Drive Safely Work Week Campaign Revs Up in October

American workers’ safety on the road continues to affect careers and companies. According to the Department of Labor’s National Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in 2015, transportation incidents caused that year’s most fatal work injuries at a staggering 26%; the 1,264 roadway incidents also marked a 9% rise from 2014. When paired with other sobering statistics—such as positive urine drug testing in the workplace increasing 5% from 2014 to 2015, as previously reported—awareness groups are reacting to combat these statistics.

The Network of Employers for Traffic Safety (NETS) reports that vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death and injury in the workplace. In addition to the pain and suffering caused, traffic crashes cost employers more than $60 billion annually in the U.S. alone. Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have concluded that 80% of all crashes and 65% of near-crashes are due to some form of driver inattention.
NETS is addressing fleet safety and the dangerous combination of impaired driving while at work beginning Oct. 2, when it launches Impaired Driving, its newest Drive Safely Work Week campaign.

The goal for the week is to equip employers with the means to improve awareness of the risks of impaired driving—operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol, illicit and prescription drugs, and other substances—by offering tangible solutions employers can implement to reduce them. The NETS site, trafficsafety.org, offers an online toolkit which will be updated in October with Impaired Driving campaign activities that reinforce the program’s safe-driving messages. This includes customizable employer launch letters, fact sheets, pledge cards and interactive employee presentations.

While the campaign’s top priority is to save lives, it also sheds light on the major financial risks employers face when employees drive under the influence. NETS information indicates that the average cost of an on-the-job crash to employers is:

  • $670,000 per fatality,
  • $65,000 per non-fatal injury, and
  • $6,000 for property damage.

Impaired Driving is DSWW’s third campaign of the year. The safety week had been observed annually for many years, but NETS updated its structure to quarterly deliveries in 2017. Its focus will not be time-sensitive or tied in with certain events or holidays. This way, any of the campaigns can be tailored to the employer’s schedule, without consuming significant time from the work day, said NETS executive director Joe McKillips.

“With these changes, our mission remains the same,” McKillips said. “[That mission is] to improve the safety and health of employees, their families, and members of the communities in which they live and work by preventing traffic crashes that occur both on-and off-the-job.”

For employers looking to host a safety week, NETS suggests alerting employees up to two weeks prior to the week by email and posting notices.

During a scheduled Drive Safely Work Week:

  • Post social media announcements
  • Distribute employee fact sheet(s)
  • Conduct distracted driving training workshop and/or webinar using the PowerPoint presentation contained in the downloadable campaign materials

Founded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), NETS is an employer-led road safety organization comprising global traffic safety leaders across private industry and government, whose fleets range from fewer than 100 vehicles to more than 50,000.

Paying it Forward: Industry Leaders Celebrate at Spencer Gala

Every year in September, leaders in the insurance world celebrate the profession and show their support for the next generation of risk management and insurance professionals. This year, close to 700 executives made their way to the Spencer Educational Foundation’s 9th Annual Gala on Thursday night at the New York Hilton Midtown. Nearly $1 million in donations were accepted at the event, a critical fundraising initiative for the Foundation. Proceeds will directly fund grant, scholarship and internship programs for undergraduate and graduate students who are pursuing careers in the field.

“The Gala is a wonderful reminder of just how generous and passionate professionals in this industry are,” said Ron Davis, executive vice president at Zurich and Spencer Educational Foundation chairman. “Tonight we’re celebrating the profession that has afforded us so much by giving back and creating meaningful opportunities for future risk professionals.”

The Gala honored 2017 Spencer Scholars Jayde Lim Ah Tock, a junior from Temple University, and James Pappas, a senior at St. John’s University. “Being a Spencer Scholar has allowed me to focus on my university’s program,” Tock said. “I want to thank the donors for allowing me to pursue something that is so important to me.”

When speaking about the support Spencer provided, Pappas said he is now “confident, optimistic and energized” about his future and knows he is “joining an amazing industry that truly makes a difference.”

Among the industry leaders in attendance were honorees Joseph Tocco, chief executive, north America insurance at XL Catlin, and Michael Rice, chief executive officer at JLT Specialty USA. Both are longtime Spencer supporters and were recognized for their efforts to move the Foundation’s mission forward.

The night’s festivities concluded with remarks from the honorees whose comments focused on the industry’s talent gap and the aging risk management workforce.

“The world needs our industry and our industry needs to attract and develop new talent,” Rice said. “Spencer is a wonderful conduit that allows us to celebrate this talent and the future of the profession.”

