Don’t Miss the February 1st Deadline for Posting Your OSHA Injury/Illness Summary Form

Originally posted on January 28, 2015 by Laura Kerekes on

It’s that time of year to look back on your workplace illnesses and injuries for 2014, ensure that you have recorded the correct information in your OSHA logs, and post the information in your workplace starting February 1, 2015. Do you need to comply with this posting requirement, even if you’ve had no injuries or illnesses this past year? You probably will need to comply — most employers do.

Employers are responsible for providing a safe and healthful workplace for their employees. The role of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is to assure the safety and health of workers by setting and enforcing standards; providing training, outreach, and education; establishing partnerships; and encouraging continual improvement in workplace safety and health. Employers are required to have a Workplace Injury and Illness Prevention Program in place, with active monitoring of results. The intent of the OSHA log reporting is to summarize the year end results and focus both employers’ and employees’ attention on workplace safety so that everyone can make safety a top company priority.

Do you need to comply with the February 1st deadline?

If you had 10 or more employees at all times during 2014, you will need to comply, unless your company’s Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Code is included in the industry list of exclusions available at

What You Should Do

Assuming that your business does not fall under the exclusions of OSHA reporting, you’ll need to ensure that two OSHA forms are completed fully, the Form 300 (log) and the Form 300A. Both forms and the instructions can be accessed here.

Form 300: This form is used to record all injuries and illnesses, except those that required first aid only. This form is not posted due to privacy considerations. There are certain injuries and illnesses where you do not include the employee’s name for privacy (sexual assaults, HIV infection, etc.), and an employee may request that his or her name not be entered on this log.

Form 301 (do NOT post): This form allows you to record more data about how the injury or illness occurred. As with Form 300, this form is not posted due to privacy considerations. Employee representatives, however, may have access to this form but only the portion that contains no personal information.

Form 300A: This is the form that must be completed and posted beginning February 1st through April 30th. It contains a summary of the total number of job-related injuries and illnesses that occurred during the previous year that were logged onto the Form 300. Information about the annual average number of employees and total hours worked during the calendar year is required for calculating incidence rates. Companies with no recordable injuries or illnesses in the previous year must post the summary with zeros on the “total” line. A company executive must certify all establishment summaries. Employers are required only to post the summary Form 300A, not the Form 300 log.

Form 300A must be displayed in a common area where notices to employees usually are posted. Employers must make a copy of the summary available to employees who move from worksite to worksite, such as construction workers, and employees who do not report to any one office on a regular basis.

More information regarding OSHA’s recordkeeping rule can be found in the OSHA Fact Sheet.



Here are 5 things every employer needs to know about the millennials in their workforce


Source: Property Casualty 360

At the 2015 Property/Casualty Insurance Joint Industry Forum on January 15 a panel of six chief executive officers agreed that the “millennial question” is a big one for 2015 and beyond.

According to The New York Times, the total number of millennials—those born between 1981 and 1997—will reach 75.3 million this year, surpassing baby boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964) as the largest living generation in the U.S.

There are many myths and stereotypes about millennials, but here are the five factors the the panel CEOs said are the most accurate about this generation as employees.

1. Millennials want openness and inclusion.

Paula Downey, president and CEO of CSAA Insurance Group, said that millennials make up about 25% of her company’s work force. “We need a cultural change to retain them,” she added. “They’re looking for a diverse, collaborative culture."

2. Millennials want a sense of community.

Steven D. Linkous, president and CEO of The Harford Mutual Insurance Companies observed that millennials are attracted to the mutual insurance structure of companies like his, where they can engage the community to “make a difference.”

3. Millennials need reinforcement.

This generation is composed of overachievers and has a constant need for reinforcement, said Thomas A. Lawson, president and CEO of FM Global. They’ve lived with hovering “helicopter parents” who praised their every step, which makes it important to them to know when a boss approves of their work. That approval brings out their best.

4. Millennials want more work-life balance.

“The millennial approach to work-life balance often differs from that of other generations,” noted Christopher J. Swift, chairman and CEO of The Hartford. “They’re also interested in more time off and in working in urban areas with mass transit and reasonable commutes,” he said.

