Winter always seems to be a busy season, which is odd considering how strong the urge can be to just hibernate through it and skip the whole thing. From a worker safety standpoint, we’re not exactly crazy about the season, but the fact is, it rolls around each year like clockwork, bringing its own work-related challenges.
Like any other period of serious weather, winter brings about some unique safety challenges that demand our consideration. Just on its own, the winter chill is clearly a potential safety issue to those who work beyond a temperature-controlled environment. Cold stress can sneak up on an individual and sap their energy before they realize it’s high time to warm up. Even if it doesn’t progress to more serious exposure-related conditions, cold stress can sap productivity and present its own set of health hazards. When winter falls, work that can be done inside should be promptly moved indoors.
For those still exposed to low temperatures, it’s important to be aware of the signs of cold stress and look for symptoms of the conditions it causes. Dressing for low temperatures goes a long way — layer your clothing to better regulate heat, and stay as dry as possible. To cut the risk of slips and falls, take care of snow and ice as quickly as you can after it falls.
To workers, one of the biggest risks of winter is right underfoot. Slips and falls are a major safety issue regardless of season, but the risk of falling on the job can be seriously compounded by winter ice and snow. The injuries caused by slipping on ice range in severity, as you’d expect. With that said, 2013 data pulled from five Midwestern states found slips and falls on snow and ice to be responsible for about one-third of all workers’ compensation claims that resulted in lost time from work. Tackling the winter slip risk in a work setting is much the same as anywhere else — shovel away ice and snow as soon as possible, apply some de-icing agent when appropriate, and proceed with caution.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a commentNovember 27, 2019
Think businesses that have primarily office workers don’t have to worry about workplace safety and risk management? Think again! Accidents happen in all kinds of companies. In fact, many workers’ comp claims are made by workers who spend much of their time behind a desk — not at a construction site or in a manufacturing facility.
As a business grows, so does its risk of costly accidents and injuries. Nationwide, occupational injuries cost companies nearly $170 billion each year. Injuries and/or accidents can hurt and even cripple a growing company. That’s why preventing them should be a priority for even the smallest of companies. Plus, providing your employees with a safe working environment is the right thing to do.
At Accurate Protection, we specialize in working with companies that don’t have the resources to employ a full- time risk manager. We consider ourselves to be outsourced risk managers for growth-oriented medium sized companies. We provide risk-reducing strategies, programs and comprehensive safety materials that reduce your chance for loss. Once you’re better at managing your company’s risks, we educate underwriters about your company and build positive carrier relationships on your behalf. By demonstrating your commitment to decrease risk and support safety, we can help you capture lower long-term insurance premiums.
What are some of the ways employees injure themselves in the office environment? At the office, slips, trips and falls are the most common hazards. Look around for uneven surfaces, torn carpet or anything else that could cause someone to trip and fall. Clean up any spills immediately and address any surfaces that become slippery, especially during the winter months. You may want to consider having an ergonomics expert make sure your workstations are designed so that they meet basic rules for preventing repetitive injuries. Lifting heavy objects — the wrong way — can also result in injuries at the office.
If your employees drive for business, make sure you have a safe-driving policy and consider banning cellphone use by employees who drive on the job. Another important thing you can do? Create a culture where employees know they can take breaks to stretch and rest their muscles and their eyes.
Want to learn more? Visit our website: http://accurateprotection.com/. And give us a call at (404) 907-2121 x701 .Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a commentNovember 13, 2019
Your business, like many, likely offers employees certain benefits to employees like 401(k) plans, health insurance, and disability insurance. While these are important factors in your employees staying on with your company or new employees accepting offers of employment, it adds an additional layer of financial responsibility and compliance for your business. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) states that anyone who is overseeing employee benefits can be held liable for mismanagement of these benefits.
The best way to protect yourself and your business from the potential compliance errors is through fiduciary liability, as this kind of policy covers any associated legal costs to defend against claims of errors and a breach of fiduciary duty. If you’ve never heard of this kind of liability insurance, you’re not alone. ERISA doesn’t require it, but it’s a good idea for your business to consider this type of coverage to ensure that your business isn’t at increased risk.
