Winter 2024

Safety Committee, County/Regional Interdisciplinary Child Information Safety Team, District/School Threat Assessment Team...What?! There’s a difference?  I am so confused…

With so many changes in legislation, administration, school boards, and general school staff, we thought a quick reminder about safety committees would be helpful for everyone. But, first, we thought that a look at the difference between a safety committee and a safety/threat assessment team would be both welcome and helpful, given the semantic overlap and any potential confusion it might cause. Click here to read more.


Ladder Safety 101

This is the time of year when districts are using ladders to attend to all kinds of tasks, from changing lightbulbs in classrooms to hanging decorations and displaying student art. These activities are surprisingly dangerous, as they generally involve going up and down ladders and, in this regard, risking injuries due to falling.  In fact, falls remain the leading cause of injuries and deaths nationwide, with 43% percent of all fatal falls in the last decade involving ladder use, while more than 630,000 people are treated annually for ladder-related injuries (CDC).  And, as an unfortunate case in point, we have since July of this year already received six claims associated with employees falling from ladders, resulting in two individuals spending significant time in the hospital. Read more.

Water Loss Prevention and the Importance of Timely Reporting and Mitigation
By Matt Komac, Assistant Director PC Pool Operations

During the 2022-2023 holiday break, temperatures in Montana plummeted to the negative 20’s and 30’s throughout the state for more than a week straight.  During that time, we had more than a dozen freeze-related losses reported, with varying levels of damage at each site. The degree of damage was determined primarily by how quickly the leaks were identified and addressed. Read more.


If Water Spills, the Journey Isn’t Safe

By Brenda Koch, Matt Komac, and Annette Satterly

We were recently discussing our good friend Snookie Fisher, who was a school bus driver for 41 years in an area known for cold, deep, snowy conditions.  In addition to being a remarkable person, Snookie also managed a remarkable feat. In those 41 years, she never had a single accident! So, we are extremely pleased she generously agreed to share the following secrets to her admirable safety streak in the form of a list of best practices to live by when driving a school bus or vehicle: Click here to read more.


It’s Winter!  Let’s avoid Slips, Trips and Falls

By Kevin Bartsch, Assistant Director Workers Compensation Pool Operations

Each winter, we discuss safety issues involving slips, trips, and falls.  We return to these concerns annually because they continue to be some of the most frequent and expensive claims we deal with yearly.  Thankfully, they are also among the most avoidable and preventable accidents that occur all too often at our schools. Read more.