Workers’ Compensation

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Eight Simple First-aid Tips That Could Save an Employee’s Life


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Thousands of employees are killed or suffer serious injuries at work every year. Yet, a staggering 58 percent of employees are unfamiliar with their organization’s health and safety practices, according to a study conducted by international safety barrier manufacturer, A-SAFE.

Review these eight simple first-aid tips with your employees to ensure that your whole team is capable of providing aid to co-workers if necessary:

  1. Unresponsive and not breathing
  • Check breathing by tilting their head backwards and looking and feeling for breaths.
  • Call 911 as soon as possible.
  • Place the victim on his or her back on a flat surface. Make sure the person’s airway is clear.
  • Place the heel of one hand over the center of the chest, and your other hand on top of the first. Using your upper body weight, forcefully push straight down on the chest at a fast pace. Continue compressions until paramedics arrive (unless instructed differently by medical personnel over the phone).
  • If you are well-trained in CPR and feel confident in your abilities, you may alternate two rescue breaths for each set of 30 chest compressions (unless instructed otherwise by medical personnel over the phone).
  1. Unresponsive and breathing
  • Check breathing by tilting their head backwards and looking and feeling for breaths.
  • Move them onto their side and tilt their head back.
  • Call 911, as soon as possible.
  1. Choking
  • Stand behind the choking person and wrap your arms around his or her waist. Bend the person slightly forward.
  • Make a fist with one hand and place it slightly above the person’s navel.
  • Grasp your fist with the other hand and press hard into the abdomen with a quick, upward thrust.
  • Repeat this procedure until the object is expelled from the airway.
  • If you must perform this maneuver on yourself, position your own fist slightly above your navel. Grasp your fist with your other hand and thrust upward into your abdomen until the object is expelled.
  • Call 911, if necessary.
  1. Heavy bleeding
  • Using a clean dry cloth, put pressure on the wound to stop or slow down the flow of blood.
  • Call 911, as soon as possible.
  • Keep pressure on the wound until help arrives.
  1. Burns
  • If the skin is not broken, run cool water over the burn for several minutes.
  • Cover the burn with a sterile bandage or clean cloth.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever to relieve any swelling or pain.
  • Do not place any creams or ice on the burned area.
  • Seek emergency treatment for more serious burns immediately.
  1. Broken bone
  • Have the person support the injury with his or her hand, or use a cushion or items of clothing to prevent unnecessary movement.
  • Call 911, as soon as possible.
  • Continue supporting the injury until help arrives.
  1. Shock
  • Call 911, as soon as possible.
  • Have the victim lie down on his or her back and elevate the feet higher than the head. Keep the victim from moving unnecessarily.
  • Keep the victim warm and comfortable. Loosen tight clothing and cover him or her with a blanket.
  • Do not give the victim anything to drink.
  • If he or she is vomiting or bleeding from the mouth, place the victim on his or her side to prevent choking.
  • Treat any other injuries appropriately.
  • Begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if victim is not breathing.
  1. Nosebleed
  • Have the victim sit or stand upright to slow the flow of blood in the nose. Do NOT tip the head back.
  • Gently pinch the nose with your thumb and forefinger for 10 minutes, maintaining pressure. Have the victim breathe through the mouth during this time.
  • Seek medical care if bleeding lasts for more than 20 minutes or if the nosebleed resulted from a broken nose or head trauma.

Reminding employees about the importance of safety and looking out for one another should be a regular practice. Visit our Risk Management Toolbox website for more resources to make safety a priority at your organization. If you are interested in formal first aid training for your team, please contact our Safety Director Reed Balls at rballs@aplusbenefits.com. Keep each other safe.

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A Plus BenefitsEight Simple First-aid Tips That Could Save an Employee’s Life

Prevent Heat Sickness as Temperatures Rise


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Hot weather, especially when combined with strenuous physical labor, can cause body temperatures to rise to unsafe levels—leading to heat illnesses. Outdoor workers are especially vulnerable to heat-related illnesses because they spend the majority of the day outside in direct sunlight. Please share this information with your employees as the hot weather approaches.

