Fall Protection and Prevention: Tips and Safety Training Ideas

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May 7-11 marks the fifth annual National Safety Stand-Down. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), with support from the National Safety Council, developed this weeklong event to help raise awareness of fall hazards nationwide in an effort to stop fatalities and injuries on the jobsite. Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees, accounting for 370 of the 991 construction fatalities recorded in 2016 according to the Bureau of Labor statistics.

In recognition of National Safety Stand-Down, here are some helpful tips for creating and implementing fall protection plans in the workplace, courtesy of our loss control professionals.

What is Fall Protection?

Fall protection, also called fall prevention, refers to any means used to protect workers from falls during work where such hazards exist. This includes areas like stairways, raised platforms, roofs and the use of ladders in general. In these areas, engineering or design measures are used to help reduce the fall hazards; however, further measures such as fall protection devices like lanyards, harnesses and guardrails must be used to help reduce the risk of falls.

Develop a Fall Protection Plan

Preventing falls in the workplace often begins with having a plan – a set of written procedures. Your plan should clearly lay out procedures for items such as fall prevention training, safe equipment use and inspection of the worksite for any potential hazards.

Make the Fall Protection Plan a Part of Your Safety Program

Include your fall protection plan as part of your workplace safety program. Many successful programs contain the following elements:

  • Education of employees through training programs that focus on fall protection practices.
  • Business owners and management show they are committed to workplace safety as they are to other aspects of the business.
  • Employees and their supervisors are involved in the safety program and fall protection plan, and held accountable for following workplace safety practices.
  • Investigate any fall-related injuries or near-miss accidents, and keep a record of these events for educational and prevention purposes.
  • Regular inspection of the fall protection equipment, replacing worn or broken equipment as needed.
  • Evaluate your plan regularly to identify how well it’s performing and if any updates are needed.

Provide the Proper Safety and Protection Elements in the Workplace

Employers must provide their employees with the proper equipment and fall prevention measures in order to avoid fall-related injuries. This might include items such as:

  • Body harnesses – Straps that may be secured about the employee in a manner that will distribute the fall arrest forces over at least the thighs, pelvis, waist, chest and shoulders with means for attaching it to other components of a personal fall arrest system.
  • Guardrail systems – A top rail 42 plus or minus 3 inches high, a toeboard 4 inches high, and a midrail located between the top rail and toeboard. A guardrail system is capable of withstanding a force of 200 pounds in any outward or downward direction on the toprail and a force of 150 pounds in any outward or downward direction on the midrail without failure.
  • Personal fall arrest systems – A system used to arrest an employee in a fall from a working level. It consists of an anchorage, connectors, a body harness, and may include a lanyard, deceleration device, lifeline or suitable combinations of these. All lanyards and other fall arrest devices have locking snap hooks.
  • Safety net systems – A net that is installed as close as practicable under the walking/working surface on which employees are working, but not more than 30 feet below such surface.
  • Lanyards/Lifelines – A flexible line of rope, wire rope or strap that generally has a connector at each end for connecting the body belt or body harness to a deceleration device, lifeline or anchorage.

Check out this helpful guide for more detailed information regarding fall protection.

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AmTrust offers a wealth of loss control resources and ways to help to avoid injuries in the workplace, plus we can help you with risk management support. Visit our blog regularly for more up-to-date news, tips and information on the insurance industry. Subscribe today.

For more details about AMT Warranty Corp feel free to visit: http://blog.amtrustgroup.com/policywire/fall-protection-prevention-safety-tips

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3 Effective & Affordable Marketing Strategies & Tips for Your Small Business

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Promoting and positioning your small business is a never-ending endeavor. Sometimes a heavier marketing effort makes sense, such as when the business first opens or during the holidays. Even strictly seasonal businesses cannot afford to go completely dark during their off-peak time. To remain relevant and successful in today’s hyper-competitive and crowded marketplace, it’s important to stay top-of-mind, both online and off.

The seemingly infinite number of marketing strategies, tactics, and channels to choose from today can be overwhelming for small business owners. In this article, we will skip the basics, including touching on the importance of a great website, a growing customer database, and an active social media presence. Rather, we will focus on three affordable marketing tips for making a big — and quick — impact that small business owners like you can use immediately to help generate leads and (re)build your brand.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

SEM ads are paid text ads that appear on the top of search engine results pages (SERPs) when you type in a search query. When you consider that 51% of all local mobile searches result in a store visit, the necessity of being found in a search query can be vital for both lead generation and keeping your brand top-of-mind. Some of the great features and benefits of an SEM campaign include:

  • Budget Control | Set a daily or monthly budget you are comfortable with. If you reach your budget limit, your ads will stop showing for that time-period. If you want to dip your toes in, start with a monthly budget of $500, monitor the results, and take it from there.
  • User-Friendly Platform | Setting up, monitoring and tweaking your SEM campaign on a pay-per-click platform is not complicated. They are very user-friendly, and easy to learn and navigate even for those who are not tech savvy. The reporting functions are also robust and insightful.
  • Targeting | Target your desired customers by keyword, topic, language, location, device, and a multitude of demographic options.

Tip! Free training certification courses are available online to help you learn, manage, and maximize your AdWords campaign.

Video Marketing

SEM is a low-cost, highly effective way to generate leads and drive foot traffic into your store. Content marketing on the other hand, can be necessary for brand identity, education, customer engagement, and search engine optimization (SEO). In addition to producing text content in the form of articles and newsletters, another option is to change the form. Arguably, the most engaging form of content available right now is video.

