8 Tips People Should Know About To Prevent Older Adults From Falling

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People may take for granted how easy it is for them to move around when they know every step and corner of their home. But that is not the case for many older adults, whose declining balance, coordination or vision may put them at significant risk of falling. The risk of falling increases with each decade of life.  Injuries resulting from a fall, such as a hip fracture or head injury can affect an older adult’s health and take away their independence. Each year, one in every three adults age 65 or older falls, and more than 2 million are treated in emergency departments for injuries that result from falls.

 

The good news is that falls can be prevented, and over the last few decades, the CDC Injury Center has learned a lot about how to prevent falls in older adults

Getting regular exercise that focuses on improving balance and leg strength can decrease the risk of falling.  Some medicines, taken alone or combined with other medicines can increase the risk of falling.  Vision problems that sometimes increase with age also increase risk.  Having regular eye examinations and making sure that eyeglass prescriptions are correct are important.   Talking about this with a health care provider or pharmacist can help older adults understand and decrease these risks.

Since about half of all falls happen at home, there are things that families, friends, and caregivers can do to help older adults reduce fall hazards in the home.

Here are 8 quick tips on how to help older adults reduce their chances of falling in their own homes.

  1. Remove things they can trip over (like papers, books, clothes, and shoes) from stairs and places where they walk.
  2. Install handrails on both sides of stairs (for inside and outside stairs).
  3. Make sure that lighting in the home is good and allows someone to see any possible hazards.  It is very important to have good lighting at the top and bottom of stairs.
  4. Put grab bars inside and next to the tub or shower and next to the toilet, if needed.
  5. Use non-slip mats in the bathtub and on shower floors.
  6. Remove small throw rugs or use double-sided tape to keep the rugs from slipping.
  7. Put frequently used items in cabinets or on shelves that can be reached easily without using a step stool.
  8. Encourage them to wear shoes both inside and outside the house and to avoid going barefoot or wearing socks or slippers around the house.
The above is an excerpt from the article, “8 Tips People Should Know About To Older Adults From Falling.” For more information, please visit www.osha.gov.

How Employers Can Encourage Driver Safety

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Every 12 minutes someone dies in a motor vehicle crash, every 10 seconds an injury occurs and every 5 seconds a crash occurs. Many of these incidents occur during the workday or during the commute to and from work. Employers bear the cost for injuries that occur both on and off the job. Whether you manage a fleet of vehicles, oversee a mobile sales force or simply employ commuters, by implementing a driver safety program in the workplace you can greatly reduce the risks faced by your employees and their families while protecting your company’s bottom line.

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death and injury for all ages. Crashes on and off the job have far-reaching financial and psychological effects on employees, their coworkers and families, and their employers. You need a driver safety program:

  • To save lives and to reduce the risk of life-altering injuries within your workforce.
  • To protect your organization’s human and financial resources.
  • To guard against potential company and personal liabilities associated with crashes involving employees driving on company business.

Your program should work to keep the driver and those with whom he/she shares the road safe. And, if necessary, the program must work to change driver attitudes, improve behavior, and increase skills to build a “be safe” culture. By instructing your employees in basic safe driving practices and then rewarding safety-conscious behavior, you can help your employees and their families avoid tragedy.

Employees are an employer’s most valuable assets. Workplace driver safety programs not only make good business sense but also are a good employee relations tool, demonstrating that employers care about their employees.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Guidelines for Employers to Reduce Motor Vehicle Crashes.” For more information, please visit www.osha.gov.

Information You Need While Shopping For Business Insurance

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Copies of All Current Policies and Declarations Pages

If you are changing carriers or looking to change coverage, you will need copies of your current policies so your insurance professional can have the policies terminated and your new coverage start without a lapse or an overage of coverage.

With this information your insurance professional can also give you a comparison of available products to what you currently carry.

Identify Critical or Unusual Equipment

You may need specialized coverage for equipment that poses an exceptional risk or is so critical to your business that its loss can lead to a lengthy business interruption.  So bring these things to the attention of your insurance professional.

License Information on All Drivers or Operators in Your Business

If you will have employees driving or operating equipment, then you will need to have each of those employees drivers’ license information.  A simple way to do this is to have the licenses photocopied (scanned is better) regularly and kept in the employee’s file.

Information Regarding Past Claims

Last, but not least; prior claims.  Business owners are sometimes hesitant to discuss prior claims.  You must have prior claims information available.  You must discuss the prior claims with your insurance professional and accurately report the claims on any application when asked.  It may be that a particular claim was causing your rate to be higher.  By providing additional information your agent is able to clear up your record and secure lower rates.

This is an excerpt from the article “Business Insurance Purchase Checklist”.  For more information, please visit the Business Insurance section of www.about.com.

