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.
Happy Father’s Day! What do you most appreciate about being a dad? With Father’s Day approaching, 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.
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.
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.
As Americans take to the roadways in record numbers (post pandemic), here are some safety pointers that may be useful to you and your loved ones.
In your vehicle, it’s easy to feel like you’re secluded from everyone else on the road. Your vehicle is one of many on the road, though. Above all else, you must always prioritize safety and use these etiquette tips.
Obey the Rules of the Road
Every rule of the road applies to you, so obey the speed limit and stop, yield and merge signs. Your agenda is never more important than safety.
You share the road with other drivers, bikers and walkers, so be considerate. Give other drivers the right of way, let other drivers pass if they’re in a hurry and yield to pedestrians. Don’t demand your own way or give into road rage. Show consideration and make the commute safer for everyone.
When the road narrows from two lanes to one or traffic slows for an accident, take turns merging. It’s better to let someone go in front of you than to cause a pileup.
Turn on Your Headlights
Your vehicle’s headlights allow you to see clearly as you drive at night or in certain types of weather. Remember to turn off your high beams when another car approaches. Also, don’t use your headlights as aggression toward another driver.
Use Your Horn Sparingly
The horn in your vehicle is designed to alert other drivers of dangers. In certain occasions, it’s appropriate to honk your horn, but use it sparingly and remember that laying on the horn is poor manners and a sign of aggression.
It’s appropriate to lightly beep your horn when:
- The light turns green and the driver in front of you is distracted
- It’s the other driver’s turn at the intersection
- Another driver is ready to cut you off because you’re in their blind spot
Do not use your horn to:
- Scold drivers who are speeding or being unsafe in other ways
- Vent your frustrations
Respect Emergency Vehicles
Ambulances, fire trucks and police cars also use the roadways. When you see flashing lights, slow down and pull off to the right side of the road. Wait for the emergency vehicle to pass and then merge back into traffic.
Pull Off the Road if You’re in a Fender Bender
Minor fender benders do occasionally happen. Instead of stopping your vehicle in the middle of the road, pull off the road safely to assess damage and discuss the next step, which may include exchanging insurance information, with the other driver.
When you pass a vehicle with its emergency lights on, stop and offer assistance. You can also call 911.
Etiquette goes a long way toward maintaining roadway safety for everyone. Share the road, remain calm and use your manners as you drive safely.
Celebrate Earth Day by implementing several eco-friendly technology practices and products. They help conserve the environment and save money.
Implement Clear Screen Habits
Encourage your employees to adopt a clear screen habit. This practice involves turning off or switching their unused devices to standby mode. The cumulative savings improve the environment, your company’s cybersecurity, and your bottom line.
Power With Smart Wall Plugs
Because most of your electronic devices use power, select plugs that monitor energy use. Data collected by a smart wall plug suggests eco-friendly usage changes, and the devices can even reduce power to energy-hogging electronics.
Utilize Eco-Friendly Printing Practices
Conserve resources when you change your printer’s default settings and usage practices. Avoid printing in color, always print on both sides of the paper, and remind employees to print fewer copies For example, create a digital employee manual and use whiteboards instead of handouts during staff meetings.
Reduce Toxins with Smart Air Purifiers
Dust, pollen, and other environmental toxins affect air quality and employee health. Smart air purifiers remove these toxins and are controlled by your voice or an online website or app.
Purchase Sustainable Office Supplies
When possible, purchase office supplies that conserve resources. Start with eco-friendly cleaning supplies. Then select products made from recycled or post-consumer materials, such as recycled USB flash drives. You can also opt for refillable pens, digital paper, and staple-free staplers that reduce waste.
Recycle Whenever Possible
Recycling makes a positive environmental impact. Set up recycling bins for plastics, glass, and paper, and recycle rather than toss used ink cartridges and worn electronic devices.
Invest in Smart Thermostats
Improve efficiency and remain comfortable thanks to smart thermostats. They’re programmable and reduce energy usage when the office is empty. Plus, they provide usage reports that enhance your conservation efforts.
Change the Lightbulbs
LED bulbs reduce energy usage without compromising light quality. In addition to changing the lightbulbs, install smart lighting with motion detection technology that turns lights on when employees enter their offices.