Tocco added, “I’m proud to be in an industry that places so much energy on education. Enlisting the next generation of risk professionals is more imperative now than ever before. We need to make “risk management” students’ first choice and not a profession by accident.”

Students around the world have benefited from Spencer funding. Since its inception, the charitable nonprofit has awarded 970 scholarships totaling about $6.4 million, and $3.25 million in grants to universities and professional institutions for educational programs and conferences.

RIMS Membership Has a Say in COSO’s New ERM Framework

When Risk & Insurance Management Society (RIMS) members use the new ERM framework published Sept. 6 by the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of theTreadway Commission (COSO), they may recognize their own ideas prominently displayed. Carol Fox, RIMS vice president of strategic initiatives announced the call for public comment on Risk Management Monitor in June 2016. She said feedback from the industry, and particularly RIMS members, is reflected in COSO’s ERM Framework: Integrating with Strategy and Performance.

“RIMS members took advantage of the unique opportunity to influence one of the industry’s major guidance documents. For several weeks, members collaborated and drafted a response, which was publicly available through the end of last year,” said Fox, who participated on the project’s advisory council. “We were very appreciative that COSO reached out to RIMS and other professional associations, whose input strengthened the content, ideas and approaches featured in Integrating with Strategy and Performance.

A summary of the public comment feedback includes:

  • More than 200 responses–double that of the internal control update
  • Over 70% of responses from individuals
  • Over 50% of participation outside of North America
  • Almost 50% had affiliations beyond COSO memberships
  • Almost 50% of respondents had 10 or more years of risk management experience
  • Positive ratings outnumbered negative ratings by 4.5 to 1

The new publication serves as an update to 2004’s Enterprise Risk Management – Integrated Framework, which is internationally regarded as the standard for applied risk management frameworks. Developed by PwC under the direction of the COSO Board, its simple, five-component structure considers various viewpoints and operating structures while highlighting the importance of enterprise risk management in strategic planning. It also emphasizes embedding ERM throughout an organization, as risk influences strategy and performance throughout the organization.

“The complexity of risk has changed, new risks have emerged, and both boards and executives have enhanced their awareness and oversight of enterprise risk management while asking for improved risk reporting,” said COSO Chair Robert B. Hirth Jr. “Our overall goal is to continue to encourage a risk-conscious culture.”

Enterprise Risk Management: Integrating with Strategy and Performance is available in printed form, e-book, on-line subscription and pdf licensing for large organizations, accounting and consulting firms. Additionally, COSO is planning for the framework to be translated into several languages, including Chinese, Japanese, Spanish and French.

Visit www.coso.org for purchase information and for a link to the framework’s executive summary.

Lessons from Distracted Driving Awareness Month

June is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and while it is quickly drawing to a close, the message remains: Distracted driving is escalating, with 25% more vehicle accidents resulting from drivers talking or texting on cellphones. More cars on the road, especially during summer months, also translates to more accidents.

Organizations with fleets should take note as motor vehicle crashes are the number-one cause of work-related deaths, accounting for 24% of all fatal occupational injuries, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). On-the-job crashes are also costly, with employers sustaining costs of more than $24,500 per property damage crash and $150,000 per injury crash.

Zurich sums up NSC statistics:
Employers can and are being held liable for damages resulting from employee accidents. “We might expect an employer to be held liable for a crash involving a commercial driver’s license holder who was talking on a cell phone with dispatch about a work-related run at the time of an incident—especially if the employer had processes or a workplace culture that made drivers feel compelled to use cell phones while driving,” the NSC said.

The lines believed to exist between employment-related and personal or private life get blurred in some cases involving:

  • Cell phones owned by employees as well as employer-provided equipment
  • Vehicles that were employee-owned as well as employer-owned or leased
  • Situations where employees were driving during non-working hours or were engaged in personal phone calls

To protect themselves and their employees, the NSC recommended that organizations implement and enforce a total ban policy.

“The best practice is to prohibit all employees from using any cell phone device while driving in any vehicle during work hours or for work-related purposes. Regarding off-the-job hours, precedent has been set by lawsuits. Thus employers may want to extend their policies to cover off-the-job use of company-provided wireless devices, use of personally-owned devices that are reimbursed by the company, and use of devices in company-provided vehicles. All work-related cell phone use while driving should be banned 24/7,” the NSA advised.

Companies should also pay attention to other common distractions that can lead to accidents, Zurich adds: