The Human Cost of Motor Vehicle Accidents

gpsfs_driver-safety_wrecked-truckDrivers take a lot of risks on our roads today – with people speeding, driving impaired, massive traffic congestion and the prevalent use of mobile phones all has led to a high probability of accidents.

Employees injured in a motor vehicle accident can have a negative boomerang effect to a company by incurring costs such as lost production, workers compensation, replacement costs such as new staff and equipment, insurance premiums/increases and a potential burden of civil lawsuits. But the huge financial burden and human cost of road crashes goes far beyond your workplace. In 2013 the National Safety Council documented the estimated cost of motor vehicle deaths was $267.5 billion.

via Welcome to the Fleet Safety Institute.

Helpful Tips for Healthy Holiday Parties

d73a50e0cdf06e56ec3753cb1176f1d5If you are hosting a gathering this holiday season you can reduce fat and calories without sacrificing taste by swapping out a few ingredients in your favorite recipes.

  • Using two egg whites in place of one egg can reduce the cholesterol and produce the same tasty result.
  • Use low-sodium, fat-free chicken broth in your mashed potatoes to add flavor and cut back on added butter or margarine.
  • Substitute applesauce for oil, margarine or butter in muffins and quick breads like banana bread. Try substituting a small amount at first, as the more you substitute the more the texture of the finished product changes.
  • For dips, sauces and pie toppings, use fat-free yogurt, sour cream and whipped topping.
  • Sliced almonds make a delicious, crunchy topping in place of fried onion rings.
  • Choose reduced-fat or low-fat cheeses for salads and casseroles.

via Helpful Tips for Healthy Holiday Parties.

ISO 31000 Risk Management Definition

ISO 31000Risk management refers to a coordinated set of activities and methods that is used to direct an organization and to control the many risks that can affect its ability to achieve objectives.

According to the Introduction to ISO 31000 2009, the term risk management also refers to the architecture that is used to manage risk. This architecture includes risk management principles, a risk management framework, and a risk management process.

via ISO 31000 Risk Management Definitions in Plain English.

How Thanksgiving Became an Official Holiday

3cb8a5ae8e26bc11b0ce9507fb6e21c0Every year families gather around tables across the USA to celebrate Thanksgiving. But how did it become an official holiday?

The idea of creating a formal national holiday originated with Abraham Lincoln.

In an 1863 proclamation — amid the still-raging Civil War — Lincoln designated Thanksgiving to be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November.

via Traditions: How Thanksgiving became an official holiday.

Thanksgiving Safety

girl_by_stove-5e0ed281fe5f5602e4f61723ab957fbeThe kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving. Kids love to be involved in holiday preparations. Safety in the kitchen is important, especially on Thanksgiving Day when there is a lot of activity and people at home.

Safety tips

  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay 3 feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit a candle.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.

via Thanksgiving safety.

Why Do You Need A Business Continuity Plan?

disaster_recovery_&_BCPEvery Organization Is At Risk for a Business Interruption.

A fire, tornado, earthquake or explosion could seriously damage your building. Floods originating inside or outside your building could affect your operations. A prolonged power outage, sabotaged computer system or damaged equipment can also shut down an organization. Your managers and employees could be killed or badly injured. Your facilities, inventory and essential information could be inaccessible for a prolonged period. Any event, big or small, may cause an interruption in your business operation.

via Business Continuity Risk Management | Risk Control | Travelers.

Cost of a Bad Hire

Bad EmployeeYour company loses more than time, money and effort by recruiting, hiring and training people who perhaps shouldn’t have been brought on in the first place. You must also deal with the havoc that the “wrong” employee can create: the business you may lose when that individual interacts with customers, the costs you incur when you have to repeat procedures that were handled ineptly and the pressures on other employees who must pick up the slack. But the costs of a bad hire doesn’t end there.

Consider the expense and hassle that arises when you have to cut your losses and dismiss this “wrong” hire. In the long run, it’s more difficult for the manager and team to accommodate a poor performer than it is to invest in recruiting quality candidates.

via Cost of a Bad Hire | Robert Half.

