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R&R Insurance Blog

Winter Weather Safety: Preventing Slip and Fall Injuries

Posted by Nick Steiner

As the cold weather sets in, it's crucial to be aware of the dangers that come with it, especially the risk of slip and fall injuries. At R&R Insurance, we understand the importance of safety, which is why our loss control consultant, Nick Steiner, is here to share some valuable tips to help you navigate the icy conditions safely.

The Cost of Complacency

In 2021, the average claim for slip and fall injuries was nearly $50,000. This staggering amount highlights the need for vigilance and precaution during the winter months. By following these simple yet effective tips, you can prevent accidents and ensure the safety of yourself and others.

Footwear Matters

One of the first steps to prevent slips and falls is to choose the right footwear. Opt for shoes with wide, non-slip soles and deep treads. Avoid wearing heels, dress shoes, or any footwear that lacks proper traction. The right shoes can provide the stability you need on slippery surfaces.

Stay Alert to Changing Conditions

Winter weather can be unpredictable, with cycles of freezing, melting, and refreezing. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and be prepared for changing conditions. This awareness can help you anticipate and navigate slippery areas more safely.

Step Safely

When getting out of your vehicle or stepping off curbs, remember to step down, not out. Use your vehicle for added stability and step down with both feet to maintain balance. This simple change in habit can significantly reduce the risk of falls.

Follow Marked Pathways

Resist the temptation to take shortcuts. Marked pathways are often cleared and salted, providing the safest route of travel. By sticking to these paths, you can avoid unexpected icy patches.

Take Your Time

Speed is not your friend on ice and snow. Slow down and take small, careful steps to maintain your footing. Rushing can lead to slips and falls, so give yourself extra time to reach your destination.

Keep Your Hands Free

Try to carry only what is necessary and keep your hands free for balance. Use a backpack or bags to carry your belongings, and avoid overloading yourself.

The Penguin Shuffle

Embrace the penguin shuffle! Walk flat-footed and take short steps to keep your center of balance over your feet. This technique can help you maintain stability on icy surfaces.

Avoid Distractions

Put away your cell phone and focus on your surroundings while walking. Distractions can lead to accidents, so it's important to stay alert and aware of potential hazards.

Report and Act

If you spot icy conditions, report them to your employer or property owner so they can take action. Additionally, if salt is available, take the initiative to spread it on slippery areas to prevent accidents.

Stay Safe with R&R Insurance

At R&R Insurance, your safety is our priority. We hope these tips help you navigate the winter weather safely. For more information on this topic or any other services we provide, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. Stay safe and take care!

Topics: Safety, Business Insurance

11 Things Employers Can Do to Mitigate the Spread of Covid-19 at Work

Posted by R&R Insurance

On August 13, 2021 OSHA put out a release designed to help employers protect workers who are unvaccinated or otherwise “at-risk” individuals. It is important to note that OSHA did not create a new standard as these are only guidelines (for companies outside of Healthcare).

When the pandemic first emerged, all companies were forced to make adjustments to protect their employees. As the first wave of the pandemic began to lessen, there was an understandable desire to return to “normal operations”. Unfortunately, as the case rate begins to rise again we need to once more take precautions using the information that is now available to us. That being said, it is a good time to look at what your organization is doing to minimize the potential for spread of the variant of Covid-19. This time around is different than when the pandemic first started. Besides dealing with a very contagious variant, we now have vaccines in play and know more than we originally did about how Covid-19 is most often spread.

To that end, OSHA published "Mitigating and Preventing the Spread of Covid-19 in the Workplace."

11 Things Employers Can Do to Mitigate the Spread of Covid-19 at Work

  1. Facilitate employees getting vaccinated-OSHA has several ideas on how to best do this.

  2. Instruct any workers who are infected, unvaccinated workers who have had close contact with someone who tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and all workers with Covid-19 symptoms to stay home from work.

  3. Implement physical distancing in all common areas at work for unvaccinated and otherwise at-risk workers. This is a reboot of the six foot distancing rule.

  4. Provide workers with face coverings or surgical masks as appropriate, unless their work task requires a respirator or other PPE.

  5. Educate or train workers on your Covid-19 policies and procedures using accessible formats and in languages they understand.

