Frank Cowan Company
Risk Management Centre of Excellence

Frank Cowan Company Risk Management Centre of Excellence is an online resource created by Frank Cowan Company to provide our clients with the information and tools you need to manage the various risk issues you face on a daily basis.

The site has two access levels; Guest (limited access) and Unrestricted for our broker partners, clients and associates.

Available 24/7, 365 days a year, it’s an online resource you can’t be without.


Municipalities can now use Snowman, a web-based portal, to track and record the weather via the Risk Management Centre of Excellence. This service can help Canadian municipalities to manage best practices related to the weather.

For more information, please email Barb Szychta:


Claims don’t always occur during regular business hours. When you need help, we’ll be ready.
We understand that claims don’t occur during regular business hours, that is why Frank Cowan Company clients have access to an after hours claims services. This is just another way we make it easier for you to work with us and provide you with best customer service possible.

Call 1-866-287-4971 for after hours claims assistance.


Recent AdditionsView Resource Library »

Risk Management Considerations for Community Gardens

Community gardens are parcels of public land that are sub-divided into smaller plots and gardened by a group of people. They provide an open space where residents can grow their own food, engage in healthy exercise and make their community a better place to live.

Tags: community, race, garden, urban, space, grow, healthy

Heartbleed OpenSSL Vulnerability: Best Practices to Protect Yourself

The Heartbleed vulnerability (CVE-2014-0160) was publicly disclosed on April 7, 2014 and was quickly picked up by the mainstream media due to the popular websites whose vulnerable state made headlines. However, the initial disclosure initiated conversations about the full potential of this vulnerability, leading to many questions. What websites were vulnerable? How can I tell if a website is vulnerable? How can I be sure a website has been fixed? How does it impact users/customers? Is this only limited to websites?

Tags: cyber, security, RMC, virus, computer, website, internet

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the Aquatic Professional

The recreation industry is based on “leisure and fun” and often this philosophy rolls over to workplace practices. Actions of aquatic staff impact the public’s perception of the owner/municipality. Today’s aquatic professional must be aware of the changing mindset and focus of the regulatory agencies that control and monitor workplace health and safety practices. Increased inspection for compliance by these agencies is intended to reduce the number of workplace injuries with a strong focus being on the Internal Responsibility System (IRS).

Tags: beaches, marinas, ORFA, pools, safety, safety devices, staff, workplace, Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, PPE

Claim Case Studies & Legislation: Waivers

The plaintiff was enrolled in an introductory motorcycle riding course offered by the College. She had never ridden a motorcycle before and was seriously injured during a riding exercise when she lost control of the bike and hit a concrete barrier. The Plaintiff signed a waiver of liability in favour of the College.

Tags: claim, claim study, risk, waiver

Risk Management Considerations for Rooftop Solar Panels

Since the installation of rooftop solar panels is relatively new, there is little claims data. However, there are a number of risk issues to be addressed before proceeding with a rooftop solar panel installation. 

Tags: building, CSA, facilities management, fire, lease, solar panels

Automated External Defibrillators: Unsecured Locations

The placement of AEDs in open, unsecured areas such as a sport‐field location requires careful consideration and review of existing Municipal Bylaws and Protocols. The intent of making the devices available in these areas must be balanced with ease to locate and access the equipment and ongoing, inspection and maintenance. The placing of any safety device that is not properly maintained increases owner liability.

Tags: AED, emergency, facility, first aid, ORFA, outdoor

Checklist for Footbridges

1. Is there signage? 
2. Is the approach level with the surface of the footbridge? 
3. If lighting exists is it functional? 
4. Does the surface have trip issues? 
5. Are bicycles and skateboards allowed?

Tags: checklist, inspection, bridge, footbridge

Snow Load and Structural Integrity

The Ontario Recreation Facilities Association Inc. (ORFA) continues to raise awareness and concern over Ontario’s aging recreation facility infrastructure; the lack of comprehensive professional structural engineer reviews of these facilities and; the absence of regular ongoing inspection for increased stress and strain caused by excessive snow load by building staff. These factors are challenging the structural integrity of many recreation facilities.

Tags: building, facilities management, facility, maintenance, occupiers liability, ORFA, risk management, snow

Risk Management Considerations for Physical Security

Organizations tend to focus more on electronic security than physical security. Remember, the physical security of an organization is just as vulnerable. Take proper measures to ensure that the building, staff, and physical information is protected to guard against a loss.

Tags: facilities management, protection, risk management, safety, security

Unpermitted Activities: Public Areas of Recreation Facilities

The pursuit of excellence by facility users often has individuals or entire teams conducting pre‐rental warm‐up or strengthening activities in public areas of a recreation facility. Whether or not this is an appropriate use of a public facility can only be determined by each operation based on several factors which may include facility design and/or the conditions of rental agreement. However, the unpermitted use of a public facility for recreational activities is an obvious risk.

Tags: arena, fitness, liability, occupiers liability, ORFA, liquor liability