General Categories of Business Insurance

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Business insurance is a broad description that can be broken down into a list of nine types of insurance policies and here I will briefly explain the coverage and expand on these as individual topics.  For now, these are general descriptions so that we are talking about the same thing when I use these terms in later articles.

  • Property Insurance

Property insurance insures against loss or damage to the location of the business and its contents.  It can also insure  the property of others in your control when the loss occurs.  Property insurance can be a specific risk. For example,  a fire insurance policy insures only against a fire loss to the location.  A tornado is not a fire and, therefore, that loss would not be covered.  The insured location can be owned, leased, or rented.

  • Casualty Insurance

Some insurers will lump property and casualty insurance together and refer to the coverage as “property and casualty” insurance.  In fact, “packaged” policies of property and casualty are often the best purchase a business owner can make.  However, to have an understanding of the difference between the coverage, I will discuss this as a separate type of insurance.  Casualty insurance insures against loss of damage to the business.

  • Liability Insurance

Liability insurance insures against liability legally imposed upon your business because of the negligence of the business or its employees.  Put another way, it protects your business when the business is sued for negligence.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Types of Business Insurance.” For more information, please visit businessinsure.about.com.

Five Ways to Beat a Government Impostor Scam

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  1. Don’t wire money

Scammers often pressure people into wiring money, or strongly suggest that people put money on a prepaid debit card and send it to them. Why? It’s like sending cash: once it’s gone, you can’t trace it or get it back. Never deposit a “winnings” check and wire money back, either. The check is a fake, no matter how good it looks, and you will owe the bank any money you withdraw. And don’t share your account information, or send a check or money order using an overnight delivery or courier service. Con artists recommend these services so they can get your money before you realize you’ve been cheated.

  1. Don’t pay for a prize

If you enter and win a legitimate sweepstakes, you don’t have to pay insurance, taxes, or shipping charges to collect your prize. If you have to pay, it’s not a prize. And companies, including Lloyd’s of London, don’t insure delivery of sweepstakes winnings.

If you didn’t enter a sweepstakes or lottery, then you can’t have won. Remember that it’s illegal to play aforeign lottery through the mail or over the phone.

  1. Don’t give the caller your financial or other personal information

Never give out or confirm financial or other sensitive information, including your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number, unless you know who you’re dealing with. Scam artists, like fake debt collectors, can use your information to commit identity theft — charging your existing credit cards, opening new credit card, checking, or savings accounts, writing fraudulent checks, or taking out loans in your name. If you get a call about a debt that may be legitimate — but you think the collector may not be — contact the company you owe money to about the calls.

  1. Don’t trust a name or number

Con artists use official-sounding names to make you trust them. It’s illegal for any promoter to lie about an affiliation with — or an endorsement by — a government agency or any other well-known organization. No matter how convincing their story — or their stationery — they’re lying. No legitimate government official will ask you to send money to collect a prize, and they won’t call to collect your debt.

To make their call seem legitimate, scammers also use internet technology to disguise their area code. So even though it may look like they’re calling from Washington, DC, they could be calling from anywhere in the world.

  1. Put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry

Ok, so this won’t stop scammers from calling. But it should make you skeptical of calls you get from out of the blue. Most legitimate sales people generally honor the Do Not Call list. Scammers ignore it. Putting your number on the list helps to “screen” your calls for legitimacy and reduce the number of legitimate telemarketing calls you get. Register your phone number at donotcall.gov.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Five Ways to Beat a Government Imposter Scam.” For more information, please visit www.consumer.ftc.gov/.

Types of Business Insurance: Commercial Auto, Workers Compensation, Business Interruption

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  • Commercial Auto

Your personal automobile policy does NOT cover vehicles used by your business. If your business uses vehicles or  anything that is required to be titled by your state, then you need a commercial auto policy. Commercial auto coverage insures against property damage to vehicles and damage caused to others by those vehicles.

  • Workers’ Compensation and State Specific Insurance for Employee Injuries (e.g., Stop – Gap)

You will need to insure your employees against on-the-job injuries. Every state is different. But, most states have put into place some form of workers’ compensation system. Workers’ compensation is a system where the employee is not allowed by statute to sue their employer for on-the-job injuries; but, in return, the employer must participate in a system that provides nearly automatic payment to the employee in case of injury for medical bills and damages. There are many options for workers’ compensation coverage. Some states allow an employer to opt-out of the system if the employer is self insured, some run the system through private insurers while others use state agencies. Finally, some states, by virtue of case law or statute, require additional insurance above workers’ compensation such as “stop-gap” coverage or “scaffolding liability” as just two examples.

