Tuesday, 12 December 2017 14:56

Six Easy Ways to Avoid Identity Theft

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      There’s been a lot in the news lately about identity theft and data breaches; the Federal Trade Commission lists, Equifax, Yahoo and the IRS, just to name a few. Any of these breaches leaves your information open to criminals, also known as identity theft. However, information can also get into the wrong hands when cyber-attackers hack into your company network. So what can you do about it?

Tuesday, 12 December 2017 14:42

Company Holiday Parties: Fun or an HR Nightmare?

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The holiday season is upon us and this brings the inevitable company holiday party. It’s the one night a year that employees are able to let loose and have fun in a non-work setting. It’s a time of eggnog, gift giving, and joy… at least we hope so.

Thursday, 02 November 2017 14:06

Winter is Coming

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The leaves are changing color and there’s a certain crispness in the air. You’re finding yourself reaching for your coat every morning before you step outside. Holiday decorations are appearing in department stores overnight and soon the jazzy holiday music will be filtered through speakers everywhere you go. We all know what this means; winter is coming.

With Summer quickly approaching, it’s time to think about preventing illness while working outdoors.  The following are suggestions to prevent heat stroke and other heat related issues while working in hot conditions:

1. Be aware of the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses. These include headache, dizziness, weakness, confusion, irritability, thirst, nausea and vomiting.
2. Protect yourself from direct sunlight when at all possible. Wear lightweight, light colored and loose fitting clothing.
3. Use cooling fans and take rest breaks regularly from physical activity.
4. Drink lots of water; about 1 pint per hour. Waiting until you feel thirsty is too late. Drink often and avoid caffeine and alcohol.
5. Wear personal cooling products if possible. Specially designed bandannas, headbands and other gear can be purchased, soaked in water and worn for several hours providing a cooling effect and reduction to body temperatures.
6. Replace lost electrolytes by drinking sports beverages.

Following these tips can help you survive even the hottest of days and help you avoid a medical emergency. Stay safe and enjoy the upcoming summer.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011 18:00

Tips to help prevent Workplace Violence

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Recently, I was reading an article in the PEO Insidermagazine by Christina Stovall, MBA, PHR regarding Workplace Violence.  Many statements which I will highlight throughout this post got me to thinking.  According to The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), approximately 2 million employees across the US experience workplace violence each year.  At first, that seemed like a big number. I know the news is filled daily with horrific stories, but millions, really? Then I got to thinking about all the cases that occur at your average small business that are not big enough for national news and realized it was possible.  Domestic disputes, arguments that turn violent, hostage situations, bullying, you name it.  In fact, a couple of years ago in my town, two business owners shot each other over a parking space.  I realized that the norm I am experiencing today is actually worse it seems than it used to be.  Stress levels are up, moods are declining, tempers are boiling to the surface faster and more and more people seem to be desensitized to judging comments or actions that can lead to many forms of devastating responses.  I think years of uncertainty, layoffs, financial concerns, lack of work and increased workloads are taking their toll.  In times like these, it seems some individuals are tested beyond what they can deal with when that final straw is broken.

So as owners and managers, what can we do to help prevent issues at our own place of business?  The following tips may help and I encourage you to share ideas that you may have as well.

• Be aware of changes in the moods of your staff.  Is anyone more stressed than usual?  Has anyone taken on a lot of extra work requiring even more hours of dedication to the job?
• Provide clear instructions to your employees regarding pending changes, their performance and any big developments that will have an impact.  Employees that know where they stand are generally able to better deal with change and typically will not react with violence.  But if they do not feel as if they have been treated fairly, their concerns have been addressed or that their feelings and comments have not been viewed as serious, they can quickly react with devastating results.
• Establish policies and procedures regarding workplace violence and ensure that each individual has been properly notified. 
• Draft an emergency response plan and make sure that all staff members are well trained.
• Offer access to an EAP (Employee Assistance Program) for your employees to seek assistance on matters such as financial, family or health.  At StaffScapes we offer such a program to all of our clients and their employees.  
• Take complaints seriously and investigate claims completely.

No one can prevent every act of violence, but talking about the issues, having a plan in place and offering a support system will go a long way in assisting those that may need it and keeping violence out of the workplace. 

Thursday, 23 October 2008 18:00

10 ways to prevent accidents:

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Getting your employees involved in accident prevention could help you to eliminate risk. With out the understanding or cooperation of your workers accidents and injuries could happen more frequently.

Some keys steps are below to help get your employees involved.

  1. Ownership. Let the workers conduct an inspection or give safety tips.

  2. Leadership. Make sure managers are leading by example by wearing proper attire and taking the correct steps to prevent accidents.

