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Risk Control Solutions


***New***The MISS DIG System for Undergroun Utility Location
Michigan law requires the use of the MISS DIG system for construction projects involving excavation and digging and the marking of the location of underground facilities near the site of any digging or excavation. Get all the details in this document on how to effectively use the system.

***New***Preventing Fraud and Abuse of Public Funds: Local Governments Need to Do Better
Local officials need to be more vigilant and improve their internal controls to prevent fraud and abuse from occuring, and to promptly detect if it does. This Risk Control Solution will guide you through the process of evaluating your own internal control policies.

ADA and the Michigan Civil Rights Act: Employment Issues
This Risk Control Solution provides an overview of Title I of the Americans with Disability Act and the Michigan Handicapper's Civil Rights Act as they affect employment practices. This document allows an organization to review its current procedures when dealing with employees with disabilities and reduces exposures to claims of discrimination.

Ada -- Title II: Non Discriminations in Government Services, Programs, and Activities
This document discusses the major requirements of the Americans with Disability Act - Title II. Organizations who want to assure that their public services to the disabled are accessible and in compliance with federal law should review this risk management tool.

A Basic Plan for Preventing Back Injuries
Every organization faces the threat and the reality of employees with back injuries. Learn how to identify critical exposures to back injuries and ways to reduce those exposures.

Using contractors is often necessary for construction or high risk projects for which a municipality's employees do not have the knowledge, skills or abilities. This Risk Control Solution discusses contractual arrangements and reviews basic areas that a municipality should consider when it uses contractors: safety, security and protection of property, and insurance considerations. Included is a checklist covering the basic requirements.

Department of Public Works: A Checklist
Almost every public agency has a Public Works Department. Because of the wide variety of services provided in this department, there can be an enormous amount of employee safety requirements to address. This document provides an extensive checklist and brief explanation of those critical issues.

Disciplining and Discharging Legally
Disciplining or discharging an employee is one of the most difficult tasks a manager must perform. Doing it improperly is also one of the most frequent reasons that former employees bring action against an employer. Every public employer should review their current disciplinary practices by reviewing this Risk Control Solution and Self-Assessment.

Emergency Planning Requirements for Fire Departments
This Risk Control Solution discusses the three requirements for emergency planning with which Michigan fire departments must comply: Firefighter Right-to-Know, Hazwoper, and Sara Title III. The document covers key points and provides a checklist that fire departments can use to determine if they have fulfilled all the mandated requirements.

Employment Related Notices: A Checklist for Public Employers
This document provides a brief description of the various state and federal employment-related notices that employers must post in the workplace. It also provides information on where public employers can obtain copies of each of the posters. Attached to the Risk Control Solution one copy of each of the posters discussed.

Excavating and Trenching
Excavating is one of the highest risk jobs municipalities can conduct.   Every year there are public employees who are seriously injured or killed in trench collapses.  For this reason, employers are obligated to train and supervise their employees to ensure that they perform this critical job task safely and correctly.

Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
This document discusses the major provisions and requirements of the FMLA, both from the employer's and the employee's perspective. The Risk Control Solution also provides examples to illustrate how you determine eligibility and some practical tips for managing the requirements of the Act.

Fleet Management for Public Entities
Operating motor vehicles is essential to the delivery of most municipal services and creates a considerable exposure for your organization as well as for the Michigan Municipal Liability and Property Pool and the Worker's Compensation Fund. This Risk Control Solution discusses several important steps that public entities should take to reduce the exposure and provides a sample administrative policy for vehicle fleet safety.

Handling Angry Citizens
Every public agency must serve its citizens. Often times, citizens become frustrated and take their frustration out on employees. This document will help you to identify those areas that are most prevalent to creating an angry or hostile situation, and also include recommendations to reduce your exposure to employee injury as well as poor public opinion.

Handling Revenue
Every municipality handles some type of revenue, whether it is cash, checks, or credit cards. Improperly handled revenue creates an exposure to employee safety, loss of capital and the confidence of the community it services. This document reviews the major exposures to any organization that handles revenue and makes suggestions to do so safely and efficiently.

Hazard Communication - Employee Right To Know
State and federal laws require employers to identify hazardous chemicals in the workplace. Employers must then train their employees on these hazards as well as on how to avoid them and on actions they should take if they come in contact with one of them. Employers should review this resource document and conduct their own self assessment to reduce the likelihood of an employee injury or a state or federal fine.

Hiring Decisions: Reducing Your Exposure to Litigation
Hiring new employees requires a juggling act by employers. Employers must follow the requirements of state and federal employment laws. They also struggle with deciding how to identify the most qualified candidate. Identify the major steps that employers can take to hire effectively and avoid litigation by reviewing this Risk Control Solution and Self-Assessment.

