November 2018 E-News: New OSHA Deadline for Fall Protection, Agency News, Texas Trivia, Recipe of the Month & More!



November_2018

New OSHA Deadline for Fall Protection

Slips, trips, and falls are some of the leading causes of workplace injuries. They account for 20% of all workplace fatalities, disabling injuries and days away from work in general industry.

The injuries and risks are so common that 4 of the top 10 most cited standards by OSHA are related to fall prevention. With that in mind, you should be aware of changes to OSHA regulations that take effect Nov. 19, 2018. The changes are part of a larger rewriting of the general industry walking-working surfaces standards that took effect in 2017.

Specifically, those rewritten standards:

  • Clarified definitions
  • Eliminated overly specific application conditions
  • Better organized the requirements
  • Simplified general requirements
  • Aligned more closely with the construction standard, and
  • Gave flexibility to use personal fall protection systems in lieu of guardrail systems.

The Fixed Ladders Provision
That said, one area that was left for later implementation was standards for fixed ladders. Under the revised standard, cages or wells for fall protection on fixed ladders higher than 24′ are no longer acceptable. However, there are grandfathered provisions and a phase-in period for the new provisions:

  • Fixed ladder systems installed before November 19, 2018 must have a cage, well, ladder safety system or personal fall arrest system
  • Fixed ladder systems installed on or after November 19, 2018 must be equipped with a personal fall arrest system or ladder safety system (cages or wells for fall protection are no longer acceptable).
  • When any portion of a fixed ladder is replaced, the replacement must be equipped with a ladder safety or personal fall arrest system.


What’s Happening on the Ground
OSHA takes the risks of slips, trips, and falls seriously and continues to focus on some of the most overlooked areas that contribute to these incidents. The most cited citations in OSHA’s 2017 fiscal year were for general requirements violations, including housekeeping violations (291 citations), followed by 122 citations for clean and dry floors, and 53 citations for walkways free from hazards.

The second-most common citation was for failure to protect against fall hazards along unprotected sides or edges that are at least 4’ above a lower level, including:

  • 205 citations for unprotected sides and edges
  • 55 citations for fall protection stairways
  • 49 citations for falls – holes
  • 26 citations for falls around dangerous equipment


The Takeaway
OSHA continues to police slip, trip, and fall violations with gusto. Based on the statistics, you should make sure to keep work areas and floors clear of obstructions and slip and fall risks. You should also make sure you have protections in place to avoid any unprotected sides and edges.

We Are Here for You!

Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. is your trusted advocate. As an independent insurance agency, TXINS represents a wide network of A-rated insurance companies, which allows us to find the best insurance policy to fit your needs and budget. We don’t believe in cookie cutter policies and will customize a plan specifically for you. Your overall satisfaction is our top priority.

TXINS offers complimentary insurance reviews to ensure you are getting the right coverage for yourself, your family, or your business. To schedule your review, contact us today at 800-541-9849 or via email. Together, we will ensure you are protecting what matters most.

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AGENCY NEWS
  • Traditions Insurance Services will hold a Pasture, Range & Forage policy seminar at the Santa Fe Steakhouse in Giddings, TX on Nov. 1 at 6:00 p.m. We invite the community to attend. Dinner will be served. Please contact us at (800) 541-9849 to RSVP.
  • Happy November birthday to Brooke Miller! We hope you enjoy your special day!
  • Happy November work anniversary to the following TXINS staffers: Marcy Diaz-2 years and David Green-2 years. We are thankful you are a part of the TXINS team!
  • Congratulations to Rey Legett and Cynthia Riha for winning October’s Texas Trivia Contest. We hope y’all enjoy your free Whataburger gift card! Don’t miss your chance to win a $5 Whataburger gift card in our Texas Trivia contest….check out this month’s question below!

Janet Corson welcomed new grandson, Jeremiah Wayne Moses, on October 13. The TXINS team made sure she was ready with a Grandmother’s Shower full of baby “must haves”. Janet is pictured here with her son Jared Moses, who joined in on the baby shower fun. 
On Oct. 15-18, Celeste Socha attended AppliedNet 2018, hosted by Applied Systems, the TXINS Management System. Celeste learned all about the new features soon to be coming out and took several classes to better utilize the system. The conference was held at the Gaylord Hotel in Nashville, TN. While there, Celeste was able to get in a little sightseeing at the Grand Ole Opry.
TXINS agents Allison Silvas and Amber McDonald attended the Central Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce Business Expo on Oct. 22. Kristen Weiss was the lucky winner of the ever popular “Guess How Many” giveaway. Congrats, Kristen! 
Yvette Smith celebrated her 4th work anniversary in October. Congratulations, Yvette! We are happy you are a part of the TXINS team!

