Executive Director’s Corner: Preparation is Key

By Clairmonte Cappelle, Executive Director

Clairmonte Cappelle Executive Director

Elementary schools across the state welcomed a new class of kindergartners last month. While the first-day-of-school pictures that pop up on social media feeds capture the joy and excitement of this milestone, what you might not see is the preparation done by parents, schools, and communities that build to this moment. Years of nurturing, early childhood education, and kindergarten registration efforts lay the groundwork for a confident and capable 5-year old to stride through those classroom doors.

Preparation lays a strong foundation for everything we do, and risk management is no different. “Begin with the end in mind” is wise advice as we launch into a new year. Does your district have a return-to-work program that could use some attention? Have you spent time revisiting whether your new employee orientation includes the proper safety protocols and procedures? Spending time thinking these things through now could prevent a difficult situation later.

This issue of Sound Advice is all about preparation. Would it surprise you to learn that the likelihood of an on-the-job injury is at its highest in a new employee’s initial period of employment? This doesn’t have to be the case. Read through our article on how to have a Safe Start for New Employees. Similarly, as the country’s workforce increasingly consists of more workers over the age of 65, you may want to give some thought to how to keep these workers safe. We’ve compiled some statistics and strategies to create a low-risk environment for older workers.

While workers’ compensation issues typically concentrate on district staff, one area where employee health and student health overlap is maintaining a healthy classroom. Dust, mold, and other irritants in a classroom can contribute to absenteeism on the part of both teacher and student, particularly if either is prone to asthma or allergies. You’ll find advice here on how to keep your classroom healthy for the entire year.

I encourage you to take the necessary steps to prepare for a safe and healthy school year.

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