Slips, trips, and falls are a major accident type in most industries, they account for 10% to 30% of injuries to employees and the general public. These have an average cost from $2,500 up to $12,000 and are the third leading cause of accidental deaths. Slips, trips, and falls can occur on flat walking surfaces and also on ramps and stairways. The main hazards that contribute to these accidents are slippery surfaces; holes or broken surfaces, inadequate clean up of spills or mud, ice and water during inclement weather. Falls are often a result of the combination of unsafe conditions and unsafe acts. Personal factors also contribute to slip trip and fall accidents, such as age, illness, fatigue, inattention and poor vision. Here are a few things that could help you and your business reduce the risk of slip, trip, and fall accidents.
- Floors – Floor materials and surfaces can contribute to these types of accidents for employees and the general public, proper choice of flooring materials, flooring finishes, mats or rugs, tapes, grooving and keeping the floor clean can all help prevent these accidents.
- Evaluation – Hazards include: slippery surfaces, broken surfaces, holes, poor drainage areas, inadequate clean up, or mud, ice and water being tracked in. Locate the major walkway areas where things such as these can be an issue, such as building entrances, loading platforms and areas where floor level changes due to steps or ramps.
- Aisles, Walkways – Aisles should be wide enough for employees and workers to pass through freely while handling materials and allow for safe passage of equipment, these should also be kept free of obstructions and clutter and have dry slip resistant flooring.
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How to prepare your business for extreme winter weather.
With winter right around the corner many businesses are unprepared when normal winter weather turns to extreme winter weather. Many events can occur that could result in devastating losses. During severe cold water or sprinkler pipes can freeze and burst, thus affecting paperwork, records, computers, and machinery. A broken or open window in an un-insulated area can let in enough cold to set off a chain of events, freezing nearby piping and major setbacks. There are some things that you can do to prepare for the winter ahead to avoid these costly problems.
- Update your Emergency Response Program for winter emergencies to include proper procedures for severe cold conditions. Also have someone monitor the weather forecast to plan ahead for these conditions, and procedures for loss of heat or electricity.
- Determine which company processes depend on building heat or electricity for safety and need special attention.
- Identify processes, equipment, and piping that contain or use water or other liquid that is susceptible to freezing, those might need to be drained in the event of loss of heat or electricity.
- Locate building areas that are more difficult to heat, install an ordinary thermometer to monitor temperature during times of severe cold.
- Service the heating system before the winter season begins to insure that everything is working properly.
- Inspect the exterior of your buildings to minimize unnecessary openings, fix windows and doors so that they close tightly. Insulate and weather strip as needed.
Why should I car about Cyber Liability?
In an ever-growing technological and online age, the cyber risks are increasing. Liability for loss of consumer or employee data is not typically covered under a corporate insurance policy. You may think that only large companies are the ones that are at risk, but that is not the case. Studies have shown that over 72 percent of data breeches have occurred in small to medium sized businesses with 40 percent of those breeches occurring in organizations of 1000 or fewer employees, and the average cost of a data breech is upwards of 5 million dollars.
Many overlook this type of insurance due to the fact that they do not know that something of this nature exists or they don’t think a data breech could happen to them, but actually we are all at risk. With October being National Cyber Awareness month, now is the time to learn or reevaluate if Cyber Liability Insurance is something for you and your business. Cyber liability is available for organizations of all sizes, and it can be offered as a standalone policy or as part of a comprehensive suite of other management liability overages.
By: By: Niklas Almström, Insurance Advisors
With the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). They created OSHA to assure safe and healthy working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and also by providing training, outreach, education and assistance. OSHA has created a set of guidelines to help better your workplace, some of these include:
- Get training from your employer
- Request information from your employer
- Request action from your employer to correct hazards or violations
- File a complaint with OSHA
- Be involved in OSHA’S inspection
- Find out results of an OSHA inspection
- Get involved
- File a formal appeal
- File a discrimination complaint
- Request a research investigation on possible workplace hazards
With these you can help your workplace be a safe a healthy place to work by limiting future accidents and help lower the cost of your workers’ compensation premium and other costs.
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Reducing Your Workers’ Compensation Costs
The easiest and most effective way to reduce your workers’ compensation costs is to reduce the number of accidents and injuries in your workplace, but how can you know that you have covered all the bases when working to minimize your Workers’ Compensation costs? It can be a bit confusing on where to start but actually starting the process can be quite easy, as it should be. By being aware of safety issues in your workplace it will help you control unnecessary costs, increase your productivity, and create a safe environment for your employees. You help this by using the 5 Ps of controlling workers compensation costs:
- Pay Attention
- Properly Classify
By using these 5 Ps you can increase the safety of your workplace and reduce the number of accidents, consequently reducing your Experience Modification Factor, or Mod.
Download our Free Reducing Workers’ Comp. Check List
Assessing your Return-to-Work Program
There are many reasons to have and implement a solid Return-to-Work program at your company. These reasons include: increased productivity, worker well being, cost control, etc. Even though you might already have a Return to Work program in place, that program could use another look to better its results.
