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Participants at the Risk Management Services Annual Meeting in November heard an inspirational safety message and learned about the unique properties that are insured by the South Carolina Municipal Insurance and Risk Financing Fund.

Safety — It's In Your Hands

"Stay you, stay positive and be safe," is the inspirational message from Billy Parker, safety advocate. He shared this message with the attendees at the Risk Management Services Annual meeting on November 12 in Columbia. Parker also stressed to members, that "safety — it's in your hands." 

Parker shared a story about himself cleaning out a dry wall shredder machine while it was running. The machine caught him and pulled him in because of his failure to follow lockout/tagout safety procedures.

Because of his failure to follow a simple safety procedure, Parker lost both of his arms. After 20 years of experience in the welding and fabrication trade, Parker knew he was violating the rules, but still he made a quick decision that changed his life forever. During his presentation he shared how the choice to violate a safety policy altered not only his life, but the life of his teenage child.

Parker encouraged participants in the meeting to create safe working environments and to follow safety rules.

SCMIT members have directly experienced tragedies such as Parker's because of failure to lockout/tagout a device. Accidents like these result in indirect cost such as overtime, decreased employee morale and a decline in services after a severe employee injury.

Yes, They Really Will Insure Almost Anything

"Yes, they really will insure almost anything," was the message from Hartsville City Manager Natalie Ziegler. She shared this message about the Neptune Island Waterpark that opened in Hartsville in 2018. The state-of-the art waterpark valued at $5.8 million, features slides, splash pads and even sells alcohol. The affordable and adventurous recreational site is now a tourist destination and over 90,000 guest visited the park during the summer of 2019.

Although the waterpark was well received, there were challenges along the way. Signage, employee and guest injuries, operations and security, safety considerations for water features, life guards, sun exposure of attendees, safety considerations for weather events, and controls for avoiding theft of money collected are just a few risk management issues addressed by management.

Todd Glover, executive director of the Municipal Association of SC, shared insight regarding the SRP Park, the home of the Augusta GreenJackets minor league baseball team. In 2018, when Glover was city administrator for North Augusta, his staff opened the $38 million baseball park. The park is not just a place for baseball, but also a perfect place to host events, concerts, and parties. 

Since the park is located next to the Savannah River, the city had to consider additional flood coverage. Special consideration was also given to operations since the city had to sign an agreement with the Augusta GreenJackets to hold the city harmless for operations of the park.

Cities in South Carolina are exploring all types of recreational opportunities for residents. For more information on insuring municipal facilities, contact Meredith Kaiser, underwriting manager, at 803.933.1279 or mkaiser@masc.sc.