Risk Tag

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Risk Insights header image Since March 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has provided emergency exemptions and waivers for regulations to support COVID-19 emergency relief efforts.

The FMCSA has provided waivers and exemptions for hours-of-service rules, preemployment drug testing, driving skills tests, and renewals for commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), commercial learners’ permits (CLPs) and medical certifications. During this time, employers that helped with national emergency efforts and used these waivers or exemptions for their drivers may not have kept up with the documentation necessary for their drivers’ files. It is important for employers to understand that, if they used any of these exemptions or waivers, it should be documented in their drivers’ files, and any paperwork or license updates should be completed as soon as possible.

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The COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring forth a variety of questions for businesses. Employers can take a number of preventive steps to help keep employees safe, but they should also prepare to respond to various situations that can occur in the workplace.

This article provides COVID-19 general business FAQs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These FAQs build on the CDC’s interim guidance for businesses and employers and its guidance for critical infrastructure workers. The CDC’s guidance is intended to supplement—not replace—federal, state and local mandates regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

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News Brief header The National Safety Council (NSC) has released preliminary data showing vehicle fatalities in 2020 increased by 24% compared to 2007 and 8% compared to 2019.

It’s estimated that more than 42,060 people died in vehicle crashes in 2020 across the country. This increase is the highest year-overyear jump the NSC has calculated since 1924. The NSC attributes the fatality increases to drivers speeding and driving more recklessly due to roads being less congested as a result of the pandemic. Drivers also continue to engage in riskier behaviors, such as driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol and failing to wear a seat belt.

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Ransomware attacks—which entail a cybercriminal deploying malicious software to compromise a device (or multiple devices) and demand a large payment be made before restoring the technology for the victim—have become a significant concern for organizations across industry lines.

In fact, the latest research provides that these attacks have increased by nearly 140% in the past year alone, with the median ransom payment demand totaling $178,000 and the average overall loss from such an attack exceeding $1 million.

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On March 12, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) launched a national emphasis program (NEP) for COVID-19.

OSHA establishes NEPs when it identifies a need to focus its resources to address particular hazards and high-hazard industries. This NEP will remain in effect for one year or until OSHA amends or cancels the program.

COVID-19 NEP

Prior OSHA guidance primarily addressed mitigating and limiting the spread of COVID-19. This NEP prioritizes the use of OSHA resources to eliminate and control workplace exposure to COVID-19.

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Office building employers, owners and managers can take proactive measures to create a safe and healthy workplace for employees, clients and other guests.

This article shares COVID-19 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Protect Employees

Employers should consider the following steps to protect their employees and other building visitors, while slowing the spread of COVID-19:

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Risk Insights header image Commercial properties have varying characteristics and a range of fire risks—highlighting the need for sprinkler systems that suit their unique features.

While many properties utilize wet pipe sprinkler systems, which store water within their pipes and distribute it when individual sprinkler heads are activated by exposure to heat, this type of system isn’t a viable option for all buildings. That’s where a dry pipe sprinkler system can help. Instead of water, the system’s pipes are filled with pressurized air or nitrogen. This air keeps a remote valve closed until a fire activates the sprinkler system. After activation, the air exits the pipes—opening the valve and allowing water from the system’s riser to be distributed.

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Risk Insights header image Although small in size, fusible links play a significant role in ensuring the success of various fire suppression fixtures within commercial properties.

Generally speaking, fusible links—which can be connected to fire doors, windows, vents and more—consist of two metal pieces bonded together with a fusible alloy. In the event of a fire, this alloy will melt and the two metal pieces will separate following exposure to high temperatures, thus automatically closing or activating the fixture the link was connected to and promoting adequate fire suppression capabilities. For instance, if a fusible link was connected to a fire door, the separation of the link would ensure the door closes during a fire, blocking flames and smoke from trveling to different areas or fire divisions throughout the affected property.

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Risk Insights header image In the event that a fire occurs at your commercial property, having measures in place to slow the spread of the flames and minimize potential damages is crucial.

That’s where fire doors can help. These doors are specifically designed to withstand the extreme heat of a fire for a period of time, temporarily blocking flames from traveling from one area of a building to another.

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Tens of thousands of organizations around the world using Microsoft’s Exchange Server have been compromised by a cyber campaign suspected to have ties to China.

This campaign exploited software vulnerabilities to seize control of systems and steal data, according to researchers. Security researchers at Volexity first detected the hack in January, according to Microsoft. Volexity has provided a full overview of the technical details on its website. FireEye’s Mandiant also reported evidence that the campaign hit U.S. retailers, local governments, a university and an engineering firm. Cybersecurity blogger Brian Krebs reported at least 30,000 U.S. organizations could be affected, among them being small businesses and municipalities.