July 2015 - Issue 41

Annual Board of Directors Meeting

Celebrating Shared Success: 2015 Risk Management Awards

California JPIA 20th Annual Risk Management Forum: Managing Risk Like a Champion

Annual Workers’ Compensation Defense Attorney Symposium

Success of the Academies

Cal/OSHA Issues Safety Guidance for Staffing Employers

Parade Risk Management

News: Worthy

Annual Board of Directors MeetingBoard of Directors Photo

The Annual Board of Directors Meeting was held in La Palma on July 15, 2015 with aquorum of delegates in attendance, representing 68 member agencies

Curtis Morris, President of the Executive Committee welcomed delegates and shared a brief overview of the Authority’s accomplishments and endeavors:

  • Americans with Disabilities Act
    The Authority is rolling out a member-wide program to assist in critical areas of ADA compliance, including conducting self-assessments of programs, buildings, and public rights-of-ways, and also assisting in development of transition plans for barrier removal. In addition, the Executive Committee has approved making $5 million in short-term loans available, which are designed to provide seed money for members in funding capital improvements related to ADA.  As part of the program, the Authority is making software available to all members for use in identifying and tracking compliance with federal and state ADA regulations.
  • Sidewalk Inspection Pilot Program
    A pilot program has been started to address slip and trip hazards for ten of the Authority’s members. These members have seen the most severe claims, and have contributed, in part, to the $10 million paid out for sidewalk slip and trip claims in the last five years. If the pilot is successful, Authority staff will likely recommend expanding the program to members pool-wide.  Additionally, a master services agreement was created that offers favorable pricing for sidewalk repairs when using the Authority’s strategic partner.
  • Risk Technician Program
    In order to fill the gap between the Authority’s risk managers and member staff in working on critical loss control action items, the Executive Committee authorized funding a program that provides for this work to be completed by technicians contracted through one of the Authority’s strategic partners. These technicians function as an extension of the member, and carry out short-term assignments including policy writing and development, inspections, safety meeting participation, and subject-matter analysis.
  • Excess Liability Funding Pool
    A feasibility study is currently underway to research the possibility of the Authority establishing a new excess liability program. The new program would provide members with an alternative to the primary liability coverage program currently offered. The new excess pool would likely have a different funding structure, allowing for greater flexibility and customization of risk retention at the member level. It may offer member self-insured retention options, scalable access to training and risk management services, an optimized memorandum of coverage, and other innovative program design features.
  • Captive Insurance Company
    Another significant matter under investigation is whether the Authority could benefit from establishing a captive insurance company.  A captive is a risk transfer mechanism that would allow the Authority to transfer risk that it does not want to retain within its pooled programs or risk that excess or reinsurance carriers wish to write at a higher premium than the Authority feels is appropriate for the exposure.  In addition to economically providing coverage for difficult-to-place layers, a captive could potentially be used for unique coverage types that are wanted and needed by members but are uncommon in the commercial marketplace. 
The Board of Directors unanimously elected Curt Morris as President and Margaret Finlay as Vice President of the Executive Committee. Lori Donchak and Carol Chen were elected as members of the Executive Committee, each serving a two-year term. 
The meeting was adjourned to July 20, 2016.

Front Row (l to r): Lori Donchak, San Clemente; Secretary Margaret Finlay, Duarte; Mary Ann Reiss, Pismo Beach; Carol Chen, Cerritos.
Back Row (l to r): President Curtis Morris, San Dimas; John Addleman, Rolling Hills Estates; Vice President John Rea, Palos Verdes Estates; Daryl Hofmeyer, Paramount; Dave Spence, La Canada Flintridge.

News: Worthy

Celebrating Shared Success: 2015 Risk Management Awards

This year the California JPIA recognized six of its members for their achievements in risk management. The Authority’s Risk Management Awards Program celebrates the members’ risk management successes while it highlights an important point: as a risk pooling organization, the success of each individual member’s risk management efforts benefits all members. The significant improvements in risk management that these members made came as a result of dedicated efforts, sometimes against opposition and under tight budgets. 

The winners of the 2015 Risk Management Awards for the General Liability and Workers’ Compensation Programs were recognized at the Annual Board of Directors meeting held on July 15, 2015. 

