Combat anxiety with exercise

Did you know that anxiety symptoms improve with exercise?

With life having changed dramatically, particularly in NSW now, it is important now more than ever to keep active. Exercise plays a key role in managing the symptoms of anxiety.

Through exercise and movement, you are helping to combat anxiety by stimulating the feel-good hormones: dopamine, endorphins, and positive mood states.

Below are some tips to help you get started:

  • Small is better than not at all – adding modest amounts of physical activity to your weekly routine can make a big difference in reducing stress, improving memory, and boosting your overall mood.
  • Add variety to how you exercise – change your exercise routine to help keep it enjoyable. This also helps to prevent overuse injuries and benefits different body systems.
  • Move mindfully – the natural regular rhythm associated with exercising helps create a calmer and more positive mood state. Mindfulness practices through exercise can help us increase our ability to regulate our emotions, decrease stress, anxiety, and depression. 
  • Exercise to connect – this one needs to be done in accordance with the government advice in your local area. However, human connection whether it be with a friend, family member, or work colleague can calm and soothe the nervous system and ameliorate depression.

It is so important to look after your mental health and