If you’re one of the 10 percent of Americans who are left-handed, August 13 is your day to celebrate. It’s also the perfect day to learn how to prevent carpal tunnel and keep your wrists strong and healthy.
What is Carpal Tunnel?
Between your thumb and ring finger, a median nerve controls the majority of your hand’s movement and feeling. The carpal tunnel area surrounds this nerve. If it swells, you’ll experience tingling, numbness, pain and weakness.
Who’s at Risk?
Anyone who performs repetitive tasks could develop carpal tunnel syndrome. So, if you type, play sports or an instrument, sew, assemble products or drive, you’re at risk. Certain health challenges, including inflammatory disease, diabetes, Lyme disease and ganglionic cysts, also increase your risk.
How do you Stop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
While icing your hands can reduce swelling, you’ll also want to limit wrist movement by changing the way you perform repetitive tasks. You can also perform exercises that strengthen your hands and wrists while reducing pain.
- Hold your arms in front of you and point your fingers toward the ceiling. Hold the pose and count to five, then relax your arms to your sides. Make fists and bend them toward the floor until you count to five. Relax your hands and wrists again before repeating these steps 10 times.
- Hold your left hand out with your palm facing away from you. Use your right hand to pull your left fingers toward your body. Repeat with the right hand.
- Place your hands together as if you were praying. Turn your wrists until your fingers point toward the floor. Breathe deeply, hold for 5 seconds, press your palms more firmly against each other and hold until you feel your wrists stretch.
If the pain continues, see your doctor. Your Human Resources manager can verify if the exam, tests and any special equipment are covered as you protect your hands and wrists while celebrating Left-Handers’ Day.
With the Olympics in it’s third week and summer in full swing here, it’s a good time to talk about insurance coverage for water sports businesses – specifically works compensation. Owning a water sport business can be fun and a good investment, but you need to hire employees to help the business run smoothly. Be sure you purchase adequate Workers’ Compensation to cover your employees and protect your assets.
Covered Water Sport Businesses
Your water sports business could encompass dozens of activities in, on or near water. Whether you offer one or several sports, you will need Workers’ Compensation for your business. Example of water sports offerings include:
- Boating, Sailing, Yachting
- Kayaking, Tubing, Canoeing
- White Water Rafting
- Jet or Water Skiing
- Kneeboarding, Skimboarding
- Kitesurfing, Kiteboarding
- Hoverboarding, Flyboarding, Wakeboarding
- Paddleboarding, Paddle Surfing
- Snorkeling or Scuba Diving
- Swimming and Diving
What is Workers’ Compensation?
Many states require business owners to purchase Workers’ Compensation for employees, including seasonal and temporary workers. It pays certain expenses employees incur if they are injured or suffer an illness while performing work-related tasks.
Workers’ Compensation benefits can pay for:
- Medical care
- Lost wages
- Death benefits
- Vocational rehabilitation
Every Workers’ Compensation insurance policy has two parts.
Part One or Coverage A addresses your statutory liability, meaning the coverage your state requires you to carry. It includes no coverage limits and will pay all claims regardless of any benefit changes your state makes.
Part Two addresses employer liability for any employees that are exempt from Worker’s Compensation coverage. These employees could include independent contractors like boat owners or dive instructors who do not purchase their own Worker’s Compensation policy. Part Two can also cover legal expenses from third-party lawsuits.
Why you Need Workers’ Compensation for Your Water Sport Business
Whether your business operates year-round or seasonally, you value your employees and want to protect them from injuries or illnesses. However, accidents happen. You will want to provide financial resources that help your employees navigate their recovery and return to full health and work as quickly as possible.
Adequate Workers’ Compensation protects your business, too. It can protect your assets if you are sued by an employee, and it can pay legal expenses related to any lawsuits. Workers’ Compensation coverage also protects you from fines levied by your state if you don’t purchase adequate coverage.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
For more information on Workers’ Compensation for your specific water sport businesses, contact your insurance agent. He or she will assist you in understanding and complying with your state’s Workers’ Compensation laws. Your agent will also help you purchase the policy that’s right for your business and needs.
