Public Risk, PRIMA’s 10-time-per-year magazine, is the flagship publication of the association. This publication provides risk managers with timely, focused information in an easy-to-read format. Public Risk features articles from risk management practitioners as well as industry professionals. Articles range from current trends, risk management procedures and guidelines, legislation changes, spotlights and more that will engage your office while keeping them informed!
Enterprise Risk Management:
A Practitioner’s Perspective
By Dorothy Gjerdrum and Shannon Gunderman
It can seem like a daunting challenge to create an enterprise risk management (ERM) program. Where do I start? How will I obtain buy-in from leadership, supervisors, and managers? What’s the best way to engage employees? What outcomes can we expect?
These are only a fraction of the questions that can make a risk manager feel overwhelmed with the task of developing an ERM program; so overwhelmed, in fact, that the process is often never begun. It’s like being told to take a long journey up a mountain without a map or even a clear picture of the destination.
ERM won’t be a Sisyphean task, though, if risk managers utilize a reliable map, consult with professional guides, and learn from those who have experienced the journey.
Do You Really Know Why They Keep
Hurting Their Backs?
By Bryan Fass, ATC, LAT, CSCS, EMT-P(ret.)
Injury, disability and even death is a risk that every first responder accepts when entering the profession. Back injuries alone account for more than 20 percent of all workplace injuries in the United States and are a particular problem in first responders, where at any given time nearly 10 percent of the workforce is out of work from injury. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention monitors first responders injuries, and in the most recent data set available, more than 27,000 fire-EMS workers experienced on-the-job injuries and illnesses, and more than 21 percent of those injuries were to the lower back. International association of firefighter’s data shows that more than 50 percent of line of duty and 50 percent of early retirements are due to low back injury. These injuries incur extreme costs to departments and cities making staffing and budgeting challenging.
Worth the Risk?
By Gordon Graham
Public safety leaders have long identified recruitment and retention as key challenges for their agencies. With the improving economy, we can only expect those challenges to grow. As a risk manager, however, I see a challenge not just with finding and keeping good people in public safety—I see a huge “problem lying in wait” when it comes to properly assessing employee performance.
A properly prepared performance evaluation is an excellent risk-management tool. It is a regular opportunity to assess how a given employee is currently doing and what future risks they may face. It helps the supervisor apply appropriate control measures to address those risks. Ultimately, it can improve the employee’s performance and in so doing, make the agency stronger.
But a performance evaluation that is not done properly—that is prepared without a lot of thought—can come back to haunt the agency. I have seen this happen again and again. In too many public safety agencies, performance evaluations are not taken seriously. Such agencies miss critical opportunities to identify risks before they turn into tragedies.
Let’s take a closer look at performance evaluations in public safety by asking three critical questions.