There are a variety of heat illnesses, including heat stroke, heat exhaustion, dehydration and heat cramps. Each of these illnesses vary in symptoms and severity, but commonly cause dizziness, weakness, nausea, blurry vision, confusion or loss of consciousness.

To stay safe from the heat when working outdoors, consider doing the following:

  • Wear loose, light-colored clothing whenever possible.
  • Shield your head and face from direct sunlight with a hat.
  • Take short breaks to rest in the shade. If you are wearing heavy protective gear, consider removing it during your break to cool off even more.
  • Ease into your work, gradually building up to more strenuous activity as the day progresses. In addition, you should avoid overexerting yourself during peak temperature periods (midday).
  • Drink liquids frequently, even if you don’t feel thirsty. Experts recommend drinking at least 8 ounces every 20 to 30 minutes to stay hydrated. Stick to water, fruit juice and sport drinks. Try to avoid caffeinated beverages, as they can dehydrate you.

Employees should monitor themselves and co-workers on hot days. If you notice any signs of heat illness, notify your on-duty supervisor immediately.

Most often, heat illness sufferers can be treated by being moved to a cooler area and given liquids. In extreme cases of heat stroke where an employee is unconscious, you will have to call an ambulance immediately.

If you have questions about how you can keep your employees safe, contact our Safety Director Reed Balls at rballs@aplusbeneifts.com

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A Plus BenefitsPrevent Heat Sickness as Temperatures Rise
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Ladder Safety is Important for All Work Environments


Did you know that 43% of fatal falls in the last decade have involved a ladder? And among construction workers, an estimated 81% of fall injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments involve a ladder? But, ladders aren’t only used in construction environments. Many office, manufacturing and retail workplaces have ladders that employees may use occasionally. Any employee that may use a ladder should be trained on appropriate use. Here are some great reminders from the Ladder Safety Hub blog:folding-ladder-1122072_640

  1. Before you use your ladder, make sure the ground you are putting it on is level. If you need to, dig out one side to make the ladder even with the other side. You also can use levelers. Don’t use your ladder on stairs unless you are using an articulating ladder.
  2. When calculating the weight being put on a ladder, make sure to include the tools and supplies the worker will be using. If the ladder is rated for 250 pounds, and the worker weighs 240 pounds, he or she should have no more than 10 pounds of equipment.
  3. Why is the bottom rung the most dangerous? Because that’s the rung that gets missed the most. Almost 20 percent of all ladder accidents are caused by the worker thinking he is on the last rung when, in fact, he has another one or two rungs (so one or two feet) to go. These accidents can lead to sprains, strains and, in the more serious cases, broken bones.
  4. When climbing the ladder, keep your center of gravity between the rails. Often, people will lean to save time so they don’t have to move the ladder. Doing this is not only dangerous, but can cost more time in the long run if there is any sort of accident.
  5. When working on a ladder, don’t stand on the top rung or top cap. The top rung serves no purpose but to hold a warning label. When a worker climbs on the top rung or top cap, he or she risks a ladder accident.
  6. Different jobs require different ladders. Don’t use an A-frame when an extension ladder should be used or an extension ladder when an A-frame would be better.

If you would like help putting together ladder safety training for your employees, contact our Safety Director Reed Balls at 801-443-1090 or rballs@aplusbenefits.com for more information.

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A Plus BenefitsLadder Safety is Important for All Work Environments
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Reminding Employees About the Dangers of Distracted Driving


April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month, making it a great time to remind your employees about the dangers of distracted driving.

What is distracted driving?
“Distracted driving” is defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as any activity that diverts a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.

Some examples include:mobile-1209058_1280

  • Talking on a cell phone (even using a hands-free device)
  • Texting
  • Eating
  • Applying makeup
  • Adjusting the radio or temperature controls

Why is it important for businesses to take a stand against distracted driving?
Driving safety should be a priority for every company. You may be thinking “I don’t employ any drivers,” but I guarantee that most, if not all of your employees drive into work each day. Making sure employees return home safely to their families each night means that they are able to return happy and healthy to work the next day.

