Issue 123 - May 2022
Register today for an educational experience beyond your wildest aspirations at the California JPIA’s 27th Annual Risk Management Educational Forum, entitled Adventures in Risk Management, October 5–7, 2022, at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort.
The Forum is a premier educational event teeming with exotic opportunities: compelling panel presentations on topics ranging from legal liability to public safety, networking with other brave adventurers, and learning from former Boston Police Chief Daniel Linskey, who will impart lessons on leading before, during, and after a crisis. Share a taste of the action with your agency’s thrill-seeking heroes and trusty sidekicks alike; registration is at no cost to members.
Forum Scholarship Opportunity
For those unable to otherwise attend the Forum due to a lack of agency funding, the Authority offers a limited number of scholarships for lodging costs. Preference may be given to first-time attendees; however, all are encouraged to apply. Those selected for a Forum scholarship will receive two nights of lodging at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort.
To apply or learn more about this scholarship opportunity, please click here. The deadline for applications is June 17, 2022. If you have any questions, please contact Edith Aviña by email or at (562) 467-8776.Print Article
Please join the California JPIA for the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, at 7:00 p.m.
The Authority is governed by a Board of Directors and an elected, nine-member Executive Committee. The Board of Directors consists of one elected official appointed by each member agency. Member cities, joint powers authorities, and special districts actively guide the organization, ensuring that the Authority makes values-based decisions that benefit the entire membership.
The Annual Meeting will include consideration of budgets for fiscal years 2022-23 and 2023-24, the election of the Authority’s Vice President and four Executive Committee members, recognition of the 2022 Risk Management Award winners, and a presentation about the Authority’s programs and activities.
This year’s program also will include an afternoon session preceding the meeting, during which members will learn in detail about the California JPIA’s finances and ongoing initiatives.
The meeting will be held at the Authority’s La Palma campus. A buffet dinner will be served al fresco at 5:30 p.m., with the Board of Directors meeting immediately following. Voting delegates and up to one additional member representative are eligible to receive lodging and travel reimbursement for attending the meeting. A $100 stipend will be provided to the voting delegate or alternate of each member agency attending the meeting.
Registration for the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors will open in early June. For questions or assistance, please contact Agency Clerk Veronica Ruiz.Print Article
On April 21, 2022, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board adopted revisions to the Cal/OSHA COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) for the third time. The revised version of the ETS became effective on May 6, 2022, and will remain in effect through December 31, 2022. The ETS revisions incorporate updated guidance from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and make the ETS more flexible if changes are made to CDPH guidance in the future. ETS standards apply to most workers in California not covered by the Aerosol Transmissible Diseases Standard.
Important unchanged requirements in the ETS include:
Employers must establish, implement, and maintain an effective written COVID-19 Prevention Program that includes:
- Identifying and evaluating employee exposures to COVID-19 health hazards.
- Implementing effective policies and procedures to correct unsafe and unhealthy conditions.
- Allowing adequate time for handwashing.
Employers must provide effective training and instruction to employees on how COVID-19 is spread, infection prevention techniques, and information regarding COVID-19-related benefits that affected employees may be entitled to under applicable federal, state, or local laws.
Important revisions to the ETS include:
Face covering requirements are the same for all employees regardless of vaccination status and are no longer required in all indoor locations.
- Face coverings are mandatory in the ETS when CDPH requires their use.
- Employers must review CDPH guidance for the use of face masks to learn when face coverings are required.
Employees can still request face coverings from the employer at no cost to the employee and can wear them at work, regardless of vaccination status, and without fear of retaliation.
- Employers must provide respirators to employees who request them for voluntary use regardless of vaccination status.
Cleaning and Disinfecting
- The ETS no longer includes any cleaning and disinfecting requirements.
Testing and Exclusion
- Employers are now required to make COVID-19 testing available at no cost and during paid time to employees with COVID-19 symptoms regardless of vaccination status and regardless of whether there is a known exposure. COVID-19 testing must also be made available to employees who had a close contact in the workplace and during outbreaks.
- The detailed prescriptive requirements for exclusion of employees after close contact have been deleted. Instead, employers must review CPDH guidelines for individuals who had close contact and implement quarantine and other measures in the workplace to prevent COVID-19 transmission in the workplace.
