Questions Everyone With Aging Parents Needs To Ask

parentsHere are five questions everyone over 50 with aging parents should ask themselves now:

  1. How are Mom and/or Dad REALLY doing? – Are they struggling to do everyday chores, is driving becoming a hazard, do they have medical conditions you don’t know about? Are they getting enough socialization and exercise to stay healthy?
  2. Do they need help? – Seniors often hesitate to ask their children for the help they need, so ask them for an honest assessment of their needs. And ask yourself: how will you balance their needs with the demands of your children, your job, your life?
  3. How can I help? – A quick visit once a week may not be enough. Figure out how you might help. Driving them to a medical appointment? Checking on that leaky faucet? Giving them a quick lesson on how to use email or Facebook?
  4. Have they looked at other living options, besides staying at home? – Some seniors are reluctant to give up their home, but can no longer handle the costs and maintenance involved in keeping up a private residence. Have they looked into senior living options that would provide support and freedom, like a Continuing Care Retirement Community? They may not be aware of the myriad of choices beyond moving in with you or going to a traditional nursing home.
  5. Do I know their wishes? – Don’t assume you know how your parents want to deal with end-of-life care. Do they have living wills? Where is their medical paperwork?

Asking yourself these questions now is a lot easier than when there’s a crisis. Most adult children delay or avoid altogether an honest discussion with parents about senior care options, until a fall or other medical calamity creates very limited options.

via 5 Questions Everyone With Aging Parents Needs To Ask | Justine Vogel.

Managing Employment Practices Risk

harrassmentIt may not be possible for employers to completely eliminate the possibility of an employment practices liability (EPL) lawsuit. But they can reduce the likelihood of an EPL suit, and they can prepare for a suit by positioning themselves to put forth a strong defense if one does hit.

link to: Employment Practices Loss Prevention Guidelines Manual

via Employment Practices Liability Loss Prevention.

Risk Management and the HR Executive


The HR executive has a vital role in controlling risk. A major component of Risk Management planning is risk avoidance. Many risks can be avoided by controlling and planning the human side of the corporate equation. Succession planning, adequate severance and outplacement, executive coaching and development will ensure that an organization has the means to deal with current and future challenges.

via Innovative Employee Solutions – Knowledge & Resources – Risk Management and the HR Executive.

Cost of a Bad Hire – HR Risk Management

Unknown1There is no substitute for  sound HR management practices. It makes no difference if you are a professional firm, retail outfit or contractor. It makes no difference if you have 5 employees or 50,000. It makes no difference if you have seasoned HR executives or not. Many companies fail to see the true cost of poor HR practices and don’t embrace the right ones until they get whacked in the head enough times that it begins to hurt!

Great companies don’t wait for the pain, they model best practices. This is not rocket science, it’s just plain common sense.

To calculate the cost of a poor hire click on the link below.

via AnonymousFrom – Cost Calculator.

Importance of Safety Training

Safety-TrainingRoutine work can dull alertness and a relaxed attitude can replace the caution that existed when the job was new and interesting. In many jobs the same route is traveled daily over the same roads or the same tasks are repeated with little conscious thought. Without some periodic reawakening to the ever-present hazards, lethargy deepens and the odds of an accident occurring can increase.

Workers may not always recognize the importance of safety training or think of it as unnecessary because they’ve “been doing it for years.” But an important benefit of periodic safety training is the reminder that a danger can exist and the no one is immune to accidents. Therefore, it is important for workers to understand the purpose of the training session, why it will be useful to them, and what can result from not following safety rules and procedures.

via Importance of Safety Training.

Worksite Wellness can Benefit Workers Comp

More-truckers-focus-on-getting-healthier-6524849Q-x-largeIt is widely accepted that lifestyle choices such as poor eating habits, smoking, alcohol and drug use are key medical cost drivers. Simply put, healthier people are less likely to have a Workers’ Comp claim and will recover more quickly when they do. A 2009 study in the Journal of Occupational Medicine noted, “…targeted workplace interventions may provide opportunities to reduce not only the risk of disease associated with working conditions but also the risk of workplace injury.” If a wellness program identifies medical risks, teaches employees how to manage their risks and keeps them on track, Workers’ Comp savings will follow.