Snow Shoveling Safety Tips

020efe_ec4d473360f1478d87e771a5e55dd793.jpg_srz_300_200_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzSnow shoveling can certainly be good exercise. But there are certain higher risk groups who should think twice before picking up that shovel.

If you’ve ever had a heart attack, if you have heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you probably don’t want to do the shoveling yourself. At the very least, you should consult your doctor before attempting it.

Smokers may want to resort to that snow blower – and certainly you should never smoke while shoveling. Tobacco smoke constricts blood vessels just as cold air does; the combination can be dangerous.

And if you lead a sedentary lifestyle, you could be putting yourself at risk. You don’t want very strenuous snow shoveling to be the only thing you’ve gotten off the couch for in a month. It’s definitely something that needs to be worked up to.

Here are some tips to make shoveling safer:

  • Always remember to dress warmly. You may be working up a sweat, but that doesn’t mean you’re immune to the effects of the cold.
  • Don’t feel you need to get the whole driveway cleared in one shot. Take breaks every 15 minutes.
  • Go inside for some hot chocolate, but don’t drink coffee. The caffeine may increase your heart rate and cause your blood vessels to constrict, just like smoking does.
  • Keep hydrated. Drink plenty of water.
  • And most importantly, know the warning signs of a heart attack. These may include chest pain, shoulder, neck or arm pain; dizziness, fainting, sweating or nausea; or shortness of breath. And if you think you’re having a heart attack, seek medical help immediately.
  • When shoveling, it’s important to avoid back strain. The average shovel (loaded with 16 pounds of snow) ends up moving 192 pounds of snow, if you load your shovel about 12 times a minute. That’s almost 2,000 pounds being lifted in just over 10 minutes!

Here is how to shovel properly:

  • Lift with your legs, not your back. Bend your knees and keep your back as straight as possible so that the lifting comes from your leg muscles, not your back. Never bend at the waist. Step in the direction that you’re throwing snow. This will help prevent the lower back from twisting and will help alleviate any back soreness that you might typically experience the day after a hard shoveling job.
  • Create some distance between the hands. This will give you more leverage and make it easier to lift snow.
  • Pick up smaller loads of snow. It’s best to shovel by sections. If you’re shoveling deep snow (a foot or more), take it easy and shovel two or three inches off at a time.
  • Do push. Don’t lift. Save your back and your energy by simply pushing the snow to the side instead of lifting the snow and throwing it off to the side.

via Snow shoveling safety tips – 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports.

Growing Labor Shortages on the Horizon

help_wantedOccupational data from the United States indicates that future labor shortages will cluster around three major categories of concern:

  • Health-related occupations. The same aging of the U.S. population that will curtail working-age population growth to as low as 0.15 percent by 2030 is also driving up demand for medical workers. At the same time, high education and experience requirements limit entry into the job market. The result is a dearth in many healthcare professions, including occupational therapy assistants, physical therapists and therapist assistants, nurse practitioners and midwives, and dental hygienists. Among doctors, optometrists and podiatrists are the specialists most at risk of shortage, with the general physicians and surgeons category not far behind.
  • Skilled labor occupations. These jobs typically require more than a high-school education, but not a bachelor’s degree. Unlike healthcare, the primary driver of shortages here is not increased demand—employment growth is expected to be low in the coming decade—but instead a rapidly shrinking supply of young people entering these fields as increasing numbers retire. Skilled labor occupations most at risk include water and wastewater treatment plant and system operators, crane and tower operators, transportation inspectors, and construction and building inspectors.
  • STEM occupations. U.S. policymakers have long been concerned about shortages in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, but many of these fields rank surprisingly average in a national context. Moderating the risk of shortages is the relatively high number of young entrants compared to baby-boomer retirees, as well as the large proportion of new immigrants in STEM jobs. Moreover, strong productivity growth means that output will continue to expand in areas like information technology, telecommunications, and high-tech manufacturing even as workforces in these jobs are expected to shrink. Nevertheless, certain STEM fields—including mathematical science, information security, and civil, environmental, biomedical, and agricultural engineering—do face significant shortages.

via Growing Labor Shortages on the Horizon in Mature Economies | The Conference Board.