- The requirements for employees who test positive for COVID-19 have been updated to reflect the most recent CDPH isolation and quarantine guidelines. Regardless of vaccination status, positive employees can return to work after five (5) days if the employee has a negative test, symptoms are improving, and they wear a face covering at work for an additional five (5) days. Otherwise, most employees can return after ten (10) days.
- “Close contact” and “infectious period” are now defined so that their meaning will change if CDPH changes its definition of the term in a regulation or order. This will allow more flexibility and consistency with CDPH.
- “COVID-19 test” was simplified to make it easier to use self-administered and self-read tests. A video or observation of the entire test process is no longer necessary; just a date/timestamped photo of the test result will now be sufficient.
- “Fully vaccinated” was deleted as this term is no longer used in the regulations. All protections now apply regardless of vaccination status, and requirements do not vary based on an employee’s vaccination status.
A revised COVID-19 Exposure Control Plan template will soon be available in the cjpia.org resource library. For more information, refer to:
- COVID-19 Isolation and Quarantine – What Employers and Workers Need to Know (Updated May 7, 2022)
- Revisions to the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards Updated May 7, 2022 – FAQs
If you have questions, contact your California JPIA senior risk manager.Print Article
On April 13, 2022, the California JPIA hosted a virtual Risk Managers’ Roundtable regarding outdoor dining risks. The roundtable addressed how the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in outdoor business activities within public rights-of-way. While dining decks, parklets, streeteries, and other similar outdoor dining areas have contributed significantly to helping local businesses survive the pandemic, their proximity to moving vehicles has created safety concerns. Public agency staff members are faced with managing a problematic tension between supporting local businesses and public safety.
During the roundtable, panelists Dr. Victor Manalo, former mayor of the City of Artesia, and Rob Reiter, co-founder of the Storefront Safety Council, discussed best practices, safeguards, and resources that help increase sidewalk and on-street dining safety for residents and visitors alike.
Based on the roundtable discussion, below are suggested actions members should take to manage on-street dining risk:
- Installation of crash-rated barriers
- Requiring permits, insurance requirements, and indemnification in favor of the member
- Limit sidewalk or on-street dining to roadways with speed limits under 30 miles per hour
- Conduct a risk assessment and/or traffic engineering study to identify location-specific hazards and mitigation measures
- Conduct regular inspections of all outdoor dining locations, on foot and in vehicle
If you have questions about how to safely provide sidewalk or on-street dining in your community, please contact your assigned senior risk manager.
For information regarding future Risk Managers’ Roundtables, please contact Senior Training Specialist Ryan Thomas by email.Print Article
The city of Chino Hills has received $565,000 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding to support a fuel reduction project that will reduce the potential for wildfires. The money was approved as part of the federal government’s spending bill, which includes local projects requested by their legislative representatives. The project was supported by U.S. Representative Young Kim, who represents California’s 39th Congressional District which includes Chino Hills, and U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla, who represent California.
“We are very thankful to our elected officials for all of their leadership to bring funding to our city,” said Chino Hills Mayor Ray Marquez. “While our community enjoys an enhanced quality of life through the preservation of over 3,000 acres of open space in our city, wildfires are always a concern. Our residents’ safety, health, and, in many cases, lives depend on our ability to protect them from the destructive paths of wildfires.”
“I am proud to be able to deliver federal funding that will directly support the Chino Hills fuel reduction project,” said Rep. Young Kim. “This is an important initiative to protect open space and keep residents safe from wildfires by removing fuel hazards near residential areas. I am grateful to the city of Chino Hills for working with me to assess the need for the project and get it through the finish line in Congress. As a member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee, I will continue to work to prevent and contain wildfires and promote public safety.”
The city of Chino Hills has approximately 3,350 acres of city-owned open space and is adjacent to the more than 14,000-acre Chino Hills State Park. All these areas are vulnerable to wildfires. The city will use the FEMA funding to enhance its citywide fuel reduction project that reduces the potential for wildfires by removing fuel hazards near residential communities. The funding will allow the city to supplement its annual weed abatement efforts with a program that enlarges defensible space and removes dead and declining plant material in the landscaped buffer zones between the city’s habitable structures and its hillsides vulnerable to wildfire. In addition, the project will use environmentally friendly techniques that are cost-effective and will result in long-term greenhouse gas reductions.
