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6 days ago · by · 0 comments

Fall Landscaping Tips

Fall is officially here on Tuesday, September 22, 2020. Managing your property includes caring for the landscaping. Proactive measures this fall protect your plants and ensure vitality next spring. Implement several tips as you maintain attractive landscaping and improve the safety of your property.

Mow the Lawn

During the fall, grass will continue to grow so mow all season. During the final cutting, mow the grass as short as possible to prevent winter matting and promote lawn health all season.

Rake Leaves

Remove dead leaves, grass clippings and other debris from the lawn, flower beds and hardscape. This debris can encourage harmful disease to grow, block drainage systems and damage the environment. It’s also an eyesore.

Fertilize the Soil

Add nutrients to the soil for landscaping health. The ideal fall fertilizer is rich in phosphorus and potassium, two nutrients that stimulate grass root growth in the future.

Water Plants

Summer drought can affect plants long into the fall and winter. Water plants if necessary to combat water deficits.

Prune and Wrap Plants

Create a neat and tidy appearance, reduce storm damage risk and invest in healthy landscaping into the future when you prune shrubs and trees. Then wrap plants with burlap to protect them during the cold winter months.

Spread Mulch

Protective mulch prevents weeds from growing and insulates soil from water loss and cold weather damage. It’s also attractive, so spread a healthy layer of mulch around all your plants.

Treat Pests

Insects, mites, voles, and other pests can wreak havoc on your landscaping in the fall and winter. Hire a professional exterminator to treat your property.

Plant Winter Greenery

A variety of flowers, shrubs and trees bloom during the winter and brighten your property. Consider planting greenery that adds texture, color and style to your property’s appearance.

Maintain Hardscape

Inspect your parking areas, sidewalks and other hardscape. Repair and seal the cracks and holes to prevent further damage, improve safety and protect your investment.

Drain the Sprinkler System

If you have a landscaping sprinkler system, drain it during the fall months. Remove the water to prevent frozen or burst pipes and expensive repairs.

Perform a Storm Damage Audit

Walk around your property and identify any areas that could be affected by storm damage. You may need to trim tree branches that hang over power lines, move dumpsters that interfere with snow removal or repair perimeter fencing. Remember to update your property insurance coverage, too, before winter storms strike.

Schedule Snow and Ice Removal

Plan for winter weather now. Schedule snow and ice removal to reduce slip, fall and accident risks.

When you take care of your property this fall, take proactive steps that enhance the landscaping. Keep it attractive and healthy all season.

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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Fourth of July Safety Tips

COVID-19 has changed the way we are going to remember this Independence day weekend. Governor Newsom has announced stricter restrictions and closures ahead of the July 4th weekend, including a crackdown on mask wearing violations. Public fireworks have been cancelled in most counties.

However, it is a big holiday weekend and Americans will celebrate, here are some safety tips.

Take Precautions While Grilling

Burgers, hot dogs, fruit and pizza taste delicious when they’re grilled. Grab your favorite side dishes and follow a few precautions that ensure you and your guests grill safely.

  • – Always supervise the grill when it’s in use.
  • – Never grill indoors or in a fully enclosed area such as a garage or tent.
  • – Use lighter fluid sparingly and never after the coals are ignited.
  • – Keep children and pets away from the hot grill.
  • – Remove flammable objects, including trees, from near the grill.
  • – Use long-handled tools to handle food.

Use Fireworks Safely  (if allowed)

Public fireworks displays are the safest way to enjoy the beautiful colors and terrific booms of this July 4th tradition, especially when you maintain a distance of at least 500 feet between you and the show. Firework displays at home can be fun though too. If you go that route, take these precautions.

  •  Follow the instructions on the packaging.
  •  Never allow children to play with the fireworks.
  •  Stock a fire extinguisher or water supply nearby.
  •  Wear eye protection when lighting fireworks.
  •  Remove flammable materials from the area.
  •  Never point fireworks toward people, animals, vehicles or structures.
  •  Properly dispose of duds rather than trying to relight them.

Stay Safe on the Beach (if allowed in your area)

Swimming is a fun summer activity, and it’s good exercise. At the beach, lake, public pool or backyard pool, stay safe with these tips.

  • – Swim only in designated areas.
  • – Obey the lifeguard and all posted signs.
  • – Swim sober.
  • – Get out of the water during a storm or if you hear thunder or see lightening.
  • – Require children to wear life jackets.
  • – Don’t dive into shallow water.

