Fall Protection Training Makes Debut on OSHA’s Top 10 Citations List

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There’s a newcomer to OSHA’s top 10 list of violations that it cites every year: Fall Protection – Training Requirements. While physical fall protection violations, like failing to install guard-rails or provide fall protection equipment, continue to feature at the top of the list, this is the first time that training requirements as a stand-alone category has made it onto OSHA’s preliminary list of most-cited violations has featured. The fact that OSHA has doled out so many citations for such training-requirement violations reflects its increasing commitment to reduce injuries and deaths from trips, slips and falls – the most common…
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Toilet Failure Is a Leading Cause of Residential and Commercial Water Damage

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Leaky plumbing fixtures and burst pipes are common reasons behind insurance claims for home and commercial water damage every year, but toilet problems stand out as one of the leading causes of serious water damage. That said, many toilet-related plumbing issues are preventable with regular maintenance and a watchful eye, which can take care of small problems before they turn into major ones. If a toilet is causing problems, call a professional immediately. The worst damages arise because a person does not call an expert, and water damage that may not be visible on the surface continues to spread and…
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Is Your Firm Protected for Libel and Slander under Your Business Policy?

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What would you do if your business got SLAPPed? SLAPP stands for “strategic lawsuit against public participation.” A business that gets SLAPPed has been sued for speaking out against or about a person or entity. In these actions, the plaintiff accuses a person or business of harming them by speaking out publicly with malicious intent. For example, small businesses in a village may protest plans to build a huge shopping mall nearby and in the process spread a false rumor about the developers. The owners of the proposed mall might sue them for alleged defamation – libel (written statements) or…
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Reference Pricing Can Reduce Medical Outlays, Costs

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In an effort to coax health plan participants to use price-shopping behavior when deciding on where to have a procedure, more insurers are starting to roll out a system known as “reference pricing.” With reference pricing, the health insurer imposes a limit on the amount it will pay for a particular procedure – a limit that is reasonable and allows access to care for patients. The price is usually a median or average price in the local market. When a health plan participant selects a provider that charges less than the cap, they will receive the standard coverage with little…
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The Opioid Crisis’ Effect on Your Business

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that opioid prescriptions nearly quadrupled between 1999 and 2013. Prescription opioids include medicines such as Vicodin, morphine and methadone. Opioid addiction is a tragedy for individuals and their families, but it is also having a profound impact on businesses and organizations. Consider: An economist at Goldman Sachs reported in July 2017 that addiction to opioids is partly responsible for the failure of many prime working-age men to rejoin the workforce since the end of the Great Recession. The National Safety Council has reported that 39% of employers have experienced absenteeism…
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Five Tips for Streamlining Your Insurance Policy Audit

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Are you due for a workers’ compensation premium audit? Audits are how insurance rates are determined, and it’s possible that an audit will uncover information that can actually save you money. Additionally, audits are important to make sure that your employee counts and job descriptions haven’t changed, so that the premium can accurately reflect your current operations. The audit can be stressful, but the key is preparation. These five tips can help you get ready: Tell your broker when there are changes in your staffing, payroll or areas of operation – This is important not just at audit time, but…
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IRS in Full Swing on ACA Compliance Despite Uncertainty

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Despite the lull in activity in Washington on the future of the Affordable Care Act and the threats by President Trump to sink the law by not enforcing regulations, the IRS is in full swing in ensuring compliance. The agency in August released new draft IRS forms for use by applicable large employers (ALEs – or companies with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees) to report health insurance information for their workers. The agency also released the filing schedule for reporting employee health insurance data as required by the ACA for the 2017 tax year. Furthermore, the IRS…
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What Keeps Business Owners up at Night?

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Business owners have a lot of risks on their minds these days. Complying with regulations, holding on to their best workers, the constant threat of computer hackers, increasingly unpredictable weather – all of these have businesses worried. According to the “2016 Travelers Risk Index” from the Travelers Companies, fewer business leaders saw the world as riskier than they did the year before. However, they expressed concern about the following factors: Medical/employee benefit cost inflation. The rising cost of medical care is the top concern for all businesses. This worry is rational: Government data shows that medical costs rose by nearly…
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ADA Access Demand Letters Rear Their Ugly Heads

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Despite the fact that a law was enacted in 2013 to curtail “drive-by” Americans with Disabilities Act access lawsuits, the practice has been revived by crafty plaintiff attorneys. According to recent news reports, employers still receive letters from lawyers who demand payment on behalf of disabled clients in exchange for not suing the establishment for violating ADA access rules. The lawyers are banking on the business owners not knowing a law that took effect in 2013 that bars attorneys from making monetary demands in initial letters complaining about a possible ADA violation. If you have a business that deals with…
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Your Liability Every Time Someone Enters Your Facility

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One sure-fire way for a business to get sued is if a visitor – a customer, vendor or anyone else – injures themselves while on your premises. While you may already do all you can to keep employees and customers safe, you are likely still exposed to being sued if someone injures themselves in one of your facilities. Alhough the most common situation that comes to mind is the slip and fall accident, your liability for injuries sustained on your property extends far beyond such injuries. What you need to know It doesn’t matter if you own your building or…
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