Special to the Bulletin

AUSTIN — Blanket ISD has been awarded a loss prevention grant of $4,000 from the Texas Association of School Boards’ Risk Management Fund.

Grant funds will help implement loss prevention and safety initiatives to reduce the potential for property losses and on-the-job injuries and raise safety awareness.

A total number of 214 public school districts and education entities received grants of $565,000 from the fund this year.

“The safety and well being of all employees and prevention of losses are crucial issues in the workplace,” said Edwin Thompson, director of TASB Loss Prevention Services. “The fund is dedicated to partnering with its members to save valuable resources and do everything we can to help educate staff to provide for a healthier work force and create a safer work environment. We are quite proud that the fund has been able to aware much needed resources to our members over the years,” he said.

The 2007 grants were awarded to 202 school districts, two regional education service centers, two county appraisal districts, four colleges, and four educational cooperatives. Workers’ compensation grants focused on fall prevention, personal lifting devices and personal protective equipment. Facilities security initiatives, driver improvement, and vehicle safety were the primary areas receiving grants under the property casualty program area.

“This year there was significant interest in grants for automated external defibrillators (AEDs),” Thompson said. “With the recent UIL mandate, pending Texas legislative activity, and the health of everyone on their campuses in mind, members sent in 60 applications for AEDs. The fund recognized the life saving importance of these devices and approved $129,500 in grants to purchase 79 of them.”

“Raising awareness and reducing injuries and losses is a win-win situation and this highly successful program will continue to be an integral part of the fund’s overall focus,” Thompson said. “We applaud participating districts and education organizations for their commitment to saving valuable local resources and increasing productivity. Safety in the workplace and loss reduction have ben major objectives of the Fund’s Loss Prevention Grant Program since its inception. The Fund remains steadfast in its pledge to provide continued support of our members’ efforts to achieve their loss prevention and safety goals,” he said.

The TASB Risk Management Fund is the largest risk sharing pool for school districts and one of the largest public entity risk pools in the nation.

Created in 1974, the Fund provides comprehensive risk management coverage and services in the areas of workers’ compensation, property/casualty and unemployment compensation. More than 1,100 school districts, education cooperatives, junior colleges, education service centers, and county appraisal districts, participate in one or more of the Fund’s programs.

TASB is a voluntary nonprofit association established in 1949 to serve local Texas school districts. School board members are the largest group of publicly elected officials in the state. The districts they represent serve more than 4.5 million public school students.