Upcoming Municipal Risk Management Strategies for Today’s Litigious Society events

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Municipal Risk Management Strategies for Today’s Litigious Society

Many fail to realize that insurance is purchased as a final safeguard of liability and that the costs of this protection is calculated on individual claims and societies rising expectation for compensation for harm. Regrettably, claims are often generated from poor or inadequate performance by the insurance holder that could have been avoided by simple observation and corrective action – Risk Management. This workshop will explore proven strategies and tools that have been used during past municipal litigation to protect from significant claims of fault and liability. Participants will leave having conducted a self-directed operational assessment of their current level of risk reduction commitment when compared to today’s industry standards and court expectations.

Who should attend? This workshop is designed to engage every level of municipal operations. To be successful, council, senior and middle management and frontline staff must all understand and adopt the same level of commitment to risk reduction.

Topics include:

Risk Avoidance

Risk is inherent in the operating environment of every municipality. It is impossible to eliminate risk, but it is possible to manage it. By adopting and applying the proven principles of risk management in combination with industry best practice municipal governance can avoid escalating claim costs. Today’s risk manager must clearly understand joint and several liability and new provincial regulations that are proving why ignoring the importance of sound risk management can have serious consequences for any organization. This session will outline the proven steps or risk analysis, relevant legislation and real life examples of claim situations while providing each participant with important tools for effective risk management in their workplace.

Benefits of a Positive Workplace Health and Safety Program

Worker safety and public safety in a recreation environment go hand-in hand. Meeting the obligations of the Occupational Health and Safety Act as well as the other 40+pieces of potential legislation and 100+codes and regulations that can control recreation services is an additional key to developing a positive risk reduction program. Mandatory log books, H&S incident and accident reports can also help form a positive or negative legal occurrence.

Benefits of Conducting Risk Assessments

Municipalities strive to provide a balance of essential services and quality life-experiences to their communities. This session will investigate what starts off as an exciting recreational opportunity but results in an emergency situation and ultimately litigation. The example of community’s use of rented giant air inflatables as part of a community festival or significant event will be analysed through real life experience. These colourful, fun pieces of equipment are an attraction to all ages. But what seems a simple decision at the event planning table can turn into an operational nightmare when the inflatable which was improperly anchored becomes airborne when unexpected high gusts of winds lift the structure with children inside landing on a roof some distance away. A legal post-mortem of the incident discovers that it could been prevented had the organization undergone a risk assessment prior to renting and offering the air inflatable experience. This session builds on the basic foundation of risk management principles and looks deeper into the benefits of conducting risk assessments on both historical recreational experiences or the offering of any new activity such as longboarding, parkour or adult gym equipment on any municipal property. Participants will learn through this session why conducting regular risk assessments can help an organization minimize liability exposure.

Proving Safe Conduct During Claims & Litigation

When litigation erupts the insurance carrier will begin to mount a defence toward the plaintiffs claim. The relationship between the insurance provider and insurance holder to this point is often one of blind trust. The insurance carrier assumes that the insurance holder has been acting in both a legal and moral capacity having taken every reasonable precaution to reduce the potential of damage or harm. The acid test to this relationship often lies in the operations documentation. In the world of litigation, it is not what you did; it is what you can prove that you did. Documentation is used as evidence to prove that the standard of care was met, or that contracts existed. This session will share important considerations to developing and implementing a quality operational documentation program. Understanding the importance of training all staff on how to effectively complete documents such as daily log books, inspection forms and incident/accident reports will be outlined. While the importance of not only collecting information but acting on the findings and recording corrective measures will be explained. The do’s and don’ts of data collection on these operational tools will be shared.

Theory Application

The session will focus on the best risk management practices for playing fields, playgrounds, indoor ice arenas and outdoor activities such as, tobogganing, outdoor skating rinks and skate parks/skills parks.

Open Forum

Participants will be provided an opportunity to ask specific risk related operational questions in an open forum.

Workshop Partners:

Since offering their first policy in 1932, the Frank Cowan Company Limited (FCC) continues to provide comprehensive insurance coverage backed by a dedicated, service-oriented staff. The Cowan team is committed to writing insurance policies to deal with increasingly complex risks and exposures of liability that municipalities continue to face. The ORFA is considered the authority in providing guidelines and best practices in the safe operations of recreational grounds, greenspaces, ice, pools, refrigeration and facility administrative obligations. For more than 25 years, FCC and ORFA have worked together to provide FCC clients and ORFA members with professional development, tools and guidance to offering a safe, serviceable recreational experience