Boys & Girls Club risk management news

Vol. 1, 2018

Boys & Girls Club risk management news

Vol. 1, 2018

Congratulations to the 2017 Safety 1st recipients!

Markel's Safety 1st decal 2017Four Boys & Girls Clubs of America received Markel’s Safety 1st designation this year.

Each year, Markel’s Safety 1st program recognizes policyholders who have shown an exceptional commitment to the safety of their employees and customers. Many of our clubs have received the designation for multiple, consecutive years, and we offer them special congratulations!

View the 2017 winners.


Taking accident prevention to the next level

Many accidents/claims filed against a club can be prevented. Utilizing historical data is an analytical way an organization can develop strategies to help achieve an accident free goal. Based on 2017 Boys & Girls Clubs Markel claims history, some of the more frequent claims reported last year involved:

  • Falls/falls from elevation
  • Vehicular accidents including – rear end collision, backing into other vehicles, and hitting parked cars
  • Slip and fall/trip and fall accidents
  • Allegations of sex abuse

Markel’s risk management library offers numerous resources to support your efforts to address these claims and can help you keep your club clientele safe. 

Once you have an opportunity to align your resources, you can start to develop corrective actions to help create a safe club environment.

Implementing corrective action plans
Equipped with the above information, you can now move forward with corrective action plans. Accident Investigation Techniques – Second Edition, offers the following steps that may help support your mission.

To be effective in preventing future accidents, corrective actions should be implemented using a three step process:

  1. Red pen on checklistDevelop the corrective actions after the investigation produces causal factors. (A causal factor is an event or circumstance that helped to cause an accident.)
  2. Track the corrective actions. A database is useful for organizing and tracking information about the corrective actions.
  3. Follow up to ensure that the corrective actions have been followed as initiated. If a corrective action is not used, accident prevention is not ensured.

Preventing accidents further outlines more specific actions to help guide each step.

Tips for developing corrective actions:

  • Every accident should have at least one causal factor.
  • Develop at least one corrective action for each causal factor.
  • Communicate corrective actions clearly.
  • Make causal factors and corrective actions very specific so that the worker, supervisor, or manager knows exactly what the problem is and how to fix it.

Tips for tracking corrective actions:

  • Establish a timetable for each corrective action. If all the actions are assigned to a specific department or individual, they are usually implemented in a timely manner.
  • Consider using a database to track corrective actions. Include fields for a description of the action, an anticipated completion date, and the party responsible for carrying out the action.
  • Conduct a follow-up to make sure the corrective actions are in place and working correctly.

Follow-up steps:

  • Check that the corrective action has been completed correctly.
  • Make certain the corrective action works to prevent accidents.
  • Ensure that the corrective action is being used.
  • Be proactive. A follow-up is an excellent opportunity to observe hazards in the field. When performing the follow up, check to see if any other hazards could cause an accident. Any hazard that has the potential to cause injury, illness, or damage should be analyzed and corrected.

Ref:    Oakley, Jeffery S. Accident Investigation Techniques, Second Edition. Des Plaines, IL.  The American Society of Safety Engineers. 2012


Corrective action plans to control allegations of abuse start by hiring the right staff*

Screening out offenders
Sexual predators target organizations serving youth and vulnerable populations.  Failure to discover a known offender seeking access into your organization can affect those in your care and destroy an organization’s reputation, financial stability and trust within the community. So, how can you keep sexual predators out of your organization? Your first line of defense is to implement a thorough, consistent screening process designed to discover would-be offenders and discourage them from targeting your organization.

A thorough, consistent screening process ensures all individuals joining your organization in either an employee or volunteer capacity are screened before getting started. Your screening process should include several elements, such as applications, interviews, reference checks, and criminal background checks.

Based on our experience, we recommend the following best practices within screening and selection procedures:

All applicants should be required to complete an employment or volunteer application before being considered for the position. The application should be carefully reviewed for incomplete information or information that is inconsistent with what is known about the applicant. If the application is not fully complete, the organization may screen out the applicant, ask the applicant to complete the application, or obtain the missing information during an interview. Your organization should not move forward with an applicant until the application is 100% complete.

