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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.

News Brief header Fatalities caused by falls from elevation continue to be a leading cause of death for construction employees.

In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls account for the 30% of fatalities in the construction industry. To raise awareness about falls and to help prevent them, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) created the National Stand-down to Prevent Falls in Construction, which runs May 3-7, 2021.

What Is a Safety Stand-down?

Risk Insights header image The COVID-19 pandemic abruptly forced many people to work at a location other than their normal workplace.

If you are working from home for the first time, getting the correct home workstation setup can be challenging. Your workstation might be a home office, a kitchen table or wherever you can find the necessary space. Unfortunately, it's easy to overlook ergonomics in the home environment. However, by understanding basic home ergonomics and taking small steps, you can positively impact your health and well-being.

Risk Insights header image Shoplifting can become a costly problem for any retailer. According to the National Association for Shoplifting Prevention, over $35 million worth of merchandise gets stolen from retailers each day.

Furthermore, the latest data from the National Retail Federation provides that shoplifting is the leading cause of inventory shrinkage among retail businesses—contributing to 39% of shrinkage concerns.

HR Insights Blog Header Power outages are an unfortunate reality and often strike fast and unexpectedly, leaving employees looking for answers.

Often a result of extreme winter or other severe weather, a power outage can leave a workplace without the heat or lights on, and the impact can extend to employees’ homes—and their personal safety. Employee relations are critical before, during and after a crisis, and HR professionals and leaders can play a pivotal role in helping to protect employees in this time of need. Unfortunately, power outages can create challenges for communicating with employees at the time when information is most critical, so it’s important to prepare accordingly.