Members were divided into groups for which awards were presented. For the Liability Program the groups were Non-Municipal Members, Members without Police exposure, and Members with Police exposure. For the Workers’ Compensation Program the groups were Non-Municipal Members, Members without Public Safety exposure, and Members with Public Safety exposure. 

This award recognizes members that have demonstrated the best overall performance in each program. Authority staff evaluated both quantitative and qualitative factors that are reflective of a member’s risk management efforts. Factors included an agency’s five-year average cost of claims per $100 of payroll, its improvement in claims severity when comparing two, five-year coverage periods, its progress toward completing Loss Control Action Plan items, and its Agency Exemplar rating. 

For the Liability program, the Best Overall Performance Award winners were:

For non-municipal agencies:
    • Southern California Association of Governments
For municipal agencies without police exposure: 
    • City of Laguna Woods

For municipal agencies with police exposure:
    • City of Bishop

For the Workers’ Compensation program, the Best Overall Performance Award winners were:

For non-municipal agencies: 
    • Southern California Association of Governments

For municipal agencies without public safety exposure: 
    • City of Carpinteria

For municipal agencies with public safety exposure: 
    • City of La Habra Heights

News: Worthy

California JPIA 20th Annual Risk Management Forum: Managing Risk Like a Champion

Over 160 decision makers representing the Authority’s membership and business partners have already registered to attend the California JPIA's 20th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum: Managing Risk Like a Champion, to be held September 23-25, 2015 at The Mark Hopkins Hotel in San Francisco. 

Critical Content Public Agencies Can Use
The responsibility to document employees is that of the entire organization, not just the human resources department.  Documenting your employees is a far broader topic than most think and is often thought of only in the context of someone underperforming.  Join Kelly Trainer and Traci Park, from Burke, Williams & Sorensen, for the Forum’s Opening Session, “Keeping Track of Your Roster – Power of the Pen.” They will explain the multi-faceted world of employee documentation, much of which has nothing to do with discipline. Learn how documents should be created, utilized, and stored; properly capture the accomplishments and accolades of your employees; create attorney client privilege and effective documentation in the event of litigation; and understand how relying on memory alone just isn’t good enough. 

Dave Dravecky to Deliver Pitch for Significance
Dave DraveckyThursday’s keynote speaker truly exemplifies how to Manage Risk Like a Champion.  The Authority is pleased to present Dave Dravecky, former Major League pitcher for the San Diego Padres and San Francisco Giants and 1983 All Star.  Drawing from his personal experience with cancer, Dave will share what he has learned about the meaning of success versus significance and how to find encouragement through adversity.  Dave will describe how the power of your team can be an important asset in an age of austerity and fewer resources.  By examining relationships with your co-workers, teams, and benefactors, he will define how you can discover your true worth. Fifteen varied sessions round out Thursday’s agenda. Review the full agenda here.

The Forum closes Friday with “How to Manage Your Dugout – Moving from Conflict to Consensus” presented by Jim DeLizia, a well-respected consultant in the areas of leadership and organizational development.  Conflict can permeate all levels of your public entity. To be successful you need to proactively recognize it, manage it and turn it into an opportunity to strengthen your team. Join us to go from "Conflict to Consensus" and learn how to lead your team successfully when faced with the differing opinions and strategies of your fellow employees, governing body, and other stakeholders.

To register for the Forum, click here.

Hotel Accommodations
The Forum room block is SOLD OUT at The Mark Hopkins Hotel. Rooms may still be available at non-forum rates by calling 800-662-4455.

The Authority has a limited room block at the Stanford Court Hotel.  The Stanford Court Hotel is located at 905 California Street - Nob Hill, within easy walking distance (150 feet) of the Mark Hopkins Hotel. The group rate at the Stanford Court Hotel is $209 plus applicable taxes. If you are interested in booking a room at the Stanford Court Hotel, please email Tammie Haller, Administrative Programs Manager with the California JPIA.  Please do not book directly through the Stanford Court Hotel as you will not receive the Forum rate.

