Category

Risk Management & Safety

The Heat Is On – Are You and Your Workers Prepared?

By | Best Practices, Risk Management & Safety, Worker Disability

  With weather forecasters and the media trumpeting the news that the Southeast may see cooler-than-normal temperatures this summer, it may be tempting to assume that equates to a safer outdoor environment for workers. In reality, the forecast was for “near or slightly below average” temperatures, which won’t make a huge difference. Furthermore, the air is forecast to be muggy, which makes it harder for the body’s internal cooling mechanism (sweat) to do its job….

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Driving Without Incident: Strategies that May Surprise You

By | Best Practices, News, Risk Management & Safety, Workplace Injuries

We hear a lot about the dangers of drunk driving, but did you know it is only the Number 3 cause of accidents? The Number 1 cause, by far, is distracted driving. Per a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), 80 percent of automobile accidents and 65 percent of near-accidents involve some form of driver distraction within three seconds of the incident. Although talking or…

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Social Media Is Putting People and Companies at Risk. Is Your Position Clear?

By | Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety, Technology in the Workplace

As the bad news grows regarding Facebook’s imprudent treatment of user information, you may be wondering if privacy violations are endangering your company or its personnel. At Marathon, we believe it is certainly possible. We recommend prudence as the best course of action. All organizations should have a clearly defined social media “posture” supported by firm policies regarding the use of social media. Companies in industries that involve vulnerable populations, such education, home healthcare (e.g….

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The Challenge of Employee Obesity: Recent Court Rulings Raise the Bar; Medical Journal Says Home Healthcare Workers Are at Significant Risk

By | Risk Management & Safety, Worker Disability, Workplace Injuries

A March 2018 court decision, Shell v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company, has set a possible precedent for employers to be held liable in actions where they inadvertently classify an obese individual as disabled by making health assumptions based on weight. Per the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) obesity is not a protected status under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) unless the obesity both is outside of a “normal” range and results from…

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SHRM Weighs in on Employee Handbook Issues

By | Best Practices, Harassment and Discrimination, Policies and Procedures, Pregnancy Leave, Risk Management & Safety

Two prominent human resources lawyers, the senior legal editor for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and a legal expert for HR information website ExpertHR, have jointly published an opinion asserting that “cookie-cutter” employee handbooks are no longer practical for many employers, especially those operating in multiple states. As the basis for their recommendation, they cite the trend toward federal deregulation and the volume of both state and local legislative actions. As detailed in the…

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Flu Season Has Yet to Peak—Keep Employees on Alert

By | Best Practices, Risk Management & Safety, Sick Leave

It might seem logical to assume that flu season would ramp down as temperatures moderate, but per the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), flu season lasts until mid-May. This year’s flu season has been especially dangerous—and deadly—and CDC experts say it isn’t peaking, yet. With cumulative hospitalizations at the highest rate since the CDC has been tracking them, employers should remind personnel to stick with flu prevention strategies at least through March, if not longer….

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Sexual Harassment Training: More Important than Ever

By | Harassment and Discrimination, Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety

With famous individuals falling like dominoes as allegations of sexual misconduct or harassment continue, business owners should be evaluating their corporate stance on sexual harassment. One problem that confronts business owners is defining exactly what does, and doesn’t, constitute sexual harassment. Fortunately, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has published guidance on this issue, and offers an innovative training program, “Respectful Workplaces,” which teaches skills for employees and supervisors to promote and contribute to respect in…

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Dealing with a Drug-Addicted Employee: Dismissal or Treatment?

By | Benefits & Insurance, Drugs in the Workplace, Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety

With drug addiction rates continuing to rise—especially for prescription drugs—employers are increasingly dealing with substance-abusing employees. Statistics* indicate approximately 70 percent of drug abusers are employed—some 10 million people. Traditionally, many companies have dismissed personnel who exhibited signs of substance abuse, especially if it happened on the job. Now, the problem has become so rampant—even among trusted personnel at the highest level—that many employers are asking themselves, “Should I dismiss people with substance abuse problems,…

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Top 10 OSHA Violations for 2017—Is Your Firm Safe from Them?

By | Employment Law, OSHA Regulations, Policies and Procedures, Risk Management & Safety, Workplace Injuries

At the National Safety Council’s September, 2017 Congress and Expo in Indianapolis, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the top 10 cited violations for 2017.  As you might expect, the number one violation—fall protection—reflects the top cause of workplace injuries—falls. The next three—hazard protection, scaffolding protection and respiratory protection—also related to likely causes of workplace injuries. This list is a reminder to employers that workplace safety is a top priority, and that safety…

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Reasonable Accommodation—Maintain A Paper Trail, and Don’t Assume Anything

By | Best Practices, Risk Management & Safety, Workplace Injuries

One of the most complex issues for employers is the definition of reasonable accommodation. Per the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, reasonable accommodation is “any change to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that allows an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job functions, or enjoy equal access to benefits available to other individuals in the workplace.” Evaluating disabled job candidates equitably is difficult enough,…

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