In This Issue
- Safe Workplace Award Distribution
- Creating A Safety Committee
- Successful Fraud Prevention
- Preparing For A PESH Inspection
- Upcoming Training Seminars
- Upcoming Conferences
- Updates to LinkedIn
Safe Workplace Award Distribution
The Comp Alliance is pleased to announce an upcoming distribution of our 2021-22 Safe Workplace Award for eligible members on our June and July membership cycles. We are proud to continue giving back to our members through the Safe Workplace Award program, with distribution now totaling over $3.3 million to date. This monetary award is provided to the safest member workplaces in New York State. The award benefits members who have had a positive loss experience and contributed to the financial well-being of the program during a given policy year.
Creating A Safety Committee
Municipal risk management involves identifying, analyzing, and implementing controls to minimize the risks associated with various hazards in operations. Mitigating workplace hazards is an important aspect of risk management, and one of the most effective ways to achieve this is by forming a safety committee. A safety committee should be standard practice for all our members, with participants from various departments such as general administration, public works, fire, water, and others. The committee should include department heads, union representatives, and employees interested in workplace safety who request participation. This diverse group can assist municipal operations in identifying hazards, implementing prevention methods, and monitoring the workplace for positive results.
Effective safety committees require management’s support and commitment and should identify specific and measurable goals. The involvement of management, supervisors, and employees will help recognize ongoing workplace hazards, review incidents, and implement corrective and follow-up processes with corrective procedures.
The safety committee is responsible for setting annual hazard control and accident prevention goals, which should be provided to management and a designated safety coordinator. Topics for goals could include:
- Complying with government standards for loss control matters.
- Integrating hazard control and safety into the day-to-day activity of all personnel.
- Improving new employee orientation and training programs.
- Reducing injury incidence rates.
- Evaluating injury and incident occurrences to provide management with recommended countermeasures for injury prevention.
Safety committee meetings should cover accidents, near misses, new training requirements, employee suggestions, and future educational needs related to workplace safety. The committee should review supervisor accident investigation reports, the actions taken to prevent accident recurrences, the results of the safety inspection program, and new employee safety orientation procedures. It should also establish a system for handling employee safety suggestions, revise safety rules and procedures, consult management in arranging special safety training programs, and review, update, and prepare reports on the status of the loss control program.
Workplace accidents, injuries, minor incidents, and near misses should be reviewed and discussed with committee members to identify causes and ensure that corrective measures, including job training, take place to prevent recurrences. Near misses or close calls are crucial to discuss, as they provide an opportunity to prevent future injuries. Discussions can also include modified or restricted duty activities and monitoring for employees who are out of work due to a job-related injury.
A well-run safety committee is an essential component of a loss control program that can help reduce operational costs and improve employee productivity, satisfaction, loyalty, cooperation, and contribution. Additionally, the committee can provide management with an overview of program performance. Communication of the safety committee’s activities to staff through newsletters, emails, or paystub envelop notices is important in raising safety awareness and preventing employee injuries.
It is advised that the committee keep a record of its meeting or minutes to help guide future initiatives. While safety committees are most often “advisory committees” and thus not subject to the open meetings law, If by chance a majority of the governing board participates in the committee meeting, the committee is delegated to take action on behalf of the municipality, or is otherwise created pursuant to regulations (such as school “Health and Safety Committees), the open meetings law may apply.
Successful Fraud Prevention
The Comp Alliance prioritizes long-term stability which includes fighting fraudulent claims and false representations. While rare, workers’ compensation fraud and misrepresentations can be costly. With our diligent claims team, our members should feel comfortable knowing the Comp Alliance is actively managing and investigating fraudulent claims and misrepresentations of material facts. In one recent example, an employee claimed mental health injuries due to a workplace incident. The claim was disputed, and the judge found that the employee misrepresented their condition and psychiatric history, resulting in a violation of Workers' Compensation Law section 114-a. The employee was disqualified from receiving compensation directly attributed to the misrepresentation, and the judge's decision was upheld on appeal. Remember that fraud prevention starts with a proactive safety program. Limiting the frequency and severity of injuries gives fewer opportunities for injuries to be exaggerated.
Preparing For A PESH Inspection
In partnership with the Cornell Local Roads program, the Comp Alliance contributed to "Deeper Digs," providing an in-depth resource to help public entities in New York prepare for a PESH (Public Employee Safety and Health Bureau) inspection. The guide assists in understanding what PESH is, as well as the inspection process, inspection order of priority, areas of review, violations, and more. Click the links below to access all three parts.
Preparing for a PESH Inspection Part 1
Preparing for a PESH Inspection Part 2
Preparing for a PESH Inspection Part 3
Upcoming Training Seminars
The Comp Alliance has several live video conference trainings and three regional trainings scheduled for members throughout April, May, and June. We'll cover PESH-mandated
topics including Workplace Violence, Right-to-Know, and Bloodborne Pathogens. Visit www.compalliance.org for our full calendar.
Tues. 4/4, Hosted by the Town of Little Falls
Sat. 4/13, Hosted by the Town of German Flatts
Tues. 5/2, Hosted by the Town of Mooers
Mon. 4/10: 8 AM - 8:30
Thurs. 5/4: 8 AM - 8:30
Fri. 6/9: 8 AM - 8:30
Say hello to us at any of the following conferences.
4/23 - 4/26 NYS Town Clerks Association Conference - Syracuse, NY*
4/26 - 4/27 Adirondack Planning Forum - Saranac Lake, NY
5/8 - 5/9 AOT Town Finance School - Geneva, NY
5/15 - 5/16 AOT Town Finance School - Albany, NY
6/4 - 6/7 ASBO NY Educational Summit - Saratoga Springs, NY
6/8 Southern Tier West Local Government Conference - Houghton, NY
*We will be presenting on Workplace Violence and Ergonomic Safety
The Comp Alliance invites you to join us at the upcoming NYCOM 2023 Annual Meeting, May 17-19 at the Sagamore in Bolton Landing.
Thanks to everyone who joined us at the 2023 AOT Annual Meeting. We hope to see you next year!
Updates To LinkedIn
We've updated our LinkedIn page, click here to be sure to confirm you're following us. The Comp Alliance strives to keep members informed of the latest industry and program news. Stay connected with us for the latest news, events, safety tips, and more.