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MIIA is a Membership Service of the Massachusetts

MIIA Presents Loss Control, Wellness Awards During Annual Meeting

Published in News on by Stephen Batchelder, Director of Claims Operations, and Wendy Gammons, MIIA Wellness Coordinator

MIIA honored 15 member municipalities for their exemplary efforts to control costs and losses, reduce insurance claims, and promote cost-saving employee wellness measures, during the organization’s annual conference in Boston on January 24, 2017. The conference was held in conjunction with the MMA Annual Meeting and Trade Show.

“We are proud to honor these member communities who have found creative and innovative ways to manage risk and keep employees safe and well,” said Stan Corcoran, Executive Vice President at MIIA. “Congratulations to them on a successful year. We look forward to continuing to work closely with all of our municipal partners to develop customized programs that help meet risk management and employee health and wellness goals.”

Risk Management Awards

In recognition for successful efforts to control municipal costs and enhance employee safety, MIIA awarded 12 municipalities with awards in four different categories. Each of the award winners have excelled at lowering insurance loss ratios by taking advantage of MIIA’s Rewards incentive program, and  working in close partnership with their MIIA loss control representatives to implement process and safety improvement measures. The awardees are as follows:

Individual Department of Excellence Awards.  Winners were chosen based on having ongoing and effective safety committees, focused training efforts, and a commitment to strong infrastructure and maintenance protocols. In addition, these departments consistently drove favorable loss ratios.

  • Town of Reading – Department of Public Works

Reading continues to be one of MIIA's most active members with a focus on risk management from the top down.  This year, Reading’s DPW and MIIA partnered to provide regular training tailgates with a focus on injury prevention and wellness.  In addition, the DPW regularly conducts pro-active safety training refreshers on current topics based on injuries that have occurred.


  • Town of Wilmington – Department of Public Works

Wilmington’s DPW provides monthly training to staff, participates actively in the town’s Safety Committee, and also runs a departmental committee that develops and updates department safety procedures.  The DPW’s dedication to risk management has paid dividends as they experienced a zero percent (0%) loss ratio in FY16 for General Liability coverage.


Innovation Awards. Winners displayed a willingness to explore and support new and creative risk management solutions.

  • Town of Duxbury

Duxbury’s Risk Management Committee has taken action to improve workplace safety by evaluating and providing ergonomic equipment town-wide. With the ergonomic upgrades, the town is working to reduce stress and eliminate injuries and disorders associated with the overuse of muscles, bad posture, and repeated tasks.


  • Town of Sudbury

Sudbury and its Police Chief were early proponents of the A.L.I.C.E (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate) Program, which provides a proactive emergency response plan to active shooter scenarios. Initially implemented within the Police Department, Sudbury has since expanded into the local school system. This past fall, MIIA and the town co-sponsored an A.L.I.C.E “Train the Trainer” program that further reached out to non-municipal Sudbury entities (local churches, camps, etc.) – effectively creating a community-wide emergency response plan.


Risk Management Best Practices Awards. Winners are recognized for their commitment to consistent implementation of best practices for various lines of coverage.  Through this dedication, member communities have seen success with favorable loss ratios.

  • Town of Easton

Easton maintains a successful, longstanding safety committee. The town reports workers’ compensation claims in a timely manner, consistently utilizes occupational health facilities, and implements modified duty when possible.


  • Town of Wilmington

Wilmington maintains a very organized protocol relative to reporting workers’ compensation claims; they report claims almost immediately upon injury, and though a formal “Return to Work” program is still in the works, all departments are willing to accommodate modified duty on a case by case basis.


  • Town of Walpole – Workers’ Compensation

Walpole conducts regular safety committee meetings with participants from each department.  Internal accident investigations are conducted on all workers’ compensation claims, and the town provides modified duty when available.


  • Town of Foxborough – Workers’ Compensation

Foxborough conducts regular safety meetings and places a high priority on pre-placement physicals, accident investigations, and ongoing safety training. In an effort to increase modified duty possibilities, the town has updated all job descriptions.


Commitment to Risk Management Awards. Winners demonstrated either an expanded risk management focus and/or a sustained, long-term commitment to risk management.

  • City of Leominster

For the last decade, Leominster has met MIIA’s tough benchmark standards for mitigating risk and controlling losses in property and casualty.  The city has an active safety committee that has met regularly for over 17 years, and has steadily increased participation in MIIA’s training programs.


  • Town of Cohasset

Cohasset’s safety committee recently focused on workers’ compensation losses, and has seen immediate results including enhanced accident investigations and timely reporting of claims. The town continues to accommodate modified duty, creatively at times, when there is an opportunity to safely return an employee to work in some capacity.


  • Town of Cummington

Cummington has seen zero lost-time injuries for over a decade, thanks in large part to its proactive town officials. The town takes advantage of many of MIIA’s training and grant programs, and has hosted a number of MIIA regional programs.  Cummington displays how a small town can utilize outside resources to assist in developing risk management solutions to concerns that plague many cities and towns.


  • Town of Lanesborough

Lanesborough’s safety committee has been instrumental in applying for and receiving risk management grants to mitigate exposures, and the town consistently participates in MIIA’s training offerings.  Specific areas where the town has increased its focus are municipal building safety and security, work zone and driver safety, and building freeze up prevention.


Wellness Awards

MIIA also presented three different awards to member communities in recognition of their efforts to improve employee health and promote a culture of wellness at their worksites.

Ipswich received MIIA’s award for “Excellence in Wellness” for the town’s efforts to reach as many employees as possible with activities that target departmental needs and interests. Ipswich’s leadership has shown tremendous support for wellness programs by allowing employees to leave work early or take breaks to participate in programs such as a Fitbit walking challenge. Ipswich has offered a variety of wellness initiatives, online, onsite and self-directed, including those specifically for Library and DPW employees, as well as organized basketball and kickball games for employees to promote activity during the Fitbit Challenge.  

Walpole received an award for “Excellence in Wellness” for the town’s support of wellness programs that reach all departments. The town’s wellness committee meets 10 times each year and includes representatives from the Health Department, Council on Aging, Fire, Police, Accounting, Veterans Affairs, and Schools. Walpole has offered a range of wellness programs for employees, including nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness classes, and hosted a fun Employee Appreciation Day with exercise and healthy food options.

Manchester-By-the-Sea was honored with a “Best Progress in Wellness” award for the town’s increased participation in wellness activities. The town is participating in the Massachusetts Working on Wellness (WOW) grant program for worksite wellness, and has established an enthusiastic local wellness committee to plan employee programs. Manchester-By-the-Sea has offered a training program for the local DPW targeting driver fatigue, and is planning a mindfulness workshop.


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