University of Alaska Loss Prevention Program
The University of Alaska maintains a safety and loss prevention program through the System Office of Risk Services. The program is designed to increase awareness of safety and to provide a funding mechanism allowing the campuses to pro-actively invest in loss prevention projects to reduce injuries and losses.
Each year, the University of Alaska, System Office of Risk Services, budgets a small amount of its total budget allocation to fund proactive loss prevention (LP) projects. The goal is to provide funding for projects that might not otherwise receive attention given the limitations of general operating budgets. The university is self-insured (we act as our own insurance company and pay claims out of our own funds) to very high limits, typically spending over one million dollars per year on claims costs. Loss prevention projects focus on reducing the frequency and/or the severity of claims funded by the university’s self-insurance program. All campuses contribute to the self-insurance pool so that our claims can be paid. Therefore, successfully reducing the amount of money we spend on injuries and damages means that the university can better use this money to fund program development and provide better service to our university community. Loss prevention projects can be based on reducing any of the self-insured claims areas, but we have defined below the areas where we typically have spent the most in claims; workers’ compensation, liability, auto, and property. Loss prevention projects should have a broad focus inclusive of the diverse population of the university community, faculty, staff, students, and visitors.
Loss prevention is the act of taking proactive measures to prevent or abate identified risks which, if left unmitigated, may result in university claim expenditures. The areas of highest cost to the university are described below along with examples of qualified loss prevention projects:
- Workers Compensation covers wages and medical benefits for injuries arising out of work.
Loss Prevention Example:
As the manager of expediting services, you have experienced 2 employee work injuries in the last six months and multiple complaints about lifting heavy boxes. Your discover a great new lifting device that will reduce the injury potential for your employees and a local resource that can come do injury prevention training for your employees.
- University Property refers to all kinds of building contents but loss prevention typically focuses on items such as computers and other small pieces of equipment which are common targets for theft.
Loss Prevention Example:
Prior projects have included surveillance cameras where frequency of theft is high, lock down devices for computers, and could include costs in creating a marketing program to mitigate these and similar losses.
- Automobile Liability refers to costs that the university would be responsible for (bodily injury and/or property damage) in the event of an auto accident.
Loss Prevention Example:
A review of loss reports shows, over the last several months, a series of accidents where university employees have backed into parked vehicles. Research reveals successful loss reduction results from the installation of back-up warning devices or rear-view cameras.
- Employment Practices (Personnel) Liability provides coverage for a broad range of employment related claims including sexual harassment, workplace discrimination, and breach of contract.
Loss Prevention Example:
After experiencing several complaints of sexual harassment, the loss prevention applicant may want to propose awareness training for human resource employees, such as info on the latest trends in employment practices law suits, as well as providing a training program for supervisors to help with claims prevention.
- General Liability is a type of claim that members of the public file if they feel that the university has been negligent by an action and/or by an omission and that action or omission results in their sustaining bodily injury and/or property damage.
Loss Prevention Example:
Although the university is diligent in maintaining safe premises, the most common complaint, due to our lengthy snow and ice seasons, arises out of slips and falls. A loss prevention project idea may include additional floor mats to absorb melting snow for high traffic building areas. Other loss prevention ideas may entail warning signs for risks such as snow sliding off roofs, etc.
The System Office of Risk Services tracks loss history for all of the University of Alaska campuses and produces a quarterly “Cause of Loss” report. Because funding is limited, proposals solidly based on statistical loss history (as found in the Cause of Loss report) or a defensible risk assessment will receive priority consideration. A defensible risk assessment is a very proactive, comprehensive analysis of an area that has yet to sustain a loss, but where exposure is felt to be significant enough, without statistical support, to warrant LP funding.
Loss reports specific to an area of interest can be produced upon request. For example, it is possible for Risk Services to provide a report showing the number of motor vehicle accidents occurring when employees have been backing up a vehicle, which departments sustain the highest number of workers’ compensation injuries, which or kinds of injuries or loss to UA property are the most common.
Steps to Apply for Loss Prevention Funding:
Please note that the cut off date for applications is June 1 for projects that are requesting funding for a current fiscal year.
Any university employee may apply for LP projects. LP projects can also be requested by department heads or campus environmental, health, safety, and risk management (EHS/RM) staff. In all cases, the campus EHS/RM department will provide the first level of approval and will prioritize funding for all projects proposed for their campus.
A review of all information contained in this guide is recommended prior to developing a proposal so that all relevant information needed to evaluate and process your request are included with the application. The application form is available for DOWNLOAD.
1. Identify the problem and develop a plan to mitigate the risk.
Prior to making a loss prevention application, please think of how the proposed project will reduce the possibility of the University of Alaska paying funds in one or more of the five loss exposure areas identified above. The system office staff and campus EHS/RM staff are glad to work with any ideas to generate LP funding.