News: Worthy

Annual Workers’ Compensation Defense Attorney Symposium

by Jeff Rush, Workers’ Compensation Program Manager

The California JPIA is pleased to announce that its seventh annual Workers’ Compensation Defense Attorney Symposium will be taking place on Thursday, August 20, at the Authority campus in La Palma. The day will provide an opportunity for members to meet with the Authority’s panel attorneys, the York claims team and learn about a variety of topics. 

The Symposium will begin at 10:00 a.m. and concludes at 3:00 p.m. Lunch will be served. The program is as follows:

  • Introduction and Legislative Update 
    presented by Jeff Rush, Workers’ Compensation Manager with the California JPIA
  • Using Depositions to Define Cases and Facilitate Resolution
    presented by Demetra Johal, Partner with Laughlin, Falbo, Levy & Mores
  • The Benefits of Nurse Case Managers
    presented by Nancy Grimmick, Wellcomp Managed Care.
  • Prosecuting Workers’ Compensation Fraud 
    presented by Jennifer Lentz Synder, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office
  • 2015 Case Law Update – A View From Both Sides 
    presented by Elizabeth Gonia, Partner with Robin, Carmack & Gonia; Catherine Casper,  Hayford & Felchlin; Adam Dombchik, Gordon, Edelstein, Krepack, Grant, Felton & Goldstein

If you have questions about the Symposium, please contact Jeff Rush, Workers’ Compensation Program Manager at jrush@cjpia.org or (562) 467-8707.

We hope to see you on August 20!

News: Worthy

Success of the Academies

by Michelle Aguayo, Training CoordinatorScott Grossberg

The California JPIA recently revised the training academies through the current curriculum development process.  Past academies provided a broad subject overview geared toward all experience levels from novice to expert. With feedback from members and evaluations from past academies, academies are now tailored toward a specific level of knowledge and experience to provide a more comprehensive and meaningful learning approach.

Public Works Academy
The Public Works Academy was held June 23 - 25, 2015 at the La Bellasera Hotel in Paso Robles. Focused toward experienced public works supervisors, managers and directors, the three-day Academy provided the practical knowledge, tools, and skills public works professionals need to manage effectively and mitigate losses within their agencies.  Topics covered in the Academy included: Risk Management for Public Works with Tim Karcz; Workers Compensation with Jeff Rush; Intro to Cal-OSHA with Dick Monod de Froidville; Investigating Claims and Preserving Evidence with Scott Grossberg; Conducting Risk Reviews with Tim Karcz; Contractual Risk Transfer with Marjorie Segale; Traffic Control for Construction Zones with David Royer; Design Immunity with Scott Haith; Dangerous Conditions with Dave Ferrante and Mike Wroniak; Unwarranted Traffic Control Devices with Scott Grossberg; and Public Works Exposures and Lessons Learned with Paul Zeglovitch.

Forty-nine participants representing twenty-six agencies attended the Academy.  “The California JPIA Public Works Academy is some of the best training I have attended in my 30 years in public works,” expressed Dick McKinley, Public Works Director with the City of Paso Robles, “Every serious public works professional needs this training.”

Niles Boyer, Field Services Manager, Public Works with the City of Monrovia, attended the Academy for the first time and commented, “The academy’s course material was relevant to my position.  The information for each module will be applicable into my operation.  The Contractual Risk Transfer session will be extremely useful in my future contract and/or agreement development. The time frame of sessions and the overall academy day span was accommodating. This was the most informative conferences that I have attended.”

Management Academy
The Management Academy: Basics of Effective Supervision is scheduled October 5 - 8, 2015 at the La Bellasera Hotel in Paso Robles.

Facilitated by Forrest Story and John Perry, the academy will have similar topics as last year, but with an expanded area of discussion on certain sessions.  Topics covered in the academy include:  Role of the Public Sector Supervisor, Decision Making, Job Person Environment Assessment, Interpreting Your JPEA Results, Orientation Training, Coaching, and Delegation, Writing Policies, Procedures, Programs, Performance Appraisals and Dealing with Performance Issues, and Public Service Ethics.

