Issue 104 - October 2020
Resilient Together, our digital Risk Management Educational Forum, has concluded. Thank you to all our members, business partners, speakers, and content producers for an amazing event!
Our entire program was packed with can’t-miss content, but we especially want to thank our Master of Ceremonies and Emmy Award-winning TV personality, Katie Linendoll. Also, our two keynote speakers, Robert O’Neill and Dr. Susan Biali Hass, brought timely presentations on leading in crisis and resilience.
When we began this year, we all expected to be meeting in Santa Barbara. Yet, 2020 brought us other plans. This year’s virtual event, Resilient Together, broke many records, with over 500 attendees up and down the state. Bringing our annual Risk Management Educational Forum to a virtual format was a significant undertaking, and we could not have been successful without your support.
That success can be measured in many ways, including seeing a 28% increase in total attendance, a 25% increase in participation by supervisors and line staff, and a 19% increase in first-time registrants. None of this would have been possible without our 35 sponsors that underwrote roughly 45% of the total cost.
We hope that Resilient Together provided you with ample opportunities to learn from knowledgeable experts about some of the top risk management and contemporary issues facing local government. We also hope that you were able to network with other attendees and inspired to be Resilient Together.
Many have asked how they can view the live and pre-recorded content. We are making it available to you through our Resilient Together EHub. If you attended the event, you may be asked to provide your registration email to access the content. If you did not register for the event, enter your name, organization, title, and email, and then click on submit/enter.
Some live recorded sessions will only be available for 60 days or less, whereas the remaining content will remain viewable over the next few months before we transition it into other formats.
We look forward to the day when we can see each other again in person. Hopes are that this will be possible by next fall when we meet at the Omni La Costa Resort & Spa in Carlsbad, California on September 15 thru 17. Until then, may we continue to be Resilient Together.Print Article
By Alex Mellor, Senior Risk Manager
For several years, the Authority has collected root cause information for every workers’ compensation claim. The goal of this program is to identify the most frequent types of root causes that lead to injuries. For example, did the injury occur because the employee was not appropriately trained? Or was there a missing policy or procedure, which, if in place, may have prevented the injury? Uncovering answers to these questions allows the Authority to more efficiently use its resources to help member agencies prevent similar injuries in the future.
Historically, root cause information has been collected from box 10 of the Supervisor’s Injury & Illness Event Report. The report provides a number of different root causes and asks the individual completing the report (typically the injured employee’s supervisor) to identify the root cause most appropriate for that particular injury.
To improve the reliability of root cause data, the Supervisor’s Report has been modified to facilitate collecting more accurate and complete information regarding why the injury occurred. These modifications encourage the supervisor to think critically about the conditions, events, and controls that allowed the injury to occur. The Authority risk management team can then use this information to assign an appropriate root cause or causes.
Authority Senior Risk Manager Tim Karcz led the effort to modify the report: “Up to this point, our members have been the primary source for identifying workers’ compensation root cause data for the Authority. Our new process involves shifting the member’s responsibility to simply provide more information about what happened.”
The modified report is currently being piloted with a handful of members, and, depending upon feedback and effectiveness, may ultimately be rolled out to all member agencies.
In the meantime, members are encouraged to utilize root cause analysis (RCA) as part of their risk management efforts. RCA is most effective when a collaborative, repeatable procedure is used. This makes RCA a perfect activity for member safety committees.
The Authority recommends utilizing a specific RCA procedure known as The Five Whys. This procedure requires beginning with a problem statement (i.e. An employee was injured by slipping on the floor) and asking “why” multiple times until a root cause or causes are identified. More information on how to conduct RCA utilizing The Five Whys can be found in the Root Cause Tools document on the Authority’s website.
In addition, this year’s virtual Risk Management Educational Forum featured a session entitled Understanding Pool Wide Losses & Root Cause Analysis. A recording of this session can be accessed through the event website at the following link: https://event.on24.com/wcc/r/2747607/C51D4F70D1F29D93B523A041CDF863BF. The session educates member agencies on the types of losses that drive costs in the Authority’s Workers’ Compensation and Liability programs, and the value of utilizing RCA to prevent future losses.
