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First Quarter Risk Management Tips

There are numerous actions for municipal risk management staff to take every year as part of a consistent and proactive effort to reduce liability for the local government. Here are some key items for risk managers to address in the first quarter of the calendar year: 

January 

Establish a procedure for checking motor vehicle records. 
  • For all existing and future employees who operate motor vehicles on business, check their motor vehicle records, whether they are in a municipal vehicle or personal vehicle.
  • Be sure to check employees’ motor vehicle records before hiring them, and at least annually after that. SC Department of Motor Vehicles Request for Driver Information Form MV-70 can be used to request records.
Make sure documentation of all drivers’ motor vehicle records reviews are on file.
  • Maintain the records in personnel files.
  • Documented criteria should exist for the suspension of a worker’s on-duty driving privileges if there are three or more moving violations — a violation of traffic law by a vehicle in motion — in a three-year period.

February

Post the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Form 300A. 
  • Public entities must complete and post OSHA Form 300A, the Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, each year from February 1 to April 30 in an area visible to employees. Even if there were no recordable injuries or illnesses, employers must post the form with zeros on the total line. 
  • These entities must also post OSHA Form 300, the Log of Work-related Injuries and Illnesses, throughout the year.
Complete a risk assessment of the municipality.
  • Use a risk assessment to identify opportunities to improve policies and procedures. Assessments also aid in identifying existing hazards in the workplace. This can lead to decreased injuries and claims which can help reduce insurance premiums.
  • Correct the identified hazards to prevent losses.

March 

Review and update personnel, law enforcement and fire service policies.
  • Have policies reviewed and updated periodically by an attorney to comply with local, state and federal regulations and laws.
  • Make sure there is a conspicuous disclaimer on the first page of the employee manual stating the document is not an employment contract.
Review and update job descriptions.
  • Include safety responsibilities in job descriptions to promote accountability and to make safety part of the annual evaluation process. 
  • Make sure employees are aware of their expected safety tasks, and know to prioritize them.