Employer Liability for Harassment

6a0133f49a611c970b016760a81af2970b-800wiThe employer is automatically liable for harassment by a supervisor that results in a negative employment action such as termination, failure to promote or hire, and loss of wages. If the supervisor’s harassment results in a hostile work environment, the employer can avoid liability only if it can prove that: 1) it reasonably tried to prevent and promptly correct the harassing behavior; and 2) the employee unreasonably failed to take advantage of any preventive or corrective opportunities provided by the employer.

The employer will be liable for harassment by non-supervisory employees or non-employees over whom it has control (e.g., independent contractors or customers on the premises), if it knew, or should have known about the harassment and failed to take prompt and appropriate corrective action.

via Harassment.

Develop a Drug-free Workplace

Drug-Free-Workplace-Notice-Sign-S-4289In a drug-free workplace, the employer has taken steps and initiated policies to ensure that employees, vendors, and customers are not:

  • taking or using alcohol or drugs,
  • selling drugs, or
  • affected by the after effects of indulging in alcohol or drugs   outside of the workplace during non-work time.

Additionally, the goal of a drug-free workplace program, as they have traditionally been developed, is to encourage an employee with a substance abuse problem to seek treatment, recover, and return to work.

via Develop a Drug-free Workplace – Drug Testing in the Workplace.

Building the Business Case for Behavioral Safety

toggle-switch-to-safety-277x300How do you sell a behavioral safety program to management? Keep these few pointers in mind.

  • Partner with someone in Accounting or Finance to build the financial case for implementing a behavioral safety program. Use the terminology of investment.
  • Stress behavioral safety is an investment, not a cost. Show how the commitment of resources can earn the company financial returns or gain future benefits or advantages.
  • To help with number two, get current/past cost data on workers’ compensation and follow the ROI guidelines of your organization. Project investment returns by using direct and indirect costs.
  • Stress that behavioral safety helps contribute to fewer lost time incidents and workers’ compensation (WC) claims, lower WC premiums and admin costs, higher employee morale, a better reputation and more.

via DuPont™ STOP™ Behavioral Safety Program.

Job Stress and Health

Frustrated Woman at Computer With Stack of PaperStress sets off an alarm in the brain, which responds by preparing the body for defensive action. The nervous system is aroused and hormones are released to sharpen the senses, quicken the pulse, deepen respiration, and tense the muscles. This response (sometimes called the fight or flight response) is important because it helps us defend against threatening situations. The response is preprogrammed biologically. Everyone responds in much the same way, regardless of whether the stressful situation is at work or home.

Short-lived or infrequent episodes of stress pose little risk. But when stressful situations go unresolved, the body is kept in a constant state of activation, which increases the rate of wear and tear to biological systems. Ultimately, fatigue or damage results, and the ability of the body to repair and defend itself can become seriously compromised. As a result, the risk of injury or disease escalates.

In the past 20 years, many studies have looked at the relationship between job stress and a variety of ailments. Mood and sleep disturbances, upset stomach and headache, and disturbed relationships with family and friends are examples of stress-related problems that are quick to develop and are commonly seen in these studies. These early signs of job stress are usually easy to recognize. But the effects of job stress on chronic diseases are more difficult to see because chronic diseases take a long time to develop and can be influenced by many factors other than stress. Nonetheless, evidence is rapidly accumulating to suggest that stress plays an important role in several types of chronic health problems-especially cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal disorders, and psychological disorders.

Health care expenditures are nearly 50% greater for workers who report high levels of stress.

-Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

via CDC – NIOSH Publications and Products – STRESS…At Work (99-101).