  • Business Interruption Insurance

Business interruption insurance insures against loss or damage to the cash flow and profit of a business caused by the business being unable to operate because of interruption. The easiest example is to think about a critical piece of machinery being struck by lightning. The repairs to the machine may be covered by other coverage such as property or casualty insurance. But, if you can’t make widgets for three months, then there is no replacement of that income without this coverage.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “Types of Business Insurance.” For more information, please visit businessinsure.about.com.

How to Prepare a Business Insurance Budget – Start With Must Have Insurance

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Start With Must Have Insurance – Certain insurance you must have or you cannot do business. Start your budget with the premiums for this must have insurance.

What is must have insurance? Here are examples:

  • Workers Compensation if you have employees
  • Professional Liability Insurance if mandated by your profession.
  • Commercial Auto Insurance if your business will use vehicles

Establish the must have insurance budget first.  New business owners are often shocked by this expense.

Budget for insurance necessary by contract – Next, determine what insurance is necessary to comply with contracts.  Your lease will require property insurance naming the landlord.  Clients will require employees to be bonded and insured.  Public contracts will have large insurance requirements.

Insure your most important asset: You and Your People – Health insurance may not be a mandate in your state.  Life insurance is not a mandate.  But, consider some level of health, life and disability insurance for your employees and for yourself.  Section 125 Plans and High Deductible Plans are an excellent, inexpensive, option for employers.

Insure the second most important asset: Customers – After making sure you can do business legally and provide some protection for you and your employees, budget to protect your customers with liability insurance.  You will want to insure against damage to your customers or their property with liability insurance.  Selling, manufacturing or distributing products will require product liability insurance.

Insure Continually – Next, insure for the continuity of the business.  Consider:

  • Life and Disability for key partners and employees.
  • Business Interruption to provide income in case of a disruption.

Budget for Risk Management and Reduction – In a perfect world, I would put this at the top of the list.  However, most businesses have nothing left over for risk reduction.

At a minimum consider the use of a written safety policy.  If possible, consider the use of a third-party safety service to do this for your business.

Managing and reducing risk lowers premiums.  Include risk management from the start of the business and you will be able to follow the reduction of premium expenses over time.

The above is an excerpt from the article, “How to Prepare a Business Insurance Budget.” For more information, please visit businessinsure.about.com.

5 Pillars of Small Businesses Success

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What does it take for a small business to achieve success?

Whether you’re already in business, or preparing to start a business, it takes hard work, tenacity and drive to achieve a high level of success. Lori Greiner, star shark of ABC’s Shark Tank says, “Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week.”

According to Elizabeth Wilson of Entrepreneur Magazine, while some 40 million businesses are started each year, a paltry 350,000 break out of the pack and begin growing and making money. So how can a small business owner overcome some of the common business pitfalls? Marcus Lemonis, CEO of Camping World and star of CNBC’s prime time reality series The Profit, knows all about determining the success or failure of a business. Lemonis says, “Business success is about the three P’s: People, Process and Product.” Here are five pillars that make a small business successful.

1) People

If you want your small business to succeed, you need a fantastic team. Russell Simmons, Entrepreneur and founder or Def Jam Recordings says, “Surround yourself with people that are smarter than you.” A company can accomplish amazing things when it has leadership and a team who is inspired, hardworking and believes in the company’s mission.

2) Plan

“Quality is the best business plan, period,” says John Lasseter, chief creative officer for Pixar and Disney. Just about everyone in the business world agrees that having a plan is important. And that doesn’t mean the big formal business plan document you fear like a term paper. It starts small and may grow in time. At a start-up, implementation is everything. That means it’s essential to establish responsibilities, set goals, and track performance. You will also need to answer key questions, such as:

  • Have you identified your target customers?
  • What problems are you trying to solve for them?
  • What will be the most effective marketing and promotional strategies?

3) Process

Dr. W. Edwards Deming said, “85 percent of the reasons for failure to meet customer expectations are related to deficiencies in systems and processes…rather than the employee.” It’s crucial that you have a full and clear understanding of your company’s processes and have the right systems in place.

4) Product

Does your product solve a problem? Does it exist yet? Is there something that is out there that your product does in a different way? Is there a demand for your product? Success in business requires doing something you’re passionate about that fills a need in the marketplace. Debbi Fields, Founder of Mrs. Fields Bakeries says, “Once you find something you love to do, be the best at doing it.”

5) Profit

When it comes to measuring a successful business, profitability is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Is the company making money? A critical component of running a successful business is knowing your numbers. “If you want to be successful in business, you need to become proficient at handling certain numbers. You need to be able to read and understand your financial dashboard” says Dawn Fotopulos, Associate Professor of Business at The King’s College in New York.

