Teddy Awards: A Pat on the Back for Comp Management

June 30th, 2008 by

Risk & Insurance Magazine has announced the 2008 competition for the Teddy Awards, given to organizations demonstrating a long-term commitment to improving workers compensation performance. Creativity and teamwork are major considerations. Four awards will be given: one for a company; one for a nonprofit or government entity; a third award will honor a federal government entity (that will be interesting!). Finally, a Teddy will be awarded to a small employer–a company or organization with fewer than 500 workers.
As you can probably guess, the award is named in honor of President Theodore Roosevelt, who in 1908 introduced and promoted the first piece of important workers’ compensation legislation in the United States. The law, called the Federal Employer’s Liability Act, covered workers in hazardous industries and workers for common carriers. In signing the new law, Roosevelt said to Congress “the burden of an accident fell upon the helpless man, his wife and children.” With that new law, the federal government took the lead in combating on-the-job injuries, which Roosevelt had characterized as “outrageous.” In the years immediately following Roosevelt’s initiative, states, beginning with Wisconsin, began to implement their own workers comp laws.
In the interests of full disclosure, the Insider is part of the judging panel for these awards (lively narratives preferred!) But you must hurry: Applications are due by July 15.
Safe Talk, Perilous Walk
Roosevelt may have talked the talk, but when it came to personal risk management, he loved adventure and all-too-frequently put himself in harm’s way. There is no better example than the ex-President, after losing a third party bid for office in 1912, heading off to explore an uncharted tributary of the Amazon River, dubbed the “River of Doubt.” The trip, plagued by haphazard preparation, the wrong type of canoe and 24/7 perils, very nearly killed him. Candice Millard’s well-written story makes for a fascinating summer read. Needless to add, Teddy does not deserve a Teddy for his ill-fated journey.