and Insurance Management Society, Inc.
Los Angeles Chapter
L.A. RIMS NEWS
The Newsletter for
Risk and Insurance Management Professionals
RIMS News November 2004
It seems difficult, but the
holiday season is quickly approaching and I look forward to spending some
extra time with my family and friends. Thanksgiving is just around the
corner and we have a lot to be thankful for despite the slow recovery of
the economy and the current investigations of the insurance industry.
This year our Chapter will
again provide something to those who are much less fortunate and struggle
each day. We will make a contribution to one of the homeless
November is also the month
that we hold our Annual Meeting. I encourage
everyone to take just a few minutes to complete and return the ballot –
this is an important part of being a member of LA RIMS. I also welcome and
encourage our members to attend our Annual Meeting on November 17, 2004.
I hope some of you had the
opportunity to attend the Western Regional Conference. The conference had
excellent topics, quality speakers and was a great chance to meet some
fellow risk managers. I especially want to thank Kathy Merkovsky for all
her efforts in coordinating LA’s involvement with the conference.
Finally, on a social note, we
again will have our holiday event at the Jonathan Club on December 8th
– mark your calendar.
all for now and I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving.
Risk and Insurance
Los Angeles Chapter
contribute to the L.A. Mission. At our November meeting we will be accepting
monetary donations. Your donations will ensure that those serviced by the
L.A. Mission will have an enjoyable Thanksgiving Holiday. Donations will be
accepted at the registration table.
will also include the Annual Business Meeting for RIMS L.A. Chapter.
Save The Date - Installation/Holiday Party
It may only be
November, but before you know it the holidays will be here. Our annual
installation/holiday party will be held the evening of December 8, at the
Jonathan Club. So mark your calendars. Soon you will be receiving the
invitation and registration details for this event.
Once again we
will be accepting gifts for Toys for Tots. Please remember
to bring a new toy and bring the holiday spirit to those less fortunate. We
will be accepting your gifts in the registration area.
tradition, not only will we be celebrating the season with our members,
associates, friends, and guests, but we will also be installing the new officers
for 2005. This will give you an opportunity to meet our Chapter’s Board of
Directors and volunteer to assist them in any way you can.
raffle prizes will be given away as well. If your company would like to share
in the holiday spirit by donating raffle prizes for this event, please contact
Kathy Merkovsky or Rae Knapp.
another successful year and join us at the Jonathan Club.
HO-HO-HO-HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!
California Insurance Professionals November 2004 Dinner Meeting
Guest Speaker: Edie Lohmann,
Region IX Manager, FEMA
Topic: An Introduction to
National Flood Insurance Program
When: Thursday, November
6:00 p.m. No
Where: Lakeside Country
Burbank, CA 91505
Were you unable to attend this year’s conference?Here’s a glimpse of some of the highlights
you missed as well as presentations made by Members and Friends of our Chapter:
“California Workers’ Compensation Reforms: After SB 899,
It’s a Whole New World” was presented by Tim East, Director of Risk Management
for The Walt Disney Company and Chairman of the California Coalition on
East provided information regarding the reforms enacted in April 2004, the
regulation that are in development and actual changes from the front
lines.As many risk managers know,
worker’s comp reforms have affected all of us and many of us needed Tim’s
insight and opinion to help us sort through our confusion and questions.It was a very enlightening session.
Manager on the Stand” was presented by Ellen Vinck, VP of Risk Management,
Benefits and Safety of U.S. Marine Repair, Inc., Kathryn Murphy, Safety and
Risk Supervisor for LEGOLAND California, LLC, Robert Tyson of Tyson
and Mendes, and Hugh McCabe of Neil, Dymott, Perkins, Brown, & Frank.
Ellen Vinck (incoming
national RIMS president for 2005) acting
as the judge in the mock trial.
Robert Tyson questioning
the “hostile” witness, Kathy Murphy.
session provided lessons learned from the WorldTradeCenter trial including actual
excerpts from the testimony transcripts presented in a “mock trial”
format.It also included insightful
commentary (and humor) by the presenters.
of Business Insurance Presents his writing methods at the conference lunchon.
Nancy Chambers, RIMS President
speaks to attendees.
crowd listens attentively to Paul Winston.
Managers network at conference luncheon.
Lentes of Marsh discussing
listening to Tim East discuss workers’ comp reform.
session “Business Interruption Claims – Pre-loss Due Diligence and How to
Handle Complex Claims: Parts 1 and 2” was presented by Alex Glickman, Area Vice
Chairman and Managing Director and Practice Leader for Arthur J. Gallagher
& Company, Tom Mury, Manager of Business Insurance Claims Consulting for
Deloitte & Touche, and Mark Massey, Senior Manager for Deloitte and Touche.
Glickman, Mark Massey, and Tom Mury present session on business interruption
session focused on business interruption claims, effective ways to prepare and
present a BI claim, case studies involving claim negotiation as well as
settlement, complex and controversial claims accounting, coverage issues, and
time element topics.
well-attended session was “Into the Fire of Food Service Risk Management”
presented by Mike Leavins, Risk Manager of In-N-Out Burger, Kurt Leisure,
Director of Risk Services/Asset Protection of The Cheesecake Factory Inc., and
Michael Simmons, Director of Risk Management for El Pollo Loco, Inc.