Risks from wildfires remain a constant threat for many California JPIA members. In 2021/2022, Californians experienced another dry winter, which increases wildfire risks. High winds and low fuel moisture combined with excessive dead and declining vegetation significantly increase the chances of wildfire in our communities. Efforts should be made to minimize wildfire exposures that threaten personnel safety, property loss, and continuity of operations. For an in-depth analysis of wildfire exposures and risk management, download the California JPIA’s wildfire white paper from the Authority’s website.Print Article
The County of Ventura Board of Supervisors recently recognized the City of Camarillo with an Earth Day 2022 Award for the North Pleasant Valley Groundwater Desalter Facility. The project was 20 years in the making and involved permitting from numerous agencies, several different funding sources, complex land acquisition and approvals, design, and construction. At a total project cost of $66 million, the desalter was nearly 50 percent funded by outside sources.
The California JPIA assisted the city with the project by reviewing construction contract insurance requirements and providing builder’s risk coverage for the project through the property insurance program.
Signifying its importance to Camarillo and the region, the desalter has also been awarded the 2022 American Public Works Association (APWA) National Project of the Year in the Small Cities/Rural Communities Environment category. The city will be recognized at an awards ceremony during the annual APWA national expo in Charlotte, North Carolina on August 29, 2022.
Water conservation is swiftly becoming a more urgent environmental issue, and the desalter is an integral part of Camarillo’s critical infrastructure. Before considering the desalter, the city was expected by 2035 to import 70 percent of its water supply from the State Water Project (SWP). The desalter will provide reliable, drought-resistant potable water and allow the city to reduce imported SWP water to 25 percent of its water supply.
The desalter treats brackish groundwater from the northern portion of the Pleasant Valley Basin, turning it into potable water, doubling water supply production from local groundwater sources, and reducing the city’s dependence on imported water. The facility will aid the city in the sustainable use of natural resources as it continues to strive toward a more resilient and sustainable future for Camarillo and the region.
Congratulations, City of Camarillo!Print Article
National Public Works Week, May 15–21, 2022, celebrated the contributions of public works personnel throughout the nation, educating the public about how public works employees plan, build, and operate at the heart of communities to improve residents’ quality of life. This year’s theme, “Ready & Resilient,” touched upon the dedicated spirit of public works employees.
In recognition of this week-long celebration, the California JPIA pays special homage to the City of Dana Point’s Public Works Department, which can be relied on to serve its community and manage challenges through risk management best practices.
“Public works employees provide critical services that many of us take for granted,” said Senior Risk Manager Alex Mellor. “Whether maintaining infrastructure, managing capital improvement projects, or performing myriad other tasks, public works employees are vital to maintaining the health of the communities in which we all live.”
Public works employees support Dana Point by managing and supervising the city’s infrastructure from 112 miles of sidewalk along City streets to the Salt Creek Ozone Treatment Plant. The California JPIA and Dana Point will soon team up to complete an inventory of confined spaces throughout the city to ensure that potential risks are recognized and safety specifications are met so that public works employees are protected while fulfilling their duties.
“Both the public works department and the city overall are always eager to form a partnership to help better manage risk,” said Mellor. “They are very proactive about asking risk-related questions and taking full advantage of the many resources the California JPIA has to offer its members.”
“The California JPIA has truly helped us take actions over the years that protect the city from liability. The City Council prioritizes safety and has provided Public Works with the budgets we need to maintain our streets, sidewalks, signs, traffic signals, and other public assets to a very high standard,” said Director of Public Works/City Engineer Matthew Sinacori. “One good example is the city’s annual inspection of every public sidewalk in the city to identify needed repairs to eliminate potential tripping hazards. Hundreds of work orders are generated each year to address issues found. This has proved to be an invaluable tool to prevent claims.”
