Public School Works
August Newsletter | 2013
Safety News

In This Issue

Customer Highlight: Forest Hills goes Self-Insured with PublicSchoolWORKS

Product Highlight: MSDS Now! - Bronze

Industry News: District Administrations’ Readers’ Choice Top 100 Products Awards Program

School Safety in the News


PSW is attending:

EPC Educational Vendor Fair
Fairborn, OH
booth #TBA

AASPA 75th Annual Conference
San Antonio, TX
booth #129

AEHSA Conference
Red Deer, Alberta, CA
booth #TBA

ASBO International's 2013 Annual Meeting & Expo
Boston, MA
booth #327

Testimonial of the Month

“We have 24/7 access to chemical specialists, spill specialists, poison control and others to more effectively deal with chemical questions or emergencies,”

Craig Hatfield

Business Manager at Franklin City School District and user of PublicSchoolWORKS’ MSDS Now! Module

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Safety First Awards

Customer Highlight:

Forest Hills goes Self-Insured with PublicSchoolWORKS

Choosing between using an insurance provider or being self-insured was one of the big decisions Forest Hills School District (FHSD) in Cincinnati, OH, was considering in 2010. While deciding to go self-insured can be a scary endeavor for school administrators, using an effective safety management system provides a safety net. FHSD was looking to save money by going self-insured, but needed the safety net of to ensure their entire safety program was being implemented, managed and sustained, and they did so with PublicSchoolWORKS.

To begin the process, FHSD began evaluating two parts of its safety program: staff training and accident management. The district had implemented an online training service several years before that it had received for free; however, the service did not meet the district’s needs for safety or compliance. Additionally, this program did not offer an accident management mechanism - a service the district needed. FHSD was using a paper- and pen-based reporting process, resulting in a waiting pattern for the claim to be processed and zero accountability for whoever processed or investigated the claim.

Based on these evaluations, FHSD knew the free staff training service would not be enough to meet the requirements of an effective safety program for a self-insured district. To serve its need for compliance, FHSD decided to switch to PublicSchoolWORKS in December of 2011.

With PublicSchoolWORKS’ EmployeeSafe Suite, FHSD was able to effectively implement its safety program. The online accident reporting and training systems auto-notify administrators via email when actions need to be completed in order to stay in compliance with mandates. Additionally, the EmployeeSafe Suite automatically produces forms required by the Public Employment Risk Reduction Program (PERRP) to keep FHSD in compliance with state workers’ compensation mandates.

The move to being self-insured, although considered a leap of faith by some, was a well-planned and executed venture for FHSD. The district is able to more swiftly make necessary safety changes and stay on top of compliance. After just one year of implementation, the district saved $211,000 in insurance costs.

“The connectivity PublicSchoolWORKS provides is huge,” said Rick Toepfer, treasurer at FHSD. “The implementation paid for itself and then some. It is managing processes for us and was worth the money because we feel much more in control of what is happening in our administrative processes. It was results driven - it had to work and it did.”

To learn more about how your district can use PublicSchoolWORKS to go self-insured, email

Product Highlight:

MSDS Now! - Bronze

Schools are required to provide ample access to Material Safety Data Sheet ((M)SDS) information for chemicals brought into a school. Having this information readily accessible is necessary for day-to-day use of chemicals and is essential in the case of a chemical spill.

As any administrator can attest to, compiling this information and ensuring that staff is trained to effectively use them is a difficult task. Mesa Public Schools (MPS) in Mesa, AZ, felt the burden of meeting this requirement and was looking for a solution that would manage these compliance-related tasks. MPS began the process by implementing an online (M)SDS provider, but found that progressing to a functional state of use was not as timely as the district needed.

After little success with this provider, MPS decided to switch to PublicSchoolWORKS. PublicSchoolWORKS’ systems were created by former school administrators and are designed specifically for schools. PublicSchoolWORKS understands that schools need systems that are easy to implement and use because of the many regulatory obligations to uphold.

MSDS Now! - Bronze allows staff to easily find (M)SDSs, print labels as necessary and provide other information to improve the safety of schools when dealing with chemicals. Staff can go online to access (M)SDS, and even more importantly, call and talk to a chemical safety specialist when needed, thus eliminating the need for (M)SDS binders and lightening the load for administrators.

MSDS Now! - Bronze also features tools to help administrators spread awareness about (M)SDS policies. Administrators are provided instructional posters and labels to educate staff about how to access (M)SDS information using the MSDS Now! - Bronze system. PublicSchoolWORKS also provides a section-by-section guide to reading an (M)SDS to help staff understand how to effectively read and use the (M)SDS.

To learn how your district can use MSDS Now! - Bronze, email