With the right Workers’ Compensation policy, you receive peace of mind. It protects your employees and your assets as you help your customers have fun while playing on the water.
With more people working remotely and spending the entire day looking at computers and phones, they are at risk for eyestrain.
We recommend that they follow these basic precautions.
- Look away from the monitor for 30 seconds, every 15 or 20 minutes. Look at or scan things at least 20 feet away to allow your eyes to focus in a rest position.
- Reposition the monitor 20” to 26” from your eyes (roughly the distance from your eyes to the end of your index finger with arm outstretched). Otherwise, you’ll be forced to sit or lean too close to the screen, or sit too far away. If your eyeglass prescription doesn’t allow clear vision at the 20” to 26” range, get it adjusted.
- Reset monitor height so that the top edge is even with your view when looking straight ahead. Then tilt the screen upward so that you’re not looking at the image at an angle. The optimal screen position is 10 to 20 degrees below eye level.
- Reset the monitor screen resolution, the Internet browser text size, and the zoom and font default in the operating system and in software applications so that text is easy to read. Start with a screen resolution of 800×600 for older CRT monitors and 1024×768 or higher for LCD (flat screen) monitors. Set the monitor refresh rate at or above 75 hertz (Hz) on older CRT models. Refresh rate is irrelevant for LCD monitors and is factory set, usually 60 Hz.
- Blink often (put a sticky note on your monitor!). The average blink rate is 22 times per minute. The rate goes down to seven per minute when looking at a monitor – which causes the eye lens to dry out. If you can’t get into the habit of blinking more often, use an eye moistener (saline solution).
- Relax your eye muscles. Put the palm of your hands over your eyes for a minute or so, once every half hour. This warms the muscles around the eyes, relaxing them.
- Minimize glare. Make sure the background light level around the monitor is about the same as the screen light level. Minimize direct sunlight or bright lights in front of the monitor or directly behind it.
- Adjust the contrast and brightness to levels you use when reading a book comfortably. A bright screen causes eyestrain.
- Use a paper holder to hold documents. Put the document at the same level as the monitor, or attach it to the monitor. This prevents repetitive neck and eye movement from paper to screen.
In legal terms, an act of God isn’t, in fact, a religious experience. Well, that’s not to say that an act of God couldn’t be a religious experience, it’s just that that’s not inherent in the legal definition of the term. An act of God essentially comes down to the unforeseen and the unpreventable. You can reduce the likelihood of accidents on the job site by making sure that you don’t allow any drinking, fighting or general carelessness on site, you can reduce the likelihood of accidents on the road through proper auto maintenance, but you can’t prevent a flood or an earthquake no matter how many safety courses you attend.
Acts of God will exempt a party from strict liability and from negligence in common law. Many building contracts have a provision allowing for acts of God to excuse unexpected delays in a project’s completion. However, damages and delays owing to a natural disaster may be disputed as acts of God in some circumstance.
The key word is “unforeseeable.” If someone falls off of a scaffolding and spends the next four weeks in a cast because of an earthquake, then that will usually be chalked up to an act of God. If they saw a storm coming in, decided to keep working, and then got struck by lightning, then the “act of God” claim may be contested.
“Act of God” is sort of a liability free-pass card, exempting you from responsibility for things that you couldn’t possibly have predicted. There are a few steps that you can take to ensure that there is no gray area, no room for doubt when you need to lean on this legal term:
- Keep tabs on the weather. Don’t assume, for instance, that a storm “isn’t going to be as bad as they say.” It might not be so bad, but do you want to bet your career on it?
- Keep all of your safety equipment in tip top shape. You don’t want to give people any wiggle room to say that that safety harness would have snapped eventually with or without the earthquake.
- This goes for your vehicles, as well. It’s hard to claim a small flood as an “act of God” when your truck was the only one slipping and sliding across the road.
An act of God can be a godsend when it comes to liability, but things have to line up correctly.
Summer time fun for you might include hauling a trailer. It secures your ATV, boat, a second car, camper, horses or camping gear. Before you hit the road, make sure your trailer is properly insured.