Registration for the Management Academy can be made on the Authority’s myJPIA website training calendar at www.cjpia.org.  The member fee is $375.00 (including hotel accommodations) and $175.00 (not including hotel accommodations) and includes three nights at the hotel, breakfast, lunch, and all training materials. For further information please contact Michelle Aguayo, Training Coordinator.

Photo: Scott Grossberg, presenter at the Public Works Academy

Risk Solutions

Cal/OSHA Issues Safety Guidance for Staffing Employers

(Reprinted from the Society for Human Resource Management website,
July 10, 2015)

The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) outlined state-specific legal requirements for protecting temporary workers in a recently released fact sheet.  The agency breaks down the responsibilities of host employers and the staffing providers, explains injury reporting and record-keeping requirements, and lists basic safe work practices for staffing agencies.

Both the primary employer (i.e., the staffing provider) and the host employer are responsible for temporary employees and must follow all applicable California labor laws and Cal/OSHA standards, the agency said.

Cal/OSHA recommends that the staffing agency and host employer specify in their contract their respective responsibilities for complying with applicable regulations. “Such a contract does not eliminate each employer’s legal obligation to protect the employees,” the agency clarified.

Both employers must implement specific safety programs as required by Cal/OSHA regulations, depending on the work environment and the type of work being performed. In addition, the primary employer must have a “written, effective and fully implemented Injury and Illness Prevention Program.”

The agency specified that staffing providers are responsible for:

  • Taking reasonable steps to evaluate conditions at the host employer’s worksite by doing periodic inspections.
  • Ensuring their employees are covered by an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program and other safety programs required by the assigned work.
  • Ensuring employees are properly trained and provided necessary personal protective equipment. The training must include hazard recognition, exposure prevention, safe work practices, and the importance of following manufacturers’ instructions and Cal/OSHA regulations. (Though even when the staffing employer has provided basic training, the host employer must provide the site-specific training appropriate to the employees’ particular tasks and working conditions, the agency said.)
  • Informing temporary workers that if they are assigned work they reasonably believe to be dangerous, they may refuse to do that work and ask for reassignment without penalty.

Reporting, Record-Keeping Requirements
Only one employer is required to log injuries and illnesses, however both staffing agencies and host employers must report serious work injuries and illnesses to Cal/OSHA.

When the staffing firm exercises day-to-day supervision over employees, it is responsible for injury and illness record-keeping. When the host employer has full supervisory control over employees, the host employer is responsible for maintaining injury and illness records. And in cases where the staffing firm and host employer share the supervisory role, the two employers should reach an agreement regarding record-keeping, Cal/OSHA said.

Safe Work Practices for Staffing Employers
The agency listed common safe work practices for staffing employers to help keep employees safe and healthy at a host employer’s worksite:

  • Be aware of the workplace hazards at the host employer’s worksite. Come to agreement with the host employer as to who will be responsible for providing necessary training for employees.
  • Partner with the host employer to identify areas of the workplace that pose a risk to the employees, ensure appropriate controls are in place to protect employees, and ensure that Cal/OSHA standards are being followed.
  • Stay in touch with the employees and monitor their safety and health at work on a regular basis.
  • Be involved in investigations of accidents affecting the employees to find root causes, not just the resulting problems. Be present during investigations, and assist host employers in taking meaningful corrective action.
  • Inform workers of the need to be trained on the manufacturer’s and host employer’s instructions for using specific tools and equipment.
  • Provide the training and education needed by the employees to maintain licenses or certifications required by the host employer.

Risk Solutions

Parade Risk Management

by Maria Galvan, Risk Manager

When planning a parade, the last thing a public agency wants to think about is something going wrong. Thoughts are often on the entertainment aspect to the community and spectators. Staff event planners, community organizations, and risk managers need to work together to assess the risks associated with parades and ensure that a plan is in place to reduce exposures and prevent losses. A large volume of children, moving vehicles, crowds of spectators and pedestrians, and float riders can lead to the possibility of adverse outcomes that may affect an agency’s loss history and reputational risk. The inclusion of risk management tools in parade planning and execution can help an agency minimize losses.