Here’s what to know about financial liability policies: Fiduciary liability protects you and any of your employees — such as HR staff — who are involved in the administration of your 401(k), health and disability plans. If your staff or business are found in breach of their fiduciary duty in managing these benefits, personal assets including car, home, and bank accounts, etc. can be at risk.
According to a Tillinghast survey, mounting a defense in the event of financial mismanagement can cost a business an average of $365K and with a settlement average of $994K. The Department of Labor holds the individual company responsible for the vetting and monitoring outside benefits vendors, so the liability for error rests with the business.
While ERISA doesn’t require financial liability insurance, it does require an ERISA Bond. What’s the difference? An ERISA Bond protects the benefit plan participants from loss due to fraud or dishonesty. This protects the employees who have money invested in a 401(k), for instance, from losing assets due to fraud and theft. Fiduciary liability is insurance that offers defense coverage and protection for the fiduciaries from lawsuits. In the event of mismanagement, you could be sued by:
- Plan participants
- Participants’ legal estates
- Plan beneficiaries
- Internal Revenue Service
- Department of Labor
- Securities and Exchange Commissions and
- State Attorney General
Fiduciary liability could be a critical piece of coverage for your business. To get a quote or find out more about this important type of policy, get in touch with our office today.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a commentOctober 23, 2019
The workplace can be dangerous. From hazardous chemicals to heavy objects and dizzying heights, there are numerous safety challenges to overcome to keep all employees healthy and secure. Despite our efforts though, one of the most common workplace injuries continues to linger right under our noses — or, in this case, our ears.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, workplace-related hearing loss is the most common workplace injury in the United States. Each year, the CDC states, about 22 million American workers are exposed to potentially dangerous levels of occupational noise. As far as OSHA is concerned, an acceptable limit for work noise exposure is 90 A-weighted decibels throughout an eight-hour day. For reference, the CDC estimates an average hand drill creates about 98 decibels of noise.
Monetarily, the noise issue can be deafening — the U.S. Department of Labor believes employers across the country spend an annual $242 million on worker’s compensation claims related to workplace-related hearing loss. In 2015 alone, businesses paid more than $1.5 million in fines after being cited for providing inadequate protection to employees in noisy environments. People affected by this kind of hearing loss may find the normal sounds of the world both dulled and replaced by a constant ringing. For many, the damage to their hearing can be debilitating and isolating, causing both personal and professional issues.
Luckily, hearing loss isn’t a foregone conclusion. While some workplaces will always be noisy, we can take measures to block out potentially damaging decibels. By instituting policies that protect your workers’ hearing, you’re also helping to protect your own bottom line.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a commentOctober 9, 2019
Your business is a big part of your life — that’s why you’ve decided to protect your assets with business insurance. But if there’s an incident, accident, or issue, do you know how to use your insurance coverage to your advantage? Here are some things to keep in mind in case you face an event like:
- Electrical fire that damages your property or equipment, shutting down your business
- A break-in or theft, resulting in loss of merchandise or equipment or property damage
- Customer or employee injury on company property
- Damage from a natural disaster that renders your business inoperable
So, what now?
- Respond to the immediate threat: Make sure everyone is safe or that injuries are being addressed. This might mean evacuating your property or calling for medical treatment.
- Contact the police: If your claim is going to report theft, burglary, or something similar, you’ll want to contact local law enforcement as quickly as possible to begin the process of both helping to recoup lost property, find the person responsible, and begin collecting the necessary reports and paperwork.
- Contact your insurance company and insurance representative as soon as possible. They’ll be able to give you the specific next steps that apply to your situation. Contacting them as soon as possible will help you better mitigate damages and keep your business operational, or at least get it back on track to being operational as quickly as possible. For specific incidents, an insurance adjuster may be sent out to begin assessing the damage.
- Stay organized: Your claims process is going to involve a lot of paperwork, so make sure you’re staying organized throughout the process. If you’re conducting temporary repairs, keep your receipts. Keep an inventory of anything that’s damaged or lost and keep a digital record of the list. Take pictures of damages or other relevant things and store them digitally for easy emailing to your agent and other parties. You’ll need to provide proof of loss and holding onto all documents in an easily accessible location will be a big help.
Our job is always to make sure that your business and assets are protected and make the whole process as painless as possible. If you need business insurance or need to start the process of filing your claim, get in touch with us today.Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment← Older posts