Author Archives: Tim Hoffmann, Society Insurance Risk Control Technical Specialist

About Tim Hoffmann, Society Insurance Risk Control Technical Specialist

Tim has broad experience working with manufacturers, school districts, distributors, service industries, municipalities and the hospitality industry. He is a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), holds the Associate Loss Control Management (ALCM) designation, and is a Professional Member of the American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE).

Electronic Submission of Workplace Injury and Illness Records to OSHA

Answers to Your Questions about New OSHA Recordkeeping Rule

Recently, you may have seen articles about a new Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) rule requiring certain employers to electronically report their prior year injury data to OSHA. You may have also wondered if this rule applies to you. This blog will answer some of your most common questions about this new rule (why, who, how and when), as well as provide direction on where to find more information. (more…)

Water Sports and Wellness Programs

Wellness programs can include many components such as health coaching, health risk assessments, and fitness challenges, to name a few. One common element is exercise, but people are often looking for something different than just going to the gym. (more…)

Hazard Warning for Roasting Coffee

Roasting coffee beans has been linked to a severe health hazard known as bronchiolitis obliterans, sometimes referred to as obstructive lung disease or popcorn lung.

A Bit of History

This condition came to prominence decades ago (more…)

Ladder Safety Challenge

March is National Ladder Safety Month

The American Ladder Institute (ALI) is made up of 16 ladder manufacturers responsible for developing ladder safety standards. ALI recently announced the launch of an initiative to address ladder-related incidents: the first National Ladder Safety Month. As reported in the March 2017 issue of Safety & Health magazine from the National Safety Council, the goal of this annual March campaign is to: (more…)

Should You Conduct Employee Background Checks? (Part 2)

There are a number of legal considerations associated with conducting a proper and fair background check. It’s not easy, so why should you bother? The answer is in the EEOC guidelines; you do a background check when there is a business necessity. As a business owner, you have an obligation to provide a safe environment for your employees and customers as well as a fiduciary responsibility to the company. Reasons for a background check include, but might not be limited to: (more…)

Legal Considerations for Employee Background Checks (Part 1)

Do you conduct background checks on job applicants? Have you ever thought of doing so? If you answered ‘yes’ to either of these questions you need to be aware of the legal considerations.

There are a number of federal and state laws, along with local ordinances in some cities, which govern background checks. At the federal level there is the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which states in part “…a person cannot be denied employment based on a criminal record alonethe decision to hire or not hire must be based on a business necessity…” Some of the points to consider include, but are not limited to: (more…)

6 Tips for Paddle Craft Safety

National Safe Boating Week begins on Saturday, May 21, 2016, and many local organizations will be sponsoring events aimed at making our time on the water safer and more enjoyable. Traditionally, when we think about boating safety we envision power boats racing across the water or sailboats with billowing sails gliding past.

However, there is another area of boating that is often overlooked: human powered or “paddle craft.” With more than 300,000 paddle crafts sold each year, kayaking, canoeing, paddle boarding and various other paddle sports offer a very affordable way to enjoy our lakes, rivers and streams. (more…)

3 Keys to Boating Safety

National Safe Boating Week is May 16-22, 2015 and the theme is “Wear It!”

Consider these three recommendations for a safe and fun year on the water:

1. Wear a Life Jacket

So, why is wearing a life jacket so important? Consider these statistics from Wisconsin’s 2014 annual boating report:

For the 117 boating accidents that occurred in 2014, only 22% of the operators reported wearing a life jacket! For the nine fatalities that occurred (where life jacket use was reported) 89% of the people were not wearing one! In one case a person who could not swim fell out of a pedestal seat in a moving boat and drowned. (more…)

Learning From Loss: Electrical Fires

This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Fire Prevention

Last week, we learned about the most common causes of fire loss based on Society Insurance claims data from 2011-2013. View the chart. We went into detail about cooking equipment hazards and the best ways to minimize those risks. This week, we will explore electrical fire risks and prevention tips.

Electrical Equipment

Between 2011 and 2013, there were 83 electrical fires that cost Society over $14.5 million in claim settlement costs. Just like with cooking equipment, I asked Subrogation Specialist Kristina Huber, CPCU, AIC, CSRP, for her insight into the causes of these fires. (more…)

Learning from Loss: Cooking Equipment Fires

This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Fire Prevention

FIRE! This is a word you never want to hear in your business and it is the call in the night you never want to get. Best scenario is no one is hurt and it is only property damage, but even then it will still be devastating to your business. The investigation to determine the cause of the fire can go on for months and the clean-up from even a small fire may take several days and require a business shut down. In addition to the fire damage there will also be smoke and water damage that can extend out some distance from the original location of the fire.

The best response is to prevent the fire before it starts, so where do we begin?

To find out where to begin, I asked for help from one of Society’s experts, (more…)