The bottom line: many people are visual learners and prefer video to text content. Consider the following:

  • Internet video traffic made up 69% of all global consumer internet traffic in 2017.
  • By 2019, internet video traffic will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic.
  • The average user spends 88% more time on a website with video.

Simply put, statistically speaking, your customers crave video. You can provide them with a great brand experience at a very low cost. You do not need expensive video equipment or a fancy studio. All you need is a steady hand (or a cheap tripod) and a smartphone. Take your videos to the next level with one of the many free and low-cost, user-friendly video editing software options available online.

Tip! Keep videos brief, informative, and snappy. Aim to keep your videos between one and three minutes long. For increased engagement, you might try asking your customers to participate in your videos, perhaps in a testimonial or as a tutorial assistant. Ensure that you have participating customers sign appropriate release forms before making the video public.

Bonus tip! Transcribe your videos and add this content to the landing page where you video resides (whether it’s self-hosted on your site or embedded from a site like YouTube). The text will be crawlable by search engine spiders and can help your page rank for organic searches.

Customer Feedback

There is nothing more important to a business than customer feedback and opinion. All companies need to welcome customer feedback with open arms… and react appropriately. Customers appreciate when companies are genuinely interested in what they have to say. Get their opinion on their personal views of your business/brand, their experience doing business with your brand (i.e., ease of use, satisfaction with your product, service, etc.), and media usage habits (so you know how and where to advertise).

Provide hard copy surveys in your store, send e-surveys to your opt-in database (find low-cost e-survey options online), hold focus groups with a small group of customers in your store after-hours, and hold one-on-one interviews with customers.

Tip! To increase the number of completed customer surveys and focus group participation, offer a 10-15% discount on their next purchase for participation.

The sheer number of marketing and advertising options available today is mind-boggling. The most important thing can be to focus on doing a few things really well, instead of many things with average results. These three cost-effective marketing strategies for small businesses can help address lead generation and your brand in an affordable, quick, and high-impact way.

To get more tips for marketing and protecting your small business, subscribe to the AmTrust North America blog now. AmTrust Financial provides small business insurance coverage including worker’s compensation and general liability.

This material is for informational purposes only and is not legal or business advice. Neither AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. nor any of its subsidiaries or affiliates represents or warrants that the information contained herein is appropriate or suitable for any specific business or legal purpose. Readers seeking resolution of specific questions should consult their business and/or legal advisors.

For more details about AMT Warranty feel free to visit: http://blog.amtrustgroup.com/policywire/3-effective-affordable-marketing-strategies-tips-for-your-small-business

Sym-Tech Dealer Services & AMT Warranty, a Subsidiary of AmTrust Financial Services, Announce Partnership that Provides the Canadian Market with Enhanced Services and Product Offerings

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Sym‐Tech Dealer Services (the “Company” or “Sym‐Tech”) announced today that AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: AFSI), through its subsidiary AMT Warranty, has partnered with Sym‐Tech through a minority investment in the Company.

AMT Warranty Corp

AMT Warranty, AMT Service Corp, AMT Warranty Corp, Amtrust Warranty

“We are very pleased that AMT Warranty chose to partner with Sym‐Tech,” said Brad Wells, CEO of Sym‐Tech Dealer Services. “AMT Warranty’s automotive expertise as well as their underwriting, OEM, insurance and reinsurance knowledge and experience will allow for an expanded offering of F&I products and services for clients in Canada.”

Sym‐Tech drives improved business office performance. A full suite of F&I products, industry‐proven training and in‐dealership development, as well as F&I menu and proprietary technology, combine to drive dealer performance and profitability.

Sym‐Tech’s 40 year history of serving Canadian dealers, combined with AMT Warranty’s extensive insurance services and solid financial backing, create a unique partnership that provides Canadian OEMs, auto dealers and automotive dealer groups with one of the most comprehensive offerings available. The full suite of solutions includes:

  • A complete line of F&I products and programs
  • Training and in‐dealership development
  • Proprietary F&I technology
  • Expertise in underwriting, actuary, insurance and re‐insurance services

“AMT Warranty has experienced tremendous success in the United States and we look forward to extending our success to the Canadian marketplace through a long‐term relationship with Sym‐Tech,” said Sean Stapleton, President and CEO of AMT Warranty. “Sym‐Tech has a solid reputation, one of the best F&I software platforms in the industry, extensive knowledge of the market and significant experience. Importantly, Sym‐Tech’s vision, values and strengths are strongly aligned with AmTrust.”

About AMT Warranty

AMT Warranty Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: AFSI), provides finance and insurance products to automobile, RV/trailer, marine and power sports retailers, manufacturers and financial institutions. AMT Warranty offers innovative F&I products, program development and customer support. With over 25 million active contracts, AMT Warranty has a reputation for providing highly scalable and financially successful programs. By incorporating extensive industry knowledge, customized program options and a customer centric approach to service, AMT Warranty has become the leading provider of F&I products in the aftermarket industry.

About SymTech Dealer Services Inc.

Founded in 1971, Sym‐Tech Dealer Services Inc. is a leading Canadian F&I provider to the retail automotive industry. Sym‐Tech is a performance‐driven company with the mandate to help improve business office performance. Sym‐Tech offers F&I products, industry‐proven training and in‐dealership development, as well as F&I menu and a proprietary software platform (d.a.v.e®) which drive dealer performance and profitability.

For more information about AMT Warranty Corp feel free to visit: – https://amtrustgroup.com/warranty-special-risk/extended-warranty-administration