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R&R Insurance Blog

Maureen Joy

Recent Posts

Slow the Spread of COVID-19 | Written Infectious Disease Plan

Posted by Maureen Joy

Guidance for your business practices while navigating COVID-19

With all the information available, what actions should be taken to keep our employees well?  How can our company assure we implement an effective written plan to keep our employees safe without being overwhelming?

Follow these steps to implement an effective written infectious disease plan:

  1. Exposure
    1. Understand the risk based on business type/job/position to determine complexity of your plan
    2. Conduct a hazard assessment, thinking about employees interaction with others that require
      1. Working within 6 feet physical distance and/or
      2. Share equipment, common space, vendor, customer etc.
  2. Prevention
    1. Outline available measures to control the spread of germs until a vaccination is released using a hierarchy of injury prevention
      1. Substitution – work at home practices, temporary suspend some job functions, etc.
      2. Engineering – add physical barriers, increase air exchange, utilize high efficiency filters, etc.
      3. Administrative – sick at home policy, daily symptom monitoring, cleaning/disinfecting, stagger shifts/lunches, etc.
      4. Personal Protective Equipment – utilize face covers, exam masks, filtering face piece respirators i.e. N95, gloves, eye protection, face shields, etc. depending on the risk
  1. Preparedness
    1. Determine resources needed and estimated time frame, various actions can be implement at different times to still remain effective i.e. revision to sick policy can be implemented before monitoring body temperature due to supply chain demands
    2. Develop a plan for positive employee test, i.e. trace contact, employee notice, deep disinfect, etc.
  2. Response
    1. Outline company plan and review with leadership
    2. Conduct supervisor education of COVID-19 and company plan
    3. Communicate with employee company plan and leave room for modifications as needed, promote 2-way communication




Slow the Spread of COVID-19 by Monitoring Symptoms with Daily Temperatures

Posted by Maureen Joy

R&R COVID Temperature Station

COVID-19 is certainly challenging businesses on "best practices" these days.  One of the newest recommendations for businesses that remain open and/or are planning to re-open soon is for employees to take their temperature upon entering the building each day.  (It's something we at R&R Insurance are doing as well - see photo to the right)

Is it ok to monitor employees’ temperatures?  If so, how should it be done?

Monitoring of temperature is a practice in alignment with EEOC and CDC guidance for pandemic outbreaks.

If your business is a low or medium level of risk for exposure to COVID-19 according to OSHA, employee self-monitoring is an acceptable risk practice.

Be mindful of where and how to set up a self-monitoring temperature station.  For employer monitoring station use a no touch, NO CONTACT THERMOMETER. At time of rollout, explain to employees the safety procedures and policy if temperature is outside of normal range. Employees will appreciate their organization’s practice of maintaining a safe work environment.

If a designated employee is responsible for monitoring other employees they will be within the 6 ft. physical distance zone so Personal Protective Equipment - PPE gloves, face cover, and eyes is necessary.


  • Information for development of your business practices/educate employees CDC Care Kit and CDC Stop The Spread of COVID-19 If You Are Sick
  • Contact R&R Insurance Services if you
    • Would like to discuss alternate strategies
    • Need clarification on using the right PPE
    • Looking for a Body Temp log and instruction
    • Additional questions about your business situation and COVID-19

OSHA Injury Tracking Application - New Initiative

Posted by Maureen Joy

oshaOSHA started a new initiative this year: if the OSHA 300A data an employer submits to the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) shows the rates are above their industry averages, then that employer will receive an email. The email is informational only and obligates an employer to do nothing. As with every employer, regardless of their rates, OSHA encourages frequent review of safety and health efforts.

As always, we are here to answer any of your OSHA questions - please reach out to your KnowledgeBroker or view one of our OSHA webinars.

For your information, below is an excerpt of the email: 

Dear Employer:

OSHA recognizes that the DART rate does not necessarily indicate a lack of interest in workplace safety and health. If you are one of the many employers who would welcome help from experts in workplace safety and health, OSHA has many compliance assistance resources, several of which are at no cost and confidential.

If you are a small employer with fewer than 250 workers on-site and no more than 500 workers corporate-wide, OSHA’s On-Site Consultation Program is available to you. This program is administered by state governments completely separate from OSHA’s enforcement program. The program assists employers to identify and eliminate or control hazards effectively and economically. More information on this program, including contact information for the local office in your state is available at https://www.osha.gov/consultation.

OSHA has resources to assist a company to develop and implement a safety and health program. Such a program to find and fix workplace hazards before they cause injury or illness can proactively reduce injuries, illnesses, and fatalities. Not only do employers experience dramatic decreases in workplace injuries, but they also often report a transformed workplace that can lead to higher productivity and quality, reduced turnover, reduced costs, and greater employee satisfaction. If you use the On-Site Consultation Program, the state consultant can help you develop an injury and illness prevention program. More information can be found on the OSHA webpage at www.osha.gov.

