Tuesday, January 19, 2016

February 1st -- Time to Post Your OSHA 300A!

February is quickly approaching and it's time again to look at the process of preparing this year's 300A Summary. To complete the 300A, employers must use the previous year's OSHA 300 Log. The 300A is a condensed version of your 300 log. Employers with 10 or more employees must post a summary of the previous calendar year’s injuries and illnesses. If your company location has fewer than 10 employees, OSHA may still require your organization to complete the OSHA 300 log and summary if your total organization has more than 10 employees. Not all businesses must complete the OSHA log. Click HERE for a list of the exempt businesses.

The 300A Summary Log must be posted from February 1st to April 30th. The log must be placed in a visible location that your employees can easily view. The break room or by the time clock are two good places that have a lot of employee traffic. The highest ranking company executive or manager at each location must sign the 300A certifying that he or she agrees with the 300A Summary. After they are completed, do not send the forms to OSHA unless they specifically request them. However, any inspection will no doubt include a review of the forms. 

To complete the 300 log, which contains all the information you need for the 300A Summary log, employers must classify work-related injuries or illnesses. The basic parts to the 300 Log that are recordable are death, loss of consciousness,  days away from work, restricted work activity or job transfer, and medical treatment beyond first aid. You must update the OSHA 300 log within seven days after each injury or illness. To complete the 300A Summary log, total up all the events from the 300 Log and complete the 300A. An employer subject to this requirement must post the OSHA 300A Summary log even if the employer had no reportable injuries/illnesses in the prior year. In addition to the posting requirement, employees with no fixed work site or no access to posted sites must be provided with a copy of the report.
While every injury on the job should be taken seriously, not every incident is “recordable” for OSHA record keeping purposes. For example, an employee may receive only first-aid treatment or the incident may be an exacerbation of an earlier injury already reported. If you need more details, the OSHA/ Department of Labor  Web site is very informative and can be very helpful.  Click HERE for "step by step" 300 & 300A record keeping information.

Should you have any questions concerning, your OSHA 300 and 300A Summary log please contact your LL Roberts Group PEO Risk Management Department (toll free) at 877.878.6463You can even talk to us on Facebook or Twitter!

Friday, January 15, 2016

What Is A "PEO" and How It Can Help Your Business Grow

There are still a lot of business owners and managers that are not familiar with a Professional Employer Organization or a PEO, so we decided to breakdown what a PEO is, and how it can help you run your business be more successful.  Let me ask you this. As a business owner or manager, does it make sense that you must be become an expert at payroll, employment tax processing, governmental and HR compliance, purchasing insurance, and risk management? Sounds impossible right? That’s where a PEO can and does make your life easier.

A Professional Employer Organization (“PEO”) provides cost-effective services that help all companies, regardless of size, better manage their employer responsibilities and risks. PEOs are in the “business of employment” and provide real relief to employers through services and resources that include workers’ compensation coverage, payroll and employment tax administration, safety/risk management support, OSHA compliance, human resources support, labor law compliance, as well as employee benefit programs.

By partnering with a PEO to assume these non-core business functions for your company,  you are free to manage your company’s production, marketing, sales and service. Basically, we free up time for you and your administrative staff to focus on running your business, instead of it running you. 

A relationship with a PEO involves a sharing of employer responsibilities between the PEO and your company. This employment relationship is known as “co-employment” and is an integral aspect of the PEO business model. In a co-employment arrangement, the PEO becomes the employer of record for tax and insurance purposes and begins filing paperwork under its own identification numbers. We become responsible for a wide variety of taxes and this eliminate the possibility of making mistakes on what needs to be reported.

As worksite employers, you continue to direct employees in their day-to-day work-related duties and activities. You still get to “hire and fire” your employees, but we can guide you with these to make sure you are in compliance with employment laws. As a co-employer responsible for most HR administrative functions, the PEO manages many of the time-consuming and costly aspects of employee administration as the "employer of record" for the employees.  The co-employment relationship is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service, and most states, through some form of specific licensing, registration, or regulation for PEOs.

Some PEOs (The LL Roberts Group) offer Automated Time & Attendance solutions to help eliminate employee “buddy punching” and paying employees for lost time when they arrive late & leave early.  This also helps combat unwarranted wage & hour claims and to help larger companies be ACA compliant. The Time & Attendance system also makes your payroll more automated and reduces errors while saving time calculating employee time.

Quite simply, a PEO is a “one stop shop” that allows companies to outsource most of the time consuming and costly functions associated with employee administration. An additional benefit is that you get your workers’ comp coverage with no deposits and no year-end audits!

At the LL Roberts Group, we have a wide variety of clients ranging from doctors and lawyers, to construction companies, plumbers and everything in between. It’s makes no difference if it’s white collar, blue collar, or grey collar, we have solutions tailored for your company regardless of what industry you’re in.

