Tag Archives: ISNETWORLD

Well It’s Not Like Choosing a Spouse, But Choosing an Insurance Agent Should Not Be Taken Lightly

If you own a business, you should have a commercial insurance policy, and may have other forms of insurance including professional liability, directors and officers coverage, etc. Before choosing an agentpurchasing your insurance policy, you must first select an insurance agent that you would like to work with. On the surface, insurance can seem like a commodity and many insurance agents treat it as though it is by selling policies simply on the basis of price. The reality is that insurance is more than a product – it is a critical tool in any business’s risk management strategy – and crafting a policy that provides adequate protection for your business requires more than a cursory review of your company and the business it is in.

Not all insurance agents are the same. The right insurance agent will approach their relationship with you as a partnership and not simply a sale. How to choose the right insurance agent for your business? Shop around and know what to look for when selecting your partner!

The call is yours

There are literally thousands of insurance agents and insurance companies that would love to have your business. The important thing for you as a purchaser is to know what you need. Are you simply looking to purchase the lowest price policy, or are you interested in reducing your overall business risk and ensuring that you are protected when risk becomes reality? If it’s the latter, a great approach is to seek advice from the lawyers and accountants who helped you open your business. Often, they can recommend the right agent for your needs.

Do some homework

Before meeting with an agent, it is important to have a basic understanding of the types of insurance products you may require. This is another situation where your corporate attorney or accountant may be able to help. With so many forms of insurance on the market, it can be difficult to understand which may be appropriate for your situation.

  • Workers’ compensation is a sophisticated product with subtle ways of determining premium.
  • Life insurance may be the best vehicle for a buy-sell insurance agreement.
  • Businesses with products have needs different than those that provide services.
  • Sole proprietorships need different security than partnerships or corporations.
  • Fire, flood, and others risks mean different things in different locations and different industries.

Before an agent can recommend what types of policies you should purchase, they must first identify and measure the risks to your business. Only then can they determine the best way to manage them. For this reason, you need the agent who has broad and deep experience in all lines of liability. Experienced and reputable professionals pursue continuing education and performance recognition. So, look for the initials after their name: CLCS – Commercial Lines Coverage Specialist, CLU – Chartered Life Underwriter, CRM – Certified Risk Manager, CPCU – Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, or REBC – Registered Employee Benefits Consultant. There are yet more, but each of these represents years of coursework and testing.

What to value?

The ability to identify and manage risk is the key to a strong partnership with an agent, a holistic approach that reduces costs before they occur. Insurance rates are often based on the number and dollar value of claims, so it stands to reason that, to the extent that you can reduce the incidence and cost of claims, the better off you and your business will be. Look for the agent whose approach involves examining the broader risk management issues facing your business, and whose recommendations include more than simply purchasing insurance.

Accidents will happen, but communication and readiness can improve the odds. When employees and staff are well-informed about risks, their potential consequences, and workable prevention, safety becomes a team event. The agent who can provide material resources in the form of manuals, signage, and training is a personal value to your business. These are the partners you want to sign with.

Choose the agent for whom service is the unique value proposition. Value the commitment and mutual self-interest because it is to your advantage as well as the agent’s to develop and sustain the relationship.

Gary Grissom is a partner and Senior Risk Advisor at Texas Associates Insurors. Gary’s expertise extends to the construction, manufacturing and oil & gas industries where he partners with clients to develop effective cost-reducing risk management strategies.

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4 Risk Management Challenges for Small Businesses

Risk events can come in many different shapes and sizes, but regardless of your profession, risk management is something that can give you the edge over potentially damaging risks. For Small Businesses, there are several reasons why Enterprise Risk Management should be implemented. These reasons range from legal obligations to budgetary requirements and below, we highlight four of the foremost reasons for introducing Enterprise Risk Management to your Business.Risk management flow chart on paper

Market Risks

In large companies, market risk covers the risk that the value of the company’s assets will decrease due to a change in the value of external factors. Changes in interest rates, foreign exchange rates and commodity prices can all negatively impact on a company’s assets. Similarly, changing economic and environmental factors can negatively impact on the productivity of small businesses.

By monitoring market influences and assessing other external influences that could impinge on the company’s market presence, you can protect against market risks and ensure the productivity of the business. For small businesses, accounting for market risks can help ensure projected growth patterns and prosperity. By formulating an enterprise risk management plan, employers can effectively address and mitigate unfavourable market forces.

