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Applying Ethical & Sustainable Design to Public Risk Management

Posted by Thomas Johnson on August 29, 2017 at 10:49 AM

Tom Johnson is the vice president of sales for Genex Services’ Independent Medical Examination (IME) division. He has acquired a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering, as well as an MBA, from Oxford University and is the founder of Generations IME Consulting. Tom utilizes his expertise in business sustainability to explain the role of IME testing within the scope of permaculture and how it benefits risk managers.

A principal postulate in claims procedure involves the necessity to accommodate the specific needs of each individual case. As a rule, each claim should be settled so as to satisfy all parties involved. An employee, if injured, should receive medical care while the public entity attempts to maintain its performance and sustainability. To achieve this goal, the employee can be subjected to IME testing.

With an independent medical examination, additional examination is done by a third party physician who, upon observing the records and finishing the examination, writes a report suggesting the best course of action. The IME physician may or may not agree with the original diagnosis, but his/her report is nevertheless taken into account to help the claim process.


Founded on ethics, IME testing can be part of the larger structure known as permaculture. It is an ethical design science deeply rooted and derived from patterns observable in nature. As complex as nature is, permaculture seeks to borrow some of its principles and apply them within the business environment. Pemaculture is rooted by a foundation of three ethical pillars, of which the most relevant to risk managers being “Care of People”.

Following the overarching ethical pillars, permaculture’s next structural layer consists of principles, which is then comprised of a layer of techniques (e.g. IME) that exercise the values set forth by permaculture’s principles. The structural trio of ethics, principles and techniques accounts for the solidity of permaculture. Every subsequent layer works in conjunction with the previous layer, thus, increasing sustainability.

Permaculture provides a way to evaluate the environment through an ethical lens. Its principles highlight the ecosystem where ethics and mutual benefit reign supreme and IME testing is one of the primary tools for instilling those principles within your business entity.