  6. Suggest, or require, that all visitors wear face coverings when present on your company grounds.

  7. Maintain ventilation systems - this has been a key way to help prevent the spread of this virus.

  8. Perform routine cleaning and disinfection.

  9. Record and report Covid -19 infections and deaths, if the cases are work related.

  10. Implement protections from retaliation and set up an anonymous process for workers to voice concerns about Covid-19 related hazards.

  11. Follow other applicable mandatory OSHA standards including PPE, respirators, Bloodborne pathogens, and others.

The entire article can be found at https://www.osha.gov/coronavirus/safework

Coronavirus Resources from R&R Insurance

From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, R&R Insurance has been providing updates of the ever evolving mandates and guidelines.  All resources to get businesses back to business can be found at https://www.myknowledgebroker.com/coronavirus-resources-back-in-business.

Topics: Safety

Annual Year End Recordkeeping Questions & Resources for the Public Sector

Posted by R&R Insurance

WI Skylin

Every year when the calendar changes to January, many public sector customers ask questions about requirements of recording injuries and illness that arise in the workplace.



  1. Recording Criteria - Follows the recording criteria as outline CFR 1904
  2. Recording Forms – Document use WI Dept of Safety and Professional Services (DSPS) Form 10710A and 10710, found in the above SBD10710 packet link (contains the same as is found on OSHA Form 300 and 300A)
  3. Electronic Submission Requirement – Due March 1
    1. eSLA Customer Portal Login
    2. If not submitted by 3/1, orders from DSPS may be issued and may conduct safety inspection
  4. Posting – upon completion electronic submission an email confirmation with printable version for posting

For additional information and tools, check out our Downloads page.

Topics: Safety, Business Insurance

Loss Control Services Delivering Superior Outcomes

Posted by the knowledge brokers

Effective loss control begins with our experienced knowledge. R&R Insurance offers services to effectively lower the potential risk in your workplace and in your business practices. Our dedicated Resource Team does not believe in a "one size fits all" approach regarding Loss Control services.  We will review your loss experience, safety programs, and management commitment and accountability.  We'll then partner with you and your insurance carrier to provide "High Impact" loss control activities focused on reducing your costs by reducing claims. 

RRI-EP-JohnBrengosz_FeatHelping customers design effective loss prevention programs and providing safety consulting services for R&R clients has been John Brengosz’s focus for the last 15 years at R&R Insurance.  John has trained and educated thousands of employees during his career. John is a skilled teacher and presenter during these programs as well.


John carries with him a portfolio of skills and experience that are unmatched. Below is a listing of some recent engagements where John has created value for R&R Insurance clients:

 JB Value



RRI-EP-MaureenJoy_FeatHelping customers design effective loss prevention programs and providing safety consulting services for R&R clients has been Maureen Joy’s focus for the last 11 years at R&R Insurance.  Maureen’s strength is interacting and partnering with R&R clients in the facilities where they work, or these days, providing her loss prevention programs virtually, for our clients.


Maureen has delivered custom training programs and educated thousands of our clients' employees during her career.  As a licensed Occupational Therapist, Maureen is a skilled trainer and experienced presenter using a client-centered, interactive approach.  


Maureen’s combination of loss prevention knowledge, coupled with her medical background and training, makes her a unique resource for R&R Insurance clients. Below is a listing of some recent engagements where Maureen has created value for R&R Insurance clients:

MJ Value


For more information on R&R Professional Services, visit https://www.myknowledgebroker.com/business-insurance/risk-management.

Topics: Safety, Department of Safety & Professional Services

Ladder Safety Month | March

Posted by the knowledge brokers

iStock-934417128To celebrate ladder safety month, now is the time to 1) review your ladder safety program, 2) conduct ladder safety training, and 3) test your ladder safety knowledge. The following outline provides an overview of using ladders properly.

Climbing Position

  • Climb a ladder by holding on to the rails and not the steps.
  • Climb facing the ladder with your body centered between the rails.
  • Use three points of contact, with at least three extremities attached to the ladder at all times.
  • Do not twist your body while climbing.

