According to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCIAA), Halloween has the highest number of claims for any day by 81%.
To prevent damages, bring in any product you may have displayed on the exterior of your business before dark. Take photos of your business a week or two before Halloween. If you must file a claim for vandalism, you will have photos available for your insurance company.
Vehicles are more likely to be vandalized on Halloween.
Park your vehicles inside a locked garage or in a well-lit area and have the windows up and doors locked.
If you’re having the public come into your business during Halloween, think twice before you string up dramatic lighting and flashing lights. They can create a fun atmosphere for trick-or-treaters, but it can also cause accidents. Dim lighting can encourage theft by making it difficult to distinguish colors of clothing or recognize facial features. Dim lights also hinder surveillance equipment.
Make sure to check the exterior of your building. Extension cords can be a tripping hazard if not secured properly. Confirm that the surrounding walking surfaces (sidewalks, paths etc.) are clear of debris and well lit.
Above all, make sure your insurance policy protects you in the event of candle fires, falls, tainted candy claims, and any other types of Halloween-induced accidents.
In the construction industry, one of the top 10 OSHA violations is Hazard Communication.
Failure to recognize hazards, and demonstrate safe practices associated with chemicals can cause serious injuries for yourself, co-workers, and any individual around that area.
Improper practices can lead to chemical burns, respiratory problems, fires and explosions.
To Prevent Incidents:
- Store chemicals safely and securely.
- Maintain a Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for each chemical in the facility and train employees on how to read and use them.
- Global Harmonization Systems (GHS) internationally categorize chemicals. The GHS includes classification of health, physical and environmental hazards, specifies what information should be on the labels of hazardous chemicals, and safety data sheets. This information is required to readily accessible to employees in languages and/or formats that are clearly understood by all personnel.
- Follow manufacturer’s SDS instructions for handling hazardous chemicals, and keep them updated as new procedures are published.
- Provide spill clean-up kits where chemicals are stored and have written spill control plans.
- Train employees on how to clean up spills, protect themselves and properly dispose of the used materials.
- Provide proper personal protective equipment and enforce its use.
The Hazard Communication program was designed to keep our employee safe and healthy.
Improper chemical management poses health and safety risks to everyone in schools. While anyone can be effected, health, learning, and behavior risks to students are of primary concern. Children are more vulnerable than adults to chemical hazards because their bodies are still developing.
Health risks aren’t the only risks involved with improper chemical management in schools.
The expenses of improper chemical management can be hundreds of thousands of dollars or more for just a single school. Spills and other incidents are not only costly, but pose potential liabilities and lawsuits. Improper chemical waste management can result in fines, increased insurance premiums, and inflict damage upon the environment. If chemicals contaminate sanitary sewer lines or on-site waste treatment systems, rivers, streams, and groundwater can be poisoned. Spills to the ground can result in considerable remediation costs. While water is first and foremost thought of after a chemical spill, spills can also pollute the air.
Improper chemical management doesn’t only effect people physically.
It only takes one chemical incident to break the trust with the community. School incidents can lead to increased parental and community concern, and embarrassment to the school and school district. This in turn can create negative publicity both locally and nationally.
Lastly, improper chemical management can result in school closures, and that results in a loss of valuable education.
Hazardous chemicals aren’t always just laboratory chemicals for science.
Other examples are:
- Art supplies – paints, stains, inks, glazes, photo processing chemicals
- Cleaning products, pesticides, fertilizers, and de-icers
- Solvents, fuels, degreasers, lubricants, oils, antifreeze, adhesives
- Water treatment chemicals for drinking water and swimming
One of the best ways to avoid workplace confusion and prevent chemical incidents is to establish a Global Harmonization System (GHS). These include identifications of all chemicals present in the school, information on proper labeling and storage, potential hazards, and safety procedures for the use, transport, and disposal of chemicals. This chemical inventory also lists the quantities and locations that can be used to reduce the costs when purchasing so no excess chemicals are ordered. Perhaps most importantly, a GHS serves as a reference for school and emergency personnel in the event of an emergency caused by a chemical.
Are you the “AHERA Designated Person”?
Then you’re in charge of implementing an Asbestos Management Plan.
Public school districts and non-profit schools for grades K-12 are required to develop, maintain and update Asbestos Management Plans. These plans document asbestos response actions, locations of the asbestos within schools, and any action taken to repair and remove the material.
Records must be maintained in the Asbestos Management Plan.
The records listed below are required by the EPA to be in the Asbestos Management Plan.
- Name and address of each school building and whether the building has asbestos-containing building material (ACBM), and the type of asbestos-containing material (ACM).
- Date of the original school inspection
- Plan for re-inspections
- Blueprints that clearly identifies the locations of ACBM that remains in the school
- Description of any response action or preventive measures taken to reduce asbestos exposure
- Copy of the analysis of any building, and the name and address of any laboratory that sampled the material
- Name, address, and telephone number of the “AHERA Designated Person” to ensure the duties of the school district or non-profit private school are carried out
- Description of steps taken to inform workers, teachers, and students or their legal guardians about inspections, re-inspections, response actions, and periodic surveillance