Tag Archives: risk control

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…)

How to Find a Qualified Commercial Kitchen Exhaust Cleaning Contractor

The consequences of not using trained kitchen exhaust cleaning (KEC) technicians can be devastating. According the U.S. Fire Administration, nearly 6,000 restaurant fires are reported each year in the United States. And, of those, a percentage, around 21 percent, depending on the year, are caused by a failure to clean. But the concern is for one restaurant: yours.

Restaurant fires are often kitchen exhaust system fires. It’s easy to look at that big hood and hear that fan and think that everything dangerous is being blown straight up and away, but that simply is not the case. The kitchen exhaust system comprises the hood, filters, plenum, fans and what may be a labyrinth of horizontal and vertical ductwork – and the parts that you can see are likely only a small portion of the whole. (more…)

Checking Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) on Delivery Employees

What is an MVR, what is it used for, and who should be checked? A motor vehicle record (MVR) is a historical driving record that can be used to determine business risk associated with current and potential drivers. MVRs may include: (more…)

Prevent Slips and Falls with a Floor Mat Program

This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series Slips, Trips & Falls

Mirror, mirror on the wall,
How do we prevent a fall?
Clean floors can help with that,
And don’t forget the floor mat!

The average person walks over 8,000 steps a day. All it takes is one slip and fall and your life could be changed in an instant. According to the National Floor Safety Institute (NFSI): “Falls account for over 8 million hospital emergency room visits, representing the leading cause of visits (21.3%). Slips and falls account for over 1 million visits, or 12% of the total falls.” What can we do as employers to protect our employees and customers from slips and falls? One of the best places to start is with a proper floor mat program. (more…)

Falls Are Not Funny

This entry is part 11 of 14 in the series Slips, Trips & Falls

The National Floor Safety Institute is focused on providing the general public with an educated awareness to the problems of slip and fall injuries. There are many preventive measures that can help to avoid these terrible accidents. It only takes one fall to completely alter the life of a victim.

Slip and fall accidents happen every day and should be a significant cause of concern in both the summer and winter months. In 2009, the total costs of slip and fall accidents was $60 billion, but that number has continued to rise. Today, these accidents account for nearly $80 billion.

Injuries as a result of a slip, trip or fall are the leading cause of injury-related emergency room visits. Unfortunately, the general public is sometimes led to believe all slip, trip and fall injuries are scams. This is not true. There are preventive strategies that can help reduce the frequency of these types of accidents, in turn reducing the number of injuries. (more…)

Smoking Controls to Reduce the Risk of Cigarette Fires

This entry is part 8 of 14 in the series Fire Prevention

In recent years, there have been an increased number of states that have enacted laws for prohibiting or restricting smoking at worksites, restaurants and bars.  Before 2004, there were only two states with complete smoking bans at worksites, restaurants and bars. With these restrictions in place, proper disposal of spent smoking materials, the correct location of designated smoking areas and effective housekeeping controls become very important because it limits ignition sources and reduces the ability of a fire to spread.

Regardless of whether or not your establishment allows smoking, the following measures should be taken to decrease the likelihood of a fire and/or in the event of a fire, reduce the possibility of it spreading. (more…)

Tips to Prevent Crimes in Restaurants & Bars

Restaurants and bars  can be targets for robbery, burglary and theft. These service businesses may accumulate a large amount of cash during daily operations, which make them attractive targets for criminal activity. Coupled with odd hours of operation and so many people moving in and out of the building, restaurants and bars are perceived as an easy target to criminals. Don’t make it easy for them; implement preventive measures to deter criminal activity and reduce liabilities.

Read, “Protecting Your Employees from Assault” for more information on measures aimed at violence prevention in your restaurant or bar.

Prevent Crimes at Your Restaurant or Bar with These 5 Tips

1. Enact smart money management.

Even though debit and credit card payments are popular payment choices, restaurants and bars still ring up a fair number of cash transactions. The accumulation of cash during operating hours makes your establishment an easy target, so prevent crimes by keeping it safe.  Assess these vulnerabilities:

Cash on-hand: Invest in a drop safe and keep cash in the registers to a minimum. Employees should make frequent deposits to the drop safe throughout the day to minimize the amount of cash available at any given time. This is an especially good practice during the evening and late-night hours when robberies tend to be more frequent.