Install a Smart Water Filter
Staying hydrated improves employee focus and productivity. Install a smart water filter in the break room to encourage hydration. This device also reduces your reliance on single-use plastic bottles and eliminates a variety of harmful contaminants from water.
This month, your company can celebrate Earth Day by implementing several eco-friendly tech practices and products. Remember to contact your insurance agent and update your cybersecurity insurance if you upgrade to smart devices as you remain secure while saving the environment and cutting costs.
Most business owners would agree that it’s important to maintain insurance to protect business assets. But, many business owners do not know that they will not be able to contract with other companies (landlord’s, vendors, large customers, etc.) without certain insurance coverage.
When they think about insurance, business owners generally consider protection against hazards such as fire, flood or theft at their company sites. This is obviously an important protection to have. However, there are other types of hazards that may not be quite as high on the list, but protection could be every bit as important to offset significant financial losses. Here are five examples that underscore the need for comprehensive business insurance protection:
Company vehicle contents
If you operate a business with employees on the road making service calls to customers, chances are there is valuable equipment contained in the company vehicles. But a typical auto insurance policy would probably not cover the contents of a company vehicle if that valuable equipment is lost or stolen.
Tenant property improvement insurance
Do you rent space to conduct your business? Have you built out the interior of your space or made improvements to accommodate your business needs? If so, you probably made a considerable investment in the improvements. But many property insurance policies don’t include the value of the improvements made by a tenant to the existing structure. If you’ve invested in improvements, it’s worth taking a look at securing coverage to protect it.
Home-based business equipment
More and more people are working at home at least part of the time, even if they maintain an office or site elsewhere. Most don’t have insurance on the business equipment they keep at home; many assume their homeowner’s insurance would cover it. However, homeowner’s insurance generally does not cover business equipment. If you have expensive business equipment at home, you may want to consider purchasing additional protection.
Business interruption insurance
Remember the series of hurricanes that hit Florida? The wild fires that damaged cities and towns in California? The flooding that disrupted life in the Midwest? In addition to the effect that disasters have on individuals, they can bring businesses to a standstill for weeks or even months. Business interruption insurance can provide a way to get back on your feet.
Key person insurance
In many companies, the knowledge and skills of a single person or a top few are absolutely essential to the enterprise’s success. Key person insurance can help a company recover if an essential employee dies or becomes disabled for a lengthy time. The coverage can provide needed funds that allow the company to continue operating during a search for a successor or until the key employee returns.
As you can see, there are many hazards businesses face that aren’t covered under a typical insurance policy. However, you can get extra protection with the types of coverage outlined here. Since you invest so much time, money and effort into your business, it pays to make sure you have the protection you need. Call us for a consultation today!
How many times do you walk by fire extinguishers without checking those tags or past first aid kits without peeking inside to assure the contents are complete?
Most executives do not spot check these life saving tools. That task is delegated to maintenance. But these decisions are life and death, not simply profit or loss. Show your employees you care; that you lead their safety program rather than follow pro forma insurance checklists.
Start your spring cleaning here: walk through your operation and stop occasionally to check if you can easily spot the nearest fire extinguisher. Read the label. Is it appropriate for the work area?
Stand at each fire extinguisher station and visualize successful deployment. Is it easy and natural? Can you travel unharmed to the nearest fire exit using the fire extinguisher to clear a path?
Observe any long pathways between fire extinguishers and exits. Would another canister or different fire suppression device or system help?
Take some notes as you walk through the operation. Review these observations with the person tasked to keep the equipment updated.
Repeat the above exercise with regard to first aid kits. Are they easy to spot? Easy to access one-handed? Do they have instructions for calling emergency help?
These exercises do not require a great deal of time or scheduling. Simply make a point of checking these items every quarter, something of an internal surprise inspection.
Add ten minutes every three months to your walk-through routine. It doesn’t need scheduling or ceremony. Simply observe, become conscious of the emergency response routine. Are fire exits clogged with storage or debris? Are aisles kept unobstructed?
Is a specific person charged with de-icing fire escapes? As you walk through your operations, take notes of these questions. Think through an emergency evacuation, then review the written plan for your company. Does it make common sense? Does it raise questions for your risk manager or safety specialist?
Does your at-hire training include safety orientation and procedures? How about on-going communications on safety issues? Both directions?
Corporate officers lead the safety culture. Make these inspections in view of employees. They will engage you if they have proper concerns. They are a great resource.