PRIMA RiskWatch
Oct. 16, 2014

First responders left in the dark on public safety network
Government Technology
Nobody said it was going to be easy. After Sept. 11 exposed huge holes in the country’s public safety communications capabilities, Congress passed a law on Feb. 22, 2012, creating the First Responder Network Authority (better known as FirstNet) to build a nationwide wireless broadband network dedicated to public safety and emergency response. The nation’s 5.4 million first responders would no longer have to rely on commercial carriers to communicate and transmit critical information during major emergencies. It didn’t work out so well.More

USAA to FAA: Our insurance adjusters want drones
Fast Company
One of America’s largest insurance companies has an unorthodox proposal: Using unmanned aircraft to speed up insurance claim processing. USAA, which serves millions of U.S. military personnel and their families with financial services, formally petitioned the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Oct. 2 for permission to use drone aircraft to process insurance claims. The USAA says that flying unmanned aircraft over natural disaster areas where claims have been filed could potentially benefit their membership.More

When Ebola is a workplace issue
The Wall Street Journal
Only a few hospitals in the U.S. are currently treating Ebola patients, but health-care workers around the country are on edge. A Dallas nurse was diagnosed with the virus, ratcheting up stress and worry among hospital employees, health-care leaders say. Now, in addition to crafting technical protocol and decoding the latest infectious-disease guidelines, hospitals must figure out how to properly train and motivate workers who may be in harm’s way — and deal with those who may refuse to treat potential Ebola patients. Issues around communication, training and pay are cropping up as leaders try to quell fears while making sure they will be adequately staffed if infected patients come to their facilities.More

All new police vehicles in New Jersey to have cameras
The Sparta Independent
The next time you are stopped by a police officer in New Jersey, a video camera may be rolling. A bill passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Chris Christie last month will mandate that all police vehicles carry a video recording device or that a camera is attached to their uniform or belt. Several local departments already utilize cameras on their vehicles. More

8 trends that will shape campus policing in the next 50 years
Campus Safety Magazine
The phrase “paradigm shift” is as stale as cops and doughnut jokes, but it is well suited to address growing challenges to customer-oriented policing in the coming decades. Extant and emerging socio-political and technological trends will shape how we protect and serve our public. The challenge we face is that these trends necessitate significant changes to the structure and delivery of police services. More

Bullies in the workplace
Science Codex
The stories are shocking and heartbreaking, but they are often disjointed and hard to follow. In severe cases, the narratives are even more chaotic. This is reality for victims of workplace bullying and a major reason why they stay silent, said Stacy Tye-Williams, an assistant professor of communications studies and English at Iowa State University.More

Virginia threatens to remove guardrails unless manufacturer performs new tests
The New York Times
Concern is mounting over the safety of guardrails sold by Trinity Industries, as yet another state has threatened to stop buying them, and will consider removing them. Virginia, in a letter sent to the company, told Trinity that state transportation officials did not believe Trinity had properly tested the end of a guardrail it redesigned in 2005. Virginia officials also told Trinity, which is based in Dallas, that the company had made changes to the design without telling them.More

Baltimore County public school safety upgrades worth multi-millions
Baltimore County is stepping up efforts to get eyes into its public school buildings. The system is part of a series of improvements since the Perry Hall High School shooting two years ago. What police can see on camera may help in the unforeseen. “We want to make sure that when parents send their kids to our schools they are indeed safe when they get there and they’re safe when they get home,” said Dallas Dance, Baltimore County Schools superintendent.More

Legislators may hike workplace safety penalties
Wyoming Tribune Eagle
A legislative proposal could hold companies more responsible for workplace safety incidents that result in a death of an employee. State lawmakers will consider two bills that would increase the civil fines for employers found to be in violation of the Wyoming Occupational Health and Safety Act. Wyoming's current law sets the civil penalty at no more than $7,000 for "serious" violations. That changes to between $5,000 and $70,000 if an employer "willfully and knowingly" violates the state law.More