  3. Understanding. Inform the workers how their personal health and safety is top priority.

  4. Commitment. Make safety a number one priority for all workers

  5. Goals. Make sure standards are clear and understandable

  6. Competence. Get them the training they need so they have the skills they need to avoid accidents and stay safe.

  7. Feedback. Give out incentives to workers who report problems they cant fix and those who can identify and correct with out help.

  8. Involvement. Make sure everyone gets involved with accident prevention. Use tools and other learning devices.

  9. Responsiveness. Quick response to accidents and taking the correct steps to make sure the accident doesn’t happen again.

  10. Persistence. Accident prevention never stops. Keep up all the steps above always improving and getting new equipment.

Source: Safety Daily Advisor Monday October 20, 2008

Monday, 14 May 2007 18:00

Safety Training Critical!

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Providing safety training is vital for new employees

Pinnacol Assurance recently released its findings from a study conducted by their loss prevention team.  Pinnacol analyzed the 2006 claims data to find out what impact years of service have on claims experience.  The numbers were staggering and point to a need for improved safety training for new employees.  The study found that employees with less than one year of service accounted for 47% of on-the-job fatalities, and 40% of on-the-job injuries. 

Pinnacol’s report goes on to explain, “the quality of the safety training you provide will shape them into either safe, long-term employees – or into statistics.”  No one wants to add to those type of statistics, so make sure your safety training is up to date and being reviewed by all employees.  Pinnacol also adds these general tips:

·        Make sure that your safety trainers are experienced and committed to your safety philosophy, goals and practices.

·        Understand that hiring employees with previous job experience does not mean they are more safety conscience.  Make sure all employees are performing tasks safely and following your rules

·        Safety training is only the first step.  Employees must also be supervised and observed to ensure the safety training was effective.

StaffScapes works closely with our clients to review and provide additional safety policies and procedures.  Please call our HR department to discuss further details of what StaffScapes can do for you.

Sunday, 29 April 2007 18:00

Safety Culture Key to Safety Performance

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Steps to help create a safety culture

Successful safety performance will come about with a successful safety culture.  It takes the values set by management to determine the way that the workforce acts. Therefore, a safety conscience culture has to be established through the management and passed along to the workforce.

Here are a few steps to help create a safety culture:

  • Present workplace safety as a continuous process and not just a compliance requirement
  • Actively encourage workers to improve safety performance, and recognize improvements
  • Involve the employees in the safety decision making process
  • Use accident investigations as action planning, not fault-finding missions
  • Explain why new safety processes have been implemented and how to measure its success
  • Investigate “near-misses” as indicators of a series of events and not as a one-time or isolated event
  • When accidents or “near-misses” occur look first at why the safety process failed instead of looking to place blame
Sunday, 21 September 2008 18:00

Initiative #93 – Safe and Healthy Workplace

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StaffScapes review of the devastating labor initiatives on the November Ballot.

Initiative #93 would “allow an injured employee to bring an action in District Court for compensatory and punitive damages, if the employer fails to provide a safe and healthy workplace.” The term “safe and healthy workplace” is not defined in the initiative. This new action is available in addition to the rights that the employee has under the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act. This initiative would apply to every employer in the state with 10 of more employees.

Listed below is the potential impact of initiative #93:

Ø      Current state and federal laws exist to ensure safe and healthy working conditions for employees.

Ø      Colorado employers already have motivation to provide a safe workplace based on their workers compensation insurance costs being directly related to work injury severity and number of claims.

Ø      Initiative 93 will allow injured employees to “double-dip”, collecting benefits from the Workers’ Compensation Act and then filing a lawsuit against the employer for unlimited damages in district court.

Ø      Businesses will be hindered by additional financial burdens due to higher insurance costs, resulting in lost jobs and increases in the price for goods and services.

Ø      Puts the responsibility of defining what a “safe and healthy workplace” is in the hands of the district courts.

Ø      With the current backlog of court cases, Initiative 93 will result in trial lawyers looking for the “quick buck” through settlements.

Should trial lawyers be rewarded with an additional state law to allow them to threaten businesses who already have to meet state and federal safe workplace standards? Should Colorado business growth and employment be restricted in order to enact an unnecessary and superfluous law? Should employees be able to double-dip and receive full benefits from the Workers Compensation Act then sue the employer for unlimited damages? Do you want employers to pay more for insurance and defense against frivolous lawsuits or increase wages and employee benefits? Do you want individual district court judges deciding what is “safe” and “healthy” and what the “workplace” is?

If the organized labor initiatives are successfully passed this November, our state’s economic growth will be dramatically stunted for years to come. Please check past editions of our blog to view the other initiatives that can have a devastating impact to Colorado.

Sources: Tomlinson & Associates; Economic Development Council of Colorado

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