Lifting Items

  • Do not climb with hands full of gear.
  • Put any materials you need to take up a ladder into a tool bag/belt that you wear on your person.
  • Use hand lines, hoists, or manlifts to lift and lower heavy objects.

Protective Gear

  • Fall protection must be worn based on the hazard assessment if you are working on scaffolding or on the roof of the building.
  • Footwear with good support, non-slip soles, and free of mud, oil, and any other slippery debris is required when working on a ladder.
  • Safety glasses or hardhats may be required for overhead work.

Stepladder Guidelines

  • Never stand on the top two steps.
  • Fully open step ladders. Never use a stepladder in a partially-closed position.
  • Ladders must have a spreader or locking device. Open and lock cross spreaders.
  • Stepladders must not exceed 20 feet in height.

Other Guidelines

  • Do not use ladders as a work platform.
  • Keep the area around the bottom and top of the ladder free of debris.
  • Allow only one person on a ladder at a time.
  • Do not move or extend the ladder while occupied (i.e., no ladder jumping).
  • Check the ladder for damage and defects before use. If damaged or defective, immediately remove the ladder from service and get rid of it.
  • Get help when moving large ladders or working on uneven terrain.

For additional informtion, the American Ladder Institute (ALI) provides no cost ladder safety training for the workplace that aligns with OSHA's general industry ladder requirements. Click here to learn more about their program.

Topics: Safety

OSHA Launches Program Targeting High Injury and Illness Rates

Posted by the knowledge brokers

OSHAEffective October 16, 2018, OSHA launched a "Site-Specific Targeting (SST) inspection program".  The goal of the program is to ensure that employers provide safe and healthful workplaces by directing enforcement resources to those workplaces with the highest rates of injuries and illness.  Read the full OSHA notice here

Targeted Employers or Workplaces for SST Inspection Program:

  • All industries EXCLUDING construction, schools, or municipalities
  • 20+ employees
  • Injury and illness information submitted calendar year 2016 under 29 CFR 1904.41

How can you prepare for a potential OSHA visit?

  1. Awareness: do your company have a plan if OSHA would come knocking? 
  2. Benchmark: how does your company's injury and illness rates compare to industry peers?  Are you a red flag for OSHA? 
  3. Review applicable OSHA compliance programs compared to your company practices.

Preparing for any type of OSHA audit takes commitment from leadership.  The best success are organizations with safety teams to champion safety 24/7.  R&R Insurance can help support safety personnel with self-audits, policy review, training content, and much more.  Start the conversation with an email: safety@rrins.com.


Topics: Safety, OSHA

4 Questions You Need To Ask To Manage Classroom Storage And Reduce Work Comp Claims

Posted by Mike Walden

As you consider the safety of your classrooms, storage will almost always be a hot button issue with teachers and staff members alike. From textbooks to art supplies, teachers are challenged with organizing their classroom assets and maintaining a functional learning environment, making the most of tight quarters.

We encourage you to take a look at your unique classroom storage scenarios and approach each storage challenge with a focus on safety and injury prevention. As you tour your school classrooms, here are a few questions you should ask.

How Did It Get Up There?

If you encounter supply boxes stacked up to their ceiling, your first concern might be whether those items will fall, and rightly so. But if you are focusing on long-term safety and wellbeing, you also need to consider how those items were stacked in the first place. Did a teacher climb on a chair or desk to stack the items? Did the teacher lift a heavy object over their head? To minimize workers’ compensation claims and injury hazards in the classroom, you’ll need to consider each scenario from every safety point of view.

The R&R Insurance Recommendation

R&R Insurance believes in providing advice and resources to help schools minimize risks in the classroom. When it comes to classroom storage, we often encourage schools to create a storage policy that outlines a few key factors, including:

  • Appropriate items to be stored
  • Safe storage locations
  • Height restrictions on storage items
  • Weight limits on stacked items
  • Staff assigned to move heavy objects
  • Proper lifting procedures

With a policy in place, you can educate your staff members on best practices to help minimize injury and maintain a safe learning environment.

How Will It Come Down Safely?

If you see a hazard in a classroom your first instinct will often be to correct or eliminate the problem immediately. If items are stacked in a classroom, how can you remove those items safety? You might also question how the teacher was planning to safely remove the items and what standards you have in place to appropriately manage such hazards.