If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact your assigned regional Risk Manager.
By Abraham Han, Management Analyst
The California JPIA is currently accepting applications for the third year of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Financing Program. This program provides members with an opportunity to obtain funding that might otherwise be difficult to procure for ADA transition plan development or the removal of ADA-related barriers.
Members selected to receive funds through the ADA Financing Program must repay the amount, plus interest, with level annual payments of principal and interest over a five-year term. Additional details regarding the requirements and terms of the program are outlined in the ADA Financing Program application.
The application can be found here, and it is in a fillable PDF format. It is highly recommended to download a copy of the application so that partial progress can be saved while completing the application.
Applications will be accepted until January 13, 2021. After this date, members will need to reapply during the next application cycle. All members will be notified of their application status by March 10, 2021.
The ADA Financing Program is part of a larger coordinated effort to help members make progress towards compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
If you have any questions about the ADA Financing Program or the Authority’s other ADA-related programs and resources, please contact Abraham Han, Management Analyst.Print Article
By Ryan Thomas, Training and Loss Control Specialist
Although COVID-19 has altered the California JPIA’s training program, providing members with access to professional development opportunities and current information remains an important priority. The Authority has spent the past several months focusing on developing new approaches to training for members, including online training and virtual classroom. The virtual classroom is live, instructor-led training just like the Authority’s traditional classroom training, but it occurs via the Zoom teleconferencing platform. Members can find these trainings by clicking on the “Catalog” icon in the Authority’s learning management system – myJPIA. Many of these new trainings are required annually, so your agency may find that these serve as a useful way to provide necessary training to your employees.
The new virtual courses include:
|Virtual Classroom Training||Duration|
|AC Pipe – Refresher||2 hours|
|Accident Investigation||1 hour|
|Bloodborne Pathogens/Biohazard and ATD||1 hour 30 min|
|Contractual Risk Transfer and Insurance Review||2 hours|
|Diversity in the Workplace||1 hour 30 min|
|Driver Safety||1 hour 30 min|
|Environmental Safety||1 hour|
|Fall Protection Awareness||1 hour|
|Hazard Communication||1 hour|
|Hearing Conservation||1 hour|
|Heat Stress||45 min|
|Lockout Tagout & Basic Electrical Safety||1 hour|
|Mandated Reporter Training||2 hours|
|Practical Challenges of Working in a Fishbowl||1 hour 30 min|
|Preventing Substance Abuse in the Workplace: Safety Sensitive Positions||1 hour 30 min|
|Tactical Communications for All Employees: Tools for Service and Safety||1 hour 30 min|
|Tactical Communications for Law Enforcement: Tools for Service and Safety||2 hours|
|Traffic Control and Flagging Safety||2 hours|
|Workers Compensation 101||1 hour|
|Workers Compensation 201||1 hour|
|Workplace Harassment Prevention for General Employees||1 hour|
|Workplace Harassment Prevention for Supervisors and Local Agency Officials||2 hours|
To schedule a virtual classroom training for your agency, please contact the Authority’s Training Coordinator, Michelle Aguayo.
In addition to the training listed above, the California JPIA has approximately 300 online trainings, short take videos, and other online content available in its catalog. The training team is developing several virtual classroom and online training courses and will be making them available as we go forward. For additional information about the Authority’s training content or how we can help your agency with training, please contact Ryan Thomas, Training and Loss Control Specialist.
By Tim Karcz, Senior Risk Manager
On September 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill 685 into law. The law, which imposes new reporting requirements and expands Cal/OSHA’s authority with regards to COVID-19, goes into effect on January 1, 2021 except for certain aspects as noted below. California JPIA members are encouraged to review and understand the following requirements and provisions:
Authority to Enforce COVID-19 Hazards
AB 685 expands the authority Cal/OSHA has when they believe that COVID-19 is creating an imminent hazard in a workplace. Consistent with Cal/OSHA’s current authority for protecting workers, the bill enables Cal/OSHA to do the following when they determine that an imminent hazard related to COVID-19 exists:
- Prohibit entry or access to a worksite
- Prohibit performance of an operation or process at the worksite, or
- Require posting of an imminent hazard notice at the worksite.
