Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Every 43 seconds — that’s how often a vehicle is stolen in the U.S. And only about 56 percent of them are recovered.
Nearly half of all thefts are due to driver error, which means you can make a big difference in preventing them. Take these steps to deter thieves from targeting your car:
your keys, close the windows,
and lock the car.
- Never leave your car running unattended.
keep any belongings — especially
valuables — in sight in your vehicle.
- Park in a garage or a well-lit area.
store your registration and title in
- Keep your keys out of sight at home.
an anti-theft device. Visual and audio devices, such as steering wheel
alarm systems, are powerful deterrents. See a variety of other anti-theft systems here.
See more stats and ways to protect your vehicle from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Statistics from the NHTSA.
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
If your organization hosts participant activities such as fitness classes, rock climbing walls, or charity runs, you should create a participant waiver.
A waiver transfers the liability risk to the participant and, when well written, clearly identifies the hazards and expectations of participating in an activity.
What a good waiver includes
If a waiver is generic and not specific to your operations, you could be vulnerable to liability claims. Just as laws vary from state to state, so do waiver requirements.
An attorney can draft wording that fits your operations, as well as local laws. For example, basic legal language would include a Hold Harmless Agreement and an Indemnification Agreement.
Ideally, the waiver should not be part of a larger packet of information. It is more likely to stand up in court when it’s a stand-alone document. If included in part of a large information packet, the injured participant could say they weren’t clear that the waiver was included.
How to use a waiver
Waivers must be signed by every participant, or by the participant’s legal guardian. Have them sign at the time of entry or registration into an activity. The simple act of going over the document helps them decide whether they wish to accept all risks involved.
Why waivers work
Often, a signed waiver is enough to discourage claims — if participants remember signing the waiver, many won’t file a claim. In this way, the waiver acts as a deterrent. And in the event a claim is raised, the waiver can help show that the participant understood the expectations and responsibilities. It can be used as a road map to determine a policyholder’s liability.
Please remember, waivers do not lessen your duty to provide safe programs.
Tuesday, June 04, 2013
Gossip, harassment, impersonation — no matter what form cyber bullying takes, it can ruin reputations, harm relationships, and cause emotional damage. And it’s more common than you think: 88 percent of teens online say they’ve witnessed bullying on social media.
If your child is being bullied, talk to them and help them take the following steps:
• Ignore the bully or log off to make them lose interest.
• Block the person from their friend list or email
• Change the username and password if a profile has
• Contact the company that runs the site if a false
profile was created.
SECURA policyholders have additional resources through our Identity Fraud Expense and Restoration coverage. Representatives can:
• Help you block websites or users.
• Monitor your child’s online reputation.
• Recover an identity that has been compromised.
• Help you set computer controls.
• Offer advice and assist you in taking further steps to stop the bullying.
To learn more about cyber bullying, visit www.stopbullying.gov/cyberbullying.
Tighten your social media security
In addition, talk to your kids about their online security. Remind them not to share personal information such as passwords, birthdays, or locations online. Help them check Facebook privacy settings to determine who can view their information and post on their timeline. Review the posts and photos they’ve been tagged in via the Facebook Activity Log. If you find something you don’t like, they can untag the photo or hide it from their timeline. If you’re on Facebook, require your children to friend you.
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
The tragedy repeatedly makes news headlines: Men entrapped in grain storage bins with only seconds to react before they are engulfed and suffocated.
Scenario 1: A worker enters the top of a grain bin, and the auger begins running to unload the grain. Within five seconds, the worker becomes trapped. The flowing grain behaves like quick sand, pulling the worker down. After 22 seconds, he is completely covered.
Scenario 2: Unbeknownst to him, a worker stands on a “bridge” formed by clumped grain due to moisture or mold. Beneath the firm layer, there’s a pocket of space and, when it collapses, the worker becomes buried. When unloading begins, the worker is instantly trapped.
Scenario 3: A worker is standing on the floor attempting to dislodge grain that’s accumulated on the side of the bin. The pile collapses onto the worker.
Scenario 4: Without warning, a bin can develop hazardous atmosphere or a lack of oxygen.
How it’s prevented
Considering it’s one of the top causes of farm deaths, it’s hard to believe grain storage bin suffocation is 100% preventable. But it is, as long as employers:
that presents a danger. Grain must not be emptied or moved into or out of the bin while workers are inside.
• Do not allow walking down grain to make it flow.
• Prohibit entry onto or below a bridging condition, or where grain is built up on the side of the bin.
• Provide workers entering a bin from a level at or above stored grain, or walking or standing on stored grain with a body
harness connected to a lifeline or boatswain’s chair. The lifeline should be long enough to prevent a worker from sinking
more than waist-deep in grain.
• Give workers rescue equipment specifically for rescue from the bin.
• Station an observer who is equipped to provide assistance and perform a rescue outside the bin. Make sure the
observer and workers who enter the bin maintain communications.
• Test the air within a bin for oxygen content and the presence of hazardous gases before entering.
• Obtain a permit each time a worker enters a bin. The exception is if the employer will be present during the entire
operation. The permit must certify that before workers enter the bin, they met the precautions above.
Information from the U.S. Department of Labor Occupation Safety and Health Administration.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
The trees in your yard can harm your property if they’re not maintained. They’re especially prone to damage when severe weather brings wind and hail that can knock down branches.
Here’s what you can do to protect your home and your trees:
Be proactive to prevent damage
Inspect your trees several times a year. If necessary, take the following actions to limit hazards:
• Trim any large branches that could fall on your house.
• Find and remove any broken or dead branches that are stuck
• Contact a local arborist who can check for diseases and
recommend other preventive steps to take.
Get tree removal help from your insurance company
You may have some protection in your homeowners insurance policy if a tree falls on your premises due to wind, ice, hail, or snow.
For example, if a storm causes a tree to fall and damage your house, a SECURA policy typically will pay to have it removed, up to $500 per tree and a total of $1,000. Your deductible would apply in this case. You’re also covered if the fallen tree lands on your driveway and blocks a vehicle from entering or leaving.
Similar provisions would apply to a neighbor’s tree that falls on your property due to a covered cause of loss.
Plus, homeowners policies often include coverage to help you remove other shrubs or plants that are damaged by a storm. Check your policy and talk to your insurance agent to see if you have this coverage.
Get more tree maintenance information from Tree City USA.
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