Public Risk Magazine

PRIMA is updating our flagship publication: Public Risk magazine

Starting in 2020 Public Risk will be condensed to 6 issues; the same great content delivered every other month!

Public Risk provides risk managers with timely, focused information in an easy-to-read format. It 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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November/December 2019

Nov Dec cover

Featured Article

What We Do and Don't Know About Cannabis

By Nikki Wilson, PharmD/MBA

With so much going on in the area of marijuana and cannabis, it makes sense to review what we know and what it might mean for injured workers and workers’ compensation. Nearly a dozen states have approved cannabis for recreational use and more than two-thirds have signed off on medical marijuana. Marijuana’s active chemical components are becoming more widespread, too. Cannabidiol (CBD) has popped up seemingly overnight in products from skin cream to candy to dog treats. Hemp already appears in thousands of commercial products, and the number is likely to increase thanks to a recent loosening of restrictions on hemp cultivation. 

It’s no secret that the growing popularity of various forms of cannabis increases the likelihood that their use will become a bigger consideration within workers’ comp in the coming years, but before we dive into the implications, let’s define what we’re talking about. In workers’ comp, we often use the terms “marijuana” and “cannabis” interchangeably. That’s understandable given marijuana is perhaps the more commonly used term. 

While marijuana is more of a slang term encompassing the plant and associated products, the term cannabis originates from the plant genus name and is what we most often find in scientific literature. Cannabis generally refers to a preparation of the cannabis plant. Cannabis is comprised of a variety of chemical components, including cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are the active chemical constituents. It’s this chemical profile—the percentage of cannabinoids in cannabis—that determines a product’s potency and effects. Therefore, the makeup of the cannabis is what matters more than the various strain names or plant species type.

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PRIMA in 2019: A Year in Review

By Teal Griffey, MBA

2019 has been a big year for risk management and an even bigger year for PRIMA. While risk management professionals grappled with ongoing and emerging risks in their industries, PRIMA has been an educational force, creating webinars, blogs, toolkits, podcasts, and events to help members like you succeed in your profession. Please enjoy this look back at some of PRIMA’s major accomplishments in 2019.

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Workplace Hazing Emerges from the Shadows

By Claire Wilkinson

Hazing incidents or bullying in the workplace can be problematic for both public- and private-sector employers, and amid the #MeToo environment, awareness around the behavior is growing, experts say.

Several insurance coverages may come into play in hazing events, including general liability, employment practices liability and workers’ compensation policies. Having strong workplace policies, procedures and training in place are critical for employers to manage and mitigate the risks.

A recent case in Portland, Oregon, highlights the potential liability public entities can face from such claims. The city reached an $80,000 settlement, effective Aug. 2, ending a lawsuit brought by Adam Rawlins, a former employee who had claimed in U.S. District Court he was subject to battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress due to “extreme hazing” while working for the Portland Bureau of Transportation in 2016. In one incident, Mr. Rawlins alleged he was held against his will and locked in a cage in a city shed while he was bound with zip ties and duct tape, according to court documents.

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