Workers Compensation

Protect Crews Working in Extreme Heat

by NPEO Media NPEO Media No Comments

extremeheat
Soon, sweltering summer conditions will plague construction crews and other outdoor workers. Scorching May to September weather ranks Arizona among the earth’s hottest locales. Toiling long hours in extreme temperatures increases the risk for employee illness and injury. Every year, emergency rooms across the state treat almost 2,000 patients for heat-related complaints. Over 1,500 residents died from severe natural heat exposure between 2000 and 2012.

National PEO’s heat stress training will prepare your employees to identify warning signs, understand their causes, avert incidents, and treat symptoms to avoid serious harm and fatalities. Review the Arizona Department of Health Services’ safety tips to protect your team and minimize workers’ compensation claims.

Preventative Steps

Heat escaping through staffers’ skin and perspiration cool them naturally. Anyone unable to do so properly or sufficiently can be vulnerable to heat-induced illnesses. At-risk workers include outdoor, overweight, and sick employees along with those taking certain medications. Untreated heat-related conditions can range from serious to deadly. To ensure personal protection:

Drink more water: Consume one to two liters of water every hour of outside shifts. Take extra care during strenuous activities when depleting up to four liters hourly is possible. Keep liquids handy, and drink regularly — even when you do not feel thirsty. Omit caffeine, which has dehydrating effects. Do not take salt tablets except on doctor’s orders.

Dress for heat: Lightweight, breathable, light-colored work attire and hard hats help reflect the sun’s energy. Protect exposed skin with sunscreen.

Make dietary modifications: Eat smaller meals more often. Skip high-protein foods that may raise metabolic heat.

Limit heat exposure: Schedule strenuous activities for the coolest hours between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. Work in shaded, covered, or indoor environments throughout the hottest interval from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Take breaks: Rest during frequent cool-down breaks in shaded areas or more comfortable places. Whenever physical exertion causes heat-related symptoms, stop for breathers in ventilated locations.

Be alert: As temperatures rise, watch for the following illness stages and perform appropriate care.

Dehydration

Symptoms: Thirst indicates that mild dehydration has occurred already.

Treatment: Ingesting water promptly in cooler areas may prevent more serious stages.

Heat Cramps

Signs: Heavy exertion and sweating reduce bodily salt and water levels. Mild to very painful muscular spasms may result in leg or abdominal muscles.

First aid: Take a break from physical stress to rest in air-conditioned comfort. Consume half a glass of cool water or a sports drink every 15 minutes. Stretch cramped muscles slightly, holding extensions 20 seconds. Massage relaxed regions gently. Repeat as necessary. When no other heat symptoms are present, resume work after cramping subsides.

Heat Exhaustion

extremeheat1Indicators: This condition occurs typically when personnel lose body fluids through heavy perspiration while working in warm, muggy places. Due to high humidity rates or excess clothing layers, sweat does not evaporate properly. Depleted fluids decrease blood flowing in vital organs, causing shock. Insufficient cooling signals include:

  • Moist, cool, pale skin that may appear flushed or reddish following demanding activities
  • Profuse sweating
  • Near normal body temperature
  • Skin temperature that feel hot in some cases
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Exhaustion or weakness

Remedies: Stop physical activities, move to a breezy or indoor location, and rest in a relaxed position. When alert, fill half a glass with a caffeine-free sports drink or chilled water. Hydrate slowly every 15 minutes. Loosen or remove tight clothes. Drape cool, damp cloths on exposed skin, or mist with water. Other crewmembers should call 9-1-1 if workers refuse fluids, vomit, or lose consciousness.

Heatstroke

Signals: Life-threatening sunstroke or heatstroke occurs when staffers’ internal temperature-control systems stop functioning. The mechanisms that should instigate perspiration cannot refresh overheated workers. Body temperatures can climb high enough to cause brain damage or death if victims do not cool down quickly. Variable signs may include:

  • Moist skin if still sweating
  • Red, hot, dry skin if perspiration has stopped
  • Body temperatures that may reach 105° F
  • Vomiting
  • Throbbing headache
  • Confusion
  • Fast, shallow breathing
  • Quick, weak pulse
  • Seizures
  • Decreased alertness or unconsciousness

Emergency care: Other personnel must call 9-1-1 immediately. While waiting on help, relocate victims to ventilated areas. Use available cooling methods quickly. Wrap numerous cold or ice packs in cloths. Apply them over large blood vessels at wrists, ankles, and armpits, as well as the neck. Wrap workers in wet sheets and place them in reclining positions in front of air conditioners or fans. Omit rubbing alcohol that closes pores, trapping internal heat. Make sure airways are clear, and watch for breathing problems.

Ease Your Benefits Burden: Outsource Workers’ Compensation

by National Peo National Peo No Comments

Running a small to medium-sized business entails many challenges, and complying with workers’ compensation regulations is one of them. As a business owner, you don’t have the time to focus on running your business and keeping up with ever-evolving statutes. Outsourcing your workers’ compensation administration takes a huge benefits burden off your shoulders, saves you time and money and helps guarantee you a happier, healthier work force.

