September is National Preparedness Month

Matt Olphin News, Risk Management

United States Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration Emergencies can create a variety of hazards for workers in the impacted area. Preparing before an emergency incident plays a vital role in ensuring that employers and workers have the necessary equipment, know where to go, and know how to keep themselves safe when an emergency occurs. Access OSHA emergency preparedness and response pages >>>

Silo Filling Safety

Courtney Meyer Agribusiness, News

Prepared by Dennis J. Murphy, Distinguished Professor, Pennsylvania State University   Few farming operations provide as many different opportunities for accidents to happen as filling the silo. High powered equipment, working in close quarters, and the potential of silo gas formation combine to produce numerous injury incidents throughout the late summer and fall. Read safety information here >>>

Department of Agriculture Urges Farmers to Protect Against Flood Damage

Courtney Meyer Agribusiness, News

From the July 2018 Farm Link newsletter… Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding today urged farmers and pet owners, particularly in central Pennsylvania, to prepare for the potential of flooding due to recent heavy rains. “It is critical that Pennsylvanians protect their animals, property, and assets against flooding, and many steps can be taken now to prevent future damage,” Redding said. Redding offered the following tips to help agricultural producers minimize damage caused by floodwaters: Ensure manure storage area has sufficient capacity, as rains can add to depth. Relocate livestock and animals from low-lying, flood-prone areas. Move machinery, feed, grain, pesticides, herbicides, forage bales and nursery stock to higher elevation. Store enough livestock feed and water for 72 hours. Fill generators with …

Medical Marijuana and Workers’ Compensation in Pennsylvania

Lisa Yelovich Human Resources, Insurance, News

The Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act was signed by Governor Wolf on April 17, 2016, leaving employers with more questions than answers about employee use of medical marijuana. Key points of the Act note that those who are prescribed medical marijuana must have one of 17 designated “serious medical conditions” as diagnosed by a Department of Health (DOH) registered physician. First, the patient must obtain a certificate from a DOH-registered physician. They then receive an ID card from the DOH, and their name is placed in the state database. The patient is then able to get medical marijuana from a designated dispensary in their area. There are several forms of medical marijuana for patient use. These includes pill, oil, tincture or …

IRS Reduces HSA Limit for Family Coverage for 2018

Matt Pfeiffenberger Large Group Benefits (100+), News

The IRS issued a new revenue procedure regarding health savings account (HSA) limits. The new tax laws had a provision in it which was not formally enacted until just recently. The new revenue procedure now puts the change into effect. Basically the ruling reduces the HSA family maximum contribution for 2018 from $6,900 to $6,850 retroactive to January 1, 2018. Employers with HSAs will need to check to see if employees elected the $6,900 maximum for 2018, and in effect cut that back to $6,850. The new $6,850 max is a combination of any employee and employer contributions into the employee’s HSA for 2018. You can read more about the change below. Questons can be directed to Matt Pfeiffenberger, Vice President, …

Accidental Deaths In Pennsylvania Rise 15% in One Year, Driven By Opioid Overdose

Denise Gillin News

The National Safety Council’s Stop Everyday Killers campaign is a powerful tribute to the lives lost to opioids. Pittsburgh – According to National Safety Council analysis of federal data, 1,086 more Pennsylvanians died accidentally in 2016, an increase of 15% over 2015, and 78% of those deaths were caused by opioid overdose. In response to the epidemic – recently declared a statewide disaster emergency by Gov. Tom Wolf – the Council made Pittsburgh its first stop on a nationwide tour of the NSC exhibit, Prescribed to Death: A Memorial to the Victims of the Opioid Crisis. Read more >>> Everyone has a story of how addiction has touched their life. That is why Murray Securus Associates chose to partner with …

Construction Braces For Trump’s New Aluminum, Steel Tariffs

Denise Gillin Construction, News

Article by Kim Slowey for “ConstructionDive” High-rises, large residential multifamily projects and infrastructure projects are major buyers of steel and aluminum. Construction companies are likely to begin bracing for a wave of cost increases and the possibility of having to decide whether certain developments are now too expensive to build. Read the article >>>

Wall Street’s Wild Ride

Russ Harlan News, Wealth Management

We just witnessed the biggest 1-day point drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average’s (DJIA) history. However, it’s not the biggest percentage drop to occur; it doesn’t even break the top 50. Remember black Monday in 1987, the Dow lost 508 points, that’s a 22.8% crash. The DJIA fell 1,175.21 points, or 4.6%, to 24,345.75. The other major indexes dropped about the same percentage. What does all of that mean? Too often we talk about the market as this nebulous term, an all-encompassing adjective when discussing fluctuation. I would like to take a moment to talk about what this drop means. Nothing. The recent down turn in the DJIA doesn’t mean that much in the grand scheme of things. Let’s …

Employment Law: Doing Business Across State Lines in 2018

Denise Gillin Human Resources, News

By Eric Athey, McNees Wallace & Nurick, LLC Keeping up with compliance requirements under Pennsylvania and federal laws can be challenging enough; however, for Pennsylvania employers that do business in multiple states, the compliance burden can grow exponentially. It is expected that we will see little new federal employment legislation over the next few years. However, the lack of legislative activity in Washington may prompt some state legislatures to place a greater emphasis on employment issues than usual. It already appears that 2018 will yield a bumper crop of new state employment laws across the nation. What you need to know >>>

Three Ways Self-driving Cars Will Affect The Insurance Industry

Lisa Spencer News, Personal Lines

It feels like a page out of a science-fiction book: self-driving cars shuttling people around with little or no input from passengers. And yet, here we are. Self-driving technology is already a reality, and it’s improving every day thanks to machine learning and owner input. We’re not quite at the point of ditching drivers altogether, but that time may come sooner rather than later. Experts predict that self-driving vehicles could be the norm by the 2040s. Some people, like Tesla’s Elon Musk, think human-operated cars could be banned completely. Read more here >>>