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R&R Insurance Blog

Summer Safety Tips - Skin Cancer Prevention

Posted by Taylor Hahn

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As the summer months approach and we want to maximize our time outside, it is important to remember sun safety tips. We spend so much of these months at festivals, the lake, up north, etc. But, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 5 million people will receive treatment for skin cancer each year. In addition, it is important to educate yourself about skin cancer health disparities.

What ethnicity is most affected?

  • 1 in 38 White people
  • 1 in 167 Hispanic people
  • 1 in 1,000 Black people

While screening and early detection are key for skin cancer, it is also equally important to focus on prevention. Please view these summer safety tips and share with your employees as we kick off our enjoyable summer!

Reach out to our own Strategic Wellbeing Consultant, Taylor Hahn, to discuss next steps as many of our other employer groups have found this to be a successful approach.

 

Topics: Wellness

U.S. Faces Shortage of Mental Health Professionals

Posted by Taylor Hahn

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The latest Health Resources and Services Administration data estimates that 122 million Americans (37% of the population) live in areas with a mental health professional shortage. It would take an additional 6,398 mental health providers to fill those gaps. Mental health shortages across the nation range in severity but are generally found in rural areas.

Experts predict that within the next year, the United States will be short between 14,280 and 31,109 mental health professionals.

“We have a chronic shortage of psychiatrists, and it’s going to keep growing. People can’t get care. It affects their lives, their ability to work, to socialize or even to get out of bed,” (Saul Levin, MD, CEO and Medical Director of the American Psychiatric Association).

Amid this shortage, we have included a few definitions and resources to help with mental health issues. The graphic below breaks down the difference between mental health, mental illness, mental wellbeing, and mental fitness. 

Mental Health GridMental health is all around us, but it’s often misunderstood. This Roadmap to Mental Health includes some quick info to help demystify what we mean by “mental health” and how to talk about it. Although it can be difficult to talk about mental health in the workplace, doing so benefits everyone. When employers and managers address mental health, employees are happier, productivity improves, and the workplace becomes a healthier environment.

Reach out to our own Strategic Wellbeing Consultant, Taylor Hahn, to discuss next steps as many of our other employer groups have found this to be a successful approach.

 

Topics: Wellness

What does the EEOC say about using AI in the Hiring Process?

Posted by Brian Bean

Update: 5/19/2023

The EEOC has just posted additional guidance on the use of AI in hiring practices. The guidance can be found here and pretty much follows what I recorded on the video and wrote below. Here is a summary of the guidance in bullet points: 

  • AI is not, by itself, going to solve discrimination issues 
    • You still have to monitor your selections
    • Review choices against parameters you set so they don't have a disparate impact
  • Your organization can't hind behind 3rd party software
    • The buck stops with the employer
  • As suspected, there is a safe harbor provision
    • The EEOC wants you to review your selection criteria and correct adverse impacts

Artificial intelligence is becoming ubiquitous, and it has the potential to revolutionize many aspects of society, including human resources. However, there are also risks associated with the use of AI, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is paying close attention to this issue.According to a recent hearing by the EEOC, there are many potential benefits to using AI in the employment process, such as streamlining the hiring process and saving time and money. However, there are also many risks associated with AI, and the EEOC is interested in all aspects of the employment relationship.One of the biggest concerns about using AI in the hiring process is the issue of "garbage in, garbage out." This means that if the data used to train the AI is biased, the results will be biased as well. Additionally, AI changes how it makes decisions over time, sometimes with unpredictable results. This means that even if the AI is unbiased when it is first implemented, it may become biased over time.The EEOC launched the Artificial Intelligence and Algorithmic Fairness Initiative in 2021 to study the use of AI in the employment process. In 2022 they released their first technical assistance document, which focuses on the Americans with Disabilities Act. While this document is not a regulation, it provides guidance for employers who are considering using AI in the hiring process.The EEOC is most concerned with the four stages of the hiring process that are most easily affected by AI: announcing the job, reviewing applications, screening candidates, and final selection. Large companies may create their own AI software, but most businesses will buy software from third party vendors. This means that they may not be able to control the biases in the data used to train the AI.The use of AI in the employment process has potential benefits, but there are many risks that need to be fleshed out  As we await further guidance from the EEOC, employers should be aware of the risks associated with AI and take steps to ensure that their systems comply with employment discrimination laws. 

