Risk Management is responsible for oversight and protection of all County assets through purchase of insurance, contractual risk transfer, program and operational analysis, mitigation of insured losses, safety and loss prevention and related programs and policy development.
Union County formalized the risk management process in 1999 when the position of risk manager was created and funded to manage the growth in exposures and costs inherent in the county that is growing at an exponential rate.
Risk Management has established Countywide written policies and procedures relative to insurance and self-insurance programs, claim management and employee safety and health programs.
These include a Vehicle Use Policy, Accident Cost Allocation Policy, Vehicle Claim Reporting Policy and Employee Injury Reporting Policy.
Contractual Risk Transfer procedures and a Certificate of Insurance Program ensure that the County has reliable recourse against vendors and contractors who create exposure to the County while operating on our premises or while providing service to the County Agencies and Departments under contract.
Risk Management manages the aggressive pursuit of insurance recoveries for damages caused to County property and vehicles by third parties though its Subrogation Procedures.
Employee safety and compliance with Federal and State mandated safety regulations are managed and monitored though development of standards and training required under the Occupational Safety and Health Act.
Risk Management Objectives
- To protect and preserve Union County assets and its employees against losses which could deplete County resources or impair the County's ability to meet its legal obligations or provide services to its citizens.
- To institute all practical measures to eliminate or control injury to persons, loss to property or other loss producing conditions that may adversely affect revenue flows.
- To serve as a professional safety and risk management resource to all County departments and agencies.
- To achieve these objectives in the most effective and economical manner
The claim management function focuses on managing the internal administration of employee work related injuries and coordinating services between the Workers' Compensation Claim Service Company and County agencies and departments for benefits payable within the self-insured program.
The claim management function also coordinates insurance recovery from Commercial insurers for claims related to property damage, vehicle accidents and subrogation recovery, premises slips and falls and Public Officials and Law Enforcement liability including coordinating defense strategies.
The goal of the rehabilitation program is to ensure the injured and disabled employees receive timely medical and rehabilitation assistance to reach maximum medical improvement following a work related injury and to return to productive employment within identified physical limitations. Research has shown that returning to work, even in a limited capacity, helps promote full recovery. For this reason, Union County agencies and departments are encouraged to offer injured employees temporary assignments, based upon their current work capabilities, as determined by the employee's treating physician.
Risk Analysis and Mitigation
This program element involves evaluating operational risks and identifying methods of treatment and reduction of risk exposures. Other responsibilities under this area include the monitoring and allocation of costs associated with losses to various general fund and non general fund agencies as a means of accountability; evaluating contractual transfer of risk; evaluating exposures of County physical assets; developing policies and procedures and providing Countywide training related to this program element.
The insurance program assures that the County's financial integrity is protected through a combination of commercial insurance and self-insurance. Risk Management is responsible for procuring and managing the County's purchase of commercial insurance policies insuring loss of County buildings, contents, computer equipment, library books and other valuable assets. Insurance is also purchased to protect the County against various liability exposures and excess insurance for self-insured exposures that may present serious loss potential.
To promote a safe work environment and to ensure public safety for visitors to County facilities, Risk Management provides employee training, OSHA technical assistance, self-inspection services and conducts accident investigations and coordinates other safety activities and events throughout the year.
Training available through risk management include:
- Defensive driving courses
- Blood-borne pathogens
- Hazardous communication
- Personal protective equipment
- Back (postural) safety
- Violence in the workplace
Technical assistance available through risk management include:
- Noise level measurement
- Indoor Air Quality measurement
- Office ergonomic measurement
- Regulatory compliance (NCOSHA)
Inspection and Audit
- Work site safety inspections
- Building safety
The purpose of Union County government and its employees’ mission is to provide a variety of services essential to the health, safety and well being of the community and its citizens. They are obliged to provide the citizens of Union County the best and most complete services of which they are capable. Incidents resulting in injury to County employees and/or damage to County property delay or prevent the successful accomplishment of that purpose. Therefore, it is the policy of the Union County Board of Commissioners that no job or task performed is so urgent or important that it must be completed without due regard for the safety of persons or property.
It follows that elected officials and department heads are obligated to provide, to the maximum extent possible, all of their employees with safe working conditions so that employees may do their jobs without endangering their safety or health. These conditions should include, but are not limited to, a safe place to work, proper training in safe work procedures and fellow employees who also perform their jobs in a safe manner.
The Risk Manager, though the oversight and administrative coordination of the Department or Agency Safety Committee is assigned the responsibility of managing the Union County Safety Program to implement this policy.