The Final Straw?
“It’s only a large U.S. event that can turn things around. The U.S. is the biggest insurance market with the biggest exposures.”
—Amit Kumar, an analyst at Macquarie in New York. The insurance industry took another multi-billion dollar hit from U.S. tornadoes in April and May, and analysts say an additional big hurricane loss could be the final straw that forces it to hike prices in order to preserve capital and rebuild profits. The property and casualty industry has been forced by stiff competition and excess capacity to cut or hold prices since 2008. The hurricane season runs June 1 to Nov. 30. (Reuters)
Fear of Flooding
“We’ve got the potential for a mass evacuation if the worst conditions present themselves.”
—Mike Dayton, acting secretary of the California Emergency Management Agency, on the need for emergency workers in California to be prepared for a catastrophic flood. Federal officials have determined that Sacramento has the highest flood risk of any U.S. city outside New Orleans. And emergency officials say more than half the state’s nearly 39 million people rely on levees and flood-control reservoirs for protection, a system that could be strained past the breaking point in a catastrophic flood. (AP)
Preventing Human Error
“While human error has been associated with the majority of incidents in the workplace, it can be managed through a variety of mechanisms. … It is believed that actively engaged employees demonstrate a greater sense of personal ownership and compliance with safe work methods, adjust more quickly to needed changes in safety practices, and act proactively to ensure that work is being done in the safest way possible.”
—Indiana University of Pennsylvania Safety Sciences professor Jan Wachter on why she believes that human error in the workplace, while not completely preventable, can be managed by better tools to motivate and engage workers in the safety process.