Tag Archives: safety

Benefits of First Aid Training in the Workplace

Most Businesses are not legally obliged to provide staff with on-site Health and Safety training. However, with incoming Health Care Reform and nationwide promotion of wellness in the workplace, more and more companies are beginning to offer First Aid training to staff. In light of this, we explore the benefits of making First Aid training a requirement in the workplace.02F66770

Practical benefits

First and foremost, introducing an ‘in-house’ First Aid Training Scheme has its practical benefits:

  • All employees become more safety aware, helping bring down the number of accidents;
  • First Aid saves lives, particularly where there are grave injuries and it is critical that immediate action is taken;
  • First Aid training does not have to take a long time, some managed training courses are only a few hours long;
  • First Aid trainees know exactly what’s in their first aid kits, how to use the contents and the various ways to react in an emergency;
  • The training gives employees critical knowledge and the confidence to effectively manage an emergency without fear or confusion;
  • They learn how to give injections, use painkillers, bandage injuries and control blood flow.

Tailored to the Industry

While outside First Aid programmes are widely available and supported on many fronts, ‘in-house’ first-aid programmes allow the company to tailor the scheme to suit their place of work and their financial capabilities. As well as that, on-site first-aid programmes can be incorporated into the company’s overall risk management strategy, reducing the need for a massive overhaul of current policy.

The problem with outsider First Aid programs is that they are generally run as a ‘one size fits all’ process. With ‘in-house’ first-aid programs, you can determine the learning criteria, based on the requirements of the workplace. For example, First-Aid training for a large office will differ from a first-aid programme designed for a construction agency. In-house training allows the company to specify what areas need to be covered and apply the learning to simulated scenarios that could occur in the workplace.


The main concern of companies in terms of the cost of introducing in-house training is considering the right provider and the exact number of sessions they should deliver, as well as the number of participating employees.

At first glance, it may sound like there’s a lot to consider in terms of the company’s budget. However, once you take into account the financial effects of workplace injuries, reducing accident severity and potential through first aid training can save a company quite a bit of money in the long term.

Employee Morale

It is hugely important to consider Employee morale in the overall business process, no matter what industry you operate in. At the end of the day results will depend on the efforts of your staff and if morale is low, the work is going to suffer.

By providing onsite First Aid training you can demonstrate how you care for the welfare of your employees and show them how they are valued in the workplace.

Providing First Aid training doesn’t cost Businesses a lot of money, however, workplace accidents do. By introducing an in-house scheme tailored to meet the demands of your workplace, you can sure up your company’s risk management plan and ultimately ensure the safety of those connected with the business.

If you are considering introducing an ‘in-house’ First Aid Training scheme, contact us directly for advice on how to do so.

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Are You Prepared for Severe Thunderstorms?

Every thunderstorm produces lightning, which is extremely dangerous. Though lightning fatalities have decreased over the past 30 years, lightning continues to be one of the top three storm-related killers in the United States. In 2010, there were 29 fatalities and 182 injuries from lightning. Although most lightning victims survive, people struck by lightning often report a variety of long-term, debilitating symptoms.

Other associated dangers of thunderstorms include tornadoes, strong winds, hail and flash flooding. Flash flooding is responsible for more fatalities—more than 140 every year—than any other thunderstorm-associated hazard. Dry thunderstorms that do not produce rain that reaches the ground are most prevalent in the western United States. Falling raindrops evaporate, but lightning can still reach the ground and can start wildfires.

Before a Thunderstorm and Lightning

To prepare for a thunderstorm, you should do the following:

  • Build an emergency kit and make a family communications plan.
  • Remove dead or rotting trees and branches that could fall and cause injury or damage during a severe thunderstorm.
  • Postpone outdoor activities.
  • Remember the 30/30 Lightning Safety Rule: Go indoors if, after seeing lightning, you cannot count to 30 before hearing thunder. Stay indoors for 30 minutes after hearing the last clap of thunder.
  • Secure outdoor objects that could blow away or cause damage.
  • Get inside a home, building or hard top automobile (not a convertible). Although you may be injured if lightning strikes your car, you are much safer inside a vehicle than outside.
  • Remember, rubber-soled shoes and rubber tires provide NO protection from lightning. However, the steel frame of a hard-topped vehicle provides increased protection if you are not touching metal.
  • Shutter windows and secure outside doors. If shutters are not available, close window blinds, shades or curtains.
  • Unplug any electronic equipment before the storm arrives.