Parades come with several risk exposures and hazards. Common hazards include participants falling from floats, participants being struck by a vehicle, and spectators being injured when running toward floats or vehicles along the parade route to collect candy or toys being thrown in the direction of crowds, and fire arising from flammable items used on floats and by parade performers. Inadequate crowd management is a concern with parades -- large gatherings of people raise the odds of a dangerous occurrence happening. In recent years, news reports have shown spectators taking part in violent acts in crowded areas. Coordination with local public safety departments (police, fire, emergency medical services) is key to a safe parade and effective crowd control. Members should also consider purchasing coverage through the Authority’s Special Events Program. For more information about this coverage, visit our website at http://www.cjpia.org/protection/coverage-programs/special-event-program or contact your assigned Risk Manager or Jim Thyden, the Authority’s Insurance Programs Manager at jthyden@cjpia.org or 562-467-8784.

Agencies are encouraged to work with local law enforcement to establish an “If You See Something, Say Something” campaign for their parades and other events. Signs can stress the importance of participants and spectators reporting suspicious activity to parade security or police. Traffic control plans for parades are discussed in the March 2015 Risk Managers Roundtable: Managing Special Event Risks newsletter article.

A few years ago, the a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) report evaluated a 2012 Veterans Day Parade crash in Midland, Texas.  A freight train collided with a parade float at a highway-railroad crossing, resulting in four fatalities and 12 injuries. As a result of the investigation and this report, the NTSB requested that the National League of Cities (NLC), National Association of Counties (NACO), National Association of Towns and Townships, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and International City/County Management Association (ICMA) encourage its members to require written safety plans as part of parade approval processes. The NTSB report found that governments and sponsoring organizations often lack adequate planning procedures and clear rules for parades. The NTSB recommends that an agency’s parade policy should require, as part of the parade and special event approval process, that organizations create a written safety plan, which, at a minimum, addresses the following elements: risk mitigation and contingency planning, with provisions for communication among event participants and other stakeholders; safety briefings for event participants and other stakeholders; driver and vehicle screening; safe float operation; and notification of railroads or other entities with control over possible hazards.

As a result, the National Association of Counties developed a resource, Top 12 Things to Include in Parade Safety Plans: A Guide for Cities, Counties, and Local Governments. ICMA, NACO, and NLC encourage local leaders to use this list as a guide when developing regulations for parades and other events. The 12 items include: addressing regulations and requirements, key contacts, written safety plan and emergency response plan, route, vehicles, drivers, participants, animals, assembly and disassembly, viewing stands and vendors, insurance, and debris removal.

The California JPIA recommends that members require organizations and each individual parade participant to execute a waiver and release of liability. For minor participants, a parent or legal guardian should execute the waiver. While having every participant sign a waiver may sound like an administrative burden, it is possible and an important risk management tool that can protect your agency from liability.  Member agencies Agoura Hills and Sierra Madre require all organizations and participants to sign parade participant waivers. Agencies should consider providing wrist bands to parade participants to help keep track of individuals that have provided an executed waiver and those who have not.

Agencies should also consider risk transfer as a risk management tool. Parade events often include the involvement of multiple parties (ex: vendors, bands, concessionaires). Agencies should require food and beverage concessionaires to obtain proper licenses and permits and comply with local ordinances and regulations. To minimize potential liability resulting from other parties’ activities at parades, permit applications and/or agreements with insurance requirements and an indemnification clause are imperative. Formal agreements should be executed and evidence of insurance should include an endorsement naming the agency as an additional insured for appropriate risk transfer to be in place. Required limits should be sufficient for the exposures presented by the activity or event. For example, a pyrotechnic company should provide higher limits of general liability insurance than a small band, since the risks associated with fireworks are far greater. Often times, agencies inform the California JPIA that requiring insurance from vendors and contractors is not a practice seen as feasible. It is important to be aware that only including an indemnification clause (with no insurance requirement) in permits and agreements does not ensure appropriate risk transfer. A vendor may not have the financial resources to support the indemnification of your agency in the event of a loss or claim.

The California JPIA is currently developing a sample parade application and parade waiver and release of liability. The parade application will include suggested rules and guidelines.  A notification will be sent to member agency risk managers when it is available on our website. If you have any questions, please contact your Regional Risk Manager.