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Risk Control Issues NewsBrief - September 2015

September is National Preparedness Month – are you ready?

National Preparedness Month is held each September and is designed to encourage Americans to take the necessary steps to prepare for emergencies in their homes, businesses and communities. This year’s theme is “Don’t Wait. Communicate. Make Your Emergency Plan Today.” Each week has a hazard-focused theme:

  • Week 1: Sept. 1-5 Flood
  • Week 2: Sept. 6-12 Wildfire
  • Week 3: Sept. 13-19 Hurricane
  • Week 4: Sept. 20-26 Power Outage

To help you prepare for potential natural disasters or manmade catastrophes, Risk Control has a “Protecting Your Business” web page. This page includes several topics, including how to assess hazardous conditions, pinpointing vulnerabilities and preparing for emergencies that could lead to injuries, property damage or business interruptions.

For additional information about business continuity, log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal at the top of the page and click on the Disaster Planning tab. Also, be sure to visit the National Preparedness page on Prepare and Prevent to view more tips to help you protect your business.

OSHA updates National Emphasis Program on amputations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued an updated National Emphasis Program (NEP) on Amputations. This directive updates the 2006 NEP on Amputations and includes policies and procedures to help identify and reduce machine and equipment hazards that are causing or likely to cause amputations. The NEP is targeted toward industries with high frequency of amputations.

According to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics data, manufacturing employers report that 2,000 workers suffered amputations in 2013. The rate of amputations in the manufacturing sector was more than twice as much (1.7 per 10,000 full-time employees) as that of all private industry (0.7). These serious injuries may be prevented by following basic safety precautions, including evaluating employee exposures during operations such as: clearing jams; cleaning, oiling or greasing machines or machine pans; and locking out machinery to prevent accidental start-up.

To view more Risk Control information about preventing these types of injuries, log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal at the top of this page and search “hand injuries” in the search function.

Don’t let your business get burned by wildfire

Wildfires can occur suddenly, and cause significant damage and disruption to the communities they affect. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS), a Travelers alliance, encourages business owners to take the time to prepare themselves and their employees for the potential effects of a wildfire by creating a business continuity plan. IBHS’ new toolkit especially for small business owners, based on IBHS’ original Open for Business® program, called OFB-EZ® (Open for Business-EZ), is a great place to start. This free toolkit is streamlined for businesses that may not have the time or resources to create an extensive disaster recovery plan.

The program – composed of eight modules – stresses business continuity preparedness practices, such as knowing your risks, how to contact your key suppliers and employees after a disaster, and planning for how to protect your data.

Learn more about OFB-EZ and download the free toolkit. Visit IBHS’ Wildfire web page for more information.

To view more Risk Control information about wildfire safety, log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal at the top of this page and search “wildfire” in the search function. You also can check out the Travelers Prepare and Prevent page on Wildfire Safety.

Protect businesses from hail damage

When it comes to choosing the right roof for your business in a hail-prone area, IBHS research found there is considerable variation in the impact resistance of different types of roof coverings. Lab tests and field observations indicate that most commercial roof coverings are not typically damaged by hail less than 1.25-inches in diameter; however, 3-tab asphalt shingles may be damaged by hail as small as 1 inch.

Extensive damage has also occurred to outdoor and roof-mounted equipment as a result of hail storms. Aging and weathering can accelerate the deterioration of non impact-rated skylights and make them become brittle, increasing their vulnerability to cracking, leakage, and shattering from hail. Read more from IBHS, including:

  • Understanding hail damage resistance ratings
  • Choosing the right roof covering
  • Select a hail impact-resistant roof for a new building or when re-roofing

Article from the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.

Get location specific alerts that warn you about the hail storms headed your way so you can be prepared and stay safer. Sign up for Travelers Weather Alerts.

To view more Risk Control information about hail protection, preparation, response and recovery, log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal at the top of this page and search “hail protection” in the search function. You also can check out the Travelers Prepare and Prevent page on Hailstorm Tips.

New report: the overlapping vulnerabilities for young immigrant workers in small construction firms

The American Society of Safety Engineers and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health are the initiators of an intervention effort to reach workers experiencing overlapping occupational safety and health (OSH) vulnerabilities in small construction businesses. This report focuses on three populations that research indicates are at increased risk for adverse work-related health outcomes—Hispanic immigrants (individuals born in Latin America who currently live in the United States), small business employees (firms with fewer than 20 employees), and young workers (25 years old and younger)—with a specific focus on implications for the construction industry. It explores how the combination of risk factors may result in overlapping vulnerabilities for workers such as young immigrants in small construction firms and discusses the implications for OSH professionals. Read the report.

For more information about young worker safety in construction, log in to the Risk Control Customer Portal at the top of this page and search “young worker” in the search function. For more information about Spanish resources for Hispanic workers in the construction industry, search “Hispanic” in the search function. You also can view all of our Spanish resources by clicking on the Advanced Search.

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