Facts about Thunderstorms

  • They may occur singly, in clusters or in lines.
  • A single thunderstorm affecting one location for an extended time can be more severe than other storms.
  • Thunderstorms typically produce heavy rain for a brief period, anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
  • Warm, humid conditions are highly favorable for thunderstorm development.
  • About 10 percent of thunderstorms are classified as severe; these storms generally produce hail at least an inch or larger in diameter and have winds of 58 miles per hour or higher. They can also produce tornadoes.

Facts about Lightning

  • Lightning’s unpredictability increases the risk to individuals and property.
  • Lightning often strikes outside of heavy rain and may occur as far as 10 miles away from any rainfall.
  • “Heat lightning” is actually lightning from a thunderstorm too far away for thunder to be heard. However, the storm may be moving in your direction.
  • Most lightning deaths and injuries occur when people are caught outdoors in the summer months during the afternoon and evening.
  • Your chances of being struck by lightning are estimated to be 1 in 600,000, but could be reduced even further by following safety precautions.
  • Lightning strike victims carry no electrical charge and should be attended to immediately.

During Thunderstorms and Lightning

If thunderstorms and lightning are occurring in your area, you should do the following:

  • Use a battery-operated National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Weather Radio for updates from local officials.
  • Avoid contact with corded phones and devices, including those plugged into electrical outlets for recharging. Cordless and wireless phones not connected to wall outlets are safe to use.
  • Avoid contact with electrical equipment or cords. Unplug appliances and other electrical items, such as computers, and turn off air conditioners. Power surges from lightning can cause serious damage.
  • Avoid contact with plumbing. Do not wash your hands, do not take a shower, do not wash dishes and do not do laundry. Plumbing and bathroom fixtures can conduct electricity.
  • Stay away from windows and doors, and stay off porches.
  • Do not lie on concrete floors and do not lean against concrete walls.
  • Avoid natural lightning rods such as tall, isolated trees in open areas.
  • Avoid hilltops, open fields, the beach and boats on the water.
  • Take shelter in a sturdy building. Avoid isolated sheds or other small structures in open areas.
  • Avoid contact with anything metal, such as tractors, farm equipment, motorcycles, golf carts, golf clubs and bicycles.
  • If you are driving, try to safely exit the roadway and park. Stay in the vehicle and turn on the emergency flashers until the heavy rain ends. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces that conduct electricity in and outside the vehicle.

Lightning Safety When Outdoors

If you are:


In a forest Seek shelter in a low area under a thick growth of small trees.
In an open area Go to a low place such as a ravine or valley. Be alert for flash floods.
On open water Get to land and find shelter immediately.
Anywhere you feel your hair stand on end (which indicates that lightning is about to strike) Squat low to the ground on the balls of your feet. Place your hands over your ears and your head between your knees. Make yourself the smallest target possible and minimize your contact with the ground. DO NOT lie flat on the ground.

After a Thunderstorm or Lightning Strike

If lightning strikes you or someone you know, call 911 for medical assistance as soon as possible. The following are things you should check when you attempt to give aid to a victim of lightning:

  • Breathing – if breathing has stopped, begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Heartbeat – if the heart has stopped, administer CPR.
  • Pulse – if the victim has a pulse and is breathing, look for other possible injuries. Check for burns where the lightning entered and left the body. Be alert for nervous system damage, broken bones and loss of hearing and eyesight.

After the storm passes, remember the following:

  • Never drive through a flooded roadway. Water can damage your vehicle and poses a drowning hazard.
  • Continue to listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or to local radio and television stations for updated information or instructions, as access to roads or some parts of the community may be blocked.
  • Help people who may require special assistance, such as infants, children and the elderly or those with access or functional needs.
  • Stay away from downed power lines and report them immediately.
  • Watch your animals closely. Keep them under your direct control.

In addition to insuring your home, Texas Associates Insurors is committed to helping you and your loved ones stay safe when disaster strikes. If you would like more information on developing a family emergency plan or building a disaster supply kit, please contact us at 512-328-7676 or http://www.txassoc.com today.

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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-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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Are You Prepared for an Emergency?

Disasters like hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and earthquakes can strike with little or no warning. To ensure that you and your family are prepared, there’s no time like the present to create emergency kits: one to use if you need to evacuate your home and one if you get trapped in your home for several days. Get the entire family involved in creating these emergency kits so that your kids understand the importance of being prepared.

