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Commercial Lines Top 10 Causes of Disabling InjuriesThe 2020 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index (WSI) found that the most disabling workplace injuries cost more than $59 billion per year.

U.S. businesses spend more than $1 billion per week on the most disabling workplace injuries. Compiled annually,  the Index researched the top 10 causes of the most serious workplace injuries — those that cause employees to miss work for more than five days — and ranked those causes by their direct cost to employers, based on medical and lost-wage expenses.

Top 10 causes of disabling workplace injuries:

Top 10 2020 workplace safety index the top 10 causes of disabling injuries 700b

As businesses reassess and refine business operations, now is a good time to address the many risks that employees can face in the workplace. Liberty Mutual took the Workplace Safety Index (WSI) a step further and broke down the most costly causes of injuries into eight industry-specific reports:

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. We are here to help.

Kim Ovaitte, CPCU, ARM is the Executive Vice President of Marketing & Sales at Gulfshore Insurance.  Also serving as the Construction Practice Leader, Kim works with clients to develop cost effective risk management and claims strategies that dovetail with their insurance program. Comments and questions are welcome at kovaitte@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Commercial Lines Heat IllnessAs we approach the peak heat of the summer season and as employers begin to re-open after months of COVID-19 quarantine, workers may be out of shape, out of practice on workplace safety procedures, and may have to re-breathe hot air through face coverings. As they focus on COVID-19 efforts, employers should remain aware of risks, rule violations, injuries, and heat illness.

Dangers of Hot Environments

Those who work in hot environments could be at risk of heat stress, which can result in heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps or heat rashes. Heat stress can also result in an increased risk of other injuries as workers can get sweaty palms, fogged up safety glasses and dizziness.

The same people at higher risk of contracting COVID-19- those 65 or older, are overweight, or have heart disease or high blood pressure- are also among those at a higher risk of suffering from heat illness and may need a longer time than others to re-acclimate.

Problems with Face Masks

Face masks required for reducing the spread of COVID-19 could cause further problems as mask-associated facial heat complaints may represent any of a variety of effects, including:

  • local dermal effects
  • increased temperature of breathing air
  • elevated core temperature, or
  • psychophysiological responses.

In short, risks of heat stress can worsen with masks which function like scarves by keeping warm air near the body.

Considerations for Employers

Employers with employees susceptible to heat illness should take efforts to minimize exacerbating effects heat may have in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Create and implement a heat illness prevention plan and consider adding additional breaks and water stations to help workers regulate their body temperatures.

Tim Spear, is a Client Advisor and Partner at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in the construction, oil/petroleum, and landscape industries. Through his consultative and diagnostic approach, he helps clients develop customized programs to meet their risk management needs. Comments and questions are welcome at tspear@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Personal Lines Firework SafetyThis year’s Fourth of July holiday may look different from most, with many people celebrating from home due to social distancing restrictions still in place to help stop the spread of COVID-19. All too often, however, Independence Day backyard celebrations can end up with a trip to the hospital for firework-related injuries.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) says that roughly 18,500 fires are started annually by fireworks. Even a simple backyard sparkler can heat up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you choose to use fireworks at home, follow these tips to keep your holiday safe and fun:

Keep them outside. Never light fireworks inside, and always keep them far away from dry grass, plants, and other flammable objects.

Never point fireworks at others. Make sure your fireworks are not aimed at any people, animals, or property.

Take fire precautions. Keep a full bucket of water or a garden hose nearby and ready to go in case you need to douse the fireworks or anything they may ignite. Make sure you know where the nearest fire extinguisher is located.

Take a look at your outfit. Make sure you’re not wearing loose clothing when using fireworks.

Move back. When you’re lighting the fireworks (always one at a time), make sure no part of your body is directly above the device.  As soon as it is lit, move a safe distance away.

Douse them when done. Once a firework is done burning, soak it with water from the bucket or the hose before throwing it away. If one of your fireworks doesn’t seem to be working properly, do not pick it up or try to light it again. Douse it with water and then throw it away.