Topics: EPLI

Tips for Reducing Financial Stress

Posted by Taylor Hahn

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According to Enrich.org, "A Northwestern Mutual study found that 44 percent of Americans stated that financial concerns were their number one stressor, with more than one in four feeling depressed about finances at least monthly and two out of ten feeling depressed weekly, daily, or hourly."

Whether it be the swipe of a card, or the handing over of a paper bill, people are impacted by finances daily. The toll is not just on one's bank account. Larger effects include physical and mental health symptoms, negative implications within the workplace, and developing a vicious cycle that furthers these negative effects. 

mental health cycle image

 

According to WebMD, "if your financial wellness is low and you have high financial stress, you're twice as likely to have poor overall health. Experts found that you're four times as likely to get some sort of condition."

Effects on Physical Health Effects on Mental Health
  • Headaches / Migraines
  • A weakened immune system
  • High blood pressure
  • Issues with digestive system
  • Muscle tension
  • Heart arrhythmia
  • Sleep problems
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fatigue
  • Sleeplessness

A Money and Mental Health survey of nearly 5,500 people with mental health problems found that, while unwell:

  • 93% spent more than usual
  • 92% found it harder to make financial decisions
  • 74% put off playing bills
  • 71% avoided dealing with creditors
  • 56% took out a loan that they would not otherwise have taken out

Tips to gain better financial wellbeing, according to HelpGuide.org:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/coping-with-financial-stress.htm

  • Tip 1: Talk to someone
    • Get professional advice
    • Open up to friends and family
  • Tip 2: Take inventory of your finances
    • Include every source of income
    • Keep track of ALL your spending
    • List your debts
    • Identify your spending patterns and triggers
    • Look to make small changes
    • Eliminate impulse spending
    • Go easy on yourself
  • Tip 3: Make a plan and stick to it
    • Devise a solution
    • Put your plan into action
    • Monitor your progress
    • Don't get derailed by setbacks
  • Tip 4: Create a monthly budget
    • Include everyday expenses in your budget
      • i.e. groceries, gas, rent/mortgage, utilities, clothes, etc. 
    • Remember annual expenses
      • i.e. car insurance, property taxes, etc. 
    • Unexpected/Variable expenses
      • i.e. medical expenses, car repairs, etc. 
    • Prioritize your spending
      • pay the necessities first, such as covering the electrical bill and buying groceries. After those are covered, figure out where the rest can go, such as debt payments, entertainment, etc. 
    • Start an emergency fund
      • start building up to one month's income
    • Enlist support from your spouse, partner, kids
  • Tip 5: Manage your overall stress
    • Exercise
    • Practice relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga
    • Improve your sleep
    • Eat a balanced diet
    • Boost your self-esteem
    • Practice gratitude
Reach out to our own Strategic Wellbeing Consultant, Taylor Hahn, to discuss next steps as many of our other employer groups have found this to be a successful approach.

 

Topics: Wellness

Wisconsin Manufacturers and Their “Total Cost of Risk”

Posted by TJ Schlundt

WIMFG

 

Over the past several years the manufacturing sector has been challenged with supply chain issues, labor shortages, state sponsored hacking, potential for a recession and many more. Because of certain economic and social impacts, manufacturers have been forced to look at their companies “Total Cost of Risk” in a whole different light.

A company’s Total Cost of Risk is a sum of an organization’s operations that relate to risk, including, but not limited to:

  • Direct & indirect loss costs
    • Direct costs include deductibles or uncovered losses whereas indirect costs include loss of use, lost productivity, and lost contracts due to not fulfilling orders
  • Administrative expenses and services
    • These are clerical, claim, and other administrative personnel costs to find, implement and manage the businesses risk management systems, programs, and claim incidents
  • Risk control expenses
    • Risk control are costs measures to prevent or reduce the size of accidental losses. Money spent on risk control can greatly reduce the other three parts of the total cost of risk.
  • Insurance premiums, taxes and fees
    • Typical insurance coverages including property, liability, workers compensation, etc.

