Disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes can strike with little or no warning. To assure that you and your family are prepared, there’s no time like the present to create emergency kits: one for use if you need to evacuate your home and one for use if you get trapped in your home for several days. Get the entire family involved in creating these emergency kits so that kids understand the importance of being prepared.
To help you evacuate quickly, keep the following items in an emergency backpack so you can grab it and go:
• Gallon of water per family member and nonperishable foods
• Can opener, plastic cups and eating utensils
• Flashlight and extra batteries
• Battery-operated radio
• Change of clothing for each family member
• Contact information for your family and a friend out of state
• First aid kit
• Personal identification cards for each family member
• Personal hygiene items and hand sanitizer
• Medications that are need regularly
Just as important as an evacuation kits, sequester kits are filled with important items necessary when you cannot leave your home for several days due to an emergency. Place the following items in an area of your home to be ready for an emergency:
• Three gallons of water per family member
• Canned food for at least three days and can opener
• Pet foods and supplies for three days
• Toilet paper
• Extra personal hygiene items
• Non-scented bleach
• Books, games and other forms of entertainment
• Paper and pencils
• Battery-operated radio and television
• First aid kit
Being prepared eliminates some of the panic that accompanies an emergency. By having these kits in place, you and your family can focus on remaining safe during a disaster and keeping each other calm.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the cases of Ebola infections in the United States have understandably upset and frightened many people. Ebola is extremely infectious if contracted and has a high mortality rate—but according to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), Ebola does not pose a threat to most workers in the United States.
However, some industries may be more likely to encounter Ebola than others, such as health care, airline services and mortuary care. According to OSHA, workers who interact with people, animals, goods and equipment arriving from foreign countries with current Ebola outbreaks are the most at risk for contracting Ebola.
As an employer, you always want to keep your workers safe from illness and injury. OSHA has recently released guidelines on cleaning and decontaminating Ebola on surfaces for workers and employers in non-health care/non-laboratory settings. The guidelines address cleaning and disinfection, disinfectants for Ebola, proper waste disposal and appropriate respiratory protection. The guidelines also describe the appropriate personal protective equipment employers need to select in order to protect workers from exposure, which include:
• Nitrile gloves (consider using double-gloves for additional protection)
• Fluid-resistant or fluid-impermeable gowns or coveralls
• Goggles or face shields
• Facemasks that cover the nose and mouth
• Sleeve, leg and shoe coverings
• Additional respiratory protection such as a respirator, if necessary
You can find OSHA’s fact sheet at www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA_FS-3756.pdf or visit OSHA’s Ebola Safety and Health Topics page at www.osha.gov/SLTC/ebola/index.html to learn more.
Filed under: Safety
— Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 6:36 pm
Predictive analytics (PA), or using data and other analytics to predict future events, is gaining popularity among employers because the information can be used to reduce the risk of on-the-job death, injury and disease.
If injuries can be accurately predicted, they can be successfully prevented. If PA for your industry shows a higher occurrence of employee injuries during second shift work, you may want to check in with your employees working those hours, ensure that they understand all safety procedures and retrain them if necessary.
PA can be helpful in improving safety and health, but there are some barriers that can weaken its effectiveness. Some barriers include:
- Limited knowledge or skills of employer or employees
- Negative attitude of employer or employees towards the use of PA or changes in operations
- Inability to interpret the data
- Lack of motivation to apply data to make improvements
- Limited or no access to data relevant to your industry or specific worksite
If you are interested in using analytics to help improve your safety efforts, let us provide you with a personalized copy of the 2014 OSHA Benchmarking Report, which uses data analytics to identify the top risk factors affecting your industry segment.
Cyber attacks from hackers and other external sources get a lot of media attention. However, the possibility of an attack from within the company is just as real, and you may not be covered for the damages.
Cyber liability policies are relatively new and are constantly evolving to meet new and changing threats. Policies may have a gap in coverage when the cyber attack is internal rather than external, meaning you would not be covered for any subsequent damages. Some policies may outright exclude coverage for an attack stemming from unauthorized use or access of data by any employee, and some may have an exclusion just for a specific group of insiders.
It is important to be sure you are completely covered in the event of a cyber attack, whether the attacker is an inside or outside source. Consult with your broker at Warren G. Bender Co. to go over your policy and look for any gaps in your coverage