During its annual meeting on Jan. 23 in Boston, MIIA honored 12 member municipalities for exemplary efforts to promote employee wellness, control costs and losses, and reduce insurance claims.
The MIIA meeting was held during the MMA Annual Meeting & Trade Show.
MIIA Executive Vice President Stan Corcoran said MIIA members “continue to work hard to identify and implement innovative measures that help keep employees safe and well, enhance local infrastructure and services, and help manage budgets and taxpayer dollars responsibly.
“MIIA is proud to honor some of the cities and towns who have worked in close partnership with us to make positive strides in insurance management over the past year, resulting in lowering their own insurance costs.”
MIIA presented Excellence in Loss Control awards to 10 municipalities in recognition of successful efforts to control municipal costs and enhance employee safety.
Each award winner has excelled at lowering insurance loss ratios, 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 winners are the following:
• Amesbury again earned the maximum in insurance credits (toward future premiums) through MIIA’s Rewards incentive program, demonstrating its ongoing dedication by participating in more than a dozen different MIIA training seminars and webinars. Additionally, the Amesbury Fire Department hosted MIIA’s driver training again this year in order to train new staff. The city maintains an active safety committee, which is represented by all departments, and also took advantage of MIIA grant programs.
• Cummington has had no lost-time injuries over the past decade, and the town has never filed a professional liability claim in its history with MIIA. The town has also performed within MIIA’s loss ratio benchmark for property and casualty insurance for nearly two decades. Cummington hosted a number of MIIA regional programs and is instrumental in helping to communicate regional training opportunities to surrounding towns – showing how a small town can use outside resources to assist in developing risk management solutions for concerns that plague many cities and towns.
• Easthampton consistently performs within MIIA’s loss ratio benchmark for property and casualty and professional liability lines of coverage and has greatly improved its employee safety focus. The city participates in and hosts many regional training programs. Easthampton consistently takes proactive measures to protect property and municipal vehicles and is a leader in the region for its focus on effective risk management.
• Easton has an inter-departmental safety committee that has been active for more than 20 years. The committee currently meets on a quarterly basis to review claims and discuss tactics to reduce them. The committee also reviews future training activities and discusses progress and activity related to the MIIA Rewards program. The town annually sets goals for the committee and discusses progress in completing them.
• Foxborough has an executive loss control committee that meets on a monthly basis to review claims and plan training. The town has also assigned one committee member to direct its participation in the MIIA Rewards programs, helping the town to secure its place year after year as one of MIIA’s top Rewards earners.
• Hadley formed a safety committee about two years ago, and the group meets regularly to discuss relevant safety issues in town. Hadley has hosted a number of MIIA training programs and consults with MIIA’s risk management team on proactive measures to address potential loss exposures. The town consistently strives to maximize Rewards credits to offset insurance costs and takes advantage of free and low-cost resources to achieve its safety goals.
• Hubbardston continues to improve upon its risk management focus. The town regularly consults with MIIA to determine the best approach to managing risk and has regularly performed within MIIA’s loss ratio benchmark since joining the program 20 years ago. The Public Works Department has implemented a safety “tailgate” program that has resulted in an improved loss experience in the area of workers’ compensation.
• Rutland has steadily improved its performance in the area of workers’ compensation loss and has gone several years without a lost-time claim. The town regularly consults with MIIA prior to implementing new projects to ensure proper measures are in place to avoid losses. Rutland was also instrumental in the formation of a multi-town public works collaborative that shares resources to address safety and liability concerns.
• West Boylston continues to excel in the area of loss control, has steadily reduced loss ratios, participates in most MIIA webinars, and consistently attends MIIA’s leadership conferences. The town often hosts regional training programs. Town personnel regularly consult with MIIA before embarking on projects that have risk management implications, and the town works hard to maximize Rewards credits each year.
• Wilmington continues to be a leader in risk management, with an active safety committee, dedication to training in all departments, and a commitment to taking advantage of MIIA programs. Already an innovator in school safety and security, the town used a special MIIA “flex grant” this year to provide school, police and fire personnel with two-way radios in order to enhance communication during emergency situations. The Public Works Department provides monthly training “tailgates” for staff, during which they review key safety topics and communicate procedural expectations.
MIIA also presented two awards to member communities in recognition of their efforts to improve employee wellness.
• Cohasset received MIIA’s Creating a Culture of Health Award for its proactive approach to employee wellness. Cohasset’s leadership makes employee health and wellness a priority, with full support from Town Manager Christopher Senior, who has participated in multiple programs.
As part of an agreement with MIIA to lock in health insurance rates, the town is developing and implementing a comprehensive plan including the creation of an employee-led wellness committee that coordinates voluntary health and wellness programs for employees. The committee reviews MIIA recommendations and has helped implement free employee training programs such as Heart Matters (for cardiovascular health), a weight loss challenge, cooking demonstrations, various fitness classes, and an ergonomics workshop.
• Dartmouth received MIIA’s Best Newcomer Award for the town’s notable progress in recruiting a new, inter-departmental wellness committee that has moved multiple programs forward over the past year. Since last March, the town has planned a successful health fair for employees and offered free programs targeting stress reduction, relaxation, exercise and fitness, sleep and heart health. Early this year, the town plans to offer nutrition and weight loss programs to promote wellness among more employees.
Robert Marinelli Jr. is MIIA’s Risk Control Manager and Wendy Gammons is MIIA’s Wellness Coordinator.