Posts made in June, 2016

Is Your Business Prepared for Hurricane Season?

Posted by on Jun 30, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Everyone thinks about their personal safety and homes during hurricane season but what about your business? As we all know, the best time to respond to a disaster is before it happens. By preparing ahead of time, you can help avoid disruption hurricane-related disruption of your business. Hurricane survival and recovery planning is sound business practice – and for some it’s the law! The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) recommends these five basic steps: Develop a Comprehensive Plan. An effective hurricane survival plan should be written down and reviewed annually. For many companies, an Emergency Action Plan (EAP) is required by OSHA, so hurricane planning can be considered as a part of the EAP planning and review each year. This plan should address policies and procedures for employee safety regarding hurricanes, business continuity and contingency plans in the face of damage to the business’s facilities, policies for dealing with employees, customers and vendors, etc. OSHA suggests that some of the key elements of an effective plan are: • Conditions that will activate the plan • Chain of command • Emergency functions and who will perform them • Specific evacuation procedures, including routes and exits • Procedures for accounting for personnel, customers and visitors • Equipment for personnel Determine procedures and individual crisis management responsibilities. Identify which personnel are required to be on-site in the days surrounding a hurricane, as well as which personnel are essential to business function, whether required on-site or not. Be sure to communicate areas of accountability and responsibility for key personnel and how to perform their emergency-response duties effectively. Coordinate with others. Understand the hurricane response plans of other businesses in your area as well as police, fire department, hospitals, and utility companies. It is also helpful to communicate with suppliers, shippers, and others with whom you regularly do business. Prepare employees. Communicate your hurricane plan with your all personnel; ensure understanding of roles, responsibilities and expectations for every employee. Review emergency plans annually. Assess changes in your business or to the community that may affect your hurricane response plan and make the necessary changes each year. Visit FEMA.gov or OSHA.gov for planning tools and additional information on hurricane preparedness...

Read More

Summer Work Safety Tips for the Outdoor Worker

Posted by on Jun 24, 2016 in News | 0 comments

It’s so important to take precautions as an outdoor worker during the summer months against sun and heat exposure and bug bites. We are always on the look out to help recommend safer conditions for your company and employees. Here are a few summer safety tips to help you maintain a productive and safe work environment this summer: Safety Under the Sun: Cover up. Wear lightweight, tightly woven clothing that you can’t see through Use sunscreen. A sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 blocks 93 percent of UV rays. Be sure to follow application directions Wear a hat. It should protect your neck, ears, forehead, nose and scalp Wear UV-absorbent shades. Sunglasses should block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB radiation. Before you buy, read the product label Beware of the Heat Factor: During the summer months, the combination of heat and humidity – especially in Houston – can be a serious health threat. Make sure to: Drink plenty of water before you get thirsty Wear light, loose-fitting, breathable clothing such as dry-fit material Eat smaller meals before work activity Skip the caffeine and soda; drink water instead Be aware that equipment such as respirators or work suits can increase heat stress Bug and Tick Safety: Take the following precautions to protect yourself from ticks if you work in tall grass or wooded areas. Wear light-colored clothing to see ticks more easily Wear long sleeves and long pants Tuck pant legs into socks or boots Wear high boots or closed shoes that cover your feet completely Wear a hat Use tick repellants, but not on your face Wash and dry your work clothes at high temperatures Examine your body for ticks after work. Remove any attached ticks promptly with a tweezers. In some regions, ticks may transmit Lyme disease. If you get bit and develop a rash, see your doctor. To those who are allergic or get stung multiple times, bee, hornet, yellow jacket and wasp stings can be dangerous. Wear bug repellant Avoid wearing heavy perfumes or scented lotions Check before drinking from cups, bottles or cans. Stinging insects are attracted to sweet drinks You can help mitigate risk at your workplace by following these summer safety...

Read More

Top 5 Cyber Attack Risks for Your Business

Posted by on Jun 9, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Cyber attacks continue to grow, with cyber thieves in pursuit of personally identifiable data that can be sold on the black market. According to the 2015 Symantec Internet Security Threat report, the past year saw a 23% increase in the number of data breaches. Here are some of the top cyber risks and what they may mean for your business, regardless of size: Cyber Risk #1: Human Error: Lost and Stolen Laptops and Smartphones Cyber Risk #2: Hacker Cyber Risk #3: Spear Phishing: Social Engineering Targeted at Employees Cyber Risk #4: Extortion Cyber Risk #5: Hacktivism: Social and Political “Hactivists” That’s why we offer extensive information security breach coverage with a variety of limit options and price points. CyberFirst Essentials® — Small Business insurance offers coverage for a variety of cyber security breach claims and lawsuits. Some of the most common ways an information security breach can occur within a small business include: Online hacking and theft of confidential information such as credit cards or social security numbers, medical or healthcare information, etc. Accidental loss or sharing of personal information The loss or theft of paper records from an office location CyberFirst Essentials — Small Business insurance offers coverage for necessary expenses including breach notification, credit card monitoring services, costs to retain a public relations consultant, and more. Call us today for details or a free...

Read More