Friday, April 12, 2013

5 ways to prepare your business for tornado season

Peak tornado season runs from mid-spring through early summer and, if a tornado strikes near your business, you need to react quickly. That’s why it’s crucial to develop a severe weather plan and safe areas for your employees. Follow these steps to get your company and employees ready for storm season:

1. Determine how much space you’ll require. 
You should have enough safe areas to fit all employees and any guests who may be in the building at the time of a tornado. Use the following guidelines from FEMA for how much space you need:

  •  Occupants (standing and seated): 5 square feet per person

  •  Wheelchair users: 10 square feet per person

2. Walk through your building to identify the safest areas
. The basement typically is best. If your building doesn’t have a basement, select an area on the lowest level. Ideally, this space should be a small interior room or corridor. Avoid areas with windows and rooms with high ceilings or outside walls — these are more likely to be damaged during a storm.

3. Assess the exterior of the building
. Look for trees, poles, and other items that could fall or hit the building. Don’t choose safe areas near these hazards.

4. Hold tornado drills often
. Employees in all parts of the building should know where to go and practice the paths to get there.

5. Monitor the weather
. A tornado watch means conditions are right for a tornado and there is a high probability of one in the surrounding area. A tornado warning means a tornado has been sighted in your county, or one is moving toward your area. It also could signify that weather radar indicates a high probability of a tornado.

Someone in your building should have access to a weather radio to listen for severe weather alerts. They also should monitor local radar information if a watch or warning has been issued and provide alerts and/or directions to employees.

For more information, visit or

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Tips to make sure your bird is fully cooked

“My mother is such a lousy cook that Thanksgiving at her house is a time of sorrow.” – Comedian, Rita Rudner

Yup, the pressure is truly on for cooks of a Thanksgiving feast. Guests might overlook the poorly executed sweet potatoes. They might even hold off on panning the over-seasoned, soggy stuffing.

But cook that bird wrong and your dinner table will deflate faster than the Snoopy balloon after the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. However, with some careful planning and following of the tips below, you’ll ensure your bird is safely roasted.

•  First things first. Make sure your turkey is thawed before cooking. If thawing in a refrigerator, allow 24 hours for each 4 to 5 pounds. That means a 12- to 16-pound bird will need three to four days to completely thaw.

•  Heat it up. Set your oven temperature for 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

•  165 is the target. Use a meat thermometer to remove any guesswork. The turkey needs to reach an internal temperature of 165 degrees, which means a cook time of roughly three to four hours for a 12- to 16-pound bird.

•  Leave it unstuffed. While many stuff their birds, it’s recommended that stuffing be cooked in a separate casserole dish. If you do stuff the turkey, it will require additional cooking time. 

•  Know your variables. Among the variables that can impact cook times are the accuracy of the oven; whether the bird is stuffed or not; if the cook pan is dark or shiny (dark roasting pans cook faster). An oven-cooking bag also can accelerate the cook time.

For additional safety tips about cooking your Thanksgiving turkey, download a PDF from the U.S. Department of Agriculture here.

Check out more at Secura website 

Friday, October 26, 2012

NSC 2012: Preventing Serious Injuries and Fatalities

If occupational injury rates are on a downward trend, that’s good news, right? Well, yes and no – while minor and less severe injuries may be on the decline, serious and fatal injuries are not following suit. According to Colin Duncan, CEO of BST, a company that helps organizations improve their workplace safety performance, EHS professionals must start looking at fatalities and serious injuries differently.
“When we see a statistic that workplace fatalities are not going down at the rate that injuries are, we need to understand why,” Duncan said during the Oct. 23 occupational keynote at the National Safety Council (NSC) Congress and Expo in Orlando, Fla. “We need to accept that the things that lead to serious injuries and fatalities are not necessarily the same things we’ll see for non-serious injuries and fatalities.”
Last year, BST released a white paper suggesting that reducing minor injuries and illnesses may not translate to a reduced potential for fatalities or serious injuries. Duncan followed up on that research during his presentation at NSC, where he encouraged EHS professionals to focus the underlying causes and influencing factors that specifically surround serious incidents and fatalities.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Work Comp Claims Reporting Made Easy