2. Contact your campus health and safety/risk management office.
Once the risks are identified and assessed, your campus EHS/RM office can assist you in determining the best way to mitigate the risks, including but not limited to, completing a loss prevention application. They can assist in developing a LP project proposal, provide a copy of the Cause of Loss Report, or schedule a risk evaluation (if needed). A risk evaluation looks at the probability and the impact of a risk.
3. Calculate costs and savings that will arise out of the LP project.
In many cases, this will be a rough estimate. However, please do your best to develop and clearly demonstrate direct or indirect costs and savings that could be realized as a result of implementing your proposed LP project.
4. Review your plan with your appropriate department head or supervisor.
This step is to confirm that management can support your plan as well as provide additional funding that may be necessary if the plan exceeds the LP funding limit or matching funding is required.
5. Fill out a Loss Prevention funding application.
Attach an itemized estimate for the LP project proposal including equipment, materials, services and other costs, and copies of any quotes or bids.
6. Submit your application to campus EHS/RM office.
Campus EHS/RM office will perform the initial review and approval. Once approved by the campus EHS/RM office, the application will be forwarded to the System Office of Risk Services for review and final approval. The final written approval (or denial) for your LP project proposal will be returned to you from the System Office of Risk Services though your campus EHS/RM office.
7. Implement the project, if approved, and cooperate with any post implementation follow ups or surveys by EHS/RM staff.
Loss Prevention Project Evaluation:
The elements of a comprehensive LP plan include risk identification, selection of loss prevention technique(s), the anticipated benefits of implementation, and the LP funding sources. LP Plans that do not meet this requirement may be denied or returned to the applicant for additional information or relevant justification.
Projects that most effectively impact one of the five areas of loss above and that will impact the broadest base within the UA community will be given the most weight.
Community Impact Points: _______
Broad (100 + individuals) - 6 Points
Average (10 to 100 people) - 4 Points
Minimal (under 10 people) - 2 Points
Loss Relevancy Points: _______
Strongly tied to insurable risks - 6 Points
Somewhat tied to insurable risks - 4 Points
No link to insurable risks - 2 Points
Loss Frequency Points: _______
Prior losses > 10 per year - 6 Points
Prior losses = 5 to 10 per year - 4 Points
Prior losses = 0 to 5 per year - 2 Points
Loss Severity Points: _______
A prior loss in this area has exceeded $25,000 - 6 Points
Prior losses have been between $10,000 and $25,0000 - 4 Points
Prior losses have been less than $10,000 - 2 Points
FINAL SCORE: _______Although the scoring above does not constitute the final analysis of whether an LP project will be approved, a high score makes it more likely:
Highly Likely - 20-24 Points
Probable - 12-18 Points
Low - 8-10 Points
Loss Prevention Funding Exclusions:
The LP program is not intended to be a regulatory compliance tool or funding mechanism. It is the responsibility of departments to plan for, implement, and sustain the appropriate health, safety and security requirements necessary for their specific operations. This includes safety supplies, personal protective equipment, and the start up, maintenance, and replacement of the equipment necessary for new and existing programs. Many of UA’s operations are highly regulated and have associated best management practices. If regulatory compliance is a concern, please contact your campus EHS/RM office for assistance in determining minimum requirements.
In order to comply with UA accounting practices please note:
- Loss Prevention funds cannot be used as an ongoing supplement to program budgets. The program does not cover replacement of general operating supplies, safety and personal protective equipment required by law or regulation (exceptions can be made for new laws passed within prior 6 months), deferred maintenance expenses, or travel costs.
- Major capital improvements (where the total project cost is over $5,000) unless special approval is granted by the SORS Chief Risk Officer.
- Activities which require reimbursement for university employees labor costs except those associated with established university service providers, e.g., telephone service, printing.
- Loss Prevention requests that have already been purchased prior to obtaining UA SORS approval are not guaranteed to be funded/reimbursed.
- Program begins and ends in the current Fiscal Year. Projects must be approved and funds reimbursed with the current Fiscal Year. No prior fiscal years can be reimbursed.
How to Receive Payment:
The System Office of Risk Services will reimburse departments via journal voucher (to fund 1 only and to account code 8453) for SORS approved LP project expenses once the charges have been incurred and paid by the department. Exceptions can be made and funds can be provided in advance in some circumstances. All reimbursement documentation must be submitted no later than June 15 of the current fiscal year or sooner if procurment deadlines change. Once the costs are finalized, please submit the following documentation to the System Office of Risk Services:
- A print out of Banner screen “FGITRND” identifying the project and the amount expended.
- A photo copy of the original invoice.
Contact Information: Risk Management Staff
Ongoing Loss Prevention Programs with Proven Results and Continued Funding:
- Computer/Equipment Lock Down Devices
- Ergonomic Program