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By: Pauline Handy – V.F. McNeil Insurance

A good number of us go through life thinking, “I’m careful, I’ve got my bases covered, that will never happen to me.”  Well folks, speaking from experience, I can honestly say that even the most conscientious people should be prepared for the unexpected.  I’ll get to my story of why in just a moment.    

First, I certainly want everyone to know that I truly wish you all a safe, healthy, and prosperous life.  However, my wishes are not enough to have your back.  Life can sometimes throw you a curveball and you must be ready for it.  Now I‘ll share my curveball, one that I couldn’t have seen coming.  Thankfully the ending was good, but there are a few takeaways here.

I Love My Home

I must say, I love my home’s location.  It sits up on a ridge with a lovely view of a popular hiking mountain in town.  The first thing I see when I go to the kitchen for coffee is the sunrise over the horizon that beams in through my huge picture window in the dining area.  It looks like something heavenly and makes me smile every morning.  Evenings are beautiful too.  The moon, especially when it’s full, is gorgeous over that same horizon as it lights up the sky and shows off the silhouette of the mountain top.  I would be devastated if anything ever happened to this place I call home.

A Close Call

When we first moved in to our home seventeen years ago, we had a close call with a dining room fire that could have burned our entire house down.  As novice homeowners, we discovered after the fact that two of our fire alarms were not even working.  Thankfully for us and our home, my mommy-senses were working at 4 am the morning I heard a loud crackling noise that didn’t sound right.  I got up to check it out and discovered that the old, dingy, air conditioning unit in the wall had caught fire.  We got the kids out in time, called the fire department, and the fire was extinguished.  We were lucky.  
It was a scary experience.  We replaced every fire alarm and reviewed every other fire safety tip we could get our hands on; and thankfully the cavalry (our homeowner’s insurance) came to the rescue for the damages.  Since then, we’ve not had another fire-related scare.  Well, until recently that is.  

Where Is That Smoke Smell Coming From?

Cyber Insurance
Essential Components of a Good Cybersecurity Strategy

Cybercrimes in Headlines

Why are Cybercrimes so frequently in the headlines?  Simply because they are one of the fastest growing threats to businesses, their clients, and their employees.  As cybercrimes increase in frequency, sophistication and variety it’s more important than ever for business owners to be educated and be aware of how to protect themselves, their business, their clients, and their employees.  
What Type of Business Is at Risk?

Standing Desks, Stand-up Desks

In case you didn’t know, a standing desk, aka a stand-up desk, is a desk that can easily convert to a working platform that allows you to alternate between sitting and standing throughout the workday. In some organizations they’ve become increasingly popular. But, are they truly a benefit? 

We’ve been curious for some time about this but found that research seemed to be in the early stages and feedback about the benefits vs. the drawbacks was not quite clear or definitive.

Our Pioneers Share Their Experience

Therefore, two of our employees opted to trial the stand-up desk to provide feedback to the local business community in the event it may be a consideration in your place of business. 

These employees volunteered to do so because each employee, both considered to be physically active, reported that sitting all day was often difficult and was making them feel lethargic during the afternoon.  

“When you are used to being a very physically active person on nights and weekends, an 8-hour sit can really cause a crash in your energy level,” commented Pauline Handy, Marketing Director at V.F. McNeil. Also, Handy, top right, was experiencing a moderate, lower back pain in the tailbone area, which she noticed was only happening during the work week after long periods of sitting. 

Although we cannot offer any specific medical proof that the stand-up desk improves overall health, we can provide feedback from these two employees who have reported their experience of each using two, height-adjustable work desks since the summer of 2018.

Pro: Beating the Afternoon Crash

Distracted Driving
Some Important Facts
According to the 2017 Travelers Risk Index, it was indicated that 30% of all businesses worry “a great deal” or “some” about distracted driving putting their companys at risk.  Yet, the data also showed that 27% of employees who drive in the course of their work day reported that their boss has called and/or texted even though their bosses knew they were driving.*  

The other key fact to note is that only 27% of employers reported having a formal distracted driving policy in place that is regularly communicated and enforced with consequences.  According to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Hazard Association), more workers are killed every year in motor vehicle crashes than any other cause.  Business owners and managers can help to reduce these occurrences by constructing, implementing, and enforcing a distracted driving policy for their businesses.       


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