Workers Compensation is a very controllable expense for a business owner and Insurance Advisors is well qualified to guide you to specific resources that can help you evaluate your existing program or help you start one at your company. Better RTW programs start with: building up a workplace culture that supports your workers after an injury, keeping in contact with your injured worker during recovery and starting to plan their Return-to-Work, regularly monitoring your injured worker’s progress, and when they return to work taking the time to think and talk about what worked well and what didn’t work and how to improve. At Insurance Advisors we have a qualified team that is ready to assist you with a Return-to-Work assessment.
By: Niklas Almstrom
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With an auto accident happening roughly every 14 seconds even the most careful drivers may be involved in an accident, so everyone should be prepared in the event it does happen. Auto accidents are unexpected and stressful but these tips can help ease the difficulties of the situation and help in reporting the claim. Starting with being prepared by carrying a set of cones, warning triangles, or emergency flares in your trunk to help alert traffic. Then in the event of an accident:
- Stay Calm - call an ambulance if it is needed and always call the police.
- Stay Safe - there are still risks with traffic, fire, injury, debris and weather.
- Stay Smart - Be courteous to others, but do not admit fault, and always protect your identity.
It’s a good idea to have a camera (camera phone) to document the accident for your auto insurance claim. Staying safe is important while taking pictures, do not take pictures if it puts you or others at risk of injury. If the situation allows take pictures of:
- License plate(s) of the vehicles involved
- Damage to other vehicles involved
- Damage to your vehicle
- Landmarks, street signs or address markers to identify the location
- Damage to any property or objects at the scene
What Does a Business Owners Policy (BOP) Cover?
Your business is an extension of who you are and a reflection of all you’ve accomplished so don’t let things damage to the property or injury to others harm it. A BOP combines essential insurance coverage’s, and it also allows for the flexibility to purchase optional, additional coverage to help protect your assets so you can concentrate on what matters most to you, running your business.
The BOP combines coverage for all major property and liability exposures into one package policy suitable for most small businesses. It can be compared to the same way that a homeowner’s insurance policy protects your home and personal belongings. BOP’s combine two of the most important coverage’s for small businesses: Business Liability and Property. This allows you to save money while also protecting your property and belongings.
- Property insurance for buildings and contents owned by the company. There are two different forms, standard and there is special which provides more comprehensive coverage.
- Business interruption insurance, which covers the loss of income resulting from a fire or other catastrophe that disrupts the operation of the business. It can also include the extra expense of operating out of a temporary location.
- Liability protection, which covers your company’s legal responsibility for the harm it may cause to others. This harm is a result of things that you and your employees do or fail to do in your business operations that may cause bodily injury or property damage due to defective products, faulty installations and errors in services provided.
How to Reduce Workers’ Compensation Premiums
By taking simple steps to reduce injuries in the workplace, you can reduce and control your workers compensation costs. Workers compensation premiums are calculated based off your Experience Modification Factor or Mod. This formula compares your company’s actual losses to your expected losses by industry type. It includes factors that account for company size, unexpected large losses and the difference between loss frequency and loss severity, to achieve a balance between fairness and accountability. To control your Mod develop a sound safety program, return to work program (for more information and tips on return to work programs see our blog about Return to Work Programs), and proper prevention procedure to reduce loss frequency. The most effective way to reduce workers compensation premiums is having a safe work environment and a proactive safety program to reduce losses. Some other tips include:
- Train Employees – regularly on the safe and correct use of equipment
- Safety Manuals - are created and distributed to all employees
- Return to Work- the sooner the better, but with modified or alternate work
Learn how to increase the safety for your employees while decreasing your premium costs. Download our free Reducing Premiums Workers’ Compensation Tip Sheet today!
Tips for Property Owners:
Property owners can often overlook the potential for losses to or on their property, but it is something that needs to be considered. When a property owner understands the risks, they can be managed better. Some scenarios to consider include:
- Fire- A grease fire starts in a restaurant in your building and spreads damaging tenant’s contents.
- Third-party injury or illness- A patron slips and falls in the parking lot, spraining her ankle.
- Vacancy- Your unoccupied building is vandalized, and there is theft of stored equipment.
- Natural perils- A tornado sweeps through town, damaging your building and your tenant’s goods.
How can you reduce your risk?
A well designed lease agreement can assist in transferring responsibility for payment due to bodily injury of property damage to the legally responsible party. When evaluating your current lease or other formal contract, check to ensure your agreement includes these:
- Drafted by knowledgeable counsel and reviewed by your attorney signed by all tenants
- Authorizes you to develop, change and enforce rules and regulations for the premises
- Clearly defines which areas you control and which tenants controls
- Contains provisions regarding use of hazardous substances, dispensing of liquor and other activities that increase the risk of loss
- Defines the maintenance obligations of all parties while specifying the scope of the operations and the steps you will take if the tenant defaults on these obligations
- Some property owners require their tenants to hold a Renters Insurance policy
While it is your duty as the property owner to live up to your obligations, it is also smart to make sure your tenants take responsibility for their actions and premises upkeep. By having a clear cut, easy to understand legal binding lease or contract, everyone understands what is expected of them and you at the property you own and who is responsible in the event of a loss.
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