Kurt Leisure presenting
“Into the Fire of Food Service Risk Management”
discussed how most businesses regularly face slip-and-falls but not many of us
have to contend with obesity claims, allergy issues and critters or other
foreign objects in our products.A few
of the unique liability exposures that can keep experienced risk managers awake
at night were discussed.The panel
shared techniques to control losses and how to make each an attractive risk to
the underwriters…techniques that can be adapted to any business.
year’s Western Regional Conference will be held in Breckinridge, Colorado, September 13 through
16.The cost for rooms will be $109 per
night.Budget for it now and we’ll see
Health & Safety
Triangle of Life Theory
Due to recent e-mails and other
correspondence in response to a published theory "Triangle of Life", the
Governor's Office of Emergence Services has issued the following information
supporting the state of California's duck cover and hold procedure during
Recently, you may have received
information via e-mail and other sources promoting a protective measure called
the "triangle of life" and questioning the "duck, cover and hold" procedure
recommended for use during earthquakes here in California and in other areas of
the United States.
Because buildings constructed in
California are built to much stricter codes and standards than those in the rest
of the United States and those in other countries, including Mexico, Iran and
Turkey, collapses here are very rare.
Extensive research into the causes
of earthquake injuries and deaths supports the use of the duck, cover and hold
procedure recommended by OES, the California Seismic Safety Commission and the
American Red Cross.
Most injuries in California
earthquakes occur when building occupants attempt to exit buildings or move to a
different location in the building. In the recent San Simeon earthquake,
two people were crushed by falling debris when they exited the building.
Studies of the 1979 El Centro, 1987 Whittier, 1989 Loma Prieta and 1994
Northridge earthquakes confirm this pattern of injuries, and that use of the
duck, cover and hold procedure reduces the likelihood of serious injury from a
collapsed building and falling objects.
After each disaster, OES attempts to
learn from behavioral research and other studies, and apply lessons learned into
safety action recommendations.
There is, of course, no guarantee
that people will not be injured in an earthquake. Earthquakes can shake
buildings violently and cause extensive damage. The key to injury
prevention is making sure buildings are safe, contents are secured, and
occupants are trained to duck, cover and hold.
Please share this information with
jurisdictions and special districts within your operational area. Feel
free to contact one of us if you have any questions and need additional
At-Home Halloween Safety
If your kids are like most, they're
already planning their costumes and plotting out the routes they'll take to get
the most candy on Halloween night. It's one of the most popular holidays,
but Halloween is also fraught with risks. Help your kids keep it safe with
a few Halloween do's and don'ts:
Don't let them wear long costumes
that drag as they walk. Trips and falls are likely!
Do teach them to stay away from
Don't buy costumes with masks; they
can obstruct vision. Use makeup instead
Do make sure your witch or goblin
carries a flashlight or wears reflective clothing
Don't let children trick-or-treat
alone. Accompany the younger ones yourself, and make sure older kids are
part of a group
CDC Releases Report on WTC
Rescue Workers Ills
A CDC-funded screening program
sampled more than 1,000 rescue and recovery workers and volunteers who responded
to the World Trade Center attacks-and found that nearly half of them have new
and persistent respiratory problems, and more than half have continuing
psychological symptoms, according to preliminary data from a medical screening
initiative administered by the Mount Sanai Medical Center in New York City.
The findings were released in the
September 9 CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report and are
based on evaluation of data from a representative sample of participants who
enrolled voluntarily. The program provided free standardized medical
assessments, clinical referrals, and occupational health education through
August 2004 to a total of 12,000 workers and volunteers exposed to environmental
contaminants, psychological stressors, and physical hazards on and after 9/11.
Beside respiratory and mental health
effects, participants also reported pain in the lower and upper or lower
extremities, heartburn, eye irritation, and frequent headache. Only about
20 percent of those screened had appropriate respiratory protection between
September 11 and September 14. According to CDC, most of these were police
officers and utility and construction workers.
CDC has provided $81 million to
continue for 5 years (through 2009) the medical screening for these responders.
In 2002, the Department of Health and Human Services announced $10.5 million for
training and research to address 9/11-related health concerns, and $2 million
for mental health and substance abuse services for those who responded.
For it's part, NIOSH, part of CDC, has accelerated efforts to protect personnel
responding to terrorist incidents. The institute issued new criteria for
testing and certifying respirators used by these workers, among other steps.
For more on this matter, visit
GAO says Anthrax Danger
A new report by the GAO (Government
Accountability Office formerly General Accounting Office) says that officials
underestimated the risks to workers when anthrax-containing letters were handled
in U.S. Postal Service (USPS) facilities in 2001. The findings suggest as
well that revises USPS guidelines about responding to an anthrax attack need
additional work. In September and October of that year, letters containing
anthrax spores were sent to elected officials and media outlets. As a
result 22 cases of anthrax among workers and the public occurred, and two
employees in a New Jersey post office died.
USPS was faulted by GAO for turning to public health agencies to assess the
risk. After some agencies determined the risk was minimal, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention identified cases of anthrax and had some post
offices shut down.
USPS has since developed an intensive training program to prepare inspectors in
biohazard detection related skills. Also the postal service reportedly is
installing equipment to detect the presence of anthrax in mail-handling
facilities. The report is GAO-04-239-available at http:www.gao.gov.