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Have a Safe & Happy Halloween!

HR Strategies works every day to keep our clients OSHA compliant, because we believe that safety in the workplace is of the utmost importance. Today, we want to remind you that safety should always come first, whether you are at work or at home. Tomorrow night, as kids across America take to the streets to collect candy, HR Strategies wants to remind you to talk to your kids about Halloween Night Safety. FedEx and Safe Kids Worldwide have created an excellent infographic with tips on how to stay safe this Halloween! Enjoy!

fedex_halloween_infographic_v9Click on the info graphic to learn more!

Tuesday Tip – Tornado Safety

No place and no one is safe from a tornado, regardless of any tornado safety myths you may have heard! Do you know when to take action?

Follow these Steps:

  1. When you first become aware of the threat of severe weather, you should tune into a local radio station, weather channel, etc. for any local watches or warnings.
  2. Once a warning is issued, go to an enclosed, windowless area in the center of the building—the lowest point of the office space away from windows and doors.
  3. Once you have reached this area, you should crouch low, with your head down, and use your arms to protect the back of your head from flying debris.
  4. Flying debris from tornadoes causes the most deaths and injuries so stay in this position until the warning has passed.

***Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that advance warning is not possible. Remain alert for signs of an approaching tornado.***

Warning Signs of a Tornado

  1. Strong persistent rotation in the cloud base.
  2. Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base.
  3. Hail or heavy rain followed by either dead calm or fast, intense wind shift.
  4. Loud, continuous roar or rumble, which doesn’t fade like thunder.

Always take Severe Weather seriously. Please make sure that you are aware of what to do, regardless of where you are, in cases of severe weather.

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Tuesday Tip – Hurricane Preparedness

Beginning June 1st and ending November 30th, it is important to recognize that while not all of us are in danger of a direct hit by a hurricane, we are all prone to heavy rains, storms, and flooding.

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If your business is on or near the coast, make sure you get familiar with the following hurricane safety tips from the White House:

Before:

To prepare for a hurricane, you should take the following measures:

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Learn community hurricane evacuation routes and how to find higher ground. Determine where you would go and how you would get there if you needed to evacuate.
  • Cover all of your home’s windows. Permanent storm shutters offer the best protection for windows. A second option is to board up windows with 5/8” marine plywood, cut to fit and ready to install. Tape does not prevent windows from breaking.
  • Install straps or additional clips to securely fasten your roof to the frame structure. This will reduce roof damage.
  • Plan to bring in all outdoor furniture, decorations, garbage cans and anything else that is not tied down.
  • If in a high-rise building, be prepared to take shelter on or below the 10th floor.

During:

If a hurricane is likely in your area, you should:

  • Listen to the radio or TV for information.
  • Secure your home, close storm shutters and secure outdoor objects or bring them indoors.
  • Turn off utilities if instructed to do so. Otherwise, turn the refrigerator thermostat to its coldest setting and keep its doors closed.
  • Ensure a supply of water for sanitary purpose such as cleaning and flushing toilets. Fill the bathtub and other larger containers with water.
  • Find out how to keep food safe during and after and emergency.

You should evacuate under the following conditions:

  • If you are directed by local authorities to do so. Be sure to follow their instructions.
  • If you live in a mobile home or temporary structure – such shelter are particularly hazardous during hurricane no matter how well fastened to the ground.
  • If you live in a high-rise building – hurricane winds are stronger at higher elevations.
  • If you live on the coast, on a floodplain, near a river, or on an island waterway.

Read more about evacuating yourself and your family. If you are unable to evacuate, go to your wind-safe room. If you do not have one, follow these guidelines:

  • Stay indoors during the hurricane and away from windows and glass doors.
  • Close all interior doors – secure and brace external doors.
  • Keep curtains and blinds closed. Do not be fooled if there is a lull; it could be the eye of the storm – winds will pick up again.
  • Take refuge in a small interior room, closet or hallway on the lowest level.
  • Lie on the floor under a table or another sturdy object.
  • Avoid elevators.

