Failure to report incidents and safety hazards can have wide-ranging ramifications, impacting employees and their families, public agencies, and the community as a whole. Making work, and workplaces, safer requires the cooperation of everyone—staff, employees, and citizens.
User-friendly and easily accessible tools such as custom risk portals and mobile forms can streamline any project that requires the capture of data—from exposure values and certificates of insurance (COI) details to driver certification information and more. Made available to employees and members of the public for the reporting of incidents, hazards, and near misses, portals and mobile forms help simplify and standardize what is often an arduous and inefficient process. This not only makes reporting these types of events more likely, but also for a more efficient and accurate reporting process.
Making it easier for employees and members of the public to report accidents, damage, and potential hazards has numerous benefits. Among them, a reduction in administrative overhead and decreased lags in reporting, as well as improved transparency and trust. Perhaps most importantly, access to this data can help risk managers and safety professionals identify trends and take proactive, strategic action to reduce future losses or eliminate them altogether.
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Managing certificates of insurance (COIs) has always been a challenge. With increasing pressure on the budgets of state and local governments, dedicating the resources required to effectively manage this process can mean sacrificing time spent on other core functions. Relying on color-coded spreadsheets and a manual review process often leads to unsustainable procedures that fail to scale and adapt as an organization grows.
COI management is risk management
Although the process can be a time-draining administrative exercise, COI management is fundamental to managing risk transfer. The article Contractual Risk Transfer Issues: Reviewing Certificates of Insurance highlights the important role COIs play in risk management, noting, “Because many liability losses occur through the transfer of risk, it has become necessary for a Risk Control Consultant to assess the hazards and controls arising from contracts and agreements in a fashion similar to identifying other hazards, such as exposed wiring or missing guardrails.”
Most public entities are obligated to carefully monitor COI compliance in order to control unidentified risk transfer. Yet the administrative burden associated with endless cycles of hunting down updates and monitoring for expirations or deficiencies can easily exhaust any department. Given the mandate public entities have to stretch every resource to the furthest extent possible, the tension between the importance of an effective COI management process and the toll it takes on those managing it is difficult to resolve.
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Deciding to implement a RMIS system or make a RMIS switch comes with a range of emotions. There’s the excitement of knowing something better is on the horizon. There’s the nervous energy that comes with major change. There may even be dread over the daunting task ahead. After all, you know your current RMIS—warts and all—and a new one takes some time to get used to. But the payoff from getting a new system that’s adaptable to your organization’s specific needs can’t be overstated.
Don’t let the fear of implementation stop you from making a change that will reap benefits for years to come. With a straightforward plan in place that plays to your organization’s strengths, you can slay the implementation dragon—and even enjoy yourself along the way. Such was the case for non-profit professional association New Mexico Counties (NMC), which teamed up with Origami Risk to complete a highly successful implementation.
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Regardless of industry, the numbers make clear why a focus on fleet safety is necessary.
- According to the National Safety Council, medically consulted injuries in motor vehicle incidents totaled 4.6 million in 2016.
- Total motor vehicle injury costs—including wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, motor-vehicle property damage, and employer costs—for the year were estimated at $416.2 billion.
- NCCI data shows that, by cause of injury, motor vehicle crashes resulted in the costliest lost-time workers’ compensation claims, averaging $73,559 per claim in 2015 and 2016.
For public entities, when it comes to managing the risks associated with fleets, these numbers are especially concerning. “Fleets are a serious and growing risk management challenge for public entities,” writes Susan Kostro in the Risk Management magazine article Managing Public Sector Auto Risks. “The public sector collectively has the largest vehicle fleet in the United States. With 1.3 million cars and trucks, that sector is even larger than the commercial fleet segment, according to Government Fleet magazine, so the challenges of commercial auto insurance have been particularly hard on public entities.”
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Public entity risk managers looking to further reduce the costs associated with workers’ compensation claims continue to recognize the value of a behavior-based risk and safety management model. According to Public Entity Risk Managers Speak Out: Results of the 2017 Public Entity Employee Safety & Loss Control Survey, “Now more than ever, the best strategy is to take a holistic approach to risk management to prevent claims from occurring in the first place with loss control strategies.”
The development and implementation of a pre-loss model that measurably drives accident reduction and workplace safety requires effective collaboration between risk management and safety teams. Transparency and the sharing of information is essential to success. Both can be severely restricted when using spreadsheets or outdated legacy software. … read more