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DOL Announces New Cybersecurity Guidance For Plan Sponsors, Plan Fiduciaries, Record Keepers, Plan Participants

Denise Gillin Health Benefits, News, Wealth Management

News Release by US Department of Labor The U.S. Department of Labor announced new guidance for plan sponsors, plan fiduciaries, record keepers and plan participants on best practices for maintaining cybersecurity, including tips on how to protect the retirement benefits of America’s workers. This is the first time the department’s Employee Benefits Security Administration has issued cybersecurity guidance. This guidance is directed at plan sponsors and fiduciaries regulated by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, and plan participants and beneficiaries. As of 2018, EBSA estimates that there are 34 million defined benefit plan participants in private pension plans and 106 million defined contribution plan participants covering estimated assets of $9.3 trillion. Without sufficient protections, these participants and assets may be …

Six Components of an Effective Return-to-Work Program

Denise Gillin News, Risk Management, Workers' Compensation

By Tara Crisp-Schwartz for AssuredPartners.com One of the first steps in evaluating your current Workers’ Compensation and Return-to-Work (RTW) program is reviewing and revising current job descriptions to ensure they are EEOC and ADA-compliant. Once this task is complete, you can pre-plan for your return-to-work program. Why pre-plan? If you have not had a clear, concise discussion with your management team on RTW, you may get delayed when it comes time to implement the program for your injured worker. Read the six steps>>>

Prevent Falls in Construction: National Safety Stand-Down

Denise Gillin Construction, News, Risk Management

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has designated May 3 – 7, 2021 as the National Safety Stand-Down to prevent falls in construction. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 401 of the 1,061 construction fatalities recorded in 2019 (BLS data). Those deaths were preventable. The National Safety Stand-Down raises fall hazard awareness across the country in an effort to stop fall fatalities and injuries. What is a safety stand-down? A Safety Stand-Down is a voluntary event for employers to talk directly to employees about safety. Any workplace can hold a stand-down by taking a break to focus on “Fall Hazards” and reinforcing the importance of “Fall …

Stand by for Turbulence

Denise Gillin Insurance, News, Risk Management

By Jared Shelly for Risk&Insurance.com A deadly virus and unruly passengers have shaken aviation safety. Crew members are bearing the brunt of a new wave of passenger harassment while the dangers of contracting COVID-19 are ever present. “Flight attendants have become the mask police,” said Nicole, whose real name is being withheld because she’s not permitted to speak publicly. “My number one job is not to serve drinks. It’s to keep people safe. But it became exhausting.” And, it’s not just impacting aviation. Insurance implications Unlike other industries, “there are no COVID-19 exclusions in aviation liability insurance,” said Brad Meinhardt, area executive vice president and managing director of aviation at Arthur J. Gallagher, “but such exclusions have started to appear …

Operating UAVs in Agriculture

Denise Gillin Agribusiness, News, Risk Management

By Gina Ekstam for AssuredPartners.com The use of unmanned aircraft vehicles (UAVs) in agriculture continues to grow as a way to improve efficiencies and control costs. From monitoring or spraying crops to managing livestock to irrigation mapping, UAVs (or drones) are allowing farmers to make informed decisions and take action based on real-time data. The FAA requires anyone flying a drone weighing less than 55 pounds for commercial or educational use to be certified. Further, the drone must be registered through the FAA Drone Zone website. The first step is getting familiar with the rules outlined in the Part 107 regulations. Click to read more>>>  

Alternate Funding Arrangements: Different Avenues to Access Care

Denise Gillin Health Benefits, News

By Kelly Hagan, Regional VP of Operations, Employee Benefits for AssuredPartners.com Employers continue to feel the crush of increasing health care expenses. To mitigate those costs, more and more employers are looking at alternate funding arrangements and different ways to access care.  Below are a few alternate funding options to explore. Self-Funding Level Funding Reference Based Pricing Direct Primary Care High Performing Networks Accountable Care Organizations Bundled Payments Read more here>>>

Surging Import Volume Creates Havoc in the Port Straining Intermodal Truck Drivers and Operations

Denise Gillin Insurance, News

By Mike Edwards, CIC, for AssuredPartners.com Since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March of 2020, intermodal trucking has gone on a roller coaster ride that has taken them to the highest of highs and lowest of lows. When the global lockdown first went into effect, imports fell due to most of Asia closing their ports and ceasing exports in an all-out effort to contain the virus. While U.S. port operations remained largely open, container volumes fell as there was simply less freight to import into the country. However, this trend quickly dissipated as the economy shifted from serviced-based to retail-based due to the growth of e-commerce and consumers purchasing more and more goods from online vendors. “U.S. containerized imports from …

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Denise Gillin News, Risk Management

The National Safety Council (NSC) is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate, focused on eliminating the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths. One of their initiatives is designating April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. It’s easy to participate: Commit to driving distraction-free by taking the NSC Just Drive Pledge: More than 700 people are injured in distracted driving crashes each day. Encourage all employees and their family members to take the NSC pledge to drive distraction-free. Take the Pledge. Use the 5-minute Safety Talk and presentation: Kick off a meeting with a safety talk and / or PowerPoint presentation to help educate co-workers about the risks of inattention blindness. Grab a blindfold to really drive this point home. Display awareness …

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Six Manufacturing Tech Trends to Look for in 2021

Denise Gillin Business Insurance, News

By Sharon Goldman for Forbes.com In the early days of the pandemic, manufacturers were hit hard with forced shutdowns, production slowdowns and serious questions about whether companies could navigate the disruptions. Manufacturing indicators had shown early 2020 momentum, but US industrial production in March registered a month-over-month decline of 4.5%, followed by a deeper decline of 11.2% in April. What did increase in 2020, however, was the speed of transformation. Companies made swift moves towards Industry 4.0, or the ongoing automation of traditional manufacturing and industrial practices. There is no time to waste: manufacturers looking to stay competitive need to serve their customers in new ways; become more agile and flexible; and attract the right skills and talent. Read the …

April 26 – 30, 2021 is National Work Zone Awareness Week

Denise Gillin News, Risk Management

Each year in the spring, National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) is held to bring national attention to motorist and worker safety and mobility issues in work zones. Work zone related changes in traffic patterns and rights of way, combined with the presence of workers, and the frequent movement of work vehicles, may lead lead to crashes, injuries, and fatalities. Through NWZAW, the Federal Highway Administration and its partners hope to bring attention to the the critical issue of road user and worker safety in and around work zones. This year, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is hosting the 2021 National Work Zone Awareness Week kick-off event on April 27 with the theme, “Drive Safe. Work Safe Save Lives.” …