Other avenues to address this issue include hiring an outside safety and health consultant, working with your insurance carrier, or contacting your state’s workers’ compensation agency for advice to address a high DART rate. In addition, engaging your workers to identify hazards and find solutions is a proactive method to resolving safety and health hazards.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

Occupational Safety and Health Administration


Topics: Workers Compensation

National Safety Month | June

Posted by Maureen Joy

National Safety MonthAccording to the National Safety Council (NSC), June is National Safety Month and the focus is on reducing the leading causes of injury and death at work, on the road, and in our homes and communities. Throughout the month, the NSC will be providing weekly materials centered around the following topics:

  • Week 1: Emergency Preparedness
  • Week 2: Wellness
  • Week 3: Falls
  • Week 4: Driving

Below are additional ways to get engaged and continue expanding your safety culture:

Lastly, the NSC has provided the following list of ideas engage employees throughout the month:

  • Distribute the downloadable NSM materials*
  • Create bulletin boards, newsletters or blog posts
  • Hold a safety trivia contest with weekly prizes
  • Make an activity out of identifying hazards where you work and live
  • Throw a safety fair, lunch ‘n learn or celebratory luncheon
  • Encourage others to take the SafeAtWork pledge at nsc.org/workpledge
  • Share posts on your social media channels using #No1GetsHurt
  • Provide safety training — watch for special NSM discounts or free opportunities
  • Show you care about safety by making a donation to NSC

How is your organization taking part in National Safety Month? Contact safety@rrins.com for additional resources.

Topics: Health and Safety

Top OSHA Citations for 2016

Posted by Maureen Joy

OSHAEvery October OSHA releases a preliminary list of most frequently cited safety and health violations for the fiscal year.  From 32,000 workplace inspections, topping the list for 2016 top hazards include lack of adequate fall protection, unsafe scaffolds, hazard communications problems, and lack of machine guarding.

According to OSHA, "one remarkable thing about the list is that it rarely changes.  Year after year our inspectors see thousands of the same on-the-job hazards."

From the OSHA website, consider this list a starting point for workplace safety:

  1. Fall protection
  2. Hazard communication
  3. Scaffolds
  4. Respiratory protection
  5. Lockout/tagout
  6. Powered industrial trucks
  7. Ladders
  8. Machine guarding
  9. Electrical wiring
  10. Electrical, general requirements

While the list is not all encompassing, employers are urged to go beyond minimal requirements to create a safe working environment.  A culture of safety has been shown to reduce costs, raise productivity, and improve morale.

Related content:

OSHA Webinar Series
OSHA Inspection Guide
OSHA - New Electronic Recordkeeping Requirements

Topics: OSHA, Construction

Update: OSHA Placing Emphasis on Healthcare Inspections

Posted by Maureen Joy

OSHAOSHA recently announced they will be expanding their enforcement resources in hospitals and nursing homes. Targeting the most common causes of workplace injury and illness in the healthcare industry, OSHA will primarily focus on musculoskeletal disorders related to:

  • Patient handling
  • Bloodborne pathogen
  • Workplace violence
  • Tuberculosis
  • Slips, trips and falls


OSHA states that in 2013, US Hospitals recorded nearly 58,000 work-related injuries and illnesses – amounting to 6.4 work-related injuries and illnesses for every 100 full-time employees. These numbers are almost two times as high as the overall rate for private industry.

How Can You Prepare?

Don’t wait for OSHA. At R&R, we highly recommend taking action now to develop a plan and prepare for a potential inspection. To better prepare your organization and your administrators, take time to answer the questions below and determine an execution plan for each of the key areas. We have also provided links below to audit materials centered on these key topics.


OSHA Healthcare Inspection Audit Image


For audit materials on any of the topics below, or to learn how your organization can better prepare for an inspection, contact safety@rrins.com.

  • Patient Handling
  • Infection Control
  • Exposure Control
  • Workplace Violence
  • Tuberculosis
  • Slips, Trips and Falls

Topics: OSHA, Healthcare, Business Insurance

Understanding the Difference Between Experience Mod and DART Rate

Posted by Maureen Joy

Fully understanding your organization’s Work Comp Experience Mod and OSHA DART Rate will not only help you achieve your desired outcomes for employee safety, but will also give you a point of reference for benchmarking against others in your industry. In addition, knowing your DART rate will help you prepare for a potential site visit from OSHA.


However, in order to better understand these you two variables, you need to first recognize the difference between the two. The following is a breakdown of their differences:





The Work Comp Experience Mod is a numerical expression of a company's accident and injury record compared with the average for the firm's industry. An organization’s e-mod is calculated using payroll and loss data for the oldest three of the last four years.


