Employee Assistance Program
Employee Assistance Program (EAP) are valuable resources offered by many organizations to support the well-being of their employees. EAPs provide confidential, professional services, both work-related and personal, this can include stress, mental health concerns, relationship problems, financial difficulties, substance abuse and more.
It is important to recognize that EAPs are truly confidential, not only are the discussions with the EAP providers but the fact that you are attending EAP as well, the exception would be if the consultation is due to a Formal Management Referral. Most EAPs provide services other than direct consulting, including online resources, self-help materials, workshops, and webinars, again utilization of these services are confidential and employers have no knowledge regarding who is using what services.
IMWCA’s First Responder’s EAP is set up the same way. IMWCA nor the First Responder’s employer has any knowledge of which member or member’s employer is utilizing the EAP resources. IMWCA only receives a report on total usage. See Figure 1 below.
September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month. Most people may not comprehend how much of an epidemic that suicide has become. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, in 2022 we lost 49,449 people to suicide. If you or someone you know needs help there are many resources available, including any EAP that your employer provides as well as the following resources.
Member Highlight: City of Perry
IMWCA staff recently met with the Public Works Director for the city of Perry to discuss the city’s safety efforts.
What is your city doing to provide a safe workplace?
Whenever an idea is presented at a Safety Meeting that could prevent an injury, we investigate it and if needed, purchase it. We do not put a cost on safety nor things we can purchase to make our workplaces safer. Examples include purchasing Traction Aids for all employees and firefighters with the help of a grant from IMWCA to prevent slips, trips, and falls. We also host quarterly employee meetings to discuss city updates as well as present a quarterly safety award to a nominated employee who has gone above and beyond for the City of Perry. In addition, we hold a yearly safety day where we discuss various safety ideas and training to help instill a culture of safety. The event is very well received with lunch provided along with some prizes for our employees.
Do you have a Designated Provider and a Return-To-Work policy?
We do. We are fortunate to have a DCH Family Medicine as well as the Dallas County Hospital in Perry. Employees do not have far to travel in the event of an emergency. Our RTW policy is one modeled after IMWCA with an emphasis on getting injured employees better and back to work as soon as it is safe for them to do so. This includes light duty functions that may not be in the employee’s normal working dept.
Please describe your safety committee structure. Who is on the committee, how often do you meet and what are the short-term goals of the committee?
Our safety committee is organized and run by a contracted Safety Coordinator. It is made up of a representative and alternate from every dept in the city. We also have IMWCA Safety and Risk Improvement Advisor, Scott Smith, and our Work Comp Insurance Carrier, TrueNorth Insurance, attend each meeting along with two members of our City Council. We meet once a month for about 1.5 hours and follow an organized agenda which includes: injuries/near misses in the last month, any safety topics from the past, ideas for improvement, and future meeting goals. We will begin transitioning from a board room meeting to holding the meeting at our different departments. After the meeting, we will have a walkthrough of the facility to look for things that others may not see that could cause an injury.
What other proactive safety steps do you practice?
We have an incident investigation team made up of three members from different departments. Any time a report is generated from Company Nurse, this team is given the file and investigates what happened. They will interview the injured employee, talk to the supervisor, look at where the accident happened, and make suggestions on whether an act was unsafe or something needs to change to prevent future injuries.
What words of wisdom do you have for other members of IMWCA to help them develop their safety culture.
Be proactive. Do not wait for something to go wrong to make changes. Changes can be difficult but also very good and needed to provide a safe working environment. Our number one goal for the City of Perry is that every employee goes home healthy and unhurt no matter what at the end of the day.
What current issues is the committee working on now?
We switched our safety training from IAMU to TrueNorth Insurance. We have a dedicated part-time contracted safety coordinator who helps facilitate all our training. We also are beginning to utilize IMWCA’s LEARN program to provide online training to our employees. Our safety coordinator is beginning to develop personalized training programs for each department rather than standard training for all.
On September 6, 2023, members with completed audits were able to access their electronic annual audit report and final audit premium schedule through the member portal. IMWCA will continue to make the audit reports available online as we receive them from Information Providers Inc. IMWCA members and agents will access the documents by using their individual sign-in. Each member has 30 days in which to review the audit. The 30-day period begins on the day the member receives an email that their report is available online.
Audit invoices and refunds will still arrive via postal mail. If there are no audit documents available or you need to request changes, please contact Andrew Justice at email@example.com or (800) 257-2708.