5. Millennials are interested in social responsibility.

This generation has been raised with a strong sense of volunteerism and “giving back” to the community, according to the panel. “Millennials are also more likely to embrace corporate efforts in social responsibility,” Swift said. That’s one reason you’ll see many groups from insurance companies helping out organizations such as Habitat for Humanity or participating in cancer walks.

The efforts to understand millennials are worthwhile, said Lawson, because properly motivated millennials can be valuable employees.



Big “I” Applauds Senate Passage Of Flood Insurance Legislation

Originally posted March 19, 2014 on

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 13, 2014 — The Big “I” applauds the U.S. Senate for passing H.R. 3370, the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013,” by Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.).

The bipartisan bill would make changes to the Biggert-Waters Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters) in order to help with the “sticker shock” some consumers are facing as a result of two provisions that create drastic premium increases in many parts of the country. The House passed H.R. 3370 on March 4, 2014 in a 306 – 91 vote.

“The Big ‘I’ would like to particularly commend Senators Menendez and Isakson and Representatives Grimm and Waters for their tireless work on fixing some of the unintended effects of Biggert-Waters,” says Robert Rusbuldt, Big “I” president & CEO. “This bill was a top priority for the Big ‘I’ as it will reduce some of the harmful effects of Biggert-Waters without undoing the numerous positive provisions within the law.”

In addition to other revisions to Biggert-Waters, the bill would repeal the entirety of Section 207 and would therefore reinstate the “grandfathering” of policies located in communities with a new or redrawn map. H.R. 3370 would also stop the elimination of subsidies for pre-FIRM properties that are bought and sold, which is an extremely problematic provision in Section 205 of Biggert-Waters.

“Today’s Senate vote represents a major victory for independent insurance agents, as Section 207 and the bought/sold provision of Section 205 were the two specific items that the Big ‘I’ has been asking Congress to revisit,” says Charles Symington, Big “I” senior vice president for external and government affairs. “The startling pace with which Congress acted in order to fix the unintended effects of these two provisions in Biggert-Waters, itself less than two years old, should be commended.”

Founded in 1896, the Big “I” is the nation’s oldest and largest national association of independent insurance agents and brokers, representing a network of more than a quarter of a million agents, brokers and their employees nationally. Its members are businesses that offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. Independent agents and brokers offer all lines of insurance—property, casualty, life, health, employee benefit plans and retirement products. Web address:

High-level executives often do not understand company risks

Originally posted July 25, 2013 by Rodd Zolkos on

A new report from Forbes Insights sponsored by Zurich Insurance Group Ltd. suggests that many executives don't understand their companies' exposure to risks or their strategies to manage them.

The survey of 414 U.S. executives in the banking and financial services, real estate, health care and construction industries found that 28% indicated their company had suffered financial damage as a result of operational risk, 27% because of regulatory or compliance risk and 26% as a result of financial risk.

But when asked about the top barriers to effective risk management, 36% of executives in banking and financial services and 29% of those in real estate cited a lack of understanding of how to mitigate exposures as the top barrier. Among construction executives, 43% cited a lack of understanding of the sources of risk as the top barrier, while insufficient risk management budget was cited as the top barrier by 33% of health care executives.

A lack of understanding of how to mitigate risks was the second-greatest barrier cited by construction executives, at 27%, and health care executives, at 30%.

However, large percentages of executives in each industry category indicated they would manage risk no differently in the next three years: 41% of banking and financial services executives, 50% of construction executives, 42% of health care executives and 47% of real estate executives.

Of the total group, 76% of executives rated the need to align risk management with their company's growth strategy as very or extremely important, and 68% said they thought their company was doing so. But only 54% said they were confident or very confident of how aware they were of the risks associated with their company's growth strategies.

The report, “The Sharp Side of Risk: Understanding, Anticipating and Managing Business Risk,” is available here.


Lighting Indoors and Out for Safety, Efficiency, Comfort, and Security


Yesterday, we provided tips for improving workplace lighting to boost safety and productivity. Today, we offer some tips from Facebook on indoor lighting as well as advice from DOE on outdoor lighting.

Facebook, which is always a consistent innovator in technology and media, is now leading the way in energy efficiency, says BLR Legal Editor and Green Team member Amanda Czepiel, J.D. According to Naveen Lakshmipathy, a 2011 EDF Climate Corps fellow at Facebook, the company’s new 1 million square foot office campus can teach other companies three lessons in energy efficiency.