Long gone are the days of simply relying on your insurance broker to construct an insurance policy for your company. R&R Insurance Services manufacturing and distribution practice group serves as an extension to your team. Developing specific strategies to address issues like safety, cyber security, risk transfer, product liability and product recall, employee wellness, claims management, and your insurance program is what R&R Insurance Services has prided ourselves on for nearly 50 years. In now our third generation of family ownership we believe our industry experience sets us apart. We’re ready when you are! Click here to learn more.

The In's and Out's of Preventive Care

Posted by Taylor Hahn

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According to the National Association of Community Health Centers, more than 100 million people in the United States don't have a primary care provider. 

Primary care is crucial to help manage and prevent chronic illness, especially when chronic conditions are a reason healthcare costs continue to rise. The younger generations may be the ones lacking a primary care provider the most because they feel their health is invincible. 

However, through a primary care exam, we have client success stories about health conditions being caught in the exact right time. It is important one finds a primary care provider they trust and feel comfortable with. 

Please share and promote this infographic with employees around the importance of preventive care. 

Preventive Care-1

Interested in tying a workplace incentive to a preventive care exam?

Reach out to our own Strategic Wellbeing Consultant, Taylor Hahn, to discuss next steps as many of our other employer groups have found this to be a successful approach.

 

Topics: Wellness

The Advantages of Combining Ergonomics with Wellbeing

Posted by Mike Paddock

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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.

Thermal Camera Solution to Record Breaking Fires in the Waste and Recycling Industry

Posted by Jayden

RisingTemps

 

Officially, it was a record-breaking year regarding the number of reported fires in the waste and recycling industry. With the record of 390 unique five-alarm fire incidents reported, we can reasonably conclude 2,400 plus fires occurred in 2022 (Ryan Fogelman 2023). Due to the vast number of material recovery facilities alone and the compounding increase of hazards, it’s clear this problem will not suppress. Heat Seeker Cameras offers Early Fire Detection (EFD), a 24/7 monitoring system that inspects for hot spots with infrared cameras to detect early signs of fire.

The primary cause of fires in the waste and recycling industry is improper handling of materials and compressed, punctured materials combust causing spark from metal contact, which ignite flammable contaminants. This can include the mixing of different types of waste, such as batteries, rubbish, gas, oil, which can spontaneously ignite and cause a fire. However, many facilities are not equipped with proper fire suppression systems, making it difficult to control and extinguish fires once they have started. Leveraging Heat Seeker Cameras Early Fire Detection system readily detects and communicates potential fires to key personnel quickly and effectively. Communication options include dial-up voice calls, SMS, text, email, popup, app messages, and push notifications to targeted recipients, thus helping create quick and effective awareness.

Fires are not a new threat for the recycling industry, but without the necessary detection programs, the frequency of recycle-plant fires has drastically increased. Lithium-ion batteries are the biggest threat in the recycling industry because of the varying identities they can equip. Lithium-ion batteries are virtually invisible in the pile and the facility workers often are unable to see them until it’s too late. The global lithium-ion battery market was valued at $30 billion in 2017, it’s projected to increase to $100 billion by 2025 (Jillian Mock 2020). As electronics are becoming more dependent on lithium-ion batteries, they are ending up in the recycling facilities. Most consumers mean well when recycling their electronics, but they are fueling one of the largest impending problems in the recycling industry.

Heat Seeker Cameras optimizes the safety of employees and the facility by combining various fire sensing technologies to detect warming before the formation of smoke or flames. During an incident, the Early Fire Detection Application sends a real time to alarm the recipients. Each message is fully customizable based on the location, severity of the issue, and notify different people based on interests and responsibilities. Early Fire Detection reduces hardware and maintenance cost, adapts to individual needs, and keeps insurance costs low. Heat Seeker Cameras’ intelligent Early Fire Detection solution is the all-in-one fire protection system that keeps your employees and facility safe.