Evacuation Kits

To help you evacuate quickly, keep the following items in an emergency backpack so you can grab it and go:

  • A gallon of water per family member and nonperishable foods
  • Can opener, plastic cups and eating utensils
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Battery-operated radio
  • Change of clothing for each family member
  • Contact information for your family and a relative or friend out of state
  • First aid kit
  • Personal identification cards for each family member
  • Personal hygiene items and hand sanitizer
  • Medications that are needed regularly

Homebound Kits

Just as important as an evacuation kit, homebound kits are filled with important items necessary when you cannot leave your home for several days due to a crisis. Place the following items in an area of your home to be ready for an emergency:

  • Three gallons of water per family member
  • Canned food for at least three days
  • Pet foods and supplies for three days
  • Toilet paper
  • Extra personal hygiene items
  • Unscented bleach
  • Blankets
  • Books, games and other forms of entertainment
  • Paper and pencils
  • Battery-operated radio and television
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
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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 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.


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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Are You Prepared…for Tornadoes?

Tornadoes are nature’s most violent storms. Spawned from powerful thunderstorms, tornadoes can cause fatalities and devastate a neighborhood in seconds. A tornado appears as a rotating, funnel-shaped cloud that extends from a thunderstorm to the ground with whirling winds that can reach 300 miles per hour. Damage paths can be in excess of one mile wide and 50 miles long. Every state is at some risk from this hazard. Some tornadoes are clearly visible, while rain or nearby low-hanging clouds obscure others. Occasionally, tornadoes develop so rapidly that little, if any, advance warning is possible. Before a tornado hits, the wind may die down and the air may become very still. A cloud of debris can mark the location of a tornado even if a funnel is not visible. Tornadoes generally occur near the trailing edge of a thunderstorm. It is not uncommon to see clear, sunlit skies behind a tornado.

Before a Tornado

  • To begin preparing, you should build an emergency kit and make a family communication plan. Please contact Texas Associates Insurors if you would like us to provide you with an emergency kit checklist or sample family communication plan.
  • Listen to NOAA Weather Radio or to commercial radio or television newscasts for the latest information. In any emergency, always listen to the instructions given by local emergency management officials.
  • Be alert to changing weather conditions. Look for approaching storms.
  • Look for the following danger signs:
  • Dark, often greenish sky
  • Large hail
  • A large, dark, low-lying cloud (particularly if rotating)
  • Loud roar, similar to a freight train.
  • If you see approaching storms or any of the danger signs, be prepared to take shelter immediately.

Build a Safe Room

Extreme windstorms in many parts of the country pose a serious threat to buildings and their occupants. Your residence may be built “to code,” but that does not mean it can withstand winds from extreme events such as tornadoes and major hurricanes. The purpose of a safe room or a wind shelter is to provide a space where you and your family can seek refuge that provides a high level of protection. You can build a safe room in one of several places in your home:

  • Your basement
  • Atop a concrete slab-on-grade foundation or garage floor
  • An interior room on the first floor

Safe rooms built below ground level provide the greatest protection, but a safe room built in a first-floor interior room can also provide the necessary protection. Below-ground safe rooms must be designed to avoid accumulating water during the heavy rains that often accompany severe windstorms.

To protect its occupants, a safe room must be built to withstand high winds and flying debris, even if the rest of the residence is severely damaged or destroyed. Consider the following when building a safe room:

  • The safe room must be adequately anchored to resist overturning and uplift.
  • The walls, ceiling and door of the shelter must withstand wind pressure and resist penetration by windborne objects and falling debris.
  • The connections between all parts of the safe room must be strong enough to resist the wind.
  • Sections of either interior or exterior residence walls that are used as walls of the safe room must be separated from the structure of the residence so that damage to the residence will not cause damage to the safe room.

During a Tornado

If you are under a tornado warning, seek shelter immediately. Most injuries associated with high winds are from flying debris, so remember to protect your head.

If you are:


In a structure (e.g., residence, small building, school, nursing home, hospital, factory, shopping center, high-rise building)
  • Go to a pre-designated shelter area such as a safe room, basement, storm cellar or the lowest building level. If there is no basement, go to the center of an interior room on the lowest level (closet, interior hallway) away from corners, windows, doors and outside walls. Put as many walls as possible between you and the outside. Get under a sturdy table and use your arms to protect your head and neck.
  • In a high-rise building, go to a small interior room or hallway on the lowest floor possible.
  • Put on sturdy shoes.
  • Do not open windows.
In a trailer or mobile home
  • Get out immediately and go to the lowest floor of a nearby sturdy building or a storm shelter. Mobile homes, even if tied down, offer little protection from tornadoes.
Outside with no shelter
  • Immediately get into a vehicle, buckle your seat belt and try to drive to the closest sturdy shelter.
  • If your vehicle is hit by flying debris while you are driving, pull over and park.
  • Stay in the car with the seat belt on. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat or other cushion if possible.
  • If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
  • Do not get under an overpass or bridge. You are safer in a low, flat location.
  • Never try to outrun a tornado in a car or truck in urban or congested areas. Instead, leave the vehicle immediately for safe shelter.
  • Watch out for flying debris. Flying debris from tornadoes causes most fatalities and injuries.