When you hire a PEO to handle your workers compensation responsibilities, you’ll be putting professionals in charge of your claims administration, insurance and policy audits, and all your other financial details. Let our PEO handle all the heavy administrative lifting, so you can put your time, energy and attention where it belongs — on running your business.

Get Claims Handled Quickly

When an employee gets hurt at work, getting him or her the needed medical attention is a priority. The sooner you can get your employee taken care of, the sooner he or she returns to work, and the sooner the whole company can move on. When you outsource your workers’ compensation process to us, we’ll get your claims handled quickly and efficiently so you can get your injured employees healed up and back on the job.

Save Money

If you’re like most small or medium-sized business employers who handle their own workers’ compensation administration, you probably pay a deposit, followed by monthly or quarterly payments. You’ll then need to do an audit at the end of the year just to see whether you may have overpaid or fallen short.

You’re wasting time and money when you do it this way. When you outsource your workers’ comp to a PEO like ours, there’s no need for deposits, monthly or quarterly payments or end-of-the-year payroll audits. We’ll calculate your workers’ compensation payments at the end of each pay period based on your actual payroll numbers. Then we’ll let you know what your premiums are and you can pay exactly what you owe for your workers’ compensation costs — no less, no more.

Make Your Workplace Safer

When you outsource your workers’ compensation administration you’ll get valuable advice on how you can make your workplace safer. A safer workplace means fewer worker injuries and that means fewer workers’ compensation claims. Committing to a safety plan can lower your insurance payments and boost your employees’ morale. We’ll work with you to help you develop a workplace health and safety plan that can boost overall productivity and improve your bottom line.

There are plenty of ways in which you can make your workplace safer, too. Make sure all of your employees have the right uniforms and safety gear — that’s a given. Inspect your premises regularly to make sure everything’s in good shape. Put anti-slip rubber mats in front of exterior doors and in tiled corridors. Make sure smoke detectors and fire extinguishers are in good working order, and that you’re in compliance with all safety regulations — we’ll help you with that, of course.

Sometimes improving employee health and safety is as simple as encouraging better hygiene. Post hand-washing instructions in employee restrooms; washing your hands with soap and water is the single most important thing you can do to prevent the spread of illness.

Improve Employee Fitness

Did you know that under the Affordable Care Act, your business could get tax incentives for implementing employee wellness programs? Wellness programs keep your employees healthy and happy, so they can be more productive and work harder for your company. When you outsource your workers’ compensation administration with us, we can help you make sense of how the new health care reform law applies to your business and how you can take advantage of it to improve your employees’ health.

Employee wellness programs encourage your employees to exercise more often, and exercise improves balance and coordination. That means your employees are less likely to fall or injure themselves at work. Encouraging your employees to join a gym or learn about proper nutrition can help them cultivate more energy and that can mean dividends for your company.

Workers’ compensation administration tasks are complex and the risks of mishandling them are high. You could be vulnerable to fines and penalties if you don’t provide a safe work environment or process workers’ comp claims correctly. You could lose your best employees if your workplace is unsafe or if workers’ compensation is delayed or handled poorly. Give yourself a break when it comes to calculating premiums and filing claims. Put your workers’ compensation in the hands of professionals by contacting National PEO today as we know the employment laws and can help make sure your small to mid-sized business is in compliance with every one of them. You’ll save time and money and could possibly avoid a lot of trouble, too.

Workers Comp is the most burdensome regulation

by National Peo National Peo No Comments

Workers’ compensation laws are the most difficult government regulation to deal with, but also the most beneficial to employees, small business owners said in response to a survey by the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations.

 

NAPEO surveyed 429 small businesses around the country and asked 16 questions about labor laws and other employment issues.

 

Thirty-eight percent of respondents named workers’ compensation as the most difficult of 13 employment regulations they had to deal with. But 47% also said workers’ compensation is the most beneficial government regulation for workers.

 

“Without the system, employees and their employers would have to roll the dice in the legal system, a slow, cumbersome and sometimes unfair process,” NAPEO said. “Instead the presumption under the workers’ comp system is that workers injured on the job have an absolute right to medical care and compensation, and if there’s a dispute it’s first heard informally by the state workers’ comp agency.”

 

After workers’ compensation, the small businesses found federal employment and income taxes (28%), the Family Medical Leave Act (26%) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) (26%) the most onerous regulations.

 

Behind workers’ compensation, the small businesses found the Family Medical Leave Act (42%), HIPPA (32%) and the Fair Labor Standards Act (29%)as most beneficial to their workers.

 

The small businesses said the least beneficial regulations for workers are the Immigration Reform and Control Act (35%), involuntary wage garnishments (32%) and the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (31%).