Starting and running a successful business can be a fulfilling and rewarding experience. You as a small business owner should never stop learning, innovating, planning and growing. “Leaders spend five percent of their time on the problem and 95 percent of their time on the solution. Get over it & crush it!” says Tony Robbins.

The above is an excerpt adapted from the article, “5 Pillars of Small Businesses Success.” For more information, please visit www.sba.gov.

Watch Out For Frozen Pipes This Winter

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Frozen pipes are one of the biggest risks of property damage when the temperature drops. A burst pipe can cause more than $5,000 in water damage, according to IBHS research.

There are several effective waysto prevent pipes from freezing, including keeping the interior temperature from dropping below 32 degrees and properly insulating the space:

  • Provide a reliable back-up power source, such as a stand by generator, to ensure continuous power to the building.
  • Interior building temperature can be monitored by a central monitoring company to ensure prompt notification if the interior of the building reaches low temperatures during after hours, power outages or idle periods.
  • Recessed light fixtures in the ceiling below the open area that is directly under a roof, such as attic space, should be insulated to prevent the release of heat into the attic.
  • Check to see if there is any visible light from recessed light fixtures in the attic.click here
  • If there is, they are not adequately sealed or insulated. Sometimes, especially in low sloped roof buildings, the space above a suspended ceiling located below the roof may be heated and cooled like the occupied area below.
  • If that is the case, there is no need to insulate above the suspended ceiling or seal the ceiling’s penetrations.
  • Insulate all attic penetrations such as partition walls, vents, plumbing stacks, electric and mechanical chases, and access doors that are not properly sealed.
  • Ensure proper seals on all doors and windows. Depending on the building or room size, fan tests can be conducted to ensure room and pressurization tests.
  • Seal all wall cracks and penetrations including domestic and fire protection lines, electrical conduit, other utility service line, etc.
  • Sprinkler systems should be monitored by a constantly attended central station to provide early detection of a sprinkler pipe rupture due to freezing.
  • Insulation and/or heat trace tape with a reliable power source may be installed on various wet sprinkler system piping. This includes main lines coming up from underground passing through a wall as well as sprinkler branch lines.
  • UL-approved gas or electric unit heaters can be installed in unheated sprinkler control valve/fire pump rooms. If back up power is provided, the heaters should also be connected to this power source.
  • A monitored automatic excess flow switch can be placed on the main incoming domestic water line to provide early detection of a broken pipe or valve when the space is unoccupied.busted_copper_pipe_fromice
  • Ensure proper seals on all doors and windows. Depending on the building or room size, fan tests can be conducted to ensure room and pressurization tests.
  • Seal all wall cracks and penetrations including domestic and fire protection lines, electrical conduit, other utility service line, etc.
  • Sprinkler systems should be monitored by a constantly attended central station to provide early detection of a sprinkler pipe rupture due to freezing.
  • Insulation and/or heat trace tape with a reliable power source may be installed on various wet sprinkler system piping. This includes main lines coming up from underground passing through a wall as well as sprinkler branch lines.
  • UL-approved gas or electric unit heaters can be installed in unheated sprinkler control valve/fire pump rooms. If back up power is provided, the heaters should also be connected to this power source.
  • A monitored automatic excess flow switch can be placed on the main incoming domestic water line to provide early detection of a broken pipe or valve when the space is unoccupied.
The above is an excerpt from the article, “Preventing Frozen Pipes.” For more information, please visit www.disastersafety.org.

Stop The Noise To Gain Productivity

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A recent study corroborates previous research—noise affects workplace productivity.Cambridge Sound Management conducted a survey about workplace noise. It found nearly 30 percent of office employees are distracted by conversations of their coworkers, with men more affected than women.

Not all noise affects productivity in the same way. The “intelligibility” of the noise often determines reduced or lost productivity.

When you are exposed to sound, such as loud public environments, the noise is more like a “hum” with less distraction. In an office environment, where coworkers are talking, many people can become easily distracted because the words are intelligible and readily understood. Lisa Evans “The Not So Silent Office Productivity Killer,” http://www.fastcompany.com (Nov. 12, 2014).

Commentary

There are two types of noise, the droning noise that you can effectively filter like wind or engine noise. Then there is conversational noise where no matter how hard you try not to listen you hear every word of the conversation next to you.

So, what can you do to keep employees focused?

First, create quiet zones for focus-driven work.

Next, provide separate areas for meeting and private conversations or calls.

Allow earplugs and headphones, especially with phones so that employees can keep their speaking levels even. Noise cancellation ear buds are an excellent option.

Ask your employees to set their cell phones to vibrate because ringtones, especially musical ringtones, are the most disruptive.

The following article is provided courtesy of The McCalmon Group.