| November 9, 2012 -
The City of Knoxville's Risk Management Division has been named winner of a prestigious national award by Risk & Insurance Magazine, for its efforts to reduce worker's compensation costs while also improving workplace safety for City employees. Knoxville has received the 2012 Theodore Roosevelt Workers' Compensation and Disability Management Award for the nonprofit sector.
Also known as the Teddy Awards, the honors are given each year to one company and one nonprofit organization for their efforts to reduce the number and cost of injuries to workers.
"We are thrilled to receive this recognition, which reflects the real progress we have made in reducing worker's compensation claims," said Gary Eastes, the City's Risk and Benefits Manager. "We have cut our annual costs $5.92 million in 2002 to $1.29 million in 2011, and we have done it by helping employees to be safer on the job."
In an article about Knoxville's award, Risk & Insurance Editor Dan Reynolds wrote: "Knoxville's risk management team, through hard work and patience, have reached a place where city department administrators and staff members trust that they are indeed looking out for their best interests: Trying to return them back to work and helping to keep them in good physical condition."
Those efforts include case management for injured workers, with an integrated system that combines health screening, wellness guidance, on-site medical attention and physical therapy. They also include such simple but often-neglected steps as ensuring that all City employees wear seatbelts while driving on the job.
Eastes and Ginger Huskey, Risk Coordinator for the City of Knoxville, accepted the award Wednesday at the National Workers Compensation and Disability Conference & Expo in Las Vegas. This is not the first national honor for Knoxville's Risk Management Division in 2012. In June, the Public Risk Management Association named Eastes its Public Risk Manager of the Year.
To see a brief video produced by CSC, a software solutions company and City of Knoxville contractor that nominated Knoxville for the award, go here: http://youtu.be/F0G2KXDYVzU.