IWIF/State of Maryland Claims and Risk Management Newsletter
Summer 2017

28th SERMA Conference Hosts Record Number of Attendees
SERMA hosted the 28th annual SERMA Conference and Awards Presentation at the Conference Center at Sheppard Pratt in Baltimore on Thursday, May 25, 2017. "We had a record turnout and I heard compliments from many attendees!" exclaimed SERMA
Committee Chair Kristin Klein after the event.

The conference brought together State agency risk managers, Human Resources
representatives and safety professionals to share information on agency success stories
involving injury prevention, claims management, return to work initiatives and safety training
opportunities. This conference drew the largest crowd to date: 203 attendees.

Additionally, a record number of SERMA and Injury Reduction Awards were presented this year, including three Best Practice Awards; eight Health and Safety Working Group Awards of
Excellence; three Governor's Awards for Individual Achievement; six Unsung Hero Awards;  and the Linda Brooks Memorial Award. A total of 32 Injury Reduction Awards were also presented.

Visit the SERMA Events page for links to this year's Conference presentations.

Click here for a special publication of the SERMA Award winners' and Injury Reduction Award winners' photos and the awards they won this year.
Click here for photos from the Conference.

SERMA Launches New Gas Pump Topper Safety Message on the Dangers of Drowsy Driving
SERMA's 2017 safety campaign involving signage for the State of Maryland's gas pumps is now underway. The new signs focus on the dangers of drowsy driving and are now being installed on State-maintained gas pumps throughout Maryland.

The signs feature the headline "Drowsy Driving = Lousy Driving," and again feature custom photography by Maryland State Police photographer Amy Hager.

The new signs are one component of a driving safety campaign which also features a Safety Tip Sheet. The tip sheet explains the dangers of drowsy driving and offers tips on how to prevent a drowsy driving crash. You can download the tip sheet here. You can view the signs by visiting any one of the 110 State-managed gas pumps across Maryland.

According to the Maryland Highway Traffic Safety Office 2015 At-fault Drivers Crash Data, fewer than 1% of crashes involved driver fatigue or falling asleep at the wheel. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) warns that "Precise counts of crashes caused by drowsy driving are not yet possible. A variety of research approaches and data indicate that traditional measures of drowsy driving may significantly underestimate the prevalence of the issue."

Pictured above are members of the gas pump team; from left, Janeene Jensen-Graf, Chesapeake/IWIF; Brittany Keller, SERMA; Kristin Klein, Chesapeake/SERMA; Sam Hall, SHA; Margaret Michel, MSP; Marc Proudford, Dept. of Commerce; Howard Thomas, SERMA; and Dianna Fornaro, Chesapeake Employers Insurance. Not pictured: Amy Hager, Maryland State Police.

Three State Agencies Win Healthiest Maryland Awards
Three State of Maryland agencies were honored recently with 2017 Healthiest Maryland Bronze Awards. The awards were presented at the 8th Annual Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium on Friday, June 2 at Martin's West in Baltimore.

The agencies are:
  • Calvert County Health Department
  • Frederick County Department of Social Services
  • University of Maryland, Baltimore   
Photos from the event can be found here.
The Maryland Department of Health's (formerly the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's) Healthiest Maryland Business Wellness at Work Awards recognize Maryland employers for their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. The awards identify businesses using an application that is derived from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Worksite Health ScoreCard and utilize the CDC's Workplace Health Model.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), "The workplace is an important setting for health promotion and disease prevention programs. On average, Americans working full-time spend more than one-third of their day, five days per week, at the workplace.

"The use of effective workplace programs and policies can reduce health risks and improve the
quality of life for American workers. Maintaining a healthier workforce can lower direct costs
such as insurance premiums and worker's compensation claims."

Examples of workplace health programs include:
  • Health education classes;
  • Access to local fitness facilities; 
  • Tobacco-free campus policy;
  • Preventive screenings;
  • Healthy foods in vending machines or cafeterias;
  • A work environment free of recognized health and safety threats."

Editor's Note: IWIF has information online regarding the benefits of workplace wellness programs, including archived presentations from six years of hosting the Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium. Click here for our extensive workplace wellness resources.

Free Safety Training for State Agency Supervisors

Dr. Katherine Feldman, DVM, MPH, the State's Public Health Veterinarian, will talk about the
dangers of tick-borne illnesses such as Lyme disease at an upcoming SERMA Safety Training
Workshop. Maryland has one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). There is no vaccine currently available to prevent Lyme disease, so prevention and early detection are key. The Maryland Department of Health has information online about preventing Lyme disease.

The morning training session will also include a segment on Weight Management and Aging, which will be presented by Tony Giordano, of the Maryland Department of the Environment. Details of the training are as follows:
Date:    Thursday, August 17, 2017
Time:   9:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Place:  Dept. of the Environment, Montgomery Park Building, 1800 Washington Blvd., Baltimore, MD 21230

The training is free for all State of Maryland agency managers, supervisors, safety professionals and human resources representatives. To register, please email Betsy Dorney at
edorney@ceiwc.com. Please provide your name, state agency, phone number and email

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