Dana Point’s public works department is ready and resilient largely due to the leadership and guidance of Sinacori, who, according to Mellor, cultivates an awareness of potential liability issues, assesses risks, and anticipates solutions to potential problems. Sinacori has established a five-star service standard for the divisions he supervises, including street maintenance, traffic engineering, solid waste and recycling, engineering, water quality, and construction and capital improvement projects.
“I am proud of our entire Public Works team. They all care about this community and keeping the city safe, well maintained, and clean. We put in the extra time needed to pick up that piece of trash, pick that weed, or fix that sign regardless of the time of day. We also value the relationships we have with our emergency response teams (OCSD and OCFA) and are ready for any emergency,” said Sinacori. “We love working for a small city and the diversity it brings in our day. We will continue to find innovative ways to do more with less while still holding the highest standard possible.”
“The California JPIA is proud to support the important work performed by public works employees across the entire membership,” said Mellor. “Through proactive risk management efforts and utilizing resources provided by the Authority, member public works departments can reduce the likelihood of injury to employees and the public, and ensure public funds are used for their intended purpose.”Print Article
The Authority has migrated to a new Evidence of Coverage (EOC) solution. The new EOC solution is accessed via myJPIA and is hosted in the Authority’s risk management information system (RMIS). Member employees with access to RMIS will find a fillable form to request an EOC document.
The EOC solution provides evidence of liability, workers’ compensation, and/or property coverage to third parties such as individuals, vendors, companies, and other public entities, including schools, cities, and the state and federal government.
There are four types of EOCs:
- Basic. Provides proof that the member has coverage with the Authority and does not name an additional Protected Party (the Authority’s term for Additional Insured). Basic EOCs are processed automatically and should be received by the member within 20 minutes.
- Limited Protected Contract, Type 1. Provides proof for a written agreement that fits one of the categories below, that the member has coverage, and names an additional Protected Party. Protected Contract, Type 1 EOCs are processed automatically and should be received by the member within 20 minutes.
- Easements or License Agreements;
- Leases of Real or Personal Property;
- Encroachment Permits;
- Special Events Sponsored by the member; or
- Use of Facilities, Equipment, real or personal property by the member.
- Limited Protected Contract, Type 2. Provides proof for a written agreement that is not one of the above categories and does not meet the definition of a Protected Contract. These contracts are submitted by members and processed by Authority staff. Limited Protected Contract, Type 2 EOCs are processed and are typically received by members within two business days once the Authority has received the complete written agreement. (Note: The Authority offices are closed on Fridays)
- Protected Contract. Provides proof for a written agreement that meets the definition of a Protected Contract. Protected Contract EOCs require discussion with members and may take several days to process.
For additional information regarding Limited Protected Contract (Type 1 and 2) and Protected Contracts, click here.
Questions regarding the Evidence of Coverage service can be directed to Insurance Programs Manager Jim Thyden by email or at (562) 467-8784.Print Article
Visitors to the Authority’s beautiful campus in La Palma can bear witness to the impact of Maintenance Worker Chris Yanonis, who celebrates 15 years as a California JPIA staff member.
“Chris’s long tenure with the Authority speaks for itself,” said Administrative Services Director Nikki Salas. “His diligent work ethic and dedication to his fellow staff members and our campus show every day, as guests are welcomed by a beautifully kept landscape and a fully functioning building .”
Since joining the California JPIA in 2007, Yanonis has performed an extensive list of onsite tasks, including building and grounds maintenance, facilities operations, and campus security. He also supports the planning and execution of events ranging from community service projects to Board of Directors meetings, all the while ensuring the Authority’s staff members have what they need to provide members with the best service and care.
“I am always amazed when I recall that the Authority’s campus is nearly 25 years old,” said Yanonis. “My goal every day is to make sure the building and landscape continue to look brand new for our staff and our members.”
The Authority’s iconic fountain has been rebuilt twice under Yanonis’s supervision, which he counts among his proudest accomplishments during his time with the California JPIA. He also has been recognized for his work on the Mariposa Courtyard, the back stairwell, and other landscape and building improvements.
“My job is made easy by the incredible California JPIA team members and how well the organization is run,” said Yanonis. “The team and staff are all very knowledgeable and always willing to help; everyone chips in and does their part to make my job easier.”
Congratulations, Chris, on your 15th anniversary!Print Article