Operational Risks

Operational risk represents the risk of loss from failed internal processes. These risks can arise out of everything from poor or inadequate employee practices to hardware malfunction.  While operational risk is relevant to all categories of profession, many small businesses often overlook or underestimate the possibility of operational risk-related events damaging their business. Operational risks such as internal and external fraud, employment practices, business continuity processes can all negatively affect the overall business process of a small enterprise.

Through in-depth analysis, the identification, measurement, monitoring and managing of operational risk, small businesses can ensure the security and efficiency of the operating process. This involves having well-defined and organized roles, segregating duties and responsibilities, and implementing management review mechanisms that will allow employers to account for operational risks and ensure they don’t threaten the business.

Reputational Risks

Reputation is one of a business’ most important assets, particularly if they operate globally. That said, reputation is everything for small enterprises and start-ups as it represents the extent to which the company is meeting the expectations of its stakeholders, and this can often prove a determining factor in whether or not a small business can take off. While reputation is one of the most important assets of the business, reputational risks are indelibly difficult to protect against. Factors such as negative publicity, whether accurate or not, can compromise the business’ reputation capital while marketing channels such as social media can carry a lot of risk potential.

By defining how you want your business to be perceived, you can begin to clearly identify what risks could negatively impact on the company’s public image. Outlining an enterprise risk management strategy can greatly help a small business to actively monitor the effects of operational incidents on reputation capital and the public perception of the business. This involves an assessment of relationships with consumers, partners and the media as well as assessing the functionality of the business in terms of commitment and quality processes.

Emerging Risks

Emerging risk accounts for any new risk that is in the process of being quantified and understood. Emerging risks have the potential to substantially impact on a business or insurance policy and significantly damage the company’s reputation, reach and overall process. Emerging risks can infiltrate any part of your business or personal life and have a huge impact, and unfortunately, as there tends not to be any resolute method of predicting and protecting against emerging risks, they are considered some of the most potentially damaging risks that businesses face.

Typical emerging risks include Cyber Risks and Social Media Risks, both of which can be reduced greatly through a comprehensive risk management plan, but other emerging risks such as changing economic factors and wholly unpredictable risks like natural disasters can have devastating consequences for unprepared businesses.

Enterprise Risk Management is all about predicting, preparing for and protecting against the occurrence of a risk event. Each of the risks discussed in this post carry the potential to inflict serious damage on a company’s reputation and overall business process. However, if a small business incorporates each of the aforementioned risks into their overall Enterprise Risk Management plan, they can significantly protect themselves against the possibility of a risk event occurring and devastating the business.

Ensure your Risk Management Strategy is up to scratch with a free risk assessment.

 

Lonnie Meadows is a risk advisor for NewFirst Insurors. Lonnie specializes in developing commercial risk management plans for small to mid-sized businesses and focuses on leadership and management relationships to improve his clients’ overall operations.

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Risk Management: Predicting the Unpredictable

Michelle Symonds of TechRepublic UK recently argued that risk management fails to effectively address ‘real’ project risks, which she calls ‘the unknown unknowns.’ In her article, Michelle questions the value of Strategic Risk Management within the business, asking whether risk planning and management really serves a practical purpose, or “is it simply designed to provide a get-out when problems start to occur, or an explanation of why the budget is over-running?”Risk management flow chart on paper

While Michelle makes some compelling points about the attitude of Businesses when it comes to managing Risks – such as her argument that many Businesses often fail to differentiate between some risk factors, instead implementing plans that are ‘little more than a standard template that lists the same risk factors for every project,’ one of the biggest mistakes a company can make in Strategic Risk Management – her argument that Risk Management does not serve a purpose is very much up for debate, particularly in an ever-developing Industrial world that has seen the role of Risk Management within the Business do nothing but grow.

She may be correct in outlining the failure of Standard Risk Management to fully account for unpredictable risks however, if implemented properly a successful Risk Management Strategy will help mitigate the possibility of a loss when the unexpected comes around.

Risk Management: A Definition

Douglas Hubbard, author of the book: “The Failure of Risk Management: Why it’s broke and how to fix it,” defines risk management as “the identification, assessment, and prioritization of risks followed by coordinated and economical application of resources to minimize, monitor, and control the probability and/or impact of unfortunate events.” When it comes to unpredictable risks, Hubbard’s indication that ‘control’ is one of the key aspects of Risk Management gives us a clear projection of how the ‘unknown unknowns’ should be treated. After all, Risk Management is about managing Risks, not necessarily preventing them. Taking this into consideration, it is inherently possible to control the unknown unknowns as they come, and here are some suggestions on how you can amend your policy to do so.