Interviews should be conducted with all potential employees and volunteers. Conducting formal interviews with applicants who are under the age of 18, where traditional criminal background screening yields limited results, can be a particularly useful tool. The purpose of an interview is to utilize behavioral based questions to solicit examples of the applicant’s previous actions to ensure the applicant possesses the skills needed to fill the role and to see if the applicant demonstrates characteristics of someone who should be working with youth or vulnerable populations. When possible, Praesidium recommends including at least two members of your organization in the interviewing process.

Reference checks
Conduct a minimum of three references before offering a position to an applicant. Two professional references and one personal reference will help you obtain information from a variety of viewpoints. References are to be conducted over the telephone unless otherwise specified by state licensing or accreditation entities. Organizations should follow consistent reference questions, write detailed notes with responses, and ensure that those notes are shared with the hiring committee so that potential red flags do not go unnoticed.  Reference checks are vital to screening minors that are applying for a role within your organization. You might need to modify questions to include coaches, teachers, and clergy rather than supervisors and co-workers, but the added effort will yield a more complete picture of your applicant.

Background checks
In determining the types of checks to utilize, organizations should follow all state, federal, and licensing regulations and consider an individual’s level of access. Level of access may be influenced by:

  • Crimnal record checkFrequency: How frequently does the individual work around or interact with minors? Is it a one-time event or every day?
  • Duration: What is the duration of the individual’s interactions? Is it during short stints of time or during long periods of time?
  • Level of supervision: Are the individual’s interactions always supervised by another adult or are they potentially one-on-one with minors?
  • Nature of the relationship: What is the nature of the relationship between the individual and the minors in the program? Does the individual merely supervise an area during an event that has minors, or are they getting to know individual minors and families while advising or tutoring?

At a minimum, all applicants should undergo a criminal check and a national sex offender check. Based on the factors above, the following may be needed:  deeper criminal checks, specialty searches like credit checks or driving record checks, or broader searches like education verification, professional license verification, or even drug screening.

By completing all of these steps and looking at the results of the background check, in concert with issues raised in other parts of the screening and selection process, you will be able to make a decision based on the totality of the applicant. A consistent and transparent screening and selection process will also encourage potentially problematic individuals to self-select out of your organization.

Do you want to be sure you’re meeting best practices in your screening process?
Our Praesidium experts recommend starting the new year by rescreening your current employees in order to continue your ongoing commitment to creating a culture of safety. For more information contact us at 800-743-6354.

About Praesidium
Praesidium was started more than 20 years ago in response to a request from a youth serving organization that was reeling from an incident of child sexual abuse. At that time, little was known about how abuse occurred in organizations and what could be done to stop it.

After two decades of research and experience with more than 4,000 youth and vulnerable adult serving organizations, Praesidium knows who's at risk, what types of programs are the most dangerous, and where and under what circumstances incidents and false allegations are most likely to occur.

Armed with this knowledge, Praesidium has built a comprehensive range of products and services to help your organization.

Praesidium logo

*This Safety Bulletin is a reprint with permission from Praesidium, Inc.


More than just insurance! Check out these discounts to Markel insureds.

Markel partners offer these value added services which are discounted to our customers

  • Intellicorp -criminal background checks at a 60% discount
  • – Web-based health management for camps
  • Praesidium child abuse risk management services at 20% discount For more information and to access these valuable services and discounts go to and click on Safety Resources


Markel presents practical and effective safety training webinars --free to Markel insureds!

Free safety training webinar for 2018 - Register now

Note: while these webinars are targeted primarily for our summer camp programs, they are very applicable to all child development professionals and we invute you and your BGCA staff to participate as out guest.

Photo of Chris Thurber
Dr. Chris Thurber - Tuesday, February 27

Engaging millennials: 10 essential strategies for camp directors.

Photo of M. Brandwein
Michael Brandwein - Wednesday, March 28

It's a real job! Developing more professionalism in staff and handling undesired staff behavior.


Photo of Dr. Deborah Gilboa

Deborah Gilboa - Tuesday, April 24
Managing anxiety in campers, staff, and parents.

For more information and to register, click here.

The information provided in this article is intended for general informational purposes only and should not be considered as all encompassing, or suitable for all situations, conditions, and environments. Please contact us or your attorney if you have any questions.