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Risk Management

Risk Management

What is Risk Management?

Risk Management is responsible for hazard, reputational, and financial risks across the County. The focus of Risk Management is on the human and physical assets of the County. The protection and well-being of our employees and our citizens is our utmost priority. Risk Management works with business units across the County to not just respond to hazards, but to also explore and exploit the strengths and opportunities our talented organization has to offer our employees and citizens.

Risk Management responsibilities include:

  • Administration of the workers’ compensation claims of county employees.
  • Working with our insurance carriers on third party automobile and general liability claims.
  • Working with the County insurance broker to procure the best coverage and terms at the most affordable cost for Workers’ Compensation, General Liability, Auto, and other lines of insurance coverage.
  • Providing safety training in a variety of areas to include defensive driving and bloodborne pathogens.
  • Working with the County Garage to recover damages to County vehicles.
  • Preparing statistical analysis of injuries and accidents for each business unit.
  • Coordinating activities with HR with respect to the County’s Drug & Alcohol policy.
  • Maintaining OSHA logs and reports.
  • Working with the County Procurement and Legal staff with respect to the review of contracts and solicitations for insurance purposes.
  • Consulting with the County business units to exploit the opportunities and strengths of the organization to provide enhanced services at the lowest possible risk to the organization.

What are the objectives of the Risk Management team?

  • To protect the assets of the organization, including our employees, our most important resource.
  • To work with County Departments to exploit the strengths of the organization and opportunities to provide additional services to our employees and citizens.
  • To ensure a safe working environment.
  • To effectively use loss control / safety programs.
  • To minimize the interruption of vital services.
  • To prepare for catastrophic situations.
  • To achieve the lowest possible cost of risk.

What are the elements of the program?

Claim Management

The claim management function focuses on managing the internal administration of employee work related injuries and coordinating services between the Workers’ Compensation Claim Service Company and the employee for benefits available under the Workers’ Compensation Act.

The claim management function also coordinates activities between injured third parties and the insurance carrier, and works with the insurance carrier to establish liability.

Rehabilitation

Returning the injured employee to a productive state in the workforce is a top priority. The goal of the rehabilitation program is to ensure the injured employee receives timely medical assistance to reach maximum medical improvement. Research has shown that returning to work, even in a limited capacity, helps promote full recovery. For this reason, Union County’s departments are encouraged to offer injured employees temporary assignments based upon their current work restrictions as determined by the employee’s authorized treating physician.

Risk Analysis and Mitigation

This program element involves evaluating operational risks and identifying methods of treatment and reduction of risk exposures. Responsibilities under this area include the monitoring and allocation of costs associated with losses to various general fund and non-general fund agencies as a means of accountability; evaluating contractual transfer of risk, evaluating exposures of County assets, and the development of policies and procedures related to this program element.

Insurance Management

The insurance program assures that the County’s financial integrity is protected through a combination of commercial insurance and self-insurance. Risk Management is responsible for procuring and managing the County’s purchase of commercial insurance insuring against risk of damages to County buildings, contents, computer equipment, vehicles, mobile equipment, library books, and other valuable assets. Insurance is also purchased to protect the County against various liability exposures and excess insurance for self-insured exposures that may present significant loss exposure.

Safety Management

The County safety program is administered by Risk Management and assists departments as requested in establishing safe work practices. The program’s goals are to reduce the frequency and severity of accidents resulting from County operations. This is accomplished through a variety of methods such as safety training, providing technical assistance, inspections and audits of County facilities, loss cause analysis of services and operations, and the development of safety related policies and procedures.

Where can I learn more about safety guidelines and resources at a state and national level?

Where can I find additional information about Risk Management, including definitions and insurance requirements?

Contact Information

Keith Richards, CPCU, ARM-E, ARM-P, AIC
Risk Manager

500 N. Main St., Ste 130
Monroe, NC 28112

Email: keith.richards@unioncountync.gov
Phone: 704-283-3663
Fax: 704-292-2590

About Risk Management

The goal of Risk Management is to adopt best practices in the identification, evaluation, and most cost-effective approach to eliminating or reducing risks to an acceptable manner, at the lowest possible cost to the County. This is achieved through the development of an integrated multi-disciplinary program for effective management of the County’s resources, assets and liabilities to protect its employees, property, and citizens, and enable the County to achieve its primary aims of enhanced quality of life and service to its citizens.