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R&R Insurance Blog

Mike Paddock

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The Advantages of Combining Ergonomics with Wellbeing

Posted by Mike Paddock


In today's fast-paced world, workplace stress is common among employees resulting in reduced productivity and lower job satisfaction. As a result, many businesses are now realizing the importance of workplace ergonomics and wellbeing to improve employee satisfaction, productivity, and health.

On March 28th, R&R's Taylor Hahn, CHES and Lori Willkom, MPT, CSCS will be going in-depth on the topic in their webinar Ergonomics & Wellbeing: Work Smarter, Not Harder. The presentation will dive into the advantages of combining Ergonomics & Wellbeing. Lori and Taylor delve into workplace strategies, the health landscape of the United States, as well as expanding on some of the tools and resources listed below.

Register for: Ergonomics & Wellbeing: Work Smarter, Not Harder

Ergonomics refers to designing jobs to fit the worker by making the work environment more comfortable, efficient and safe. There are tools and resources that can help make implementing ergonomic and wellbeing practices in the workplace easier.

Ergonomic Furniture and Equipment:

The use of ergonomic furniture and equipment can significantly improve employee wellbeing and reduce the risk of workplace injuries. Ergonomic chairs, material handling equipment and standing workstations are just a few examples of equipment that can be used to create a comfortable and healthy work environment. Investing in ergonomic furniture and equipment can be expensive, but the long-term benefits of reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, and better employee satisfaction make it a worthwhile investment.

Training and Education:

Training and education are essential for implementing and maintaining ergonomic practices in the workplace. Employers can provide their employees with ergonomic training, which can help them identify and prevent workplace injuries, including repetitive strain injuries, carpal tunnel syndrome, and back pain. Employers can also encourage employees to take breaks and stretch regularly to prevent these types of injuries.

Identify Risk with Ergonomic Assessments:

Employers can conduct ergonomic assessments to identify potential hazards in the workplace and implement strategies to minimize risks. Ergonomic assessments can help identify areas where workers are at risk of injury, such as repetitive tasks, poor lighting, and uncomfortable seating. Once the hazards have been identified, employers can develop strategies to eliminate or reduce the risks, such as changing the layout of the workspace or introducing new equipment.

Workplace Design:

Workplace design plays a crucial role in creating a comfortable and healthy work environment. Employers can design workspaces that are ergonomic and visually appealing, which can help to reduce stress and increase employee satisfaction. For example, providing natural lighting, comfortable seating, and noise-reducing materials can create a more pleasant work environment.

Health and Wellness Programs Encourage Healthy Habits:

Employers can implement health and wellness programs to encourage employees to adopt healthy lifestyle habits, such as regular exercise and healthy eating. These programs can also include stress management techniques, such as meditation and mindfulness, which can help to reduce workplace stress and improve employee wellbeing.

Implementing ergonomic and wellbeing practices in the workplace can significantly improve employee satisfaction, productivity, and health. Employers can use the tools and resources to create a comfortable and healthy work environment for their employees. By investing in ergonomic furniture and equipment, providing training and education, conducting ergonomic assessments, designing ergonomic workspaces, and implementing health and wellness programs, employers can create a culture of wellbeing in the workplace, helping employees work smarter, not harder.

Resources for OSHA's New Heat Emphasis Program

Posted by Mike Paddock

Heat Stress2

On April 8, 2022 OSHA launched a national targeted program to protect workers from heat-related illness. A National Emphasis Program like this typically determines the prioritization of inspections.

On June 14th, OSHA Region 5 issued a reminder to the Great Lakes region's employers that workers need protection from dangers of heat illness: indoors and outdoors.

They ask employers to have workers drink water every 15 minutes, take frequent rest breaks in shade, have an emergency plan ready to respond when a worker shows sign of heat-related illness, train workers on the hazards of heat exposure and to allow workers to build tolerance for working in heat.

On the last point, OSHA has found that:

  • Almost half of heat-related deaths occur on a worker's very first day on the job

  • Over 70% of heat-related deaths occur during a worker's first week

On October 27, 2021 OSHA issued an advance notice of proposed rulemaking for Heat Injury and Illness Prevention in Outdoor and Indoor Work Settings. This was a significant step toward creating a federal heat standard.

The courts currently hold employers liable for heat-related hazards through OSHA's general duty clause. The clause requires employers to provide their employees with a place of employment that "is free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious harm to employees."

Heat stress killed 815 US workers and seriously injured more than 70,000 workers from 1992 through 2017, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Heat Stress Resources

Benchmarking Report Reveals Changes in Manufacturing Insurance

Posted by Mike Paddock


As risks change, manufacturers change their insurance purchasing habits.

Supply chain disruption, labor shortages, a global pandemic, state sponsored hacking. These shifting concerns over the last two years have contributed to an aggregate trend of manufacturers choosing to insure more risks than prior to COVID-19. Monitoring these purchasing changes along with rate differences was the focus of a newly released 2022 Benchmarking study by Assurex Global.

The 2022 Manufacturing Benchmark Report surveyed over 1,200 manufacturers of varying sizes and industries representing over $79 billion of revenue and 92,000 employees. Assurex Global is the world’s largest privately held insurance brokerage group of which R&R Insurance is a proud member. 

A summary of the report’s key findings can be found here while some notable trends from the full 79-page report are posted below. Request the full report here.

Manufacturers are buying more excess liability insurance policies, especially Cyber

Assurex analyzed data on over 800 manufacturers in 2020 and over 1,200 in 2022. Some of the most striking differences between the reports is how many of these firms carried standalone excess liability policies on certain lines. The results show an increase in excess liability purchases across the board, but especially in cyber.


