Safety training isn’t just a formality — it’s a tested means of reducing serious injuries and cutting back days-away-from-work incidents. But all too often, training is conducted half-heartedly or not at all.
Some evidence of that comes in the most recent breakdown of OSHA’s top 10 most-cited violations. The list is usually pretty static, with the repeat offenders showing up year after year, but this latest iteration saw a new addition in “fall protection — training requirements.” The safety implications of a lack of training run deep. Inadequate fall protection in and of itself has clinched the top spot for the past few years of OSHA’s most-cited list, and actual falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry. As evidenced by the landscape of falls alone, training touches every part of the occupational safety environment and is a pillar of what we do
So how do we improve on the way we train? For starters, most workers expect to feel safe at work — about 80 percent, according to survey data. That would suggest that most are not only open to learning safety procedures but would also welcome it. Training professionals recommend putting new employees — who are more likely than seasoned employees to be injured on the job due to inexperience — through a highly comprehensive, consistent program to get them up to speed. For both new and veteran employees, on-the-job training has been shown to be an effective means for teaching updates to safety procedures as they are made. Training experts recommend managers start the process by giving employees an introductory overview of the new procedure before guiding them through a “tryout” period for the update. Once that’s done, managers should follow up afterwards to ensure the employee has the right grasp of the behavior.
In any workplace, safety training is an evolving practice. Procedures shift as we discover new ways to do old work, and the shifting ground means that managers need to have an active presence. As always, we’re here to help with all the materials you need to make safety a priority for your workforce!Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a commentDecember 11, 2019
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 comment← Older postsNewer posts →