The R&R Insurance Recommendation

Focusing on being proactive, R&R Insurance would recommend educating staff members on proper storage protocol. If you draft a policy on who can add and remove items from storage spaces, you can ensure that appointed staff members follow proper safety recommendations. Simple things like using an approved ladder to reach an overhead item instead of standing on a chair, or using proper lifting technique, are very important safety considerations. By placing a focus on proper procedure, you can minimize injury risks in the classroom.

How Heavy Is The Item?

Teachers use a variety of materials to teach and demonstrate in the classroom, each with its own inherent risks. Consider the weight of classroom objects and assess the injury potential of each object.

The R&R Insurance Recommendation

We certainly understand that it is not always realistic to ask approved personnel to manage adding or removing items from storage. Placing size and weight specifications in your storage policy will provide your teaching staff with some flexibility to access items as needed, without asking for assistance. Consider a weight limit that teachers can lift without assistance and set safety protocols for your staff members who are responsible for lifting heavy items.

How Likely Is It The Item Will Fall?

There is always a potential for injury if items in storage have the potential to fall. Improperly stacked items, or awkwardly shaped materials, like microscopes, can often present a challenge for teachers in the classroom. Assessing the potential for injury is an important step in classroom safety maintenance.

The R&R Insurance Recommendation

Maintaining a safe classroom really comes down to properly identifying potential hazards and knowing how to safety manage each unique hazard. Your storage policy is a great place to start so everyone understands that safety is a priority. Educating team members on the details of the policy will provide them with the necessary tools to problem solve when hazards arise and ask for assistance when it is required.

At R&R Insurance, we are committed to helping schools minimize their risks, offering solutions and resources to help build safe environments for staff and students alike.

Interested in learning how R&R Insurance can improve safety in your school and reduce your costs? Request our free safety resources and case studies or schedule a call with one of our School Group Experts, today.

Topics: Safety, Loss Prevention, Risk Management, Schools, Risk Management Center, Business Insurance, School safety

Beat the Heat | Heat Stress Prevention

Posted by the knowledge brokers

iStock-483631780.jpgMany people are exposed to heat on the job, outdoors, or in hot indoor environments. Operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities have a high potential for causing heat-related illness. When the body is unable to cool off by sweating, heat-induced illnesses, such as heat rash, cramps, heat exhaustion, and heat stroke can occur. These illnesses can be serious, sometimes even resulting in death. However, these illnesses and deaths are preventable.

Common factors that can all contribute to heat stress:

  • High temperature and humidity
  • Direct sun or heat
  • Limited air movement
  • Physical exertion
  • Poor physical condition
  • Some medications
  • A lack of tolerance for hot workplaces or areas

Heat Stress Prevention

  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses, and monitor yourself and your co-workers.
  • Block or avoid direct sunlight or other heat sources.
  • Use cooling fans or air conditioning.
  • Take regular breaks in shaded areas.
  • Drink plenty of water or high-electrolyte fluids.
  • Wear lightweight, light-colored, and loose-fitting clothing.
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeinated drinks, and heavy meals.
  • If you detect signs of heat exhaustion, notify a supervisor or appropriate individual with first aid training.

When you or a coworker appears to be expressing signs of heat stress, determining the severity is important in order to take the appropriate first aid actions. Below are 4 signs of heat stress to be aware of.

