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Member Close Up: Vernon County Highway Department Implements Behavioral Based Safety Program

County Sees Positive Culture Change

The Wisconsin County Mutual Insurance Corporation (County Mutual) risk management team is scattered throughout the state and works closely with member counties to ensure workplaces keep safety at the forefront of each and every day.

“When you have a fully functioning safety program in place, so many good things can happen,” said Risk Management Consultant Jessica Schroeder of Aegis Corporation, which administers the County Mutual. Recently, she discussed the County Mutual's work with member Vernon County.

“Vernon County has always had a good worker’s compensation loss record and were a 2017 County Mutual Loss Control Award winner last year, but they have taken things to the next level,” she said. “Since I’ve started working with them, specifically their highway department, they’ve really upped their safety game.”

Schroeder pointed out the county now offers safety training throughout the year and recently implemented a behavioral based safety program.

“Highway Commissioner Phil Hewitt worked closely alongside the County Mutual and has been committed to an incredible culture change within their department,” said Schroeder. “In a nutshell, behavioral based safety means that the employees are looking out for each other and speaking to each other about what they see, both good and bad. The end result of this is a workplace that empowers employees and keeps them safer on the job.”

For County Mutual members, extensive risk management training services are a part of their policy.

“No matter the size of the county, there can be incredible changes and culture modifications that don’t cost anything to do and the benefits will impact each employee,” said Aegis Corporation Executive Vice President John Dirkse. “We are a resource and pride ourselves on partnering with our members to impact the workplace. I encourage counties to contact our risk management staff to schedule training or have a sit down to discuss where improvements can be made.”

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