Stress-tests

Stress-testing is becoming an increasingly popular trend in large Businesses across the US. This involves deliberately setting up a situation that tests employees’ ability to handle the pressure of a risk occurrence, which in this case could be an unpredictable risk like a weather-related risk event. By carrying out stress-testing, you will be able to evaluate your employee response to situations that may occur but cannot be predicted. This will help you address vulnerabilities and ratify your policy accordingly.

Eliminate fear

Fear is one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to assessing risk. While fear can help you keep on your toes, it is important not to let it hinder performance and the overall business process. Fear of the unpredictable will automatically cause a focus on potential negativity, but if you are to shift this focus to a more positive outlook, you can account for the ‘unknown unknowns’ in a manner which lends itself to success.

Unpredicted risk events will occur, often on a daily basis, in different forms and on different scales. However, with continuity in your Risk Management Strategy,  you account for these risks as they come and ultimately protect the long term future of your business.

Risk Management can be a difficult topic to understand. If you need anything cleared up, then speak to one of our experts for free.

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The Importance of Increasing Risk Management Funding

According to a recent report conducted by professional services firm Deloitte, heightened regulatory scrutiny and greater concerns over risk governance have led a large proportion of the world’s financial institutions to increase their risk management spending. The survey on risk management practices which is titled ‘Setting a Higher Bar,’ found that two-thirds of the surveyed financial institutions reported an increase in spending on risk management and compliance in 2012, reflecting a 55 percent increase since 2010.Risk management flow chart on paper

The report went on to indicate that operational risk has been a continuing challenge for many institutions. It attributes the lack of ability to measure operational risk as the key factor that has caused resounding apprehension among organizations with regards operational risk management.

With Risk Management funding on the rise but cautiousness lingering on, it is important to understand why you should invest in operational risk management so that you can look out for your business with a clear conscious and ensure your money is being well spent.

Risk identification

Being pro-active and examining potential hazards, whether they are short or long-term, and how they could negatively impact your business, is crucial in Risk Management but it’s much more than a ‘one-off’ trip. Many Insurers will argue that Risk Management is more of a journey than a destination and in order to ensure your Business process remains ‘loss-free’, you have to persist and ensure the Risk Management process is continuous and consistent. This comes from adequate funding and an investment of both time and energy.

Protection against emerging risks

It has recently emerged that reputation is considered the most difficult risk to manage for businesses. While this may be true, it does not have to be the case. Investing time and effort into Risk Management can help you protect against emerging risks such as reputational risk and Social Media Risk, both of which can be difficult to protect against in our ever-changing world. Adequate training coupled with extensive research can help you mitigate the chances of experiencing a social media blunder or indeed seeing your reputation suffer. This is no cost-free procedure however, and will require continued investment so that you can stay one step ahead of the risks.

Review Process

The Risk Assessment review process is not always regarded a priority for businesses, but without it, you can never fully understand how operational your system is and what kind of results it is delivering. While many insurers will recommend an annual review process as an adequate measure, if you are serious about operational risk management and are determined to see positive results, an ongoing review process should be atop your list of priorities.

By introducing a consistent review process, you will be able to evaluate where you are going wrong with your Risk Management Strategy and what exactly you are doing right. It also helps in managing and mitigating the emerging risks we discussed above, making regular modifications and updates easier to carry out. This too will require ongoing funding to effectively implement but considering the potential damage a loss occurrence could do to your business, it can only be regarded as a modest investment.

Operational Risk Management can be a tricky business, and for many businesses, it is just that. But, it doesn’t need to be. Discarding an apprehensive approach begins with understanding your requirements, establishing the hazards and identifying who may be harmed and how. Ensuring the long-term safety of your Business and your Business process requires a consistent level of funding, effort and attention.

If you are in need of Strategic Rick Management advice, get a free consultation from one of our experts.

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4 Biggest Risk Management Challenges

In many ways, Strategic Risk Management is understanding that failure to adequately account for a number of related risks can negatively impact on you and your business. While organizations are increasing Risk Management funding and ultimately developing their understanding of a ‘loss-free’ process as opposed to a ‘risk-free’ one, hesitancies with regards Risk Management remain, limiting the potential progress of companies. risk management

Risk would not be so-called if there was 0% chance of a loss event occurring. However, in identifying and analyzing the difficulties created by implementing Strategic Risk Management, we can overcome obstacles and focus on success.

Below, we have outlined the 4 biggest challenges faced by organizations in developing and implementing Strategic Risk Management.