Heat Rash
Symptoms: Cluster of small red pimples or blisters
Causes: Excessive sweating, which leads to clogged pores and, if untreated, to infection
First aid: Cleanse and dry the affected area, and use calamine lotion or powder to increase comfort.
Heat Cramps
Symptoms: Painful spasms of leg, arm, or abdominal muscles, heavy sweating, and thirst
Causes: Electrolyte deficiencies during or after strenuous physical activity, due to extended periods of intense sweating
First aid: The affected individual must stop all activity, sit in a cool place, drink plenty of water or high-electrolyte fluids, and wait for a few hours after the cramps have subsided before engaging in any strenuous physical activities.
Heat Exhaustion
Symptoms: Fatigue, profuse sweating, weak and rapid heartbeat, headaches, nausea, confusion, loss of coordination, muscle weakness, dizziness, or fainting
Causes: Dehydration, lack of acclimatization to high temperatures, strain on the circulatory system, and reduced blood flow to the brain
First aid: The affected individual must rest in a cool, shaded or air-conditioned area. First aid includes cooling the affected individual by fanning, misting with water, or applying ice packs. Give cool (not cold) water only if the individual is conscious.
Heat Stroke
Symptoms: Core body temperature exceeding 104° F, hot skin with a lack of perspiration, strong and rapid pulse, nausea, confusion, dizziness, seizures or convulsions, or fainting
Causes: Heat exhaustion was left untreated and the body’s cooling mechanisms have been exhausted
First aid: Heat stroke is immediately life-threatening. Notify a supervisor and follow the emergency action procedure. While waiting for medical personnel to arrive, the individual giving care should take the following measures:
  • Move the affected person to a cool, shaded or air-conditioned area.
  • Give cool (not cold) water only if the individual is conscious.
  • Cool the individual by fanning, misting with water, or applying ice packs.
  • If necessary, loosen or remove heavy clothing.

For more information about workplace safety and preventing heat related illnesses, contact your Knowledge Broker or email safety@rrins.com.

Topics: Safety

What to do when death happens in the workplace?

Posted by Mike Geldreich

Police Line Yellow Tape.jpgIt's a topic no one wants to talk about.  And everyone hopes will never happen to them.  But the reality is that sometimes the unfortunate happens.  Do you know what to do when an accident occurs that results in a death?

Reporting a Fatality

  • OSHA - within 8 hours of finding out
    • Call local OSHA office
    • Call 24-hour OSHA hotline
    • Report online www.osha.gov
  • Department Workforce Development (DWD) - within 24-hours of death
  • Insurance carrier - within 24-hours of death

Reporting Considerations

  • Contact R&R Insurance
    • We can help facilitate contacting the carrier and DWD
  • Who / how will the family be contacted?
  • What is the criteria for the carrier?


Law enforcement will be involved! The area will be considered a crime scene, and should be treated as such, until they are done with their investigation. Be sure to preserve all areas and equipment as part of the accident.

  • Take photos
  • Identify witnesses
  • Obtain maintenance records for involved machinery / automobiles
  • Document contributing factors: weather, road conditions, construction zone, etc.

Other Consderations

  • Crisis management
  • Death / marriage certificates
  • Media involvement
  • Other potential claims: psych treatment for those affected
  • Jurisdiction (were employees travelling?)

Looking for crisis management assistence? Contact your Knowledge Broker or safety@rrins.com to get the conversation started.



Topics: Safety

New Audit Tool Now Available Through R&R's Risk Management Center

Posted by R&R Insurance

Audit-Track.jpgIs your organization looking for a way to streamline the audit process for safety and compliance? Do you struggle to create and maintain audits, surveys or questionnaires?

R&R’s Risk Management Center offers an easy-to-use, web-based solution to help manage the audit process from start to finish.

The Audit Track® provides your organization with the tools you need to proactively manage workplace safety, employee training, IIPP/APP safety program development, and OSHA compliance tracking, reporting and analysis. The tool also allows managers to oversee safety audit, inspection and compliance reporting needs, as well as confirmation that all tasks are assigned, completed and recorded – ensuring your workplace remains safe and compliant.

Completely customizable to your organization, the Audit Track® allows you to:

  • Create custom audits for your organization or department
  • Deploy in the field on any major mobile device
  • Assign to any employee and track tasks, activities and results
  • Access summary and detailed reports based on your criteria
  • Track, achieve and demonstrate regulatory compliance
  • Target and resolve revealed issues before they become incidents
  • Proactively manage your workplace
  • Set field audits and surveys to your unique reoccurrence
  • Make automated auditing an integral part of your safety strategy
  • Keep all Safety Audits, Inspections, Self Assessments and other workplace checklists up-to-date

For more information on R&R’s Risk Management Center and the Audit Track®, visit www.myknowledgebroker.com/RMC or email Safety@rrins.com.

Topics: OSHA Compliance, Safety, Risk Management Center, audit, Compliance