Why do you Need Trailer Insurance?
Many states accept your auto insurance coverage when you haul a trailer behind your insured vehicle. Your homeowners or renters insurance policy may cover the items you haul. However, this coverage is typically only for liability. Plus, you face several risks when you haul your trailer on the road.
- If you’re not used to hauling a trailer, your risk of causing an accident increases.
- You may turn too sharply and damage someone’s property.
- You could hit a slippery stretch of highway that causes your trailer to slide into another vehicle and damage it or push it off the road.
- While unloading or loading your trailer, you could damage it or the item you’re hauling.
These and other accidents are possible. Trailer insurance adds valuable protection that gives you peace of mind as you travel.
What Type of Coverage is Available?
The type and amount of trailer insurance you need depends on your trailer’s type and size and on the value of the items you will haul. Typical trailer insurance provides several valuable coverages.
- Liability – Cover the costs associated with bodily injuries or property damages your trailer causes to other people or their property and belongings.
- Comprehensive – Repair your trailer if it is damaged from theft, vandalism, fire or weather.
- Collision – Repair your trailer if it is damaged during a traffic collision.
- Contents Coverage – Pay to replace damaged items that are stored on or hauled in your trailer.
How do you Purchase Trailer Insurance?
Talk to your auto insurance agent about trailer insurance. He or she will review your auto insurance policy’s current types of coverage and limits to ensure it’s adequate for your trailer. Your agent will also review your homeowners or renters insurance policy and ensure it covers the items you are hauling.
If your current policies are not adequate to cover your trailer and its contents, increase your coverage types or limits or purchase a separate policy. You may need to shop around for trailer insurance if your current agent does not carry it.
With trailer insurance, you can travel this summer with confidence. If your trailer causes property damage or bodily injury or if the items you haul are damaged, you can pay for the liability or repairs. Talk to your agent before your next trip to make sure you’re properly covered.
Whether you are outdoors — on the job or at play this summer — or working indoors in a hot environment, you need to know how to cope with hot and humid conditions that can pose serious dangers to health that the heat brings.
The human “cooling system” uses perspiration and blood vessels to regulate body temperature. However, when someone is working hard in the heat, especially when it’s also humid, this system can break down, raising the person’s temperature and heart rate. Although people who are past middle age or have health problems are especially vulnerable, the young and healthy can also suffer from heat-related conditions.
Overheating also affects the brain. A temperature hike as little as 2 degrees can impair mental functioning, which makes heat an underlying cause of job accidents, as diminished ability can lead workers to overlook hazards and make mistakes.
In order of seriousness, heat hazards — and their remedies — include:
- Heat rash — Can be irritating: Take a shower and use a little talcum powder.
- Heat stress — Symptoms include thirst, vision problems and/or feeling woozy or tired: Drink a cool, non-alcoholic beverage in a shady place.
- Heat cramp — Involves pain from twitching muscles caused by losing salt from perspiration: Get into the shade and take cool fluids.
- Heat exhaustion — Look for heavy perspiration, fatigue, queasy stomach, and chilly, clammy skin: Put the person in the shade, with their feet slightly elevated, provide a cooling beverage (unless the victim is nauseated), and be prepared to seek medical assistance.
- Heatstroke — Can be a fatal condition, characterized by a lack of sweating, a temperature elevated by up to five degrees, hot skin, mental confusion, and loss of coordination: Call paramedics immediately — and then get the victim to a shaded spot and keep him or her cooling down with cold water sponges or ice packs until help arrives.
To help keep you, your family and your co-workers protected from the heat, we’d recommend that you advise everyone to:
- Wear sunglasses for protection against exposure to UV rays;
- Apply sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more to minimize the risk of cancer or sunburn:
- Keep hydrated with plenty of cool — not cold — water and beverages free of alcohol or caffeine;
- Minimize exposure to the sun by going indoors or staying in the shade during the heat of the day; and
- Eat light meals with small servings of fruits and vegetables (which are rich in fluids).
For valuable information on dealing with heat-related issues, check out the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) web page, Heat: A Major Killer.