Wear Sun Bathing Protection

Picnics are part of many July 4th celebrations. You should also take these protective measures.

    • – Wear sunscreen that’s at least 15 SPF.
    • – Remember to apply sunscreen to your ears, hair part and the tops of your feet.
    • – Avoid direct sunlight between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the UV rays are strongest.
    • – Reapply sunscreen every two to three hours or more frequently if you’re sweating.
    • – Drink plenty of water even if you’re not thirsty.
    • – Wear a hat, sunglasses and long sleeves if you have to be in direct sunlight.
    • – Watch for signs of heat stroke, including hot, red skin, shallow breathing and rapid, weak pulse.

Please be safe out there, follow the rules and guidelines and have fun.

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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Hiring Considerations When Employing Interns and Employees That Are Minors

Hiring young people might be tempting for a business. After all, the labor is affordable since kids don’t demand high salaries and won’t need health, retirement and vacation benefits like their older counterparts. Kids are also enthusiastic, willing to do grunt work and able to handle hard labor. Before you hire minors, though, understand the law.

Federal Child Labor Rules

Find the rules about child labor in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). It divides minors into categories based on their age.

Children under 13 may not be employed unless the job is on a farm or in a business operated by parents or guardians.

Children who are 14 to 15 years old have several restrictions.

  • During the school session, they can work a maximum of three hours per day and 18 hours per week.
  • Non-school sessions can include eight hours of work per day and 40 hours per week maximum.
  • They may only work from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. or until 9 p.m. from June 1 to Labor Day.
  • Hour and day restrictions do not apply for kids who are employed by parents or guardians.
  • They may not perform hazardous jobs, including driving motor vehicles, mining, operating certain power tool, logging, manufacturing or meat packing, packaging or slicing.
  • State minimum wage guidelines apply.

Children who are 16 to 17 years old can work unlimited hours per day and days per week. Certain hazardous job limitations and state minimum wage guidelines apply.

Children over 18 are considered adults and have no restrictions on work hours or days.

Exceptions to FLSA rules do not apply to kids who work as actors, deliver newspapers or work at home with evergreen materials. Agricultural exceptions also exist.

Paperwork Requirements

If you decide to hire minors, make sure your paperwork is in order.

  1. Use an official birth certificate, driver’s license or other document to verify the minor’s age.
  2. Obtain an age certificate from the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour division.
  3. Your state may require you or your minor employee to get a work permit available through your state’s Department of Labor.
  4. Get permission from the minor’s parent and school. The authorization form is available from your state’s Labor and Industry department.
  5. Retain employment records for at least three years. The information includes the employee’s name, address, occupation, employment dates, pay rate, hours worked and pay received.

Before you hire minors for even small tasks like filing papers or cleaning your office, check the federal laws and your state’s Department of Labor’s website. Talk to your insurance agent and attorney, too, as you make sure you’re following the law.

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3 months ago · by · 0 comments

Health Tips in Time for Father’s Day

What do you most appreciate about being a dad? With Father’s Day approaching on June 15, there’s no better time than today to protect your health. Learn about the top health risks men face and ways to combat these risks so that you can enjoy many more years with your children.

1. Heart Disease

The top killer of men, heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease are preventable. However, you will need to address the leading causes of heart disease. Do that when you stop smoking, lower your blood pressure, reduce your bad cholesterol levels and get your diabetes under control. An exercise regimen and healthy diet also help.

2. Lung Cancer

The top cancer among men is also the most preventable. Because smoking is the cause of 90 percent of lung cancer cases, talk with your health insurance company about available cessation programs and tools that assist you in getting healthy today.

3. Prostate Cancer

The second-leading cancer in men, prostate cancer can be prevented when men undergo an annual prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test and rectal exam. These tests should begin by age 50 or sooner if this cancer runs in your family or if you eat a high-fat diet.

4. Diabetes

If diabetes isn’t controlled, you could contract vascular disease, which leads to heart attacks, amputations, blindness, kidney failure and nerve damage. Medical treatment, a balanced diet, routine exercise and an active lifestyle can help you prevent or control diabetes.

5. Suicide

Four times as many men than women commit suicide. Men are also more likely than women to resist treatment for depression, frustration and other challenges. Asking for help is a sign of strength and can help you cope with life before you feel self-hated or a desire to commit suicide.

As a dad, focus on your health this Father’s Day. Schedule a physical exam with your primary care physician, and commit to living a healthier lifestyle. Your children will thank you.