After a Tornado

Injury may result from the direct impact of a tornado, or it may occur afterward when people walk among debris and enter damaged buildings. A study of injuries after a tornado in Marion, Illinois, showed that 50 percent of the tornado-related injuries were suffered during rescue attempts, cleanup and other post-tornado activities. Nearly one-third of those injuries resulted from stepping on nails. Because tornadoes often damage power lines, gas lines and electrical systems, there is a risk of fire, electrocution or explosion. Protecting yourself and your family requires promptly treating any injuries suffered during the storm and using extreme care to avoid further hazards.

Do not attempt to move seriously injured people unless they are in immediate danger of further injury. Get medical assistance immediately. If someone has stopped breathing, begin CPR if you are trained to do so. Stop a bleeding injury by applying direct pressure to the wound. Have puncture wounds evaluated by a physician. If you are trapped, try to attract attention to your location.

General Safety Precautions

Here are some safety precautions that could help you avoid injury after a tornado:

  • Continue to monitor your battery-powered radio or television for emergency information.
  • Be careful when entering any structure that has been damaged.
  • Wear sturdy shoes or boots, long sleeves and gloves when handling or walking on or near debris.
  • Be aware of hazards from exposed nails and broken glass.
  • Do not touch downed power lines or objects in contact with downed lines. Report electrical hazards to the police and the utility company.
  • Use battery-powered lanterns rather than candles, if possible, to light homes without electrical power. If you use candles, make sure they are in safe holders away from curtains, paper, wood or other flammable items. Never leave a candle burning when you are out of the room.
  • Never use generators, pressure washers, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices inside your home, basement, garage or camper—or even outside near an open window, door or vent. These devices can produce carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death if it builds up inside your home. Seek prompt medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, light-headed or nauseated.
  • Hang up displaced telephone receivers that may have been knocked off by the tornado, but stay off the telephone, except to report an emergency.
  • Cooperate fully with public safety officials.
  • Respond to requests for volunteer assistance by police, fire fighters, emergency management and relief organizations, but do not go into damaged areas unless assistance has been requested. Your presence could hamper relief efforts and you could endanger yourself.

Inspecting the Damage

  • After a tornado, be aware of possible structural, electrical or gas-leak hazards in your home. Contact your local city or county building inspectors for information on structural safety codes and standards. They may also offer suggestions on finding a qualified contractor to do work for you.
  • In general, if you suspect any damage to your home, shut off electrical power, natural gas and propane tanks to avoid fire, electrocution or explosions.
  • If it is dark when you are inspecting your home, use a flashlight rather than a candle or torch to avoid the risk of fire or explosion in a damaged home.
  • If you see frayed wiring or sparks, or if there is an odor of something burning, you should immediately shut off the electrical system at the main circuit breaker if you have not done so already.
  • If you smell gas or suspect a leak, turn off the main gas valve, open all windows and leave the house immediately. Notify the gas company, the police or fire departments or the State Fire Marshal’s office and do not turn on the lights, light matches, smoke or do anything that could cause a spark. Do not return to your house until you are told it is safe to do so.

Safety During Cleanup

  • Wear long sleeves, gloves, and sturdy shoes or boots.
  • Learn proper safety procedures and operating instructions before operating any gas-powered or electric-powered saws or tools.
  • Clean up spilled medicines, drugs, flammable liquids and other potentially hazardous materials.

In addition to insuring your home, we are committed to helping you and your loved ones stay safe when disaster strikes. If you would like more information on developing a family emergency plan or building a disaster supply kit, please contact Texas Associates Insurors at 512-328-7676 or http://www.txassoc.com today.

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Safe Walking & Cycling

The weather outside has finally turned from frightful to delightful (if you like it hot!), and for millions of Americans that means it’s time to head outdoors for some fun in the sun. If you are hiking or biking on or near roads and sidewalks, keep these safety tips in mind.

When walking:

  • Always do so at marked crosswalks so cars are aware of your presence.
  • Make sure drivers know you are about to cross by making eye contact with them.
  • Don’t just look left and right—pay attention to cars that may be turning at intersections.
  • If you’re walking at night, wear bright or reflective clothing.

When riding a bike:

  • Always make sure you have enough room to avoid being sideswiped by nearby vehicles.
  • Use hand signals when turning or stopping so that drivers know what you are about to do.
  • Wear bright or reflective clothing so that you catch drivers’ attention and they know you are there.
  • Be attentive and slow down slightly when nearing intersections.

And as usual, when doing any kind of physical activity out of doors – DRINK LOTS OF WATER!

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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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