HomeMantua NewsCommittee receives report on its stance with safety, employee health

Committee receives report on its stance with safety, employee health

The insurance representative offered ways for the township to promote employee health and wellness.

An insurance representative discussed with the township committee how it stands in terms of safety as it reviewed its yearly safety report during the Aug. 19 meeting.

Joe Henry of Hardenberg Insurance said, in 2018, Mantua was awarded $10,825 in financial incentives from Trico JIF (joint insurance fund with Gloucester, Camden and Salem counties) for its efforts to promote safety and wellness to employees.

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Henry added JIF’s main focus, this year, is to bring down costs of workers compensation by educating municipalities and their employees on comorbidity.

“Comorbidity is when one or more diseases is present in the same person at the same time, often they’re chronic or long-term conditions,” Henry said. “Oftentimes the diseases are present through no fault of the individual and heredity plays a part in many of them.”

When comparing two employees who experienced the same injury, but one had two diseases and the other had none, Henry said the cost of care and accommodations are significantly different.

“We see a 123 percent increase in surgery cost, 140 percent increase in litigation costs, 285 percent increase in lost work days and 341 percent increase in the total cost of the claim,” he said.

In his examples, the employee with the two diseases was out for 23 weeks, had 54 physical therapy visits, two surgeries and returned to work with restrictions. The healthy employee had a surgery performed at a surgical center, was out for eight weeks, had physical therapy for 23 weeks and returned to work without restrictions.

JIF, Henry said, recommends early screenings so employees can learn about any conditions they wouldn’t have learned about through a regular doctor’s visit. He added many times they’re done in wellness fairs.

Some municipalities have walking groups, healthy snack grab-and-go’s, clinics and nutritional lunch and learns to name a few.

In other news:

  • Stephen Wolfsgruber and Drew Smick were sworn in to the police department as patrolmen.
  • Taxes are due by Sept. 7 and there’s no grace period.
  • The police department is searching for a qualified Class II officer. A list of qualifications are available on the department’s Facebook page.
  • New trash trucks should be out on the streets by now. Supervisor of Public Works Steve Alexander said one rental truck will remain in use as the township’s waiting for the final trash truck to be ready.
  • Police Chief Darren White advised residents to triple-check to make sure their car doors are locked after a stint of car burglaries.
  • The police department now has a camera registry. No one is required to register their cameras with the program, and they will only be contacted by the department if a crime occurs in the camera’s immediate location. White said residents will still be given the option to provide footage to the department.
  • Capital improvements will start soon as the necessary bond ordinance was passed. Township Administrator Jennica Belici said some of the improvements include patrol cars and carpeting in the municipal building.

The next committee meeting is scheduled for Sept. 16, beginning at 6 p.m. in the Municipal Building.


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