Protect pets. Provide a safe place indoors for your pets to stay during the festivities. Consider turning on the television to help drown out the pops and bangs from fireworks nearby.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Gulfshore Insurance, we are here to make sure you have a fun and safe holiday weekend.

How to keep yourself, your home, and your belongings safe from lightning.

Personal Lines Lightning SafetyAccording to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), Florida has the highest number of lightning casualties of all 50 states. Lightning can cause damage to your home and belongings—and can cause bodily harm. It’s prudent to take steps to prevent the dangerous effects of lightning and to keep yourself and your family safe. Here are some things you can do according to the I.I.I.:

  • Lightning and insurance. Most standard homeowners and auto insurance policies cover damages, such as fire, that results from a lightning strike. Some policies also provide coverage for the damage caused by power surges. With that being said, it’s far better to prevent lightning damage than to have to deal with the consequences. Contact your advisor today to review your policy.
  • Lightning protection system. A lightning protection system (LPS) provides a specified path on which lightning can travel. The Lightning Protection Institute (LPI) explains how LPSs work in this infographic. A rooftop network of lightning rods or air terminals is connected to a series of down conductors, which carry the current down to a grounding network. In that way, the system safely directs the destructive power of the lightning strike into the ground, which leaves the structure of your home and its contents undamaged.
  • Surges. Electrical surges from lightning can enter a structure via power transmission lines and cause electrical fires as well as damage to your electrical system, your appliances and your home electronics. Regular power strips offer little surge protection. To assure the best safeguards, UL-listed surge protection devices (SPDs) should be installed to filter and dissipate damaging electrical discharges. To protect valuable electronics like computers, home entertainment centers, gaming systems and smart home technology, install UL-listed transient voltage surge suppressors–and consider unplugging expensive electronics when you know a storm is approaching.
  • Protect yourself and your family with precautions. 
    • When thunder roars, go indoors. During a storm, it’s best to take shelter in a house or other fully enclosed building. Inside, don’t stand near open windows, doorways or metal piping. Stay off the phone and avoid contact with small appliances, like toasters and hairdryers. As water conducts electricity, also stay away from plumbing, sinks, tubs and radiators.
    • If you know a storm is coming, avoid known hazards and dangerous locations. These include areas where you will be the highest object—a golf course, for example. Bodies of water also attract lightning, so avoid lakes, beaches or open water, and fishing from a boat or dock. Never ride golf carts, motorcycles or bicycles during a thunderstorm.
    • If you are caught outside in a thunderstorm, take shelter in a hard topped-vehicle or a low area such a tunnel or even a cave if necessary. Stay clear of fences, isolated trees and other conductive objects such as telephone poles, power lines and pipelines. These present a danger from a potential side flash, which is voltage from a nearby, lightning-struck object.
    • If you’re caught in an open field with no nearby shelter, and your hair begins to stand on end, drop down into a crouch with your hands on your knees, and balance on the balls of your feet. The static electricity in your hair is an indication that lightning is about to strike, and the idea is to make as little contact with the ground as possible. Never lie down flat or place your hands on the ground.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to Gulfshore Insurance, we are here to keep you informed and safe.

Andrea Pelletier, CPRIA, CPIA is Client Advisor and Partner at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in Private Risk Services. Andrea works with successful individuals and their families on creating and customizing package insurance solutions in the areas of luxury homes, car collections, jewelry, fine arts, watercraft, and personal excess liability. Comments and questions are welcome at apelletier@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Capture 1Over the last few weeks, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of cyber incidents from companies around the world that have been affected by a fresh wave of coronavirus-themed cyberattacks. According to cybersecurity firm CYE, since the beginning of February cybercriminals have been increasingly exploiting the unfamiliar situation caused by the global pandemic.

By leveraging the public’s genuine fear and increased distraction associated with these events, there is an increased likelihood of employees clicking on malicious attachments or using unsecure networks to retrieve sensitive information when working from home or in remote locations. As quarantines become more prevalent and more and more individuals are authorized to work remotely, there must be a multi-departmental focus on maintaining proper controls.

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