Implementing Energy Control Procedures Lockout/Tagout
Energy sources such as power equipment, electrical circuits and machines create exposures to employees who maintain or repair them. Identify the proper procedure to safely "Lockout or Tagout" all equipment while it is being repaired or maintained. This document is useful for all Fire Departments, Public Works, Water Departments, and Power Generating Facilities.

Laboratory Safety: Basic Rules & Procedures for Working Safely with Chemicals
This Risk Control Solution takes the form of a checklist that you can use to determine if your procedures and policies for laboratory safety adhere to MIOSHA requirements. The checklist covers general safety practices, personal protective equipment, housekeeping, hazard communication, accidents and spills, and equipment.

Liability Issues for Fire & EMS
Fire departments and EMS units must address a host of safety and liability issues when performing their jobs. This self assessment provides a brief overview of the major safety and liability issues that should be addressed in this service area.

Lightning Protection for Your Municipality
Every municipality needs to be aware of lightning protection technology and lightning safety awareness. This Risk Control Solution reviews the basics, providing information on the dangers of lightning as well as measures municipalities can take to protect life and property from lightning strikes.

Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act
Most employers must comply with the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA). Employers should review this document to identify their obligations under MIOSHA obligations and how to fulfill them.

Municipal Facilities and Special Events
Municipalities often provide special events such as fairs, parades, or displays of fireworks for their citizens. These events -- whether the municipality or outside an organization sponsors them -- may create liabilities and hazards that the municipality must control. This Risk Control Solution outlines a method of evaluating the liabilities as well as hazards that a special event can pose. It also offers some practical measures that municipalities can take to limit the risks of providing special events. In addition, the document addresses topics of special concern such as the sale of alcoholic beverages and the rental of municipal facilities. A checklist is attached.

Occupational Health Concerns: An Overview
This document summarizes the requirements of the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) standard that addresses two serious occupational health concerns. A Bloodborne Pathogens program must be adopted for every employee who has an exposure to infectious diseases. Secondly, employers who operate a health care facility must develop a program for preventing the spread of tuberculosis.

Operating Public Transportation Services
Many public agencies offer some form of transportation services to the public. Transporting the public places a responsibility on the agency to do it safely and correctly. The purpose of this document is to review this important responsibility and reduce the likelihood that a claim will result.

An Overview of Federal and State Laws that Affect Employment
Employment laws can change frequently on the state and federal level. An extensive list of the major state and federal laws is included, with a brief description of each. This is an excellent training tool for your managers who may be unfamiliar with employment laws and their impact on their job.

Park and Playground Safety In Your Municipality
Many communities maintain parks and playgrounds for the enjoyment of their citizens. This Risk Control Solution provides an overview of recommended practices for operating playgrounds and parks safely. It includes a discussion of the Consumer Products Safety Commission's recommendations on selecting and maintaining equipment as well as designing play areas. Also provided is a convenient checklist to assist communities in inspecting their parks and playgrounds.

Pre-employment Testing and Investigation
Most employers want to hire the best possible candidate for a particular job. Screening employees before hiring them increases the likelihood that the selected employee will have the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to perform the job efficiently and safely. Conducting legal but thorough testing and investigations also reduces your likelihood of a claim of negligent hiring. Some of the testing and investigation tools include written tests, psychological tests and background investigations.

Preparing for Floods and Flash Floods
Floods are one of the most common and widespread of all natural disasters. Most communities experience some degree of flood exposure. This document suggests some mitigation activities that help to prevent or reduce the chance of an emergency, or lessen the effects of the occurrence.

Preventing Sewer Backups: A Checklist for Public Works Managers
This is a companion document to Storm water and Wastewater Management: A Brief for Municipal Managers and is expressly directed at DPW managers. The Risk Control Solution discusses the steps the Department of Public Works should take to reduce the risk of litigation. It recommends that the municipality should a formal sewer cleaning and inspection program that documents planned inspection routes and completion dates.

Protect Your Employees from West Nile Virus
This document discusses the source, symptoms, and treatment of West Nile Virus. It also offers practical advice on preventive measures that municipalities can take to protect their employees from WNV.

Protecting Your Employees from Hepatitis C
This is a companion document to Occupational Health Concerns: An Overview. It discusses the source and transmission of Hepatitis C. It offers guidelines for protective measures municipalities should implement especially for employees at high risk, such as police officers, firefighters and emergency services personnel.

Railroad Crossings
Many public agencies have a responsibility for traffic control at railroad crossings. Failure to evaluate, monitor and correct deficiencies in these crossings may result in a lawsuit against the community should an accident occur. To reduce the potential of a public grade accident impacting your insurance program, an organization should review this document with a civil engineer or other knowledgeable person.

Reducing Employee Slips, Trips and Falls
One of the most common employee injuries is caused by "Slip, Trip, and Fall". Identify the causes of these types of injuries and why they occur by reviewing this self assessment. This document addresses ways to reduce slips, trips and falls in the workplace.