Cyber risk is becoming obvious to the Manufacturing Industry. There is a sizable 20-point pickup in standalone Cyber insurance policies compared to Assurex’s 2020 Manufacturing Benchmark Report.

Other excess liability insurance policies are being picked up at a greater rate by manufacturing business, though not to the same degree as cyber. Most surprising to Assurex was that despite increasing supply chain disruption, International insurance only picked up a few points compared to 2020.

Small Manufacturers are Paying Much Higher Liability and Property Rates than Large Manufacturers



With tangible goods it's generally cheaper to buy in bulk, but when buying an intangible insurance policy does the same principle apply? Even though the level of risk doesn’t change it’s surprising to see such a large gap in liability and property rates between small and large firms. Small manufacturers are paying dramatically higher rates than larger firms.

The reason for the difference likely has to do with larger firms taking on higher deductibles to achieve lower rates. This is especially noticeable in property (see image below). Never the less, a doubling of rates at just about every level of account size measured is still a greater difference than what many experts might suspect, including Assurex.


Larger Organizations Tend to Purchase Significantly Higher Excess Liability Limits than Smaller Ones

ExcessLiabilitybyRevenueIt isn't that surprising to see a direct relationship between revenue and the propensity to purchase greater excess liability limits (umbrella policies). The greater the revenue of a manufacturer, the larger their excess liability limits they tend to purchase. 

While the trend does seem predictable there is an area of concern. Though a minority, there are a disturbing number of manufactures with more than $40 million in revenue only purchasing $5 million or less in excess liability limits. In an increasingly litigious society, this seems incredibly risky - yet 19% of $100M+ manufacturers and 29% of $40M-$99.9M manufacturers are in this category.

Further Breakdowns Available In The Full Report

Click here to find the full 79-page Assurex Global 2022 Manufacturing Benchmark.

The report details further additional excess lines such as D&O Insurance, Auto liability and Employee Benefit trends. Industry break down also is detailed for Furniture/Wood Product Manufacturing, Metal Manufacturing, and Machining/Equipment Manufacturing.

Insurance purchasing is a complex decision for any business. With the pace of new business risks emerging it is becoming more important than ever to have the right data on hand when making insurance spend decisions. Click here to see a list of R&R Insurance Consultants specialized in the manufacturing space and ready to answer the growing number of questions in today's dynamic landscape.


Topics: manufacturers

Top 10 Questions We Received on the OSHA ETS & Vaccine Mandate

Posted by Mike Paddock


“We’re Hiring: Less than 100, NO Vaccine Required,” is the latest lawn sign spotted in a Wisconsin industrial park.

The ramification for companies employing over 100 individuals by the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard & Vaccine Mandate are beginning to unfold. Regardless of the fact that the ETS is momentarily tied up in the courts, HR and leadership teams are watching a ticking clock on new regulation deadlines and are beginning to fix their attention on the situation.

On November 11th, R&R Insurance hosted a webinar featuring Michael Best attorney, and OSHA specialist, Chuck Palmer. The webinar attracted over 300 c-suite individuals who asked a total of 90 questions. Below are 10 of the best questions asked during the webinar.

For a more comprehensive compliance guide to the OSHA ETS, see the HR Vaccine Compliance Guide from Best Workplace Solutions, which will be continuously updated as the regulations change.


Q: Does the standard only apply to full time employees or do you need to include seasonal and part time employees in your count?

A: When calculating the total number of employees, you need to include seasonal and part time employees. If you were at 100 employees on November 5th, 2021 but drop below that number, the standard still applies to your organization. If your organization was under 100 employees on November 5th but afterward grows, the standard applies once your organization reaches 100.


Q: Does the standard apply to multiple entities with common ownership?

A: Yes, if the organizations share common safety management.


Q: Can an unvaccinated employee test using an at-home test kit? Are COVID-19 antigen tests acceptable by the standard?

A: An at-home test kit is considered acceptable, but it has to be proctored by a third party or the employer. The employee cannot self-test and self-verify. COVID-19 antigen tests are considered acceptable.


Q: Does the employer need to keep a record of unvaccinated employee testing?

A: Yes. Should OSHA request it, the employer would be required to produce proof. This needs to be kept as a confidential medical record, possibly as long as 30 years.


Q: Is there a maximum penalty for non-compliance?

A: There is a maximum penalty for each individual, but no maximum for the number of violations.


Q: Are employees working remotely at home excluded from the vaccine, testing and masking requirements? Are employees working exclusively outdoors excluded from the vaccine, testing and masking requirements?

A: Employees exclusively working from home are excluded from vaccine, testing and masking requirements. Employees working exclusively outside are also excluded from the requirements provided they are inside for only a “de minimis” amount of time. “De minimis” is not defined in the standard, but likely refers to 15 minutes.


Q: Are employers required to keep a copy of the vaccine card?

A: Yes. Should OSHA come on site and request it, you would need to produce a spreadsheet of vaccinated and unvaccinated employees within 4 hours.


Q: Are local government municipalities subject to the mandate? Public schools?

A: No


Q: If you work in an office environment and you are not vaccinated, does the standard require you to wear a mask at your desk?

A: If you have walls and a door (office) you can remove the mask. If you are in a cubical, you would need to keep a mask on.


Q: How is a religious exemption documented? Are religions treated differently by the standard?

A: We would suggest you use the government’s own religious accommodation forms (EEOC). To claim a religious exemption requires a deeply held religious belief and is not dependent on the religion.


Click here to view the full November 11th webinar featuring attorney Chuck Palmer hosted by R&R Insurance Services, Inc. Many more questions are addressed in the webinar.