Taking the proper steps in your organization to ensure prompt reporting of all workers compensation claims is essential to helping control your claim costs. As an employer, there are several things you can do to ensure documentation and reporting of a claim goes smoothly.
Reporting requirements
The Division of Workers' Compensation requires that "an employer or its insurer report the injury, other than an injury that requires immediate first aid and no further medical treatment or lost time from work, to them within 30 days after knowledge of the injury. Employers have to report all injuries to their insurance carrier within five days of the date of injury or within five days of the date on which the injury was reported to the employer by the employee, whichever is later."
Missouri Employers Mutual encourages our policyholders to report all injuries, even if it only required immediate first aid. Reporting minor injuries allows for two benefits. First, when a claim is reported to us, we report it to the Division of Workers’ Compensation which establishes the beginning of the statute of limitations on the claim. Second, if the minor injury ends up requiring further medical treatment or lost time becomes a factor, the claim is already in the system and can be assigned quickly to a claims representative for handling.
Train management and staff on claim documentationThe proper documentation makes all the difference in successfully reporting a claim. Train your supervisors and managers about what documentation is needed when an employee reports a work-related injury. Start the process with basic but crucial questions including, were there any witnesses? If so, have the witnesses document exactly what they saw or heard and have them sign their statement. It is also very important to have the injured employee recount, in their own words, exactly what occurred and have them sign the document.
Documentation makes it easy to gather incident information including the date and time the injury occurred, where and how it occurred, the severity of the injury, and body part(s) injured.
Review personnel files annuallyAlong with the incident details, you will also be required to report some personal information on the injured employee. The information is required, so it is very important to keep all of your personnel files up to date. When reviewing personnel files you should ask yourself, do you have the employee's legal name, date of birth, social security number and home address? If you do not require employees to update their information when they move, marry, etc., you may not have up-to-date records. The employee’s hire date is also important for reporting and should prompt you to verify if they have had a recent promotion that resulted in a job title or salary change. If your company does not have a formal process for keeping personnel records up-to-date, we suggest that you implement one.
Although a lot of information is needed for reporting a claim, the process doesn’t have to be complicated.  Put an injury reporting procedure in place that includes documentation of all work-related injuries (both major and minor), training supervisors and managers on the documentation and reporting requirements, and keeping your personnel files updated. For more information about reporting and managing injuries, check out the injury management tutorial on WorkSAFE Center and our prompt reporting video on YouTube.
Give one of our Agents a call 800-392-0423 or click here to email us.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Seven tips to prevent backing accidents in company vehicles

Thursday, July 19, 2012  
No matter what industry you work in, driving a company vehicle includes risk — from the possible cost of property damage to the potential for lawsuits.
And those risks multiply when you need to back up a vehicle. Whether you’re an employer or a driver, it’s important to be trained in proper backing.
Follow these tips to prevent vehicle backing accidents: 

•  Know your blind spots. The larger the vehicle, the larger the blind spot. Ask an employee to stand directly behind a parked vehicle with a safety cone. Have him or her walk back from the vehicle, set down the cone when it becomes visible to the driver, and measure the distance of the blind spot. 

•  Walk around the entire vehicle, observing the proximity of structures, other cars, pedestrians, or overhanging wires. Map it out in your head before you get behind the wheel. 

•  Avoid backups when possible. In a parking lot, pull through to the space ahead of you; don’t leave room for someone to park in front of your vehicle. If possible, park in the street rather than a driveway. 

•  Don’t park in alleys where you can’t drive through. Backing out of an alley into a busy street is dangerous for everyone. If you must park in the alley, back in (if local regulations allow it). 

•  Use a spotter for difficult situations. Communicate with hand signals that the driver and spotter understand. This is important for situations where children are present, such as schools, play areas, and residential jobsites. Children are unpredictable and easily hidden in your blind spots. 

•  Get proper rest. Fatigue and lack of rest are major contributors to fleet accidents. Make sure drivers are well rested and alert when driving. 

•  Use technology with caution. Back-up alarms warn bystanders when a vehicle is in reverse. Back-up sonar warns a driver when an object is in the reverse path, and closed-circuit mini TV cameras give a clear view of the path. However, these tools can fail if the driver or surrounding pedestrians ignore or fail to use these devices properly.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Teens and Summer Employment: Manage the Risks

eens and Summer Employment: Manage the Risks

As the school year comes to a close, many employers will hire teenagers for summer jobs. Although the number of employed teenagers dropped drastically since 2008, those numbers are slowly rising again. In 2011, the number of youths (16 to 24 years old) employed in the United States was 18.6 million—an increase of 1.7 million from 2010 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Hiring teens can prove to be very beneficial for employers, teens and the community. With the trend on the rise, it is a great time to revisit the best ways to manage your risk.  
Higher injury ratesInjury rates are higher among teenagers. Statistics for 2011 shows that the non-fatal injury rate for employees 15 to 17 years old was double the injury rate for employees 25 and older. The higher injury rate can be attributed to a lack of experience and an under-appreciation for workplace hazards. The lack of work experience disqualifies most teenagers from more technical jobs, so they accept positions that are more hazardous by nature or involve manual labor which is inherently more risky. According to the National Consumer League, the five most dangerous jobs for teenagers last summer were:
  • Agriculture—harvesting crops and using machinery
  • Construction and height work
  • Driver/Operator—forklifts, tractors, ATVs
  • Outside labor—landscaping, grounds keeping and lawn service
  • Sales crews—traveling
Managing the riskOSHA (the Occupational Safety and Health Administration) suggests following these simple steps to prevent injuries to working teens:
  • Give clear instructions and safety precautions to take.
  • Ask for your instructions to be repeated and give an opportunity for questions.
  • Demonstrate how to perform tasks.
  • Observe tasks being performed and correct any mistakes.
  • Demonstrate how to use safety equipment.
  • Prepare teens for emergencies.
  • Ask if there are any additional questions.
Taking these simple steps can drastically reduce risk of injury while encouraging safe working habits for all employees.

  • 06/04/2012
  • Written by Brad Williamson
    Claims, MEM
  • Claims Management, Global

Friday, June 1, 2012

Predicting Comfort of Flame Resistant Clothing

May 30, 2012 11:24 AM, Scott Margolin, Technical Director, Westex.

Comfort has rapidly become a key factor in the selection of flame resistant (FR) and arc-rated (AR) protective clothing In fact, recent research shows it is more important to wearers and specifiers than any single factor. As we move into the spring and summer, it seems timely to review what is known about comfort, and clear up several common misconceptions.

Read the rest over at EHS website at this link