Teenagers can be a valuable asset to your company. In addition to their youthful energy, teens bring their fresh perspectives and financial incentives to the table. Before you hire teens, consider these and other benefits that help you decide if teen employees are a good fit for your company.
Meet Seasonal Demand
When is your company’s busy season? Hire teens to help carry the load. They’re often eager to make extra money and can work flexible hours as they fill in where you need them and help you meet deadlines.
Gain a Tax Credit
Depending on where you live, you might qualify for a tax credit because you hire teens. You also may receive a tax break if you hire your teenage children to work for you.
Pay Fewer Benefits
Many eager teens willingly work for lower pay and fewer benefits than older employees, making them financially attractive for your company. You can even follow a Labor Department loophole that allows companies to pay workers under 20 years of age a subminimum wage of $4.25 an hour for the first 90 consecutive days of their employment.
Follow Teen Employment Law
Despite the financial savings, hiring teens does require you to follow protective federal and state laws. Check with your attorney for the details, but in general:
- Teens must be older than 14 to work in non-agricultural jobs.
- Teens who are 14 or 15 must work less than three hours a day, no more than 18 hours a week and no later than 7 PM while school is in session. In the summer months and on school holidays, they may work eight hours a day, 40 hours a week and no later than 9 PM.
- Teens who are 16 or 17 may work unlimited hours at a non-hazardous job.
Your company can benefit from teen employees. Simply follow the laws and enjoy the benefits of your young hires.
Spring cleaning does more than remove dirt and grime left over from winter. It also protects your house and reduces maintenance costs. So, try four spring cleaning tips this season as you cleanse your home.
1. Wash walls, windows and baseboards.
Often overlooked during weekly cleaning, the walls, windows and baseboards of your home harbor plenty of dirt and dust. Wash them at least once a year to ensure they look nice and to protect their finish.
*Move the furniture away from the walls, and wipe down the walls with a slightly damp cloth or magic eraser.
*The baseboards are also easy to wash off with a damp cloth. A toothbrush reaches into all the crevices.
*Use vinegar on the windows instead of glass cleaner to cut through accumulated dirt and prevent streaks.
2. Scrub the carpet.
Accumulated dirt, pet dander and odors can quickly ruin your carpets. Instead of merely running the vacuum each week, deep clean the carpets at least once a year. You can easily rent a carpet cleaner and do the job yourself or hire a professional cleaner as you prolong the life of your floors.
3. Care for furniture.
Modern or antique, your furniture will last longer when it’s free from dirt. Take time this spring to wipe off each piece from top to bottom. Use a soft cloth on wood to prevent scratches, and remember to spot treat dirty upholstery, flip the cushions and repair any tears or holes in the fabric.
4. Reduce clutter.
In addition to attracting pests and rodents, clutter reduces your ability to exit your home in an emergency. Commit to tossing or donating clutter like piles of books, excess furniture or anything you haven’t used in six months. Your home will thank you.
With these four spring cleaning tips, you’re able to reduce maintenance costs over time. So, look forward to protecting your home this season.
Agricultural workers are at a serious risk of injury or death when installing, climbing into, fumigating, entering, filling or emptying a silo. Because of the nature of the conditions present, workers may be exposed to hazards such as a lack of oxygen, toxic gases and grain entrapment.
To reduce worker risk of injury, properly train workers and remind them frequently of the following safety recommendations:
- Avoid entering a silo unless it is absolutely necessary.
- Complete tasks outside of the silo whenever possible.
- Have a coworker close by in case of an emergency.
- Never smoke or cause sparks near a silo, especially if the air humidity is low.
- Wear respiratory protection when appropriate.
- Stand at a safe distance when filling or emptying a silo.
- Use an approved fall restraint system and harness when climbing a silo.
- Ventilate a fumigating silo before entering.
- Conduct regular safety inspections of silos.
For more farm and ranch safety tips, contact Scurich Insurance today.
Continuity is critical in business, and there are few things more important than continuous revenue and cash flow, particularly for small to medium-sized organizations. In fact, just one brief business interruption can be incredibly costly for an organization, often leading to serious reputational damages or long-term closures.
That’s where business interruption insurance can help. This form of coverage provides protection against a variety of common interruptions, including natural disasters, equipment damage and vandalism.
Claims Scenario: You’re Fired
The company: A small, family-owned bagel shop.
The challenge: Following a recent fire, a bagel shop experienced major property damage. Not only were substantial repairs needed, the company lost crucial baking equipment.
Repairs for the damaged property and equipment were expected to take three months – a significant amount of lost time and revenue.
Business interruption insurance in action: Following a covered disruption, business interruption insurance can help businesses of all sizes stay afloat and recover quickly. This is because business interruption insurance can reimburse income organizations would have received had they been able to operate.
This was particularly important for the bagel shop, as paying for costly repairs and not having a steady flow of income could have bankrupted the business. With the right policy, organizations can take the necessary steps to get back up and running, all without sacrificing day-to-day income.
Claims Scenario: Relocation, Relocation, Relocation
The company: A mid-sized auto dealership.
The challenge: After a night of severe flooding, a number of area businesses experienced substantial water damage. Of these businesses, an auto dealership was hit the hardest, losing the majority of its inventory.
In addition, because the lot was flooded, the dealership had to move its operations to a new location. This, in turn, meant the dealership had to sign a new lease and cover steep moving expenses.
Business interruption insurance in action: In the face of a disaster or other disruptions, organizations may be forced to move locations in order to remain open. Without the proper policy, organizations would have to pay for these costs out of pocket.