1. Plan ahead. The best way to integrate lighting energy efficiency without losing good design is to involve many people in the design process, from architects to engineers to energy efficiency experts, to ensure that all factors are considered from the start of the design process. For example, walls can be painted in appropriate shades to reflect light where it is best to do so.

2. Know how you want your lighting system to behave. If you want to use lighting controls such as occupancy and daylight sensors to vary light levels and optimize energy efficiency, you must plan ahead of time how you want your system to behave and test its functions.

3. Remember productivity and occupant comfort. There is a direct relationship between workplace comfort and increased productivity, so effectively using daylight to reduce the use of artificial lighting and eliminating overlighted or underlighted areas should be a priority.

Outdoor Lighting

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, effective lighting for safety and security should consider:

Horizontal illuminance. This is the standard for assessing effective lighting primarily because many tasks are horizontal and the measurements are easy to make. However, this is less critical for security than other metrics such as vertical illuminance and uniformity.

Vertical illuminance. This is critical because one of the main security issues is identifying persons and vehicles and their movement that is best done by viewing their vertical surfaces.

Uniformity and shadows. This is important primarily to avoid dark areas where people or objects may be hidden. Uniformity has also been found to be useful in enhancing video camera effectiveness.

Glare. Lighting aimed in the wrong direction can cause glare that can adversely affect the ability of occupants and security personnel to identify people and/or objects.

Furthermore, research shows that simply increasing light levels or maintaining high lighting levels does not necessarily promote or maintain enhanced safety or security. It is primarily factors associated with the placement and quality of exterior lighting that enhances facility and employee safety and security outside your workplace.


Light Up Your Workplace with Safer, Healthier Lighting


Light is a force that has a powerful impact on the human body. Studies have shown that dedicated applications of lighting can have an effect on all aspects of a worker's experience, including reduction in accidents, illness, eyestrain, and absenteeism.

Lighting in the average workplace ranges from 50 to 500 lux (a measurement of illumination equal to the intensity of one candle). Research has shown that proper use of lighting can lessen the loss of alertness, production errors, and accidents, especially among nightshift workers and those on rotating shifts.

A 60-watt incandescent bulb in a 10-foot-high ceiling will produce only about 100 lux at eye level. Studies show that carefully timed exposure to bright light (over 1,000 lux) decreases fatigue and increases alertness.

You may want to have your facility manager assess the wattage of lights over workstations, check for burned-out bulbs, and make sure lighting fixtures are dusted and cleaned periodically.

Supplemental lighting with lamps, rather than more overhead lighting, can be added at workstations as needed to adequately illuminate tasks.

Interior Colors

Interior colors, especially in production areas, should be of medium value. Therefore, dark-colored carpeting and flooring, window treatments, walls, and cubicles may not be the best choice. Dark colors also absorb light, thus requiring the use of more wattage—and electricity—to illuminate an area. On the other hand, light or bright colors can contribute to glare and eyestrain.

Surface Reflectants

Make sure that lighting is diffused through baffles or bounced off surfaces in such a way that serious shadows and glare are avoided. Use of matte finishes, rather than glossy or polished surfaces, is also recommended for work areas.

Types of Lighting

  • Incandescent. This type of lighting was invented by Thomas Edison and has been used for over 100 years. Modern technology has reduced glare through the development of soft white, reflector, linestra, and other types of bulbs.
  • Halogen. This type of bulb is often used in task lighting and track lighting because it saves energy.
  • Fluorescent. New energy-saving fluorescent bulbs can be used as direct replacements for incandescent bulbs. They give more realistic color quality and can save as much as 75 percent in energy cost.
  • Full-spectrum. These new bulbs simulate the full-spectrum light of natural sunshine. Not only do they reduce eyestrain, but they have the added dimension of improving mood, especially during the shorter days of winter or for night workers. Studies also show that worksites with full-spectrum lighting have half the absenteeism for illness than those that do not.
  • Sunlight. It is obvious, but the effective use of natural sunlight to reduce the use of artificial lighting and eliminate overlighted or underlighted areas should be a priority.