An experience mod of 1.0 means a company has an average safety record, while an experience mod of 0.80 means a company has a good safety record that merits a 20 percent discount. An experience mod of 1.20 means the firm's accident rate is above the industry norm and raises a company's costs by 20 percent.



OSHA’s DART Rate, which is an acronym for Days Away or Restricted Time, is a measure of accident severity. It counts the number of cases in the calendar year in which a company had an employee away from work due to an injury or who was working under restrictions due to a work injury.


As you can see from the breakdown above, the common denominator between these two variables is eliminating lost time injuries. R&R Insurance has multiple resources available for helping you understand as well as achieve your desired outcomes for both your Experience Mod and DART Rate. Contact a knowledge broker for additional information.

Topics: OSHA, Workers Compensation, Experience MOD, Business Insurance, DART rate

OSHA: What to Do After You Make the Call

Posted by Maureen Joy

OSHALate last year, we discussed the OSHA reporting changes for 2015. In addition to reporting, it’s also important to consider and plan for potential site visits when OSHA is contacted. The National Safety Council states that “reacting quickly to the incident with a prescribed procedure and actions can demonstrate your company’s commitment to safety. It also ensures the proper information is collected to fulfill an incident investigation’s ultimate purpose – to prevent future injuries.”

According to an article by Ogletree Deakins, employers are reporting more injuries than expected (particularly with regard to hospitalizations) and OSHA does not have the resources to inspect each incident. Instead, most Area Offices are asking employers to do the following:

  • Conduct an incident investigation (Also known as Attachment A, this is a “non-mandatory investigative tool” that employers may complete in lieu of providing an incident investigation report. Employers are instructed to submit the information by a certain date or risk an immediate on-site inspection.)
  • Document findings and send corrective actions to the relevant Area Office
  • Post a copy of the letter where employees can readily review it
  • Fax or email a copy of the signed Certificate of Posting (Also known as Attachment B) to the relevant Area Office

How should employers respond to these communications?

Ogletree Deakins recommends the best course of action is often to respond the same way an employer would respond to an OSHA complaint letter. The employer’s goal should be to show the incident was investigated and corrective measures were implemented. At the same time, the employer does not want OSHA to be interested enough to inspect the worksite. In addition, employers should be aware of potential civil liability issues.

Rather than using Attachment A, you may also consider submitting a letter briefly describing how you investigated the incident, exactly what happened, and what corrective steps were taken (i.e., retraining or fixes to equipment). The letter may be supplemented with the First Report of Injury (if you are in Wisconsin) or the OSHA 301 form and proof of corrective steps. Employers must recognize that OSHA does not provide assurances that it will not cite an employer on the basis of the information provided.

If you have additional questions or concerns, contact your knowledge broker at R&R Insurance!

Topics: Safety, OSHA, Accident Investigation, reporting injuries, prompt reporting

Obese Workers More Likely To Report Injury

Posted by Maureen Joy

Has your company considered the link between obesity and occupation injury?

Journal of Obesity published a recent study by Ian Janssen, et al., which examines this relationship. A sample of 7,678 adult Canadian workers, were placed into normal weight, overweight, and obese categories based on their BMI body mass index. Findings show obese workers were more likely to report occupational injuries, with a great frequency of strains and sprains, along with falls and overexertion injuries. Interestingly, workers 40+ years, female workers and workers in sedentary occupations were particularly vulnerable. While there was not significant increased risk found with the overweight individuals, the impact of loss productivity, absenteeism and overall health costs should be further studied.

At R&R, we are seeing more and more small businesses in Wisconsin having serious discussions about the link between obesity and workplace injury. On top of that – when you factor in wellness programs that will increase the health and longevity of employees and their families – small businesses can have a lot control over their health insurance costs and the productivity of their employees - control that they don't know they have. At R&R Insurance, we call this program WellCompForLife! Join the WellCompForLife discussion on LinkedIn!

For more information about WellCompForLife, about self-funding your health insurance plan, health care reform or basic employee benefits questions, contact knowledgebroker Riley Enright

Topics: Safety, Workers Compensation, Employee Benefits, Wellness, Resource Center, Business Insurance, WellCompForLife

Patient Safety Awareness Week – March 3-9, 2013

Posted by Maureen Joy

ladywithwalkerSafely caring for others is a full-time commitment. R&R Insurance Services always recognizes the expertise and commitment of our health care customers and their employees, especially during Patient Safety Awareness WeekMarch 3-9, 2013.

Here are some ways to promote patient safety in your organization:

Information on Health Care Workers and Patient Safety

For any help with understanding Patient Transfer Safety, or the implementation of proven wellness and work comp techniques, please contact me, Maureen Joy, OTR, knowledgebroker, Occupational Therapist and Health Care Specialist at R&R Insurance Services.

Topics: Safety, Wellness, Practice Management, Healthcare, Business Insurance