exhausted, the employee will be required to supplement state mandated compensation with accrued leave up to 12 hours per week.
Benefit Period Computation
In computing the 720 hour maximum benefit period, the following hours shall be counted:
- Paid holidays occurring during the recovery period
- Paid leaves
- Unpaid leaves taken when the benefit is a reduced benefit
Hourly Employees: Employees shall be eligible for injury leave in the amount of the State-required benefits only.
All Employees: An employee on injury leave shall not be placed on-call or in a stand-by mode.
Modified Duty: An employee who is unable to perform the essential functions of their position while recovering from an injury, which is fully compensable under the Workers’ Compensation Act, may be granted modified duty for a period of time not to exceed 1040 hours. The use of modified duty assignments is governed by the availability of suitable work within the restrictions contained in the physician’s release. The employee shall be paid their base wage while working modified duty.
For regular, special and probationary employees, assignments may be made within the department/division or to organizations outside of the employee’s regularly assigned work group.
For hourly employees, the use of modified duty assignments is governed by the availability of work within the department/division only.
Eligibility to work modified duty ceases when the employee has been released to return to full duty, is approved for a service/disability retirement, is placed at maximum medical improvement by a designated physician, or has been reassigned as a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
If the injury is not fully compensable under the provisions of the State of Colorado Worker's Compensation Act provisions, the City benefit shall be reduced by the same percentage as the State assessed penalty. In such instances, the employee may elect to utilize accrued sick leave and vacation to offset the assessed penalties.
An employee on injury leave or limited duty assignment shall not perform any activities, including other employment, self-employment, sports, hobbies, etc., which may impede recovery from the injury. The authorized treating physician will make the appropriate determinations.
An employee on injury leave or limited duty assignment shall not be placed on-call or in a stand-by mode. An employee may work overtime within his/her physical restrictions based on operational need.
Inability to Perform Duties
Should the employee be unable to return to the full range of regularly assigned duties following workers compensation injury leave and/or a modified duty assignment, the employee may:
- Utilize any remaining FMLA leave if eligible;
- Utilize accrued compensatory time and sick leave if he/she is involved in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) process;
- Utilize accrued vacation leave subject to supervisor approval;
- Request sick leave without pay upon exhausting other paid leaves subject to approval by Department Director or Council/Mayoral Appointee;
- Request an accommodation under (ADA); and/or
- Apply for disability retirement if eligible.
The City reserves the right to initiate an involuntary separation from employment in accordance with City Policies and Procedures for an employee who has not reached Maximum Medical Improvement and prior to the exhaustion of available sick leave if the employee:
- Has exhausted all FMLA leave;
- Waives consideration under the ADA, is found to be not qualified under the ADA, or cannot be reasonably accommodated through reassignment; and,
- Is unable to perform the essential functions of their job with or without reasonable accommodation and,
- Is not otherwise entitled to legal protections.
Employees may request an ADA Accommodation at any time prior to separation of employment, regardless of whether the employee has previously signed an ADA waiver.
Policy # 29 Injuries (Non-work Related)
At the discretion of the immediate supervisor, a regular, probationary or special employee who sustains a non-work related injury or temporary disability and is unable to perform the essential functions of their normal work assignment may be placed on light duty. The light duty period shall not exceed ninety (90) calendar days.
Immediate Supervisor's Responsibilities
The immediate supervisor is responsible for ensuring the following:
- Determining if work assignments which meet the treating physician's approval are available.
- Monitoring the employee's on-the-job assignments and performance.
- Monitoring the 90 calendar day limitation.
Medical documents are confidential and must be sent to Risk Management. The Safety Services section of the Risk Management Unit is available to assist the immediate supervisor with the evaluation and assessment of the employee's suitability for light duty assignment.
Alternatives to Light Duty
Should a light duty assignment not be a viable alternative or if an employee is unable to perform the essential functions of their assigned position, the employee may:
- Utilize accrued sick leave or vacation
- Request a sick leave advance, if the medical prognosis is supportive of recovery
- Apply for Family Medical Leave (FMLA)
- Seek employment in another City position for which they are physically fit
- Apply for PERA disability retirement
- Apply for ADA accommodations
- Separate from employment
References: Policy and Procedures # 24, FMLA; # 21, Sick Leave; # 34, Americans with Disabilities Act Accommodations; ADA Accommodation Guidelines Manual. The Public Employees Retirement System (PERA) can be contacted via the intranet through the Human Resources web page.
Policy # 27: Security Policy
The City of Colorado Springs requires City employees to possess City issued identification cards to enhance security.
Display and Use of Identification Card - Safety
If the employee's job is of the nature that wearing an object such as an ID card on the outside of their clothing presents a safety hazard, the picture ID is to be on their person and available to be shown upon request.
All full-time and part-time regular, special, and probationary employees, including Council/Mayoral Appointee employees, must possess a City issued picture identification card and display the card as required by department/division or facility policy. Outside agency temporaries will be issued City identification cards only when such issuance is requested by management, and the employment is expected to continue at least 6 months.
City issued identification cards shall be used for official City business only. ID cards will also be required to gain admittance to Colorado Springs Utilities' buildings.
Issuance of City ID Card
New hires will be photographed and issued the appropriate City identification card as a part of their new employee orientation, except for the following groups:
- Police Department
- Fire Department
- Municipal Court
- Some Council/Mayoral Appointees
Employees in the above listed departments will receive an identification card specific to their worksite.
Loss of City ID Card
Employees must report the loss of a City issued identification card to their immediate supervisor, as soon as the loss is discovered. Employees will be required to pay for replacement cards.