A new Director of Risk Management position is open at Laramie County Community College. According to Rick Johnson, Vice President of Administration and Finance, LCCC will be the first community college in Wyoming to have this position, though it is common in larger colleges and universities.
The director of risk management will be responsible for maintaining awareness of, and documenting, safety hazards on the campus. The director will oversee risk mitigation, working to identify issues that are important to insurance companies that could become liabilities. They will be responsible for establishing safety training programs and safety regulations for campus events, including events that are open to the public.
Last year, Hartford Insurance, the college’s property insurer, identified a number of things they thought would be helpful if changed. Old and outdated chemicals were in chemical storage, and the storage of flammable liquids and fuels was brought up as well.
“The only way to work on these things is if we have someone focused on these risks on a daily basis,”Johnson said.
Slips, trips, and falls; sprains, and auto accidents, are the top three items that appear in insurance loss runs, which are documents of claim activity. As more of these accidents happen, insurance claims rise. The risk manager will establish relationships with the campus in order to promote safety and train people in safety practices.
“We have been fortunate that there haven’t been any major issues, and we want to keep it that way,” Johnson said.
According to Johnson, a candidate was chosen this summer, but that candidate decided to stay with their current company. The position was re-opened, and was closed for applications on Oct. 6. Finalists will be chosen from the candidate pool in upcoming weeks. The candidates should be credentialed in risk management. Having experience in higher education rather than in environments like factories is also important.
“Somebody that has the right way about them, to help people on campus work towards greater levels of safety,” Johnson said. “You don’t do that by enforcement. We want to build relationships with the campus community and partner with them. That takes a certain kind of personal characteristics.”
Johnson would like to get the position filled as soon as he can, though finding the right fit for the campus community and for the job is important.
“What stands out is the leadership of the college is really embracing, ‘Hey, let’s make our campus as safe and environmentally healthy as we can make it,’” Johnson said. “That’s a big statement.”