Reducing the Exposure to Claims of Discrimination in Employment
Employees can claim discrimination in the hiring and promotional processes, during training, disciplinary process, as well as during other times of their relationship with an employer. This Risk Control Solution addresses those areas and suggests the best legal way to handle the common employment practices. This document is a necessity for all new managers and those unfamiliar with employment related laws.

Reducing Exposures from Confined Space Entry
Serious injuries or death can occur to employees who improperly enter areas determined to be confined spaces. Identify what constitutes a confined space and the proper procedure for safe entry. This document is useful for all Fire Departments, EMS, Water and Public Works Departments.

Reducing Exposures from Workplace Violence
This document discusses the impact of violence both on the employer and the employee. It provides practical guidelines that municipalities can use when implementing measures to reduce the exposure to workplace violence. It also discusses the employer's legal obligations to take steps to protect employees from violence. The Risk Control Solution includes a sample workplace violence policy.

Reducing the Risk of Motor Vehicle Operations

Four Parts
This four-part program reviews an essential part of the delivery of most public services -- Motor Vehicle Operations. The four-part series reviews the risks associated with operating motor vehicles, assists with developing a comprehensive operations policy to reduce the risk, suggests ways to conduct vehicle inspections and maintenance, and ways to reduce losses through appropriate hiring and training of employees.

Reducing the Exposure of Operating Skateboarding and In-Line Skating facilities: A Management Brief
Many municipalities are exploring the possibility of establishing controlled environments in which individuals can skateboard and in-line skate. These facilities pose unique risks. This self assessment addresses these issues by defining the critical exposure areas and making recommendations to reduce the exposure to personal injury.

Safety and Liability Exposure for Public Works Equipment
Operating public service equipment such as graders, sewer cleaners, sweepers, mulchers and refuse trucks is essential to the delivery of most, if not all, public services. Using this type of equipment, however, can result in injuries to employees and members of the public. This resource document discusses both safety and fleet management procedures that are essential to the safe use of public works equipment.

SARS Basic Guidelines
A brief discussion of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), focusing on the source and symptoms of the disease.

Sexual Harassment: Reducing the Exposure of Litigation
Harassment of any type is a serious employment claim. Settlement of these types of claims often costs in excess of $40,000 to settle. Employers should take a proactive approach to sexual as well as other types of harassment by reviewing this self assessment. This document will assist every employer by identifying the major issues and outlining a model program to reduce the potential for sexual harassment.

Sidewalk Liability Improvement Program
One of the most troublesome areas of responsibility for any public agency is the maintenance and upkeep of public sidewalks. This document identifies a model plan to inspect and correct sidewalk defects in a manner that will reduce the exposure to sidewalk liability claims.

Sledding Hills – Managing the Risk
Providing safe winter activities for the public is one of the responsibilities of municipal management. However, doing so brings with it risks that must be addressed. Protecting participants from harm and the entity from claims of negligence are equally important. This Risk Control Solution identifies the risks inherent in sledding and provides guidance on measures a municipality can take to maximize participant safety. An inspection checklist is provided.

Snow Removal Operations and Your Municipality
This Risk Control Solution provides an overview of the major issues that every municipality should consider when developing a snow removal policy and procedure. The document includes sample policies and procedures.

Storm water and Wastewater Management: A Brief for Municipal Managers
The operation and maintenance of an entity's storm water and wastewater management systems is an enormous responsibility. The failure to provide these services properly and cost effectively may affect a community's welfare and may result in penalties from federal and state regulatory agencies. It may also result in legal action against the municipality by its citizens if sewer backups and flooding problems are traceable to the entity's negligent operation of the systems.

This document discusses many of the issues facing municipalities as they undertake to fulfill this important responsibility. The Risk Control Solution offers practical suggestions for a successful program. Preventing Sewer Backups: A checklist for Public Works Managers is a companion document expressly directed at DPW managers.

Thawing Frozen Underground Water Lines
When temperatures fall below freezing most municipalities must deal with frozen underground water lines. Thawing frozen lines improperly can cause significant property damage and result in liability for the municipality. Included are risk management considerations for controlling the risks associated with this activity.

Your Municipality and Fireworks Displays
Fireworks are a common part of many community celebrations. Although the public enjoys the color and excitement, putting on a display of fireworks poses many dangers and requires specialized liability coverage. Public agencies who intend to hold or sponsor such events should review this document to obtain an overview of typical safety measures.

Zoning Decisions: Reducing Your Exposure to Litigation
Zoning decisions can be highly emotional and political decisions. If the municipality handles zoning decisions improperly, significant costs to defend the decision may result. Reduce the subjectivity and increase the legality of your zoning decisions by reviewing this Risk Control Solution and Self- Assessment.




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