The Lutgert Insurance Blog

Facts About the Flu

OSHA recommends workers follow these tips to help protect against contracting the flu virus:

  • Get the flu vaccine.
  • Don’t go to work if you’re sick. If you have a fever and flu-like symptoms, stay home until your fever has been gone for at least a day.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If you don’t have access to soap and water, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Refrain from touching your face, particularly your nose, mouth and eyes.
  • Be mindful of others. Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your upper sleeves, and then wash your hands.
  • Keep items you use regularly, such as your keyboard or telephone, clean. When possible, refrain from using a co-worker’s office equipment. If you must, consider disinfecting any items you use.
  • Keep your distance from people you suspect may be ill.
  • Do your best to maintain a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.
  • Check to see if your employer offers training on how to stay healthy at work.

Sourced from the National Safety Council


Be Prepared for an Emergency Situation          

Disasters can manifest in a variety of ways. Taking preventive measures and planning ahead can help you remain calm in an emergency.


  • Fires: A small fire can become a raging inferno in only a few minutes, the National Safety Council states. To help prevent fires, install smoke alarms on every floor and regularly test them. Ensure workers know how to operate fire extinguishers and what to do in the event of a fire.
  • Mother Nature: Tornadoes, earthquakes and hurricanes. These are just some of the destructive ways natural disasters can wreak havoc on people. Have an emergency kit prepared with at least 72 hours of food and water supplies. In addition, stay up to date on drills for disasters common to your area.
  • Violence at work: Workers have the right to be safe at their jobs. Create a zero-tolerance policy on workplace violence that covers verbal abuse and physical altercations.
  • Dangerous materials: If you suspect a gas leak or chemical spill has occurred, NSC recommends you E.S.C.A.P.E.:
    • E: Exit the area
    • S: Secure the scene
    • C: Call 911
    • A: Assess the problem
    • P: Pull your building’s fire alarm
    • E: Exit the building

Sourced from the National Safety Council

If you are bitten by a spider, NIOSH recommends taking the following steps:

  • Do not panic. If the spider is still nearby, do your best to identify it.
  • Wash the bite area with soap and water.
  • Use an ice pack or cool, damp cloth to help reduce swelling. Keep the bite area elevated.
  • Never try to remove venom.
  • Contact your supervisor.
  • Seek professional medical help.

To help prevent spider bites:

  • Give your work clothes, shoes and equipment a thorough shake before use.
  • If working near undisturbed piles of material outdoors – where spiders are known to reside – wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, as well as gloves and boots.
  • Remove piles of debris from outdoor jobsites, and trim tall grasses.
  • Keep outdoor clothing and equipment tightly sealed in plastic bags.
  • Stay up to date with your tetanus boosters; spider bites can become infected with tetanus spores.

Sourced from the National Safety Council


Take a few minutes to give the gift of health and safety to yourself and others this holiday season.

  • Wash hands often for 20 seconds.image001
  • Bundle up for warmth.
  • Get a flu shot if you haven’t gotten one already. The best way to protect against influenza is to get a flu vaccine every flu season.
  • Eat a light, healthy snack before you go to parties to help curb your hunger and decrease your visits to the buffet table.
  • Watch your children. Develop and enforce rules about acceptable and safe behavior for using electronic media.
  • Fasten seat belts. Always use them, no matter how short the trip.
  • Don’t drink and drive, and don’t let others drink and drive.

Sourced from Centers for Disease Control & Prevention


Everyone should have smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes. Carbon monoxide, or CO, is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death.

Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke alarms.

Take a few minutes to ensure your alarms will sound in an emergency.


  • Install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near bedrooms, and make sure smoke alarms are near all sleeping rooms. Install smoke alarms on every floor of your home.
  • Choose smoke alarms that communicate with each other, so that if one alarm sounds they all will.
  • Check or change the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors at least twice a year.
  • Test smoke alarms monthly.
  • For smoke alarms that use regular alkaline batteries, replace the batteries at least once a year.
  • For smoke alarms that use lithium (long-life) batteries, replace the entire smoke alarm according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Make and practice an escape plan in the event of a fire or emergency.

Sourced from Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

image001Healthy kids are more likely to become healthy adults. Be a role model and help your kids make safe and healthy choices every day.

  • Buckle up every age, every seat, every trip.
  • Put on a helmet during outdoor activities, including riding bikes and skating.
  • Put on sunscreen and avoid indoor tanning.
  • Brush and floss teeth with fluoride to help prevent tooth decay.
  • Wash hands with clear running water and apply soap. Rub hands for at least 20 seconds, then rinse.
  • Get a flu vaccine. Everyone needs a flu vaccine – every flu season.
  • Be active with your kids. Children and adolescents need a total of 60 minutes of physical activity every day.
  • Be smoke-free, and protect your children from second hand smoke.
  • Be a healthy role model. Show your child what it means to be healthy.

Sourced from Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health. People who are physically active live longer and have a lower risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression, and some cancers. Take a few minutes to figure out how to add physical activity to your life. Find something you enjoy, such as jogging or running, dancing, or playing sports.

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.image002
  • Park farther away and walk.
  • Walk the dog.
  • Take family walks or play active games together.

Sourced from Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

image002Immunizations are NOT just for kids! Regardless of your age, we ALL need immunizations to help keep us healthy. Vaccines reduce the risk of infection by working with the body’s natural defenses to help it safely develop immunity to disease. Take a few minutes to protect yourself and others from diseases.

  • Keep track of your and your family’s vaccinations as they’re received.
  • Make an appointment with your and your family’s doctor to make sure vaccinations stay up-to-date.

OSHA announced it is delaying enforcement of the anti-retaliation provisions in its new Injury and illness tracking rule to conduct additional outreach and provide educational materials and guidance for employers. Originally scheduled to begin August 10, 2016, enforcement will now begin November 1, 2016, according to the agency.

Under the rule, employers are required to:

  • Inform workers of their right to report work-related injuries and illnesses without fear of retaliation; Implement procedures for reporting injuries and illnesses that are reasonable and do not deter workers from reporting; and
  • Incorporate the existing statutory prohibition on retaliating against workers for reporting injuries and illnesses.

An interim final rule released June 30 by the Department of Labor outlines increases to the fines employers will pay for violating wage and hour and safety laws.

The rule, scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on July 1, increases penalties under the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015. The Act amended the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, and requires agencies to update their civil monetary penalties.

The rule includes fine increases for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Under the final rule, the penalty for:

  • A repeated or willful violation of minimum wage or overtime laws increases to $1,894 per violation.
  • A child labor violation increases to $12,080.
  • A child labor violation resulting in serious injury or death increases to $12,080.
  • A willful or repeated child labor violation resulting in serious injury or death increases to $109,820.

A number of posting penalties will also increase. Under the final rule:

  • The penalty for each willful violation of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) posting requirement increases to $163 for each separate offense.
  • Employers who violate the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) posting requirement face a maximum penalty of $12,471.
  • The penalty for any violation of the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) of 1988 increases to $19,787.

Other OSHA penalties addressed by the final rule include:

  • Serious violation, which increases to a maximum of $12,471
  • Other-than-serious violation, which increases to a maximum of $12,471
  • Willful or repeated violation, which increases to a maximum of $124,709

These new penalties take effect August 1.