- Authority to issue citations for serious violations relating to COVID-19 without providing the typical 15-day advanced notice period.
New Notification/Reporting Requirements
Employers are required to take the following actions within one business day of receiving a notice of potential exposure to COVID-19:
- Provide written notice to all employees and the employer of subcontracted workers who were on the premises at the same “worksite” as the qualifying individual within the infectious period that they may have been exposed to COVID-19.
- Provide written notice to the exclusive representative of the employees above (i.e. – unions).
- Provide all employees who may have been exposed with any information regarding COVID-19 benefits to which the employee may be entitled (workers compensation, sick leave, other, etc.).
- Notify all employees on the disinfection and safety plan that the employer plans to implement and complete per the guidelines found in the CDC.
Notice can be delivered in a manner the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information (written, email, text message).
Employers are also required to notify their local public health department of a COVID-19 outbreak. For non-healthcare workplaces, this is defined as three or more COVID-19 cases among workers at the same worksite within a 14-day period. This notice must be provided within 48 hours of the employer learning of the outbreak and must contain the following information:
- Information about the worksite (name of organization, address, industry codes)
- The number of cases at the worksite, including the names and occupations of the qualifying individuals.
- Any other pertinent information
Once the outbreak at the worksite is reported, the employer is required to continue to notify the local health department of any subsequent cases. Note that the requirement to notify local health departments is currently in effect, while the remaining portions of the bill go into effect on January 1, 2021.
What is a Notice of Potential Exposure?
One of the primary questions that arise is what constitutes a notice of potential exposure. An employer is considered to have notice of potential exposure to COVID-19 at a worksite when any of the following occur:
- The employer receives notice from a public health official or licensed medical provider that an employee was exposed to a qualifying individual at thew worksite.
- The employer receives notice from an employee, or their emergency contact that the employee is a qualifying individual.
- The employer receives notice through the testing protocol of the employer that the employee is a qualifying individual.
- The employer receives notice from a subcontracted employer that a qualifying individual was on the worksite of the employer receiving notification.
The employer must maintain records of the written notifications required for a period of at least three years.
- Complete bill text for AB 685 can be found by clicking here.
- Formal definitions related to the bill’s reporting requirements are provided by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) through their definitions page, which can be found by clicking here.
- The CDHP has a guidance document for compliance with AB 685. This document can be found on the CDHP’s website, or by clicking here.
- Additional resources on COVID-19, including legislative information, webinars, and health and safety guidance, can be found on the Authority’s website.
For more information on this bill or to discuss its implications for your agency, please contact your regional Risk Manager.Print Article
By Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP
AB 992 clarifies what kinds of communications elected and appointed officials can have on social media and what kinds of communications on social media could violate the Brown Act. According to this new law which will be effective on January 1, 2021, officials subject to the Brown Act can communicate with members of the public on social media, but should not directly respond or react to anything posted or shared on social media regarding agency business by another member of the same legislative body.
Although one on one conversations on agency matters between two members of the same legislative body are typically permitted under the Brown Act, this law provides that a member of a legislative body may not directly respond to a social media post regarding agency business that is made, posted or shared by another member of the same legislative body.
Some social media interactions are specifically permitted by AB 992. The following communications are allowed on social media regarding agency business – as long as a majority of the legislative body do not use social media to discuss agency business among themselves, including commenting, replying, sharing, reacting or using digital icons such as emojis or GIFs:
- Answering questions from the public
- Providing information to the public
- Soliciting information from the public
AB 992 applies to social media platforms that are open and accessible to the public. This includes well known social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but also includes any online service that allows for public interaction such as chatrooms and forums, comment sections on blogs and online media.
The Legislature could not have contemplated social media when the Brown Act was adopted in 1953. This amendment to the Brown Act takes into account the fact that constituents have greater access to elected officials through social media accounts and no longer have to wait for a face to face appointment to discuss issues with their representatives.Print Article
By Denise S. Bazzano, Stephanie Gutierrez, Chad W. Harrington, Thomas D. Jex, and Erica L. Vega, Burke, Williams & Sorensen, LLP
On September 18, 2020, the Governor signed Assembly Bill 1286, which impacts how shared mobility service providers (e.g. scooter companies like Lime or Bird) operate within a city or county, and requires cities and counties (by ordinance, agreement, or permit terms) to adopt operation, parking, and maintenance rules when such providers are operating within the city’s jurisdiction.