Tips to Save Money on Medications

The cost of medications can vary greatly between pharmacies. Consumer Reports recently surveyed pharmacies to price out five popular generic prescription drugs. Here are the results:

  • Healthwarehouse.com: $66
  • Costco:  $150
  • Various independents: $107
  • Sam’s Club: $153
  • Walmart: $518
  • Kmart: $535
  • Grocery stores: $565
  • Walgreens: $752
  • Rite Aid: $866
  • CVS/Target: $928

To maximize your cost savings, Consumer Reports recommends that consumers:

  • Use online discounts. There are a number of websites that provide discount coupons or vouchers for medications, including:
    GoodRx
    Blink Health
    WeRx.org

On these sites, enter the name of the drug you wish to purchase, the dosage and quantity needed, and where you live. It will provide coupons or vouchers and identify the pharmacies where you can use them.

  • Expand your shopping horizons. Shopping around combined with using coupons could save you hundreds of dollars each year. Also check out local warehouse discount stores like Costco’s and Sam’s Club’s pharmacies. The best deals are often found at those pharmacies. Neighborhood pharmacies and grocery store pharmacies were also much cheaper than the large regional drugstore chains.
  • Ask pharmacies if they will honor online coupons. Pharmacies will almost always honor them, though you might have to be persistent in getting the pharmacies to use them, since pharmacies often run prescriptions through insurance automatically, even when paying the retail cash price and using discount coupons would cost less.

One last thing
Consumer Reports recommends that once you find a pharmacy consistently giving you a good deal on your medication, it is a good idea to fill all of your prescriptions there. That way, it’s easier for them to spot “potentially dangerous interactions and other safety concerns.”

If you begin to notice your pharmacy bills rising noticeably, it may be time to start shopping around again. To stay on top of this requires regular checks to make sure you are not seeing prices creep up.

 

chicken-and-rice-casserole

Recipe of the Month:
Easy Chicken and Rice Casserole

Author: Delish.com
Prep Time: 10 min  |  Cook Time: 1 hr. 40 min
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for baking dish
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 c.white rice
  • 1large onion, chopped
  • 2 c.low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2(10.5-oz.) cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 3large bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 tbsp.butter, melted
  • 2 tsp.fresh thyme
  • 1clove garlic, finely minced 
  • 1 tbsp.Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350° and grease a 9″-x-13″ baking dish with oil. Add rice, onion, broth, and soup and stir until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Place chicken thighs in rice mixture and brush with melted butter. Sprinkle with thyme and garlic and season with salt and pepper.

3. Cover dish with foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake 30 minutes more, until rice is cooked and chicken is golden.

4. Garnish with parsley before serving.

 

padre-island

Texas Trivia

For almost its entire existence, Padre Island has remained an undeveloped wilderness. Because the National Seashore strives to preserve the island in its natural state, visiting “la Isla Blanca” is very much like stepping back into the past. Visitors can see Padre Island as it has existed throughout most of its history and how it was described by early explorers.

The first permanent settlement on the island was located on the island’s southern tip. This area was established around 1804 by a Spanish priest, Padre Nicolas Balli, after whom the island is named. Prior to then, the only people known to have inhabited the island were nomadic Native Americans, Spanish troops or ships, and the survivors of three shipwrecks on the island’s shore in 1554.

From WWII to the Korean War, the northern section of Padre Island was used as a Navy bombing range.  What year was the bombing range decommissioned? Email us your answer. If you are one of the first three people to answer correctly, you’ll win a $5 Whataburger gift card! 

Show Your Spirit, Texas!

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Congratulations to Patsy Junot of El Campo, TX for being our October Referral Program winner. Thank you for your referrals, Patsy!
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2018_referral_program

From our customers…

“My regular agent was out of the office so another TXINS representative handled my call as if I was one of her own clients.  Very much appreciated!”
Quince Och – Katy, TX

Texas Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. is proud to be an independent Trusted Choice Agent. We provide our clients with a choice of companies, offer complete customization of policies, and advocate on our clients’ behalf to ensure each receives quality service and quality product. We are committed to providing competitive pricing and unparalleled customer service. You have our word on it.

 

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