OSHA’s Enforcement Role for COVID-19

Denise Gillin News, Risk Management

By Timothy W. Braun, Risk Control Specialist OSHA’s role in protecting workers since the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic has been multifaceted.  OSHA has and continues to issue helpful guidance documents about COVID-19: how to protect workers; ideas for many work situations; and memos discussing how OSHA will utilize their enforcement capabilities. The traditional OSHA enforcement role is and has been ongoing as well. As of December 4, 2020, OSHA has issued citations stemming from 255 inspections. The penalties for those inspections have amounted to over $3,000,000.  Many of these inspections and citations have been at long-term care facilities and various other healthcare establishments. Among the more commonly cited situations related to OSHA regulations are: Inadequacies, or lack of a …

Doctor or nurse is holding the Covid-19 vaccine and syringe with her blue glove.

COVID-19 Immunizations and Employee Relations Considerations for Long-term Care Facilities

Denise Gillin Human Resources, News, Risk Management

By Richard L. Hackman, Esq. and Collin T. Keyser, Esq., Saxton & Stump Lawyers and Consultants With the imminent possibility of a COVID-19 vaccine, long-term care facilities must be prepared for staff questions and concerns related to immunization for the virus. A recent Gallup survey indicated that approximately 42% of Americans would decline an approved COVID-19 vaccination. Reasons for declining included: the rushed timeline for development of the vaccine; the desire to wait to confirm the vaccine is safe; no trust in vaccines in general; and the desire to wait to determine the effectiveness of the vaccine. These same concerns as voiced by the general populace most certainly will arise with facility staff, which will require an employer to engage …

Diverse Hands Holding The Word Wellbeing

Pandemic Mental Toll On Gen Z

Denise Gillin Health Benefits, News

By Michael Diller, PsyD, Licensed Psychologist and Director, Employee Assistance Program, WellSpan Normal times can be stressful, but the additional distress added by a pandemic can make things overwhelming. What are the signs to look for that may indicate mental anxiety has become something more? Stressors and symptoms, such as anxiety, depression, lower frustration tolerance, difficulty concentrating, problems and changes with sleep and appetite become more frequent, more intense, and last longer. All may be indicators that there is a need to reach out for and get connected to professional support. While everyone is impacted by the pandemic, the American Psychological Association reports the long-term consequences of the persistent stress and trauma are particularly serious for Generation Z – teens …

Holiday Gatherings During a Pandemic

Denise Gillin News

By Josh Mountz, M.Ed, Prevention Specialist, Compass Mark As people begin to think of holiday celebrations, it’s important to point out that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers safety guidelines to protect individuals and communities by preventing the spread of COVID-19. Click here to read the guidelines and note they should be used in collaboration with state and local health official considerations. Also, according to the CDC, gatherings with family and friends who do not live with you can increase the chances of getting or spreading the virus or the flu. For anyone planning even the smallest of gatherings, in addition to pandemic precautions, remember your guests may not want to drink for a variety of reasons. …

Get Ready for Winter Driving

Denise Gillin Risk Management

Timothy W. Braun, Risk Control Specialist, offers these winter driving tips and resources. The winter season promises shimmering white landscapes and invigorating outdoor activities. But the season also can bring difficulties that travelers need to be ready for. It’s important that the vehicle, the driver and travelers are prepared for the journey. Snow and ice make for slippery pavement. Stopping distance goes up. Traffic will be slowed by the snowy or icy conditions. Heavy snow or sleet can reduce visibility. Traffic dangers and travel delays might result from obstructions due to snow accumulation, stuck vehicles or vehicles out of control. According to the U.S Department of Transportation, 24 percent of weather-related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy pavement …

Male and Female Industrial Engineers in Hard Hats Discuss New Project while Using Laptop. They Make Showing Gestures.They Work in a Heavy Industry Manufacturing Factory.

Best Practices for a Manufacturing Safety Committee

Denise Gillin Risk Management

By Ryland Overly, GSP, Risk Control Consultant Manufacturing facilities that emphasize safety in the workplace are both productive and competitive. A Safety Committee is a good way to instill a culture of safety because both workers and managers can contribute their ideas. KPA provides some best practices for consideration when starting your company’s Safety Committee: Recruit the right Safety Committee members Your members should care about the safety of not only themselves but the safety of everyone they work alongside. You will want employees from all levels of the organization. Note: In PA, a certified safety committee must have a minimum of two employers and two employees. Get organized An effective committee is a well-organized committee. You will want to …

Optimize Ventilation to Reduce COVID-19 Transmission Risk

Denise Gillin Health Benefits, Human Resources, News, Risk Management

By Toby Graham, KPA The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) released new COVID-19 guidance on ventilation in the workplace. Employers should discuss options for optimizing building ventilation with an HVAC professional. Steps that can be taken include: Encourage workers to stay home if they are sick. Ensure all HVAC systems are fully functional, especially those shut down or operating at reduced capacity during the pandemic. Remove or redirect personal fans to prevent blowing air from one worker to another. Use HVAC system filters with a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating of 13 or higher, where feasible. Increase the HVAC system’s outdoor air intake. Open windows or other sources of fresh air where possible. Be sure exhaust air is …

Cyberattackers Weaponizing Google Services

Denise Gillin Insurance, News, Risk Management

By Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading Security researchers have reported an uptick in cyberattackers weaponizing Google services to sneak past defensive tools and steal credentials, credit card details, and other personal information. The Armorblox threat research team today published their analysis of five targeted phishing campaigns they call “the tip of a deep iceberg.” These attacks take advantage of several Google services, including Google Forms, Google Docs, Google Site, and Firebase, Google’s mobile platform for app development. Read more here >>>

PA November COVID-19 Traveler Testing Order Exemptions

Denise Gillin Agribusiness, News

Pennsylvania Health Secretary Dr. Rachel Levine issued an order requiring anyone visiting from another state to have a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to entering the Commonwealth. The Order goes into effect November 20, 2020. Section 4 of the order allows for exemptions as follows: The following individuals are exempt from this testing and quarantine order but shall conduct travel with attention to social distancing and wearing of masks when in contact with other individuals. Individuals travelling to and from the Commonwealth for the purposes of work. Individuals travelling to and from the Commonwealth for medical reasons, including individuals providing comfort and support to the patient. Military personnel travelling to the Commonwealth by order or directive of a …