Fall protection has been number one for the past few years on the annual list of workplace violations released by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). In fact, “Fall Protection – General Requirements” tops the current list by a wide margin with 6,072 violations. Falls are among the most common causes of serious work related injuries and deaths. Employers must set up the work place to prevent employees from falling off of overhead platforms, elevated work stations or into holes in the floor and walls.
If you could give human form to your safety culture, what would it look like?
Maybe it would be a thick-set, shirtless brute named Trog with a foul disposition beating out a drum cadence to keep your employees rowing in-sync.
Or would it be more like a fussy and constantly disapproving Dickensian paper-pusher named Fizzlewhite who has never met a rule or procedure he didn’t like, even though he hasn’t done most of the things he creates rules to address?
If you were to search the various “mommy blogs” and parenting advice websites out there, how many of them do you think would endorse the following practice?
A child’s safety should always be a top priority for any parent. When leaving children under the age of 10 alone in the house for lengthy periods of time, be sure to provide the kids with a loaded pistol with the safety off in case a stranger should happen by. In a pinch, recently sharpened knives can be substituted for the pistol.
Every health and welfare plan (health, dental, vision, short-term disability, long-term disability, AD&D, Health FSA, etc.) subject to ERISA that has 100 or more participants on the first day of the plan year is required to file a Form 5500 with the federal Department of Labor (DOL) seven months after the end of the plan year. There’s a lot of to unpack in that statement, but a hidden issue that often gets overlooked is just how many plans are there.
During the White House’s Summit on Working Families on June 24, 2014, President Obama indicated he was signing a presidential memorandum requiring every federal agency to address flexible work schedules and give employees the right to request such schedules. Absent what could be a dramatic increase in workplace flexibility for federal employees, it is undeniable that the demand for flexibility and work-life balance is on the rise.
When the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) comes knocking, you may want to scream “why me?” Herein lies part of the problem. With a significant increase in audits and civil investigations over recent years, the more appropriate question is “why not me?” Rather than cross your fingers and hope for the best, it’s time to be proactive and prepare your organization for a DOL audit.
On May 11, 2014, the governor of Minnesota signed the Women’s Economic Security Act (WESA), a bill that will require Minnesota employers to make dramatic changes to their employment policies and practices.
While WESA directly impacts employers who conduct business in Minnesota, the changes follow plans by federal and local governments to expand legal protections for women and other employees. For this reason, employers in other jurisdictions should pay close attention to these national and state law trends.
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is more than 20 years old, yet employers have many questions on how the law applies to their workforce. Unfortunately, mistakes in the application can have significant business and legal consequences.
Making FMLA mistakes can be costly, and many employers make mistakes they don’t even know they are making. Let’s take a look at five common leave-of-absence mistakes based on our experience with real clients from our HR Hotline.
Let me see a show of hands. How many of you enjoy forking over fistfuls of cash to the government when you could easily have avoided doing so? Anyone? Anyone?
So why do I ask? Well, governmental agencies have been getting increasingly aggressive about conducting audits and investigations. Not only have the number of audits and investigations been increasing, but so too have the fines and penalties that result.
Have you ever been truly critical of something? I’m not talking about wretched little Internet trolls who leave snarky comments about emaciated actresses who look “fat” because the camera caught them at a funny angle.
I’m talking about actually trying to find fault with something where there may be very little fault to be found. Risk managers and people in quality assurance engage in these sorts of exercises all the time to uncover potential threats before they become problems.
Let’s say that one of the components of your wellness program involves biometric screening that uses discounts on insurance premiums as an incentive to get people to go through the screening. The government has seen fit to issue all sorts of regulations that control the way that many common wellness program practices can be performed. What are you supposed to do now?
Risk management and human resources are traditionally two different job functions, and the people in these areas have rarely crossed paths — but that is changing.
Why are these people starting to work together more frequently?
Foth Companies, headquartered in Green Bay, Wis., understands the link between the company’s success and the well-being of its employees. Implementing a wellness program called “Workin’ Well” featuring health risk assessments (HRAs) is one way the company is demonstrating its commitment to employees.
Whether it’s petty theft, a complex embezzlement scheme or the threat of workplace violence, when it comes to keeping your business and employees safe, you have to consider the possibility that some workplace crimes may be perpetrated by your own employees. In addition to the direct costs of the injuries and losses stemming from the criminal activity, you may face additional liability where you knew or should have known that your employee was unfit and posed a risk to others and you failed to exercise reasonable care in hiring or in retaining that individual. So how do you protect your business and employees from workplace crime?
A recent survey by the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) reported 94% of leaders feel employee engagement is an important or very important workforce challenge. An engaged workforce increases operational income by over 19%, while a disengaged workforce can drain over 34% of an organizations’ operational income. Additional risks of low engagement can be seen in increased turnover, low customer satisfaction ratings and even increased employment litigation.
If you are a Minnesota employer, here's a quick recap to this point: OSHA passed a new rule; said it didn't apply to you; then said it did apply to you; then said it had no way to enforce it. Last week, Minnesota finally got around to adopting the federal rule effective immediately, but with a twist. Read on to find out what this means for Minnesota employers.
In the ongoing battle to contain costs, employers are always looking for tools, old and new, to help keep their healthcare spending in check. One approach is healthcare consumerism — but too often consumerism is discussed as just another plan design option and many employers are hesitant to implement this cost-saving strategy.
Health plan benchmarking is an essential part of your strategic plan, for two important reasons:
What are some of the critical decisions you must make when designing your organization’s health plan?
Caregiving is having a tremendous impact on employee health, touching many of the other health dimensions — quite possibly all of them. Caregiving for a loved one is a very important aspect of our lifecycle but it comes with great demands that need to be addressed — especially in the workplace.
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