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Stay Safe With These Fourth-Quarter Risk Management Tips

There are numerous actions for municipal risk management staff to take throughout the year as part of a consistent and proactive effort to reduce liability for the local government.

Here are some key things for risk managers to address in the final quarter of the year:


Implement a workplace substance abuse program.
  • Establish a written substance abuse program to address the safety, health and liability exposures to the municipality that can result from employee substance abuse in the workplace.
  • Include the five standard components of a comprehensive workplace substance abuse program, which are a written policy statement, periodic supervisor training taking place every three years, periodic employee education and awareness, an employee assistance program for those who need help, and drug and alcohol testing.
  • Once the program is planned, consult with an attorney to ensure that it is fair, accurate and legally defensible. 


Review certificates of insurance — the documents that establish that there is an active insurance policy in force at a particular moment in time, the lines of insurance coverage and the limits of those coverages.
  • Review certificates frequently, paying attention to the individual situations and scope of the work covered. 
Review safety policies and procedures — for example: safety policies, accident reporting procedures and seat belt policies.
  • Make sure that policies and procedures are written and available to everyone.
  • Make sure there is documentation of policy and procedure enforcement. 


Establish a safety and wellness committee.
  • Have the committee develop, implement and maintain the municipality’s risk management and wellness program.
  • Ensure the committee has written duties and responsibilities.
Create a schedule for the upcoming year’s safety and wellness committee meetings.
  • Have the committee meet at least quarterly. 
  • Document the attendance at the meetings, and the meeting minutes.
Review loss information and identify trends.
  • Use the loss history to identify risk exposures for the municipality.
  • Determine what loss prevention techniques should be used to reduce the frequency or the severity of the losses identified by the information or the trends.