News

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court held that  a person may be considered “seized” under the Fourth Amendment   even if the individual escapes . This case may be of interest to pools covering law enforcement risks. Writing for the majority in  Torres v. Madrid , Chief Justice John Roberts said the “application of physical force to the body of a person with intent to restrain is a seizure, even if the force does not succeed in subduing the person.” Because this ruling expands what constitutes a Fourth Amendment seizure, it may open up police departments to additional police liability exposures — especially when suspects are injured trying to flee ...
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By Stephanie Weiss, Director of Education and Events Before the pandemic, it was hard for pool governing body members to carve out time for training. Layer on pandemic-related travel restrictions and other hurdles, and it’s even more difficult for them to find space on their schedules for governance education — no matter how valuable or necessary it is. Pools are facing serious challenges: COVID-19, societal shifts, a hard reinsurance market and more. Many pools are also experiencing higher-than-usual turnover on their governing bodies, so there’s increased demand for onboarding education.  No matter how you manage it, introductory training for ...
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By Steve Keller, Incoming Director of Programs A few weeks ago, we distributed our Succession Readiness Assessment to pool executives.  This survey — the first engagement of the year in our ongoing residency — was designed to help each top pool executive self-assess their pool’s readiness for their own planned or unplanned departures. Respondents were asked to (a) tell us about their existing succession plans, (b) share their expectations for the future, and (c) report on their staff team’s preparedness to take on executive duties across core pool functions. The responses we’ve gotten so far have shed valuable light on pools’ readiness ...
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By Ann Gergen, Executive Director In 2019 and early in 2020, a number of states passed or considered legislation to create workers’ compensation presumptions for PTSD in first responders. When COVID-19 hit, legislative focus shifted and things quieted a bit on presumptions.  Today, the issue of presumptions is again gaining momentum. Although we’re hearing continued talk about presumptions for PTSD for public safety workers, focus now seems to be mostly about legislation expanding cancer presumptions for firefighters.   Naturally, pools are seeking to evaluate the effects of new presumptions on workers’ compensation claims. Projections might ...
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The resources below were featured in the Feb. 25, 2021, issue of AGRiP eNews and may be of interest to pools. COVID-19 Vermont’s newly extended  workers’ compensation presumption  for front-line workers, now lasting until the 30th day following the eventual termination of the COVID-related state of emergency Highlights from a  recent pool-facilitated discussion on COVID-19’s impact on liability  (WCRP) Overview of  COVID-19 liability waivers shared by SDRMA with member public entities RISK MANAGEMENT FOR PUBLIC ENTITIES Tips to  prevent pipes from freezing (LARM) Best practices for  snow emergencies ...
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By Ann Gergen, Executive Director Late last year, we brought together pool leaders for Executive Think Tank, an event in which participants used collaborative conversation methods to discuss important pooling issues in 2021 and beyond. After the event, we were surprised by how frequently participants inquired about how we developed the conversation methodologies. Executives told us the conversation prompts, supportive technology and facilitation methods were instrumental in producing useful outcomes they could bring back to their pools. Because of this feedback, our Executive Think Tank Report presents not just the insights that came ...
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The resources below were featured in the Feb. 4, 2021, issue of AGRiP eNews and may be of interest to pools. PRESUMPTIONS New   PTSD presumption in Ohio   for first responders with a corresponding special compensation fund administered by the state   RISK MANAGEMENT Encouragement to   embrace winter walks for better health   (MIIA) Warning signs and removal tips for   excessive snow loads on roofs   (TOIRMA) Winter risk checklist for equipment and drivers   (TOIRMA) Recommended safety practices for   confined spaces where there may be dangerous gas   (LARM)   MEMBER-ORIENTED COMMUNICATIONS AND SERVICES ...
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The full report from AGRiP’s Executive Think Tank is now available online. In this collaborative event held last December, pool executives explored timely industry issues through a series of facilitated discussion sessions. Topics included (1) the future of pandemics, (2) changes to pool culture, (3) emerging leadership competencies, (4) accelerating digital transformation, (5) new pool operating models, (6) building a resilient pool and (7) member engagement. Download this easily navigable post-event report to: Read overall takeaways relating to pool business risks, member engagement, and leadership and culture Learn what pool executives ...
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Special Districts Insurance Services (SDIS) has developed an innovative employee assistance program (EAP) for emergency responders, earning the pool an Award for Excellence in Performance from the Association of Governmental Risk Pools (AGRiP).  Since Jan. 2019, Public Safety EAP has provided confidential counseling, a wellness resource center, professional and personal coaching services, and other benefits to firefighters and EMS workers free of charge. The program has directly reduced health and other risks for Oregon’s public safety responders, who often work in challenging situations with physical and emotional demands.  Notably, ...
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By Ann Gergen, Executive Director Pools and their members have spent the last year conducting most, if not all, of their operations virtually. As we look ahead, I imagine every pool is looking forward to the return of in-person interaction.  However, as much as we might wish otherwise, our pre-pandemic professional world is never completely coming back. Pools and public entities will be living with the effects of the COVID-accelerated virtual revolution from here on out. With that in mind, I’ve been reading a lot lately about hybrid meetings: meetings that blend in-person and virtual participation in a way that creates comparable experiences ...
