Safety FAQs


1. Does the Trust provide Safety and Loss Control services to TNRMT members?

Tennessee Risk Management Trust provides Loss Control and Safety services for all members of the Trust. The loss control staff consists of Safety Engineers with Bachelors of Science degrees in Occupational Safety & Health. Our safety engineers are experts in the field of reducing injuries and use cutting edge loss control techniques to achieve our goals of reducing claims.


2. Are there costs associated with the Loss Control Services provided by TNRMT?

With the exception of a few members in need of a proportionately high concentration of services to address temporary problems, there are no costs associated with these services.


3. What results can we expect to see from these loss control services?

Your school system should see a dramatic reduction in workers' compensation and property/casualty claims if you provide the necessary management support, safety training for all employees, establish an employee-based Safety Committee, and provide department head/principal training as indicated by your loss history. We have seen reductions in nearly every school system that we have worked with in the Trust.


4. Please explain how/why we should implement a Return to Work Program for Injured Employees?

A Temporary/Alternative Duty Program (Return to Work) is a proactive way for your school system to help an injured worker return to productive and safe work as soon as physically possible. This program, with proper implementation, can benefit all parties involved. The employee should be responsible for active participation in the program and the school system supervisor is responsible for implementation and monitoring of the program outcome.

School Board supervisors should work in conjunction with the authorized treating physician to obtain physical limitations and develop a position to accommodate the specific restrictions. This may be done within one of the following modifications: part-time employment, temporary jobs, alternative tasks, job sharing, jobs in other departments, or transitioning through different jobs and job modifications.

Your school system understands the value of the contributions of all employees; thus, every effort should be made to accommodate physical restrictions. Administrators, supervisors, principals, claims adjusters, and medical providers should work in conjunction with your injured worker to find suitable work until regular duties are resumed. Once a "First Report of Injury is submitted, the TNRMT claims adjuster will contact the injured worker to discuss returning to work on alternative duty. If your school system needs assistance with this program, please do not hesitate to contact John Wilburn, Claims Manager or your TNRMT Safety Engineer.


5. What Departments should be wearing non-slip shoes?

The employees in your Food Service, Maintenance, and Custodial Departments should be provided non-slip shoes. This will drastically reduce your slip/trip/fall injuries in these departments.


6. What are some of the main topics involved in a good safety program?

¢Management Commitment
¢Safety Committees
¢Personal Protective Equipment
¢Chemical Awareness/Material Safety Data Sheet training and your employees' right to know about hazardous substances used in the workplace
¢Accident Prevention including back safety, good housekeeping, material handling, slips-trips-falls, ladder safety, welding safety, and power tool safety
¢Emergency Action Plans
¢Confined Space Entry Procedures
¢Fire Prevention and Fire Extinguisher Training
¢How to handle/avoid Bloodborne Pathogens


7. When is the best time to conduct training? Is it best to train employees when they are new to the position?

You definitely need to conduct training on school system time, and employees need to be paid for the time spent in training. Don't tie up an employee's break or lunch periods. The employee should feel that safety is as important as production. It is best to review all training topics with new employees before sending them to their new job.


8. Are TNRMT Safety Engineers available to present at School Board Meetings?

The Safety Engineering staff is available to make presentations to school boards across the state. We are available to discuss your school system's Workers' Compensation Experience, Safety Committee Achievements, and Needs/Goals from the Safety Committee.


9. Does a safety suggestion box program really work?

Yes, we have found that by providing safety suggestion boxes, we can allow employees to voice concerns they have with safety hazards without fearing repercussions from management.


10. Why should I have to wear non-slip shoes instead of my regular shoes?

Non-slip shoes are designed to increase traction in areas where slip hazards are present. Regular shoes are not designed with those hazards in mind.


11. Why should employees, rather than supervisors, make up the safety committee?

By allowing employees to be a part of the safety committee it lets them know that management cares about their safety and that their voice is heard. Employees also deal with hazards on a daily basis in their departments and have greater ability to create a reasonable solution.


12. How can you convince all employees that it takes a team effort to create a good safe work environment?

With proper training for all employees and management support we can create a safety culture that encourages all employees to feel responsible for the safety of their coworkers as well as themselves.


13. Why should I report an accident/incident to my supervisor if I didn't get hurt?

You should report all accidents to supervision so these accidents can be reviewed and to see what changes need to be made to prevent future occurrences.


14. What is the cost of a safety and health program per employee?

This is difficult to determine. It is tough to put a price on safety. There are many ways to cut costs by constantly re-evaluating your programs and their effectiveness. We have incentive programs that reward employees for working safely. However, the money you may spend on these programs is more than saved in workers' compensation costs and medical bills. The programs that we implement in your school system create a very interesting question: "How many accidents did we not have today? There is no way to tell other than benchmarking your historical loss data and communicating to management.


15. How much time should be spent on a safety and health program per employee?

Attention to safety training should never end. There should be no maximum limit. Many things are worth repeating and can be done in a manner that employees don't even realize they are learning. Safety is everyone's responsibility. Safety should not only be a part of an employee's job, but also a part of their lives. It is good to have safety become a part of the routine so safety is second nature to the job. This is an underlying theme of the Behavior Based Safety approach we use in your school system. Ideally, we would like to speak with every employee in your school system at least once per year.