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OSHA Guidance on Preventing Falls

As we shift towards a post-pandemic normal with more people returning to the office and construction and seasonal job markets increasing their workforces, it is important to remember that employers must prioritize safe work practices. You should revisit the policies that your company has implemented to ensure the safety of your workforce, remind your employees of required practices and consider if anything needs to be updated.

One of the most common risks on the job is falls. While we commonly think falls occur at height, falls also occur at ground level. To reduce or eliminate the potential for a slip and fall…


Shift Your Company Culture by Investing in Relationships

What is your company’s culture and engagement strategy? Employers who embrace the power of cultural fundamentals and have strategies in place to communicate their culture and promote employee engagement are in a position to accomplish more. By incorporating your company’s principles into daily business practices, you can cultivate a high-performing culture that drives performance and encourages employees to work together to serve their customers and communities. When an engaged workforce follows a common set of fundamental behaviors, it results in success.

At Univest, we highly value our culture and truly believe it drives performance. We also realize that culture isn’t…


Workers’ Compensation Cost Containment Strategies

Workers’ compensation is a required benefit that all employers must provide for their employees. By 1949, it was adopted by all 50 states and it used to pay for lost wages and medical bills when an employee is injured on the job. Some employers look at workers’ comp as a sunk cost or a cost of doing business. These businesses typically spend more for workers’ comp than businesses that work to proactively improve their safety culture and minimize on-the-job accidents. The rate in Pennsylvania for a carpenter can range from $5.91 per $100 of payroll to as much as…


Dear HR – Employees with Valid Medical Marijuana Credentials

The ongoing emotional stress, isolation and uncertainty of COVID-19 has, unfortunately, led to dramatic increases in substance abuse and overdoses. According to a CDC study conducted in June 2020, 13% of Americans reported starting or increasing substance use as a way of coping with stress or emotions related to COVID-19. Another grim statistic from the CDC is the number of people who died from drug overdoses in the 12-month period ending last June. The total number was more than 81,000, a 20% increase year-over-year, and the highest number of fatal overdoses ever recorded in the U.S. in a single…


Is Your Business Protected from Cyber Threats?

Businesses were already becoming more and more digital, then the pandemic hit and that transition increased significantly. Even businesses that may not have considered online solutions before. With even more business happening online, there are new threats that business owners need to be prepared for – computer viruses, data breaches, malicious hacking, and other cyber-crimes. To help cover the cost related to these potential exposures, the insurance industry has policies tailored to cover the loss and damages.

What is Cyber Liability Insurance?
Cyber liability insurance is a newer coverage that has evolved from the digitization of business in the 21st


Dear HR – How to Handle an Employee’s Positive COVID Test

As restrictions continue to be lifted and “COVID fatigue” accelerates, it is important for employers to continue to manage the challenges presented by the pandemic. Here is some insight on current quarantine guidelines that may help you navigate the ongoing pandemic.

For those who may have been exposed – if they have not been vaccinated or have not had COVID-19 within the past three months and were in “close contact” with the employee, they’ll need to get tested and wait until a negative test result is confirmed before returning to their work location. If the test result is positive, they’ll…


5 Tips to Navigate Employee Benefits in the Post-Pandemic Environment

As employee benefits advisors, we have always been tasked with providing employee-focused solutions as well as cost-containment strategies that help our clients’ bottom lines. Like most things, that mission was hugely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. We were in uncharted waters and Univest clients needed our help and advice more than ever. We heard, “What now?” almost every day.

It appears the height of COVID is behind us and there may even be a light at the end of the tunnel as the vaccine continues to be administered. As we enter the post-pandemic environment, what can you do to wisely…


Dear HR – Immunity Based Inquiries for Job Applicants

Employers may be tempted to ask job applicants about COVID-19, and whether or not the applicant has contracted the virus and since recovered. This line of inquiry may be triggered by a belief that a candidate who has developed antibody-based immunity would be unlikely to be infected a second time. Seems reasonable, even responsible, right?

Well, anyone familiar with the employment law arena is likely aware that although federal agency-based rulemaking may have the best interest of our citizens at heart, it can leave employers scratching their heads, confused about intent, and concerned about compliance.

At the heart of immunity-based inquiries…


5 Tips for Creating a Business Insurance Strategy

Saying that these are unprecedented times is an understatement given the disruption to business owners, employees and customers. As a business owner, you must adapt or face the consequences for not abiding by the ever-changing guidelines. The CDC, state and/or county government, and OSHA all have a say in how your business needs to protect customers, visitors and employees. The coronavirus pandemic, rightfully so, is a major concern for all businesses.

While COVID-19 complicates the equation, the insurance industry, like any other business, has other factors to consider and challenges to remain profitable. Insurers have recently endured large property claims…


Deadline: Injury and Illness Records Due to OSHA

OSHA’s rule within Part 1904 requires the electronic reporting of workplace injuries and illnesses through their online services. Employers are required to electronically report their calendar year 2020 Form 300A data to OSHA by March 2, 2021.

Reporting requirements are as follows:

  • Establishments with 250 or more employees that are currently required to keep OSHA injury and illness records
  • Establishments with 20-249 employees that are classified in certain industries with historically high rates of occupational injuries and illnesses.
  • The size of the establishment is based on the maximum number of employees which worked at…
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