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The resources below were featured in the Jan. 14, 2021, issue of AGRiP eNews and may be of interest to pools. COVID-19 FAQs about   COVID-19 and workers’ compensation   (MCIT) Access more COVID-19 pooling resources   via our website .   RISK MANAGEMENT Poster with tips for   addressing snowplow driver fatigue   (CIRSA) Safe work practices for   avoiding slips and falls on snow and ice   (KLCIS) Warning signs of impending workplace violence   and   tips for keeping workers safe   (OMAG) Tips for   reducing dangerous inflow and infiltration in municipal wastewater systems   (OMAG)   MEMBER ...
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By Ann Gergen, Executive Director With almost all pools having experienced some form of operational disruption this year, pool leaders are looking ahead to what their business processes might look like in 2021 and beyond. For many pools, this will involve using technology to automate functions historically performed by hand. In fact, as part of a poll conducted during one of the conference sessions at Pooling Today, three-quarters of pool respondents said 40 percent or more of their pool’s business processes could be automated.  With this in mind, a group of pool executives participating in our Executive Think Tank recently identified ...
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The resources below were featured in the Nov. 11, 2020, issue of AGRiP eNews and may be of interest to pools. COVID-19 Pool communication to member entities on   core coverage changes resulting from the pandemic   (MCIT) Explanation of   updated employee hazard regulations in California   (GSRMA)   Access more COVID-19 pooling resources   via our website . RISK MANAGEMENT Procedures for   avoiding workplace fires   (OMAG) Precautions for   keeping firefighters safe from chemical exposure   (OMAG) Article on the   importance of safety at roadside worksites   (CSD Pool) Best practice recommendations ...
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The resources below were featured in the Nov. 12, 2020, issue of AGRiP eNews and may be of interest to pools. RISK MANAGEMENT Strategies for   easing the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder among employees   (MIIA) Advice on   general winter weather property preparedness   and   preventing roof collapses due to snow   (County Mutual newsletter) Tips to   avoid electronic funds transfer fraud attacks   (ASCIP)   LIABILITY Advice to school districts about   assessing and setting liability limits   (CSD Pool)   WORKERS’ COMPENSATION Article on   uncertainty surrounding cancer, COVID-19, PTSD and ...
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By Ann Gergen, Executive Director In his 1990 book The Fifth Discipline , systems scientist Peter Senge defined a “learning organization” as one with the following characteristics: (a) systems thinking, (b) personal mastery, (c) mental models, (d) shared vision and (e) team learning. For a more condensed look at Senge’s concept, I recommend this 1993 Harvard Business Review article that simplifies the definition and focuses on key activities a learning organization engages in: (1) systematic problem-solving, (2) experimentation, (3) learning from past experience, (4) learning from others and (5) transferring knowledge. As ...
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The resources below were featured in the Oct. 22, 2020, issue of AGRiP eNews and may be of interest to pools. COVID-19 U.S. district court   refuses to dismiss a pandemic-related business interruption case against an insurer   ( Business Insurance ) Pool communication to members on   virtual annual membership meeting   (LARM) Access more COVID-19 pooling resources   via our website .   RISK MANAGEMENT Precautions for   keeping buildings safe during wildfires   (AMERIND) Tips for   dealing with politics in the workplace   without triggering employment discrimination claims or encountering other legal issues ...
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By Ann Gergen, Executive Director Given the future-minded nature of public entity pooling and heightened awareness surrounding social and economic inequalities, it’s no surprise some health pools are taking up the issue of health equity for public employee subscribers. In conversations I’ve had over the past two months, I’ve heard of member health pools seeking to address health outcome disparities by: Asking whether pool wellness incentives are respectful of income differences between the highest- and lowest-paid public employee subscribers in their membership Revising pool wellness programs to recognize fundamental health needs ...
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The resources below were featured in the Oct. 1, 2020, issue of AGRiP eNews and may be of interest to pools. COVID-19 Newly enacted  law in California  codifying a COVID-19 workers’ compensation presumption for: Essential workers (including firefighters and law enforcement) Any employee at a workplace with more than five workers where there is an outbreak over a 14-day period New  COVID-19 presumption in New Jersey  for essential workers, including police, firefighters and emergency reponders New  COVID-related liability protections in Ohio  (including for schools) Safety culture case study  from a Virginia local ...
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The resources below were featured in the Sept. 10, 2020, issue of AGRiP eNews and may be of interest to pools. COVID-19 New COVID-related liability protections in  Georgia  (see Chap. 16),  Mississippi  (see Sec. 2 and 3),  Nevada  (see Sec. 29) and  Tennessee Hand sanitizer storage safety recommendations  (NIRMA) School sanitization measures  shared by a Virginia public school district (VRSA) Face mask hygiene tips  (OMAG) Recommendation to  check HVAC systems to reduce coronavirus spread in schools  (KASB) RISK MANAGEMENT Webinar recording on  managing transparency-related risks  such as cyberattacks ...
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By Ann Gergen, Executive Director Since March, AGRiP has been highly cognizant of the way we communicate with members, including what information and news we share and how we share it. In consideration of the many competing priorities pools are dealing with, we’ve kept our member outreach simple and direct, filtering away what’s nonessential so as to streamline our communications. I know many pools are doing much of the same thing for their member entities. As we minimize distractions, it’s easy to gloss over successes or “feel-good” news because it might seem less important than the crisis du jour (of which there are plenty). Almost half ...
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