After:

  • Continue listening to a NOAA Weather Radio or the local news for the latest updates.
  • Stay alert for extended rainfall and subsequent flooding even after the hurricane or tropical storm has ended.
  • If you have become separated from your family, use your family communications plan or contact the FEMA National Emergency Family Registry and Locator System (NEFRLS) or the American Red Cross.
  • If you evacuated, return home only when officials say it is safe.
  • If you cannot return home and have immediate housing needs. Text SHELTER+ your ZIP code to 43362 (4FEMA) to find the nearest shelter in your area (example: shelter 12345).
  • Drive only if necessary and avoid flooded roads and washed out bridges. Stay off the streets. If you must go out watch for fallen objects; downed electrical wires; and weakened walls, bridges, roads, and sidewalks.
  • Keep away from loose or dangling power lines and report them immediately to the power company.
  • Walk carefully around the outside your home and check for loose power lines, gas leaks and structural damage before entering.
  • Stay out of any building if you smell gas, floodwaters remain around the building or your home was damaged by fire and the authorities have not declared it safe.
  • Use the telephone only for emergency calls.
  • NEVER use a generator inside homes, garages, crawlspaces, sheds, or similar areas, even when using fans or opening doors and windows for ventilation. Deadly levels of carbon monoxide can quickly build up in these areas and can linger for hours, even after the generator has shut off.

HR Strategies Assists in OSHA Compliance and Reduction of Penalties

Challenges:

HR Strategies provides aid and counsel on a variety of government regulatory compliance issues. One of the biggest issues which HR Strategies aids client owners in is OSHA compliance. Recently, a client owner received an “on site” visit from two OSHA inspectors regarding a complaint reported to their office.  Upon completion of the “on site” inspection, which included one-on-one interviews with selected personnel, a meeting was conducted to review the findings and closing remarks with the client. It became apparent the client was in violation of a number of serious OSHA standards; and that a citation and penalties would be forth coming.

Solution:

HR Strategies was notified immediately by the client at the time of the “on site” visit, and was able to meet with the inspectors and client, and was also able to attend the review meeting on the findings and closing remarks. Upon receipt of the citation letter, HR Strategies took a pro-active approach to address the citations and provide the necessary training and documentation in a timely manner in order to potentially reduce the penalties that were identified. HR Strategies was able to present the “corrective action” items in an informal conference with the OSHA area director.

Results:

The client was very appreciative of the timely and thorough action taken by HR Strategies, including the back-up of having a professional HR team present at meetings with them, and the training provided to allow them to be in compliance going forward. The meeting was favorable, resulting in the reduction of the penalties by half the original amount.

Read Full Post Here.

HR Strategies Provides Swift Assistance in Workers’ Compensation Injury

Challenges:

HR Strategies offers a variety of human resource solutions to their clients.  One of the most sought after solutions by clients is Workers’ Compensation administration. Through Workers’ Compensation administration, HR Strategies is able to aid their clients with not only procurement and management, but also with claims administration among other facets of WC.  The wide range of WC administration services recently provided a client peace of mind and ease in handling an injury.  HR Strategies’ client had an employee that fell at work on a Saturday, resulting in multiple injuries.  In pain, the employee became frustrated wondering where he could go for treatment without having to wait in an emergency room for hours, and without having to pay for the treatment out of pocket since he did not have the insurance carrier information with him. In addition to the employees pain and fret over out of pocket expenses, the employee was concerned that if he was not able to see a doctor that day that he would end up missing time from work and future wages.

Solution:

The supervisor remembered that as a client of HR Strategies he had been given a card, which he kept in his wallet, instructing him on what to do in case of an injury.  As the card instructed, he called the 24- hour claims reporting number and was able to make contact with HR Strategies to assist with the claim.  The injured employee was directed to an Urgent Care facility near his work and was able to receive prompt attention for his injuries.  HR Strategies was available to authorize the visit and provide the office with carrier information; as well as to verify the injury for the pharmacy to process the prescriptions.

Results:

By the client allowing HR Strategies to perform their workers’ compensation administrative needs and claims management, an injured employee was able to receive prompt medical attention and return to work the next business day. Not only did this benefit the employee, with no actual time lost from work; but also the employer as the overall cost of the claim was minimal and there was no loss in productivity or profit.

Read the whole case study here.

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