P&C Pro-File – September 2013

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New App Addresses Extension Ladder Safety

Is your extension ladder positioned at an optimal and safe angle? Now it’s easier for you to figure this out with a new smartphone application the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) introduced in June. Positioning extension ladders at the proper angle is critical for preventing accidents—if the ladder is set too steeply or too shallowly, it could fall. Using audio and visual signals, the Ladder Safety app provides feedback to help the user set the ladder at the best angle. Additionally, the app provides a safety guide for extension ladder selection, inspection, accessorizing and use. Misjudging the angle at which a ladder is set is a big risk factor for falls, which are one of the leading causes of injuries for workers in any industry, especially construction.

The Ladder Safety app is free to download on both iPhone and Android devices. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/falls/.

4 Ways to Combat Employee Stress

The fear of being laid off, the expectation to work more overtime and the pressure to perform at an unrealistic level are common causes of excessive workplace stress, which takes a heavy toll on the physical and emotional health of employees over time. NIOSH reports that 25 percent of American workers view their jobs as the number one source of stress in their lives.

If you aren’t able to get control of the stress in your workplace, it could cost you. Health care expenses are nearly 50 percent greater for those who report high levels of job stress, according to the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Stress can also lead to:

  • More on-the-job accidents
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Lower productivity
  • Lower employee morale
  • Managers and line supervisors should keep employee stress levels to a minimum.

Ways to manage job stress in your workplace include:

  1. Creating a company culture that encourages employees to take a healthy approach to managing their stress and provides them with resources to do so.
  2. Leading by example. How managers and line supervisors react to stressful situations has a big effect on how their employees deal with stress.
  3. Understanding that every employee responds to stress differently and using a tailored approach to respond to each person’s stress-related issues.
  4. Encouraging a healthy lifestyle, including regular on-site health assessments, gym discounts and other well-being initiatives.

For more resources on managing job-related stress in your company, contact GRBM Insurance today.

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