The LL Roberts Group can assist you by providing your company with a “no-cost” and “no obligation” PEO proposal. So contact the LL Roberts Group today (toll free) 877.878.6463 and find out if PEO is the right solution for you and your company.   You can even talk to us on Facebook or Twitter!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Some Tips To Keep Your Holiday Office Party Merry!

It’s that wonderful time of the year again and for those of us that have been in the workplace for many years, we can likely recall the crazy office parties that went well into the night and may have even ended the next day with an awful hangover and a few regrets. That fact is that when it comes to office parties the best advice for business owners and employees alike is “not to party like its 1999”.

While office holiday parties are a good way for a company’s owners and executives to show their appreciation to employees, clients, and vendors alike, these types of gatherings can get a company into plenty of legal trouble too. Why so? In word…“alcohol”.

Many an office party has had an unhappy ending when and over served employee or guest made unwanted sexual advance to a coworker or other guest; or possibly worse, was involved in a serious car accident on the way home. Either way, the company hosting the party can be held liable. Here are some tips to help keep your holidays merry. 

1. You are liable! A good idea is to check your business insurance and see if you are covered in the vent that a mishap occurs in conjunction with the party.  A commercial general liability policy may cover liquor liability, but that doesn’t cover sexual harassment or a physical assault by a party attendee. Call your insurance agent to see what your policy covers.

2. Establish expectations for your employees and guests. Office Parties are usually given to show the company’s appreciation for its employees, clients, vendors, or other supporters.  However, the key point is that it is still a “work related event”. Everyone needs to understand this point and be advised that normal office protocol and professional behavior is still expected (even if alcohol is being served).  Send out an email to the staff and post the same message on the company bulletin board that reminds everyone what is expected of them.

3. Pick a theme that doesn’t encourage trouble. Having a party at a local pub with an open bar sends a direct message to everyone attending…”Let’s Party!” Many companies have enjoyable events that do not serve alcohol; of course that’s an option that you may consider.  Having the party during the day as a luncheon or open house is another consideration; keep in mind that  these events can be alcohol free or simply encourage moderate alcohol consumption (as opposed to an afterhours or night time event). Maybe, you can just issue “drink tickets” to each guest (no more than 3 is advised), but watch out, unused tickets can easily end-up with someone getting over served.

4. Have a plan for the party’s end. Arrange for a car service to be ready at the party’s conclusion.  Keep the number for a local cab service ready and easily accessible for hosts to make quick arrangements for a ride. Make sure that the attendees know when the party is supposed to end in advance and then stick to that time. Keep a watchful eye out for anyone that may have had too much to drink and then take the necessary steps to get them home, safely.

So, keep in mind that holiday office parties are a company’s responsibility and may be a liability to be considered. Unfortunately, these types of events can be a human resources department’s nightmare. To learn more about how a PEO can augment or support your company’s human resources related needs contact the LL Roberts Group (toll free) at 877.878.6463.   You can even talk to us on Facebook or Twitter!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Stay Safe When Working in Cold Weather

Workers exposed to extremely cold conditions are at risk of serious health problems, including hypothermia, frostbite, dehydration and muscle injuries. Working in cold weather puts enormous strain on your body. Air temperature is not the only measure of cold, the wind makes it colder. Windy days and cold temperatures combine to make it dangerously cold. To fight back, try these cold-weather safety tips while working on the job:
  • Take frequent breaks in warm, dry shelters to allow your body to warm up.
  • Be careful in high wind, and be aware of potentially slippery surfaces.
  • Use the buddy system – always work in pairs.
  • Sweep water out of passageways inside of buildings under construction to avoid slipping.
  • Drink plenty of fluids, preferably warm, sweet beverages. Cold weather suppresses thirst, and dehydration can occur without proper fluid intake.
  • Try to shield work areas from drafty or windy conditions.
  • If possible, try to work during the warmest hours of the day and minimize activities that decrease circulation.
  • If working in icy conditions, be prepared to use de-icers to improve walk ways to reduce slips and falls.
  • Securely tie down or weigh down supplies so they are safe from gusts of wind.

 A number of industries and occupations involve substantial outdoor cold exposure. These include construction workers, delivery people, utility and telecommunication workers, and others. Many other companies who work in or around indoor cold temperatures, such as the food processing industry, cold storage industry, supermarkets, just to name as few, also can be negatively impacted by cold work environments. These employees are also vulnerable if not properly protected and trained.