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7 months ago · by · 0 comments

Build Better Relationships With Co-Workers

Closer relationships among co-workers boost collaboration, teamwork, morale, productivity, job satisfaction, and wellness. As you observe Relationship Wellness Month in February, encourage better work relationships with these suggestions.

Do a Good Job

Employees who consistently do a poor job force their co-workers to do more work. Resentment grows, and your company may miss deadlines and lose customers.

Give employees a clear job description and set expectations for performance. Then celebrate employees who do a good job and meet their goals.

Accept Differences

While it’s tempting for employees with similar interests to congregate together and avoid others who are different, greater acceptance improves relationships and personal well-being.

For this reason, provide opportunities for diverse employees to work together and find common ground. Plan team-building activities, too, as you celebrate and accept differences.

Share Less Personal Information

Your employees are human and will bring personal problems to work. However, distracted employees can make mistakes or cause accidents. Sharing too much information also causes discomfort and conflict between co-workers.

Remind employees to be professional at work. Also, promote the mental health benefits of your employer-sponsored health insurance or provide counseling services for employees.

Avoid Gossip

Juicy tidbits of information about co-workers may seem entertaining, but gossip breaks down morale and can cause projects to suffer. It also reduces trust and respect.

Spread awareness about the dangers of gossip. You can also remind employees to change the subject or walk away from such conversations.

Manage Conflict

Disagreements and conflicts are normal, but these situations create tension and inhibit collaboration.

Create a straightforward conflict resolution process, and maintain an open door policy. With these conflict resolution strategies, co-workers address issues, resolve challenges and restore relationships.

Assist Others

Meeting a deadline or managing a big project can strain busy employees and increase stress.

Promote helpfulness and collaboration as you ease strain, stress and pressure. Everyone on the team can and should work together to get the job done right and on time.

Stay Positive

Sometimes, bad things happen. Employees may make mistakes, struggle to adapt to change or feel unappreciated. Negative and bad moods are contagious, though, and affect everyone.

Instead of allowing negativity, implement a complaint procedure. Then lead by example as you promote positivity.

Plan Fun

In the midst of busy workdays, your employees may not have time to socialize and truly get to know their co-workers.

Schedule an outing, activity or another fun event at least once a month. Give employees time to unwind, relax and get to know each other better.

To observe Relationship Wellness Month, look for ways to improve rapport at work. These tips help you build better relationships among co-workers and increase employee and company success.

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8 months ago · by · 0 comments

Flu Prevention Tips That Protect You and Your Coworkers

Flu season typically peaks between December and February, but it can last as long as May. Because the flu spreads quickly between people who work in close quarters, you really need to understand flu prevention tips as you protect yourself and your coworkers this flu season.

Get Vaccinated

The flu shot is one of the best preventative measures you can take since it combats the season’s main flu virus that is expected to affect the most people. Although the vaccine’s antibodies won’t begin protecting you for two weeks, get yours today, and encourage your coworkers to get their flu shots, too.

Stay Home if You’re Sick

Of course, your job is essential, but going to work when you’re sick only infects everyone else. Stay home, focus on getting better and remind your coworkers to stay home if they’re sick.

Disinfect Office Surfaces

Disinfectant spray and wipes will be your best friends this flu season. Use them to clean germs off your computer keyboard, printer key pad, phone, pens and pencils, doorknobs, drawer pulls and anything else you and your coworkers touch regularly.

Cover Your Nose and Mouth

Sneeze or cough into a disposable tissue to prevent your germs from spreading to others.

Wash Your Hands

As frequently as possible, wash your hands in hot, soapy water. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer or wipes also kill germs, but use them only when soap and water are unavailable.

Don’t Touch Your Face

Flu germs on your hands spread quickly when you touch your face, so protect yourself by keeping your hands away from your mouth, nose and eyes.

Go to Bed

Enough rest increases your immunity and ability to fight germs. Your chances of staying healthy increases when you grab a few a few extra minutes of sleep every night.

Eat and Drink a Healthy Diet

From loading up on fruits and veggies to drinking water, your body will stay strong when you fuel it with healthy foods.

Are you ready to stay healthy this flu season, especially with the current Coronavirus outbreak? Follow these tips and talk to your doctor about additional ways you and your coworkers can stay healthy this year.

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Scurich Insurance Services
Phone: (831) 661-5697
Fax: (831) 661-5741

Physical:
783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Suite7,
Aptos, Ca 95003-4700

Mailing:
PO Box 1170
Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

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(831) 661-5697

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