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.
Now that winters’ over (and Pandemic restrictions are easing), you’re probably ready to take a break and hit the open road.
Is your vehicle ready for spring break travel? It will be when you follow this checklist of six helpful tips.
1. Fill the Fluids
Windshield wiper fluid, coolant, oil and transmission fluid deplete quickly over winter. Fill them to the recommended level for your vehicle as you prepare the engine to operate properly in warmer weather.
2. Check the Tires
After carrying your vehicle over rough winter roads, your tires need some tender loving care. Check the tread and make sure it’s sufficient to handle the wet roads you’ll encounter this spring. Then inflate the tires to the proper pressure as recommended for your specific vehicle. Consider a wheel alignment,
too, as you ensure your tires are ready to work hard all season.
3. Replace the Wiper Blades
The wiper blades work extra hard all winter as they remove ice and snow from your windshield. Protect your view and safety when you replace the wiper
4. Wash the Exterior
Salt and grime build up on your vehicle’s exterior and can cause corrosion, rust and damage. Wash off winter dirt with a high-powered hose at home or at
the car wash. Reach the underbody, lower doors, roof and all exterior surfaces.
5. Clean Out the Interior
Food wrappers, mud and a dirty windshield create an untidy interior. Plus, salt residue can destroy the fabric on your vehicle’s floors and seats. Grab a trash
can, steam cleaner and wash cloth as you clean out the inside of your vehicle
6. Update Your Auto Insurance
Insurance requirements don’t change with the seasons, but double check your coverage as part of your prep for spring break travel. Make sure your coverage
meets your needs and renew your policy if necessary. With the right insurance coverage, you have peace of mind wherever the road takes you.
Where are you traveling this spring? Make sure your vehicle is ready when you follow these six tips.
More people are traveling to the national parks (that are open) . It helps with social distancing, but also as the weather gets warmer people want to get outdoors. The stay at home period is over and with the measured opening, relaxing of travel and economic restrictions more Americans are hitting the road with their recreational vehicles.
Your RV is your pride and joy – whether you live in it year round or just take it out a few times a year for those on-the-road getaways. It also represents a significant investment that needs protection against damage or financial risk.
Depending on your needs, you can buy coverage on your RV either as an add-on to your standard Personal Auto insurance or as a separate Recreational Vehicle policy. Either way, since the vehicle is also a home on wheels, it faces a variety of exposures:
- Damage to the vehicle from fire or collision
- Liability for injury to third parties from an accident
- Loss of or damage to possessions inside the vehicle (for example, an expensive sound system, laptops or tablet, flat screen TV or other portable valuables). To estimate this exposure, you should take an inventory of these expensive items and list their replacement cost.
- Loss or damage to such external elements as satellite dishes or antennas (some insurers might require separate coverage “riders” on these).
Also, bear in mind that some RV policies have an annual mileage limit, which probably won’t be a concern if you only use your vehicle a few times each summer. However, if you’re on the road year round, you’ll need to consider the impact of this limitation.
If you have any questions on the amount and type of RV insurance you’ll need, feel free to get in touch with us.
Because of the midweek nature of Christmas and New Years this year, many folks will have a longer than usual time off.
Winter holidays give your company an opportunity to host celebratory parties and have fun. You could be liable, though, if you celebrate the holidays in a way that discriminates against employees. Be sure your holiday festivities celebrate diversity and avoid religious discrimination.
Granting Holidays Off
According to Title VII of the 1964 Civil Right Act, you cannot discriminate against your employees based on religion. Also, you must accommodate “sincerely held religious practices” unless doing so would cause undue hardship for you. These guidelines prevent you from firing employees whose religious practices require a Sabbath day of rest. However, you are not required to give an employee the entire week of Diwali, Christmas or Hanukkah off if doing so would:
- Be costly.
- Decrease efficiency.
- Burden other employees.
- Threaten safety.
- Violate employee rights.
As a company, you can accommodate all your employees during the holidays in several ways. These actions ensure your company remains compliant with the law and respectful of your employees.
- Include floating holidays in the benefits package.
- Allow employees to take a vacation, sick, personal, or unpaid day off for holiday celebrations.
- Let employees work a different schedule or swap shifts to accommodate their holiday observance.
Decorating the Office
Office decor can improve your employee’s morale. Religious or symbolic decorations like lanterns or crosses may offend employees of different religions, though.