Frostbite occurs after prolonged exposure to low temperatures or wet working conditions. Frostbite can be dangerous and even life-threatening. That’s why it is important to look for the following symptoms when working in cold temperatures:
  • Discoloration of the skin.
  • Burning or tingling sensations.
  • Partial or complete numbness.
  • Intense pain.
To prevent frostbite, wear loose-fitting layers of clothing and always cover your hands, feet, nose and ears. At the first sign of pain or if your skin gets wet, look for a place to warm up. When working outside, be aware as winds increase. Heat is carried away from the body at a faster rate, making you feel colder than if there were no wind. When your body temperature drops, your nerve cells and muscles work more slowly, impairing your body function. This is easy to notice when tying a shoelace or fastening a button in cold weather.

 Watch out for the effects of cold temperatures on common body functions, such as:
  • Reduced dexterity and hand usage. (Cold tool handles reducing your grip force)
  • The skin’s reduced ability to feel pain in cold temperatures.
  • If you have arthritis or rheumatism, cold weather can create more pain problems for you.

Dress For the Job
Wearing the right clothes for the job is another crucial step you can take to reduce the risk of cold-induced injuries:
  • Layer clothing to keep warm enough to be safe, but cool enough to avoid perspiring excessively. It should also contain the following:
  • Inner layer – a synthetic weave to keep perspiration away from the body.
  • Middle layer – wool or synthetic fabric to absorb sweat and retain body heat.
  • Outer layer – material designed to break the wind and allow for ventilation, such as GORE-TEX®.
  • Wear a hat. Almost 40 percent of your body heat escapes from your head. If you wear a hardhat, add a winter liner that covers your neck.
As with any workplace hazard, prevention is key to protecting employees. Employers should, therefore, train workers on the hazards of the job and safety measures to use, such as engineering controls and safe work practices, that will protect workers' safety and health.

If you have any questions any information found in this posting, please contact the LL Roberts Group or our new Safety Division, Roberts Risk Management (toll free) at 877.878.6463. You can even talk to us on Facebook or Twitter!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

We Thank You For You Service and Sacrifice

We honor all our men & women in uniform, past, present, and future. Thank You for your service and courage. We thought we would share some history about our Veterans on their day. 

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938.

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day–a common misunderstanding, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Memorial Day (the fourth Monday in May) honors American service members who died in service to their 
country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle, while Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans–living or dead–but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

The First Veterans Day

Alvin J. King, the uncle of John Cooper, a soldier killed in World War II, approached his congressman, Edward J. Rees, and asked that Armistice Day be changed to a holiday that would honor all veterans from all wars. Congressman Rees did as asked and on June 1, 1954, 
Many Americans thought that the date of Veterans Day was much too important to be altered, and in 1975, Congress changed the law. Since 1978, Veterans Day has been held on Nov. 11.

Veterans Day Facts & Stats 

  • In 1954, President Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. 
  • In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11, due to the important historical significance of the date.
  • Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World Wars I and II on or near November 11th: Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November). 
  • In Europe, Britain and the Commonwealth countries it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11.
  • George Patton, the famous World War II American military officer, was born on November 11, in 1885. Although he was born before Veterans Day was established, it is interesting that this famous war heroes shares his birthday with a day that honors veterans live now.
  • There are approximately 23.2 million military veterans in the United States.
  • 9.2 million veterans are over the age of 65.
  • 1.9 million veterans are under the age of 35.
  • 1.8 million veterans are women.
  • 7.8 million veterans served during the Vietnam War era (1964-1975), which represents 33% of all living veterans.
  • 5.2 million veterans served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present).
  • 2.6 million veterans served during World War II (1941-1945).
  • 2.8 million veterans served during the Korean War (1950-1953).
  • 6 million veterans served in peacetime.

The brave men and women who serve and protect the U.S. come from all walks of life; they are parents, children and grandparents. They are friends, neighbors and coworkers, and an important part of their communities. If you know a Veteran or see one, be sure to thank them for their service. Today and every day. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

Open Enrollment started November 1st!

Consumers can go to HeathCare.gov preview 2016 plans and prices available in your area. 

It’s easy for you to compare available 2016 plans. You only need to answer a few simple questions to preview plans in your area and see what savings may be available to you for next year. You don’t need to log in, just use the                                                    link below to get started.

It’s important to shop around and see what 2016 plan best fits your needs and budget. 8 out of 10 people who enrolled in a health insurance plan qualified for financial help. In fact, most people can find a health insurance plan for $75 or less per month. 

Be sure check out our Obamacare page for The LL Roberts Group. For more information on how a PEO can address your company’s employee benefit needs, feel free to contact a PEO Representative at the LL Roberts Group (toll free) at 877.8578.6463. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is one of the most exciting times of the year for children, but sometimes hectic for parents and guardians. This Halloween, take a moment to consider basic safety precautions to help make your children’s Halloween a safer night of fun.