Starting January 1, 2021, before distributing any shared mobility device for use, a shared mobility service provider will be required to enter into an agreement with, or obtain a permit from, the city or county with jurisdiction over the area of use. The agreement or permit must, at a minimum, require that the shared mobility service provider maintain commercial general liability insurance coverage with limits not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000) for each occurrence and not less than five million dollars ($5,000,000) aggregate for all occurrences during the policy period. Under the new law, a shared mobility device is defined as an electrically motorized board, motorized scooter, electric bicycle, bicycle, or other similar personal transportation device.
The new law also requires a city or county that authorizes a shared mobility device provider to operate within its jurisdiction on or after January 1, 2021, to adopt (by ordinance, agreement, or permit terms) operation, parking, and maintenance rules regarding the use of the devices in its jurisdiction before the provider may offer any devices for rent or use. Cities or counties that authorized a provider to operate within its jurisdiction before January 1, 2021, and continue to provide that authorization, must adopt operation, parking, and maintenance rules by January 1, 2022. AB 1286 does not contain specific direction as to the terms or provisions that must be included in the operation, parking, and maintenance rules required by the law.Print Article
By Abraham Han, Management Analyst
On September 28, 2020, Governor Newsom signed SB 1003 into law. The bill extends immunity to local governments which operate skateboard parks. Prior to the bill being signed into law, only skateboards were included as part of that immunity. Now along with skateboards, SB 1003 extends local government immunity at local skate parks for all wheeled, non-motorized recreational devices such as bicycles, scooters, and wheelchairs. Since the bill was passed as an urgency measure, it went into effect immediately.
It is important to note that certain conditions for hazardous recreational activity immunity within a skateboard park still apply. For example, the immunity is extended on the grounds of a local public agency not supervising the skateboard park on a regular basis. Further, certain compliance items still exist, such as the adoption of an ordinance and posting of signs regarding the requirement of wearing a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads.
Members that operate skateboard parks are encouraged to thoroughly read through the SB 1003 text to better understand the context and provisions of the bill. Any questions about the bill’s technical aspects should be directed to your agency’s attorney.Print Article
In order to better connect with current members and reach potential new members, the Authority has an active presence on social media. Members can find information on various topics on the social media channels listed below.
Connect with our latest posts:
“As COVID-19 continues to pose a risk to communities throughout the state, the California Department of Public Health has released new usage guidelines for outdoor recreational facilities: https://tinyurl.com/ycoxgjq7. The California JPIA also offers public playground safety resources including checklists, policy templates, and handbooks that are intended to help members manage risk and support safe environments for children, families, and other outdoor enthusiasts. For more information, members can contact their risk manager: https://tinyurl.com/yysd6hv8 #COVID19 #Coronavirus”
Comment and share:
“The California JPIA thanks Lakewood City Manager Thaddeus McCormack, chair of the California JPIA’s Managers Committee, as well as South Gate City Manager Mike Flad, Bell Mayor Ali Saleh, and Bell City Attorney Dave Aleshire, who presented on the topic of “Ten Years After the Bell Scandal: Are We More Ethical?” at the League of California Cities Annual Conference & Expo. ‘Thank you for an informative session,’ said San Leandro Councilmember Victor Aguilar. ‘One of my favorites.’ Those who registered can watch the recorded session here: https://tinyurl.com/y5hhxlzq. The Authority is proud to be a Platinum League Partner!”
Follow us, comment and share about risk management:
“#NationalBossDay was Fri., 10/16. Looking back on ’19, when we were able to take our bosses out to lunch, we recognize that this is a great time to show appreciation to supervisors & mgrs for their guidance & inspiration. Thank you to the Authority exec. mgmt team for all you do!”
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For information on how to join these sites or participate in discussions, please contact Courtney Morrison, Management Analyst.Print Article