Warren County Commissioners will get their first look at revised safety and health rules for county employees this month. This year’s employee handbook will include a provision for firearms.
“With the guns in trunks legislation going into effect this year, I thought we should add something in the handbook about it,” said safety coordinator David Britton. “Firearms should not be out and visible.”
Tennessee’s “guns in parking lots” law took effect July 1 and gave handgun carry permit holders the right to transport and store firearms and/ or ammunition in their vehicles parked in an employer’s parking lot. Interpretation of the law is still ongoing.
For employees other than law enforcement officers, the provision states, “Firearms are restricted to permit gun holders and the gun must be out of sight in a locked vehicle.”
The state requires the county to revise its handbook every five years. It was last updated in 2008.
Among other changes in the handbook:
• If an injury occurs, medical appointments are to be made by the department manager or their designee for coverage to be approved. Employees will no longer be allowed to set their own appointments.
• Portable fire extinguishers should be mounted to the wall or columns throughout the workplace.
• Good housekeeping is a basic part of accident and fire prevention. It can eliminate workplace hazards and especially slip and trip hazards in halls and floor areas.
• Any county employee hired to drive a motor vehicle must have completed successfully a motor vehicle review by the Tennessee Department of Safety in accordance with the county’s motor vehicle rules policy.
• Any employee of the county could be part of a random drug screen as part of efforts to ensure a drug-free workplace. An individual may be screened if just cause is presented and meets the intent of the Tennessee Drug Free Workplace requirements.
Britton presented the handbook to Policy and Personnel Committee members Commissioners Ken Martin, chairman, Charles Morgan and Kenneth Rogers on Tuesday. Absent from the meeting were Commissioners Wayne Copeland and George Smartt.
Committee members unanimously accepted the handbook, which will be presented to the full County Commission this month for its consideration.