Defining Risk Appetite

Defining risk appetite is arguably the most important step to achieving success with your Risk Management Strategy. By tracking risk assessments, setting quantitative and qualitative criteria, and taking into consideration a risk’s unique impact on financial metrics, external relationships, and most importantly, strategic goals, it is easy to weigh up what you are setting out to achieve with your Strategy. In addition, identifying your requirements and the potentiality of various risks within your business will help you to devise your long term and short term Risk Management goals.

The application process

The application of Strategic Risk Management varies considerably with Industrial circumstances and requirements. Risks in the workplace will depend on the nature of the workplace, with Credit Risks, Property Damage Risks and Health and Safety Risks are all components that will vary depending on the work you are involved in. While these risks will vary in prevalence depending on Industry, the application process remains unchanged.

Through defining your Risk Appetite and identifying the risks that threaten your Business, you can work on applying your Strategy to ensure potential risks don’t come back to negatively impact on your overall process. This begins with training, an established review program and a solid communications structure within the organization.

Internal Communications

While the success of Strategic Risk Management starts with establishing what you’re after and subsequently developing a way of tackling those risks, the potential success/failure hinges on the Communications structure within your organization. Often in crisis situations we see a simple breakdown in communication as the determining factor. This is one of the biggest Risk Management challenges facing Businesses and other organizations as it is often taken for granted and pushed to the background behind some more ‘obvious’ demands.

Developing a solid communications structure starts with engaging stakeholders and finishes with ensuring each and every employee is in the know when it comes to company policy.  If employees are unaware of how their responsibilities relate to the bigger picture, strategic goals may remain abstract as opposed to actionable. It is often advisable for organizations to delegate responsibilities among employees so that everyone takes on the responsibility of actively managing risk.

Quantifying Success

Risk Management is very much a grey area with the numerous considerations that need to be made in its development and implementation, but its success or failure is easily identifiable. Obvious signs like a crisis or risk event will clearly demonstrate the failure of Strategic Risk Management, however quantifying successes can be a much more difficult process.

Establishing a coherent and conclusive evaluation process can help you to learn what is going right and what could be improved. This is part of the overall review process which allows you to remain one step ahead with your Risk Management process.

While implementing Strategic Risk Management is not a simple step by any means, there is no reason it can’t be made easier through a calculated step by step approach, taking obstacles into account and consequently moving to evade them.

We offer free expert advice on Strategic Rick Management for Businesses so you can manage risks effectively and ensure the success of your business.

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Establishing a Successful Disaster Management Communication Plan

The recent explosion at the Blue Rhino propane plant in Tavares, Florida was the second major chemical plant explosion of 2013, following April’s Fertilizer plant Explosion in West, Texas which left 15 dead and over 160 injured. The need for inspection of Risk Management Strategyand Health and Safety procedure within the booming Chemicals Industry is greater than ever, following yet another disaster which, thankfully, did not incur any loss of life. But it is up to the company to ensure Health and Safety procedure is up to date and that accidents like yesterday’s explosion can be properly prepared for. Here are some of the key areas that make up an effective Disaster Management plan.

Communication

Communication is a vital component of any risk management strategy. But the reality of a disaster is chaos is almost certain to follow. An effective communication strategy, however, can minimise confusion and contribute greatly towards a remedy.

Departmental communication within a company is important so that members of staff, on every level, are fully informed of a situation and briefed/instructed on what they can or cannot do. Similarly, communication with those who are affected by the disaster can help prevent rumour and panic. Any effective Disaster Management Strategy should prioritise communication with those affected by the situation, as the protection of public interest is important for the sustainability of the company. Communication with the media is also important in terms of getting the truth out there and controlling the situation. Even if uncertainty is rife following a disaster, giving a ‘no information’ answer is better than making no comment at all.

Organization

Of course disasters are totally unforeseen, but preparation for a worst case scenario can be helped by a solid organizational structure. Designating positions and establishing a centre for crisis control can go a long way in keeping a company on its toes in anticipation of a crisis. Organizational structure also involves ensuring adequate tools and equipment are put in place. An alternate power source, emergency supplies and press statements are just a few of the precautionary measures a company can take in preparing its Disaster Management Plan.

Media Relations Officer

Part of the Organization structure involves designating a representative to speak on the company’s behalf in the wake of a crisis. The Public/Media Information Officer should liaise with the incident control officer to assess the situation so he/she can inform the media and general public of the severity of the situation and the measures being taken to remedy it. The Public Information Officer will become the main contact point between those assessing the Disaster and everyone else outside the company.