Additionally, the cost of on-the-job crashes for employers is enormous and can cripple small businesses:

  • $60 billion – Annual cost to businesses
  • $16,500 – Average cost of one crash
  • $74,000 – Average cost when on-the-job crash causes an injury
  • More than $500,000 – Average cost when a fatality is involved

What can employers do about it?
 Here are some steps you can take to make sure your team is safe when they are driving:

  • Have a written cell phone use policy for employees who drive company vehicles or are driving their own vehicles on company time. If you would like an example policy, contact A Plus Benefits.
  • Owners, executives and managers must set a good example for the rest of the team by following the company driving polices.
  • Offer periodic training to employees on defensive driving, distracted driving and other driver safety. Contact A Plus Benefits for training materials or assistance.
  • Encourage employees to drive safely (put down cell phones, avoid eating, etc.) even when they are not on the clock.

Where can I find more information about distracted driving?
Here are some additional resources to share with your team this month to keep the focus on safe driving:

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A Plus BenefitsReminding Employees About the Dangers of Distracted Driving

Top Ten OSHA Violations for 2015


Last week, OSHA announced the top safety violations for 2015 at the National Safety Congress. The top 10 violations were:

  1. Fall Protectionforklift-835342_1280
  2. Hazard Communication
  3. Scaffolding
  4. Respiratory Protection
  5. Lockout/Tagout
  6. Powered Industrial Trucks
  7. Ladders
  8. Electrical – Wiring Methods
  9. Machine Guarding
  10. Electrical – General Requirements

For the past few years, these top 10 violations have been very similar. If you haven’t conducted training or updated your safety manual for these topics, now would be a great time to do that.  As we discussed in a previous blog post, the ROI of a safety program is almost always positive (only 5% of businesses report a negative ROI). Check out our infographic for a great place to start.

Do you know if you would pass an OSHA inspection? Contact a member of our Account Management team to request a safety audit from our expert Safety Director.

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A Plus BenefitsTop Ten OSHA Violations for 2015

3 Reasons PEOs Make Sense for Small Businesses


When an individual decides to start a business it is because they love what they do. They have a passion for their industry that drives them to put in the time and resources to build a company of their own. What most small business owners don’t have a passion for is all of the pieces that come along with hiring employees. Finding and keeping great employees is necessary for any business that wants to grow and succeed. But many small business owners struggle to find the time to focus on the growth of their employees and their business. That is where a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) comes in.Success

Partnering with a PEO gives a business owner:

More time: Partnering with a PEO means you spend less time on the administrative tasks related to your employees. PEOs process your payroll, pay your quarterly and annual employer taxes, issue W-2s, complete unemployment paperwork, track employee time off, negotiate with insurance carriers, train employees, conduct drug screening and a number of other time consuming tasks that pull you away from the reason you went into business in the first place.

Better access to resources: The nature of the PEO relationship allows companies to have access to a wide variety of resources including employee benefits such as health, dental, vision, life insurance, disability, 401(k), and flexible spending accounts. These benefits usually come with enhanced coverage at a lower cost since PEOs are able pool small businesses together to provide better buying power.

Expert advice: Most business owners are experts in their field. They may know everything there is to know about plumbing, advertising, or dentistry, but they are not experts in human resources, payroll, benefits or risk management. A PEO hires skilled employees in each of these departments, providing immediate access to expert level advice whenever it is needed.

Over the past 25 years, A Plus Benefits has learned from our clients that the benefits small and medium sized business experience from partnering with a PEO are second to none. We have been lucky enough to work with great businesses over the years and learn a lot about what it takes for small businesses to succeed, but you don’t have to take our word for it. Research shows that “small businesses that use PEOs grow 7 to 9 percent faster, have employee turnover that is 23 to 32 percent lower, and are 50 percent less likely to go out of business than companies that don’t use PEOs.”

If you want to know more about how working with a PEO can benefit your business specifically, contact us today for a no-obligation consultation.

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A Plus Benefits3 Reasons PEOs Make Sense for Small Businesses