Moving money: Transferring money to the bank can make your business susceptible to attempted theft. Make trips at varied times and through alternate routes of travel to avoid a predictable pattern. If criminals uncover a schedule, it makes it easier for them to attempt a heist on your hard-earned profits.

Safe standards: The number of people who have access to the safe should be limited as much as possible to minimize the risk of disappearing dollars. When an employee terminates or is terminated, the combination to the safe needs to be changed so that there isn’t a chance he or she can return to the building and steal money or divulge the combination to other people. Additional rules of thumb include ensuring that the safe combination is not written anywhere in the proximity to the safe, and the combination is always scrambled upon closure.

2. Evaluate your environmental design.

Prevent crimes by deterring crooks from targeting your establishment. Bolster external crime prevention efforts. Consider addressing the following elements:

Landscaping: Foliage offers the perfect places for criminals to hide until there’s a clear opportunity to make a move. Plant growth that is more than three feet high near doors offers the perfect cover, so keep shrubs and trees well-trimmed.

Lighting: Illuminate potential hiding hazards with motion detection lighting systems and/or bright exterior lighting that are on a timer system. A well-lit facade makes for an unattractive building to try and burglarize.

Trash containers: Exterior dumpsters should be located in a locked enclosure to minimize the likelihood of people hiding in the trash receptacle.

Surveillance: Security cameras should focus on the parking lot, back door and other vulnerable exterior locations. Their presence can deter crime—but provide helpful information to the authorities if the unthinkable happens.

Roof access: Exterior ladders on the side of the building need to be secured and not provide access to the roof.

3. Invest in internal video monitoring.

Video surveillance isn’t just for the outdoors. Installing cameras inside is another piece of the security puzzle to help prevent crimes and suspicious activity. 

Install the right cameras: Different camera systems boast distinct benefits, making them ideal for specific situations. For example, dome cameras house a small camera inside a dome-shaped enclosure and are typically installed in areas that get dirty, whereas a bullet camera is small, narrow and includes an infrared illuminator, which is ideal for low-light areas. Make sure you understand the available camera options and which will work best for your business setting. 

Remember: Best practice for saving video is to record at least 30 days’ worth of footage, so make sure your surveillance selection can accommodate that.

Place the eye in the sky: Cameras should be placed in all cash handling areas (e.g., near cash registers and the back office), at entrances and exits, and in storage areas, work/prep areas and break rooms so staff and customers are aware they are being recorded.

Prepare staff: Appropriate employees need to be trained in the use of the video system, including activating it, reviewing the footage, and saving copies of the incident video to a thumb drive, DVD or other media.

4. Review building security.

building business security

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100 Ways to Protect Your Business

At Society Insurance, our mission is to protect the livelihoods of our policyholders and when it comes to risk management, prevention is key. Throughout 2015 we have shared important tips to help identify, evaluate and prevent dangers that could result in financial loss or injury. And now, in celebration of our 100th year in business, here are 100 ways to keep your business “Safe with Society”… (more…)

Speak Up About Safety: 5 Steps to Building a Safety Culture in the Workplace

We are all born with instincts – those “gut reactions” that tell us what is right or wrong, safe or dangerous, good or bad. They’re vital to our survival and help us navigate through life. Even though this is a natural reaction produced without any effort, these feelings can be ignored. In a high-stress situation, we may overlook the safest option in favor of a quicker alternative. Sometimes this results in an unsafe situation for ourselves or those around us. This becomes especially dangerous in the workplace. (more…)

VIDEO: Proactive Approach Reduces Workers Compensation Losses

A high level of knowledge and understanding regarding industry-specific safety issues and loss trends makes a big difference in reducing workers compensation losses.

In this video, Rhonda McCreedy of DeRosa Corporation, Wauwatosa, Wis., and Chris Halverson of M3 Insurance Solutions, Waukesha, Wis., discuss Society Insurance’s proactive approach to risk control and loss prevention in the restaurant and bar business. (more…)