Measuring the strategy

One of the most important elements of Risk Management is learning from your mistakes. Once the dust has settled, it is important to take a step back and assess the Disaster Management Strategy and its proficiency, as well as the company’s overall Risk Management Process. While it may not appear like an appropriate hallmark following a disaster, every cloud has a silver lining and learning from what went wrong can greatly help a company prevent things going wrong in future.

This is an introduction to creating a risk management plan, for more information you can ask us for help.

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3 Reasons Employee Vigilance is Vital in Your Risk Management Strategy

Most of us have an unconscious list of risks that we expect to meet in our workplace every day. If pressed, most of us could list the obvious risk management measures that are in place in our workplaces. We can see the handrails and warning signs to prevent slip/fall accidents and we know all about the ergonomic importance of good posture.

But there are some workplace injuries we don’t automatically see a solution for, and some that we don’t even consider when we assess our day-to-day risks. Some of the top 10 workplace accidents occur outside that subconscious list of daily dangers.

The irony is, they are on the list of common accidents, specifically because they fall outside that list. These are accidents that have one unified risk management solution; be vigilant. While a comprehensive risk management strategy means finding solutions, these accidents demonstrate the role employees must play in their own safety.

Falling Objects

While your risk management strategy will include provisions for the proper storage of heavy objects and the provision of safety gear. That said, it is inevitable that objects will be dropped, as you can never 100% guarantee safe carriage of any item. Once that happens there is a risk of injury and the difference between an injury and simple damage to the object will be the reaction of your employee. If they react quickly to move or catch the object (depending on size) they will avoid injury.

Reaction Injuries

Even then, it may not be enough simply to react, your employee must react appropriately. Reaction injuries like muscle damage or body trauma can occur when an employee tries to avoid another injury. Grabbing a rail may prevent a fall but sprain a wrist or dodging a falling object may mean running straight into a door.

Walking Into Injuries

Not that employees need to be dodging a hazard to walk into things. Completing this list of unlikely risks that cause common accidents, the ‘walking into’ injuries are more common in the workplace than vehicle accidents, machine entanglements and repetitive stress injuries. When you aren’t looking where you are going, everything becomes a hazard.

Each of these examples, taken from the list of the top ten most common workplace injuries, require well-trained and risk-aware employees. When you set your risk management strategy, it’s vital that you important that you include every single risk. And teach your employees to react appropriately to every hazard. Especially the risks they’d least expect.

For more information on risk management, or a free risk assessment, you can ask one of our insurance experts for free. 

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How Does Risk Management Create Value?

Risk management isn’t just a defensive tactic designed merely to keep something bad from happening. Effective risk management can also be constructive and encourage the creation of something positive. This positivity is a culture of value and self-awareness.

How to create value with risk management

Risk management doesn’t have to be a secondary addition to your business strategy, it can be incorporated into your overall business plan to give you direction and help you make the best decisions.

Balancing risk avoidance activities and responsibilities throughout the company makes it so that everyone is aware of what the risks are and how they are to approach them. Rather than a strategy dictated from up above, risk management becomes more of an open discussion that includes input from multiple areas. Not only is a fully comprehensive view of risk management at work in a company, it’s all-inclusive for management and employees alike.

Risk management allows for risks to become opportunities

Executives and board members are likely to have a much longer list of worries than their average employee would. Especially in the digital information age and with the popularity of social media for example, reputational risk is of real concern to many companies

Managing these types of risks, risks that have many variables, as part of your business strategy allows for large scale projects such as social media monitoring to be broken down into smaller manageable tasks and spread throughout the company. Employees can become more involved in the company’s risk management. It also potentially makes for more effective risk management if employees are encouraged to make suggestions for improvement or development.

Risk management best practice

To best understand how your risk management can bring value to your business, you need to understand how these risks can affect you. Generally they fall into four areas – strategic, operational, financial and compliance. How would your business plan get thrown off? What would loosing the use of a key piece of machinery mean to business? Often times the answers will come from those who would be directly affected by these risks, frontline staff.

Proactively managing these risks not only gives management, but all members of staff piece of mind that risks have been comprehensively assessed.

The value risk management creates can be viewed in many ways. It’s including employees of every level in the protection and management of the company. It’s tying business strategy with risks avoidance and management for efficient planning and strategizing. It’s creating opportunities for everyone to get involved and strengthening the company’s defenses against risk.

If you have risk management questions, click here to ask an expert

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Restaurant Workplace Accidents Are COSTLY!