 

JaydenEndrizzi

Jayden Endrizzi
jayden.endrizzi@gmail.com
heatseekercameras.com

Prioritizing Mental Health

Posted by Taylor Hahn

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It is officially the month of February! The holidays are over and the new year is in full effect. But, February, especially in Wisconsin, can be daunting for some. The days feel long with the lack of sunshine, it may be brutally cold, and some are recovering financially from multiple holiday party engagements. 

With that in mind, prioritizing mental health is even more of a priority.  

This one page flyer, can be distributed to employees to remind them that while financial stress can be a burden on mental health in addition to winter blues, there are multiple ways/strategies to combat it.

  • Reframing mindset.
  • Leaning on a support system.
  • Working with a financial planner.
  • Referencing the community.
  • Avoiding negativity.
  • Getting outside.
  • Increasing light within the home.
  • Organizing
  • Exercise

Last but not least, February is also American Heart Month. The American Heart Association is a fantastic resource for healthy eating, fitness, lifestyle, health topics and more. Don’t forget to view their site and maybe even distribute an article or statistic.

If you are interested in discussing wellness programming further please reach out to our Strategic Wellbeing Consultant, Taylor Hahn.

 

Topics: Wellness

What is Social Inflation and Why Does it Affect my Business?

Posted by Matthew Prickette

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Commercial liability insurance costs are outpacing nominal inflation, but why? 

In December 2021 a jury in Corpus Christi Texas found the owner of Beer Belly's Sports Bar in violation of Texas Dram Shop laws and liable for a historic $301 billion in mostly punitive damages.

The bar owners crime was a patron of Beer Belly's consumed 11 drinks pushing his blood alcohol level up to at least .263. The patron drove home, ran a red light and tragically hit an innocent family killing three people.

Without defending the bar owner, we can still put this large jury award in context. The largest environmental disaster in US history was the Deep Water Horizon oil spill, which BP spent an estimated $71 billion over 10 years in clean up costs and and restitution. The total expenditure of the Texas state government in fiscal year 2021 was $143.2 billion. A jury verdict such as this is an example of a term used in the insurance industry Social Inflation.

Social inflation describes the rising cost of insuring against certain types of risks, such as those related to employment practices, civil rights, and mass tort claims. This increase in costs is driven by a variety of factors, including changes in social attitudes, the increasing prevalence of class-action lawsuits, and the increasing willingness of plaintiffs to seek large settlements such as the Beer Belly's Sports Bar example.

One of the main drivers of social inflation is the changing social landscape in the United States. Over the past several decades, there has been a shift in public attitudes towards issues such as discrimination, harassment, and civil rights. As a result, plaintiffs are increasingly willing to pursue legal action in cases where they believe their rights have been violated. This has led to an increase in the number of class-action lawsuits, which can be incredibly costly for companies to defend.

Another factor contributing to social inflation is the increased use of technology in the legal process. The availability of online legal research tools, combined with the proliferation of social media and other online platforms, has made it easier for plaintiffs to gather evidence and build their cases. This has led to a significant increase in the number of mass tort claims, which can be extremely expensive for companies to defend.

The rise in social inflation has significant implications for companies and insurers. As the cost of insuring against certain types of risks continues to rise, companies may be forced to pass these costs on to consumers in the form of higher prices for goods and services. This can lead to increased costs for businesses, as well as for consumers, who may be forced to pay more for the products and services they rely on.

Insurances companies also could respond to social inflation by raising premiums and tightening underwriting standards, which would make it more difficult for some companies to obtain insurance coverage. This could lead to fewer businesses entering the market, which would ultimately have a negative impact on the economy as a whole.

To mitigate the effects of social inflation, companies can take a proactive approach to managing their risks. This may involve implementing risk management programs, investing in training and education for employees, and working with insurers to develop tailored insurance products that better meet the needs of the business.

Overall, social inflation is a complex and multi-faceted issue that has significant implications for companies, insurers, and consumers. As the cost of insuring against certain types of risks continues to rise, it is important for businesses to take a proactive approach to managing their risks, and for insurers to develop innovative products that can help manage these costs.

Prickette, Matt 3.1

Matthew Prickette | R&R Insurance Services
Commercial Insurance Consultant
https://www.myknowledgebroker.com/matthew-prickette
Matthew.Prickette@rrins.com