Thankfully, business interruption insurance can reimburse organizations for all of the costs associated with a move.
Benefits of Business Interruption Insurance
- Revenue – In the event of a disruption, business interruption insurance provides coverage for income your business would have earned during a closure period if it had been operating normally.
- Rent or lease payments – Even if your premises are unusable following a disaster or other event, many leases still require that you make payments. Business interruption insurance allows you to continue making rent or lease payments, even while your business is not operating.
- Relocation – In the event that your primary location is unusable following a disaster or other event, you will likely have to relocate in order to remain open and continue generating revenue. Business interruption insurance can cover the expenses of moving your business to a temporary location and may include both moving and rent costs.
- Employee wages – If you are unable to operate, it is likely you will not be able to continue paying employees. Business interruption insurance can help you avoid losing staff while you’re closed by ensuring that you make payroll.
- Loan payments – If you have an outstanding loan, you will need to continue to make payments even if your business isn’t fully operational. Business interruption insurance will ensure you never miss a payment until you are fully operational again.
More than 14 people a day died while doing their jobs in 2016, highlighting the need for safety and procedural enhancements at their workplaces. Employers are starting to embrace new technology, such as the following, in an effort to improve worker safety:
- Exoskeletons—Workers can wear exoskeletons to transfer weight from repetitive tasks and use less energy when moving objects. The result is a reduced risk of injuries as well as increased strength, dexterity and productivity.
- Virtual reality—This technology replicates physical environments and presents training opportunities for employees. It also allows workers to simulate hazardous tasks and identify safety needs. More benefits are expected as technology matures.
- Wearables—Wearable devices offer real-time monitoring of workers’ vital signs and can alert workers to the presence of environmental dangers. They can also cut health care costs by reducing health risks such as respiratory problems, cancer, dermatitis and hearing damage. An added bonus to employers is that wearables can provide an idea of what may have caused an employee’s injury before filing a workers’ compensation claim.
- Hand-held mobile devices—Although the use of mobile devices can be a distraction and safety liability, there are useful apps that detect safety hazards, log safety incidents, track OSHA requirements and even determine when the heat index is too high on job sites. The key to improving worker safety with hand-held mobile devices is using them responsibly.
- Drones—Sending drones into high-hazard areas instead of humans helps safely assess damage and plan emergency response.
Incorporating data science
Aside from new devices, data science has enabled companies to analyze photos from job sites and then scan them for safety hazards, using an algorithm that correlates those images with their accident records.
Although the technology still needs some fine-tuning, companies can use such algorithms to rate project risks. As a result, the technology could prove extremely helpful in detecting elevated threats and then intervening with safety briefings.
TIME TO GET ON THE CLOUD
By using the cloud, companies have been able to completely overhaul the way they interact with each other and with their workers. In a nutshell, the cloud consists of multiple networks of servers that allow apps to be accessed anywhere through the internet instead of confined to a particular computer or network.
Businesses that have projects and crews in multiple locations especially appreciate the benefits of the cloud, since it is efficient and allows for the seamless transfer of information and monitoring of workers’ safety.
SUCCESSFULLY DEPLOYING NEW TECHNOLOGY
New technology can be a waste of money if you don’t deploy it properly. It’s easy to get caught up in the wow factor of technology and lose sight of what you’re hoping it will improve. Without a plan in place for deployment, you may be wasting your investment.
Before seeking out new technology, consider ways to improve your processes. After improving your processes, you can identify gaps that new technology can address. No amount of technology will help if your processes are what need to be fixed.
Starting a business is rewarding, but it’s also expensive. In your haste to pursue your passion or make a profit, you may decide to forgo insurance. However, you need at least basic coverage as you protect your assets and help your new company succeed. Purchase the right insurance products for your startup, and invest in your business and yourself.
General Liability Insurance
Although your business is brand new, you could be sued. Someone may suffer an injury while visiting your property or while using a product you sell. Or you could be sued for libel or slander. General liability covers your financial responsibility from a lawsuit, claim or settlement. This protective coverage is one of the most important insurance policies you can buy.
Commercial Property Insurance
Protect your physical assets with property insurance. It insures your building, inventory, office equipment, and other assets. This insurance product also protects your business from vandalism, theft, fire, and storms. You can purchase property insurance for the items you own, rent or lease, and you can alter coverage limits as your company grows and expands.
Business Owner’s Policy
A business owner’s policy (BOP) combines your general liability and commercial property insurance policies. With a BOP, you can save money while ensuring your business remains protected from theft, fire, lawsuits, and other risks. While all startup businesses do not qualify for a BOP, you can talk to your insurance agent to confirm your options and find the right coverage for your needs.
Commercial Auto Insurance
With your fleet of automobiles, you and your employees can visit clients, make deliveries and perform other company tasks. Your personal car insurance won’t extend to company vehicles, so purchase a commercial auto insurance policy. Otherwise, you risk losing important assets if your company cars are involved in an accident, cause property damage, injure someone, or are damaged due to a theft or vandalism.
Protect employees with Workers’ Compensation insurance. It pays for medical treatment, short-term disability, lost wages, and other expenses employees incur after they suffer a work-related illness or injury. You’ll only need this coverage if you hire employees, but it’s essential coverage in this situation.
Whether your business sits in a known flood zone or at the top of a hill, you could lose valuable assets during a flood. In most cases, your commercial property insurance policy won’t cover flood-related claims. Purchase flood insurance to protect your company.