Support diversity and inclusion as you decorate. Choose generic items like snowflakes rather than religious objects. You can also give your employees permission to decorate their personal space. In this case, stipulate that the decor items must be minimal and cannot interfere with navigation around the office. For example, a six-inch Christmas tree on a desk is acceptable, and but a six-foot tree in a cubicle or walkway would be inappropriate.
Hosting Holiday Parties
A holiday party gives your company the chance to unwind and relax while building rapport. You must remain sensitive to your employees’ religious beliefs as you plan and enjoy the party, though.
Comply with the law, avoid discrimination and show sensitivity to employees when you:
- Include members of different religions on the party planning committee.
- Make parties non denominational.
- Schedule the party for a date and time that will not interfere with religious observances.
- Include elements of all religious seasonal holidays.
- Give employees the choice to attend the party.
- Avoid serving alcohol, which is forbidden in certain religions.
- Adopt a charity as a company or match charitable donations rather than host a holiday party.
As a company, you can celebrate the holiday season and embrace and celebrate diversity in a way that avoids religious discrimination. Start with these tips. For more information, talk with your corporate attorney, HR professional or business liability insurance agent.
For centuries, drum therapy has helped individuals and groups get healthy. November is International Drum Month and the perfect time for you to embrace this beneficial health tool.
When you experience chronic stress, you also experience muscle tension, stomach ulcers and other physical health challenges. You deserve a better life. Pick up your drum and reduce stress in just a few minutes. Then, practice drum therapy regularly as part of a stress-free lifestyle.
Panic attacks and anxious thoughts can cripple you. Combat these emotions with drum therapy. It distracts and relaxes you as your anxiety flows through your arms and hands into your instrument.
Follow your doctor’s advice about pain management, and ask him or her about adding drum therapy, too. It releases endorphins, your body’s natural painkillers. Drums won’t cure the source of your pain, but they will help you feel better.
Whether you’re angry, sad or lonely, drum therapy turns your mood around. Pound on a drum at home or in a public space and you’ll feel better emotionally.
In addition to mental health benefits, drum therapy increases your body’s immunity. Along with regular hand washing, use drums to avoid illness this winter.
Good friends improve your attitude, reduce loneliness, inspire you to greatness and add fun to your life. Connect with others in a drum circle, and build your network of positive friends.
When you have trouble sharing your deepest thoughts and feelings, pull out your drum. Start playing a rhythm that feels right to you. Mix soft, loud, quick and slow beats as you personalize your playing. There’s no right or wrong way as you use this form of self-expression to release your inner voice.
Whether you use a spatula and pan from the kitchen or set up a professional drum set in the garage, add drum therapy to your medical treatment plan during International Drum Month. It provides numerous health benefits that partner with your doctor’s advice and medication to help you stay healthy.
With the upcoming holidays, your house is going to be filled with guests. Is your pantry filled and your bathroom clean? Even more importantly, update your home insurance policy as you prepare to welcome guests to your home for the holidays.
What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?
Most homeowners buy insurance to cover property damages from storms or accidents. It also covers personal property that’s lost, damaged or stolen. Plus, homeowner’s insurance pays for medical treatment or lawsuits associated with injuries people sustain while visiting you.
Make Sure you Have Enough Liability Coverage
You don’t expect accidents to happen in your house, but a visitor could trip over frayed carpet, get food poisoning or fall off the backyard trampoline. Or maybe the traditional Thanksgiving day football game gets rough, and your cousin’s expensive watch breaks, a seasonal storm blows a branch on your friend’s vehicle or the toilet overflows on your uncle’s expensive leather shoes. These injuries and damages are all examples of accidents that liability insurance covers.
Increase Your Coverage Limit
To ensure you have enough liability coverage, check out your policy and talk to your insurance agent. Most policies include a liability coverage limit of $100,000, but you should consider increasing that limit to $300,000 or even $500,000. An accident that affects more than one guest could quickly use up that coverage and leave you with a big bill. The increased coverage limit ensures everyone can receive medical treatment, and it reduces your out-of-pocket expenses if you’re sued.
Buy an Umbrella Policy
An umbrella policy is another insurance product to consider. It adds additional coverage that could be very beneficial as you entertain guests this holiday season.
Because you plan to host holiday guests this year, do more than stock the pantry and clean the bathroom. Update your homeowner’s insurance policy. It gives you peace of mind and prepares you for anything that might happen.