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Controlling your risk by Bob Carruth

As Risk Control Manager for the NCACC, Bob Carruth manages the operation of the Risk Control Team for the Risk Management Pools. The team assists members with development of safety policies and programs and identification of liability exposures and controls. Carruth is a Certified Safety Professional and is certified as an Associate – Risk Management.  For archives of this column click here

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Mar 31

How Do I Get Training? Resources for the Safety Practitioner

Posted on March 31, 2014 at 11:38 AM by Chris Baucom

“You are now our safety coordinator.”  Often, the person upon which this honor is bestowed is suddenly faced with an entirely new set of challenges and opportunities, as he/she sets about organizing the county’s safety program.  For the vast majority of North Carolina county governments, responsibility for the county’s safety and health program often gets added to an already full plate of responsibilities, and unfortunately, the new safety coordinator may not know which way to go first. 

For those counties that are members of our risk management pools, our Risk Control team is a great resource for getting started.  Our online access, called “CountyFlix”, gives a whole host of training topics in 5-15 minute long videos.  In addition to this, our Resources Library contains a tremendous body of knowledge, made up of items collected over the years by members of our team.

There is also a vast array of professional development training and program development resources available to help with your growth as a safety professional, and there are many great resources to help you develop your county’s safety process.  

The N.C. Department of Labor sponsors and supports four regional safety schools that meet at various times throughout the year.  These schools, which are designed to provide professional development and networking opportunities for those in the safety field, are close enough to most of our members to allow for attendance while avoiding overnight travel costs.  The schools, which are held in New Bern, Wilmington, Charlotte and Asheville, last two days and are great learning and networking opportunities.  The NCACC currently provides sponsorship and planning assistance to the East Carolina Safety School in New Bern and is looking at ways to expand its participation in the other schools.

The North Carolina Association of Local Governmental Employee Safety Officers is a statewide organization whose membership is made up solely of safety practitioners from county and city governments across the state. They normally have a separate conference in February, hold additional meetings in conjunction with the Statewide Safety Conference, and host other events throughout the year. 

The North Carolina Industrial Commission, besides providing recurring and onsite training events upon request, holds several training sessions throughout the year using a dedicated safety training team.  They also sponsor the longest running and largest of all the safety conferences in the state, with the Statewide Safety Conference in Greensboro, which is the primary annual gathering of safety practitioners from across the state.  This year marks the 84th year this conference has been held.

The Health & Safety Council of North Carolina, which is the state affiliate chapter of the National Safety Council, provides many training opportunities throughout the year.  Besides their resources related to defensive driving, they also offer many other professional training programs, to include providing the training needed to earn the  Manager of Environmental, Safety & Health (MESH) certification for public sector employees. They also hold the annual N.C. Safety Congress, which is held each November in Charlotte.

The North Carolina chapter of the Public Risk Management Association, or NC PRIMA, is the largest organization of public sector risk management and safety practitioners in the state.  The membership is primarily made up of fulltime public sector risk and safety professionals from across the state. The organization hosts quarterly meetings in the Greensboro/Winston-Salem area and presents its annual conference every September in Wrightsville Beach.  It is a great opportunity to network and develop relationships with fellow risk managers.

The American Society of Safety Engineers is the largest and primary professional organization for safety practitioners nationwide.  There are five chapters in North Carolina.  Each meets monthly and provides additional training opportunities to its members.  In addition, the N.C. chapters, along with the other chapters that make up Region VI, present the regional Professional Development Conference, held in Myrtle Beach, S.C., each September.  Besides being able to network with other safety practitioners in both the public and private sector, the attendees get an extra bonus – all the international chapters of the ASSE are members of Region VI, which provides the attendees with exposure to those practitioners in other cultures around the globe.

I am sure there are other training organizations and opportunities that I missed here, and my apologies are provided in advance if any were left out.   These events provide ample opportunities for professional growth and development.  To assist you in finding these resources, we will be adding a special section to our risk management webpage that will provide the links to these events.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the NCACC risk control team at (704) 719-1150, or speak with your regional risk control specialist.