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​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.
     - Check motor vehicle records for all existing and future employees who operate motor vehicles for member business, 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.
  • Ensure documentation of motor vehicle records reviews for all drivers 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 in a three-year time period.
February

  • Post the Occupational Safety and Health Administration Form 300A (summary of OSHA injuries and illnesses) February 1 – April 30.
     - Public entities must complete the OSHA Form 300, Log of Work-related Injuries and Illnesses, throughout the year and must 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.
  • Complete a risk assessment of the municipality.
     - A risk assessment is a tool to assist in identifying opportunities to improve risk management policies and procedures. Assessments also aid in identifying existing hazards in the workplace. The identified hazards should be corrected to prevent losses.

     - Improvement in risk management programs and the reduction of hazards can lead to decreased injuries and claims, which can help reduce insurance premiums.
March

  • Review and update personnel, law enforcement and fire service policies.
     - Policies should be reviewed and updated periodically by an attorney to comply with state, local and federal regulations and laws.

     - A conspicuous disclaimer should appear on the first page of the manual stating the document is not an employment contract.
  • Review and update job descriptions.
     - Safety responsibilities should be included in job descriptions to promote accountability and make safety part of the annual evaluation process.

     - Employees should be aware of their expected tasks and be able to prioritize them.

     - Job descriptions are used to determine salaries, grade levels, recruit and fill positions. They are also used as a mechanism to conduct performance evaluations.