Numerous environmental conditions at your workplace and/or home can cause you to suffer an allergic reaction that ranges from mild to life-threatening. Consider these tips as you reduce allergens and protect yourself.
Depending on your job and workplace, you may be exposed to numerous allergens as you work. Consider this partial list.
- Latex gloves or equipment
- Ink toner
- Cleaning chemicals
- Floor wax
- Cigarette smoke
- Food, including nuts and dairy
- Paint fumes
- Pet dander
Possible Allergic Reactions
The allergic reaction you experience can be mildly annoying or severe and life threatening. Be aware of these possible reactions.
- Contact dermatitis
- Swelling around your mouth or elsewhere
- Trouble breathing
- Anaphylactic shock
What to do if you Have an Allergic Reaction
Seek medical treatment as soon as you suspect you’re having an allergic reaction. To provide the best possible treatment, your doctor or emergency medical personnel may ask for a list of possible allergens to which you may have been exposed.
How to Prevent Allergic Reactions
While you can’t always prevent allergen exposure, you can advocate for an allergen-free work environment. Ask about switching to natural cleaning supplies or banning peanut butter as you remove allergens that affect you and your co-workers.
You may also take protective measures. Wear gloves, use a respirator or open a window as you reduce exposure to your known allergens.
Request special accommodations, too, especially if you have a known allergy. According to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), you’re considered disabled if your allergy limits your activity level. In this case, you can request that your employer improve ventilation throughout the building or allow you to work a different shift when allergen use is limited.
What Does Workers’ Compensation Cover?
By law, your employer must provide a safe work environment. If you suffer an allergic reaction to chemicals, cleaning supplies or something else and can’t perform your job, you may be eligible to file a Workers’ Compensation claim.
Workers’ Compensation benefits could cover your medical treatment, a portion of your lost wages and other expenses. However, you must prove that the allergic reaction stemmed from something at work and not food, medication or another environmental condition you encounter at home or elsewhere.
If working conditions or environmental factors cause you to suffer an allergic reaction, you can file a Workers’ Compensation claim. Discuss your specific case with your Human Resources manager and doctor as you protect yourself at work.
11 months ago ·
by Erin Carlson ·
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.
11 months ago ·
by Erin Carlson ·
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.
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.
According to a recent study, the average person checks their cellphone 100 times a day. While there is a time and a place for cellphones, using it at the job site can be extremely dangerous.
If you’re distracted for just a second while operating a power tool, working on a roof or driving a forklift, you can injure yourself or a co-worker. You can also face civil or criminal liability for damages you cause by operating a motorized vehicle while using a cellphone.
It isn’t only operators of machinery who need to be mindful of the dangers of cellphone use on the job site. Simply looking down at your cellphone and not paying attention to your surroundings could put your life in danger.
Cellphone Safety Tips When On-site
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) prohibits cellphone use by operators of cranes and similar equipment. Most organizations prohibit any kind of cellphone use on the job site—not just for crane operators. It is your responsibility to know how your company’s rules apply to you and follow them accordingly.
If you struggle with the temptation to check your phone while working on a job site, consider the following safety tips:
- Get in the habit of sending and receiving text messages before or after your shift, or during one of your breaks.
- Remind family and friends that you may not be able to respond to their messages right away. Provide them with your workplace contact information in case of emergencies.
- Turn off push notifications so you’re not distracted by any apps.
- Don’t carry your cellphone on you if the temptation to check it is too much. Instead, leave it in a safe place where it won’t distract you from your job.
- Follow your workplace policy for cellphone use at work and on the job site. Be aware of any cellphone-free zones.
Besides creating enormous safety risks, employees who are texting at work are not doing what they are getting paid to do. For this reason, these workers may be subject to disciplinary action.
If you have questions about ’s workplace cellphone policy, or if you notice inappropriate cellphone use on the job site, don’t hesitate to discuss it with your supervisor or HR.
With some farmers struggling to find reliable farm labor, it is important to invest some thought in the hiring process. Here are some tips for finding the right help:
Examine your needs. You might have a general idea in your head of what work needs to be done, but it’s best to be specific. Narrow down broad processes into specific jobs so you can determine how much help you truly need.
Think about desired traits. Do you need someone to fill a temporary need, or are you hoping that person can go on to fill a managerial role? You’ll have to determine whether people skills are more important than manual labor or machinery skills, and list those traits in your job description.
Consider hiring for a trial period. If you’re hesitant about a candidate but need immediate help, consider hiring them for a short-term trial period. This saves you from high employee turnover while buying you time to recognize your needs. It allows both you and the worker to communicate any frustrations and expectations after the trial period before considering whether the working relationship is worth investing in long term.