We all know that safety is important, but are you aware just how costly a workplace injury can be? According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the average eye injury costs $1,463. It may not seem like much money, but the extra expense to pay for injuries has a powerfully negative effect to our restaurant’s bottom line.

Why is profitability also an important issue to you? The only way that  can stay in business is to operate at a profit, and that ability can be threatened by a serious workplace injury.

The Real Cost of Workplace Injuries

It may be surprising to hear that most companies do not have a high profit margin—3 percent is about average. Expenses take a large chunk of the income, and competition limits how much we charge our patrons.

Each time an accident occurs, the cost of the injury must be subtracted from profits. Consider the following two examples:

  • At a 5 percent profit margin, an extra $20,000 in sales is needed to compensate for a $1,000 injury.
  • If the profit margin is nearer to 1 percent, an additional $100,000 worth of new income is necessary to maintain that profit level for the same injury.

As you can see, that adds up to a lot of extra income just to compensate for a single injury. And we all know that we can’t just find more customers because we need the extra income. Thus, every time a worker gets hurt on the job, other employees are affected, too. The company may be forced to make difficult budget decisions such as cutting hours or jobs, plus some employees will need to work extra hours to make up for the injured employee’s lost time.

Also, recovering from an injury can mean time away from work, reduced compensation, painful rehabilitation and frustrating adjustments to daily life.

Practice Prevention

Though operating at a profit is essential to our success, our top priority is to keep our employees safe and healthy. That’s why we are counting on you to help practice good safety principles, including following all safety procedures, even if they seem unnecessary or slow you down. Safe work behavior will contribute directly to our bottom line as well as to everyone’s job security. By observing safety precautions, we can limit accidents.

It is always wiser to spend a bit more time doing the job safely than to risk getting a serious injury. Be sure to always follow all safety guidelines and stay alert for unsafe conditions

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Heat Related Illness: Stay Cool When Working in the Heat

If your job requires you to spend time working outside, it is important to take the weather into account for safety purposes. When it is hot outside, your body temperature can rise to dangerous levels. Normally your body cools itself through sweating, but in hot weather, sweating is not enough and the result can be a heat illness.

Staying Cool

Follow the suggestions below to stay cool when working in hot weather:

  • Wear loose, light-colored clothing and some type of hat.
  • Adapt to working in hot conditions gradually, especially if you must do any strenuous physical work.
  • Take breaks indoors or in the shade when possible.
  • Avoid overexerting yourself during peak temperature periods (midday).
  • Drink liquids frequently, even if you don’t feel thirsty – at least eight ounces every 20 to 30 minutes. Choose water, fruit juice or sports drinks and stay away from liquids containing caffeine, which can dehydrate you.

Recognizing the Symptoms

There are three forms of heat illness, each with its own distinct symptoms:

  • Heat Cramps – severe muscle spasms in the back, stomach, arms and legs, which are attributed to the loss of body salt and water during periods of heavy perspiration
  • Heat Exhaustion – heavy sweating, cool or pale skin, nausea, headache, weakness, vomiting and fast pulse
  • Heat Stroke – high body temperature, sweating stops, red and often dry skin, rapid breathing and pulse, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, confusion or unconsciousness

Providing Treatment

It is essential to treat heat illness as soon as possible. If you are feeling any of the above symptoms, inform a co-worker and ask for help. If you suspect that a fellow worker has a heat condition, follow these first-aid tips:

  • Heat Cramps – Move the victim to a cooler area and allow them to drink approximately six ounces of water every 15 minutes. Follow up with a medical examination.
  • Heat Exhaustion – Move the victim to a cooler area and keep them lying down with their legs slightly elevated. Cool their body by fanning and applying cool, wet towels. If conscious, allow the victim to drink approximately six ounces of water every 15 minutes. Follow up with a medical examination.
  • Heat Stroke – You or a bystander should immediately call an ambulance. Meanwhile, move the victim to a cooler area, remove their outer clothing, immerse them in cool water or apply cool, wet towels or cloths to the body. Do NOT give them liquids. If medical help is delayed, call the hospital for further instructions while waiting. Heat stroke is life-threatening, so it’s important to move quickly!

Safety Reminder

The risk of heat illness increases with age, poor diet, being overweight, insufficient liquid intake, poor physical condition and/or when taking medication. Never take salt tablets without your doctor’s approval.

Be aware of weather conditions when you will be working outside so that you can be prepared with appropriate clothing and beverages. If you are working outside and start to feel any adverse symptoms, inform your supervisor and take a break.

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