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Public Risk Magazine

 

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!

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May/June 2019

May June cover

Featured Article

After Three Decades of Public Risk Management, New PRIMA 2019–2020 President Scott Kramer Looks Ahead

By Teal Griffey, MBA

On my way home from last year’s PRIMA conference, I was offered a position as the County Administrator of Autauga County in central Alabama.” The county has 200 employees and a $20M budget, including a jail, senior centers, agricultural arena, rural transportation, emergency management, solid waste, engineering, probate, revenue, and the sheriff’s office. 

While the position may be new, Kramer is no stranger to risk management, starting his career in 1988. “Initially, I was employed as the Assistant Risk Manager for Ingalls Shipbuilding, a U.S. naval contractor that employed 17,000 at the time in Pascagoula, Mississippi.” In his 15 years at Ingalls, Kramer’s understanding of risk management grew as his job responsibilities increased, and he successfully earned his MBA from the University of Southern Mississippi. 

In 2003, Kramer shifted to public risk management, accepting a position as the risk manager for the County Commission in Alabama’s state capital, Montgomery, where he worked for 11 years before becoming the County Administrator of Autauga County.

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How Health Management Programs Impact Workers’ Compensation

By Brian Devlin

It goes without saying that public safety employees have difficult jobs. Along with facing high levels of stress, these are physically demanding positions which can often result in job-related injuries or illnesses.

Unfortunately, health management systems that are designed to improve employee health are not always available or administered effectively. What can public entities do to reduce claims and keep a healthier workforce?

One tactic that has seen positive results is the introduction of a health management program built to meet the long-term health and recovery needs of public safety employees. Here’s what you need to know about the unique risks these employees face and how the right program can reap huge benefits.

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How to Avoid Spreadsheet Paralysis
Once considered the best way to do business, the basic functionality of spreadsheets is now under question as the right tool for the job.

By Jim Leftwich

Back in 2016, Microsoft reported that more than one billion people used its Office suite of applications, which includes the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. Roughly one in every six people on earth use it, Microsoft said. There is no doubt that when Microsoft first developed this application, they were on to something important, and it still has its place within the Office suite for many users. Of course, Microsoft is not the only company that has produced and promoted spreadsheet programs; there are literally hundreds of similar programs, typically sold as single-seat, stand-alone applications not tied to any common database. 

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Hostile Work Environment Prevention: 
The Public Risk Management Challenge

By Joe Jarret

In many public entities across the country, employees who feel they are being subjected to a hostile work environment are encouraged to report such incidents to Human Resources (HR), for investigation. If the claim has merit, then it becomes the responsibility of HR to determine what intervention is necessary to resolve the issue as well as ensure it doesn’t become even more pervasive. It is not uncommon for HR to work hand-in-hand with the entity’s legal team, especially when the alleged actions or behavior discriminate against members of a protected classification such as age, gender, religion, disability, or race. While many public employers implement policies against harassment and discrimination, the risk manager is often left out of the hostile work environment equation, even though such acts are a risk that should be treated much like any other threat to the entity. Often times, the time-honored responses to risk in the form of risk avoidance or risk reduction/mitigation can be applied to claims founded in hostile work environment allegations.

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Outdated Imaging Equipment: 
A Problem Impacting Quality of Care and Cost of Claims in Workers' Compensation

By Ted Smith

In workers’ compensation, diagnostic imaging—such as an MRI, CT, or PET scan—is often the first critical step to assess the severity of an injury and to develop a treatment plan for prompt recovery and return to work. It’s imperative that the use of a reliable facility that produces a quality image is utilized from the onset to ensure the best outcome for the injured worker. 

However, obsolete imaging equipment has become a significant issue. Today, if injured workers require a scan, they could be sent to an imaging facility with old or outdated equipment, if that facility or equipment was not properly vetted in the first place. 

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An Insider's Look at the 2019 PRIMA Annual Conference
Join Us in Orlando, June 9–12

By Teal Griffey, MBA

Think. Share. Transform is the theme of this year’s Annual Conference and reflects PRIMA’s commitment to delivering key content that will educate and inspire. This year’s Annual Conference offers more than 50 educational opportunities covering the latest trends and topics affecting public risk management today.

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Read the full issue