Safe and efficient movement of traffic through a work zone is a primary concern for municipal public works agencies. As traffic continues to increase across New Hampshire, worker safety during road improvement projects is a top priority. The need for standardized control is especially critical when the abnormal conditions of a temporary traffic control zone make travel hazardous for the motoring public and pedestrians.
It is a particularly harsh cold spell in the middle of January. Or, imagine it is a winter day last year! The last bell rings at the elementary school on Friday afternoon. A little while later, the last student, teacher and custodian has left for the long Martin Luther King Jr./Civil Rights Day weekend. The custodian is driving by the school on Sunday night and decides to check up on things. As he approaches the entrance door, he notices the door’s glass is covered with frost—and it appears to be on the inside of the door.
Across the country, local governments join public risk pools to underwrite both expected and unexpected losses. Coverage offered through risk pools is specifically designed to meet the needs of participating groups, and local governments have a vested interest in the performance of the pool. Most importantly, schools, municipalities and counties that participate in risk pools have ownership in the process.
On a fairly regular basis you can read a newspaper article or watch a television news report documenting an account of misappropriation of a private employer's money by one of his or her own employees. Sometimes these accounts involve small amounts of money. At other times, they involve significant amounts used by employees to take expensive trips or to purchase luxurious vacation homes, all on the employer's dime. This also happens in the public sector, but probably less frequently.
The U.S. Department of Labor defines ergonomics as the science of "fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population." Effective and successful fits assure high productivity, avoidance of illness and injury risks and increased satisfaction among the workforce.
The goal of a successful ergonomics program is to decrease injuries by reducing the risk of musculoskeletal disorders. Common examples of musculoskeletal disorders include muscle strains along with back, shoulder, leg, arm and hand injuries.
It has been called the single most successful example of interlocal cooperation. It has saved millions of taxpayer dollars and thousands of lives. It is a model that has been copied by such public sector businesses as auto dealers, golf course owners, the hospitality industry and more. It is being talked about by Congress and the President as a potential solution to the health care crisis.
What is “It?” “It” is risk pooling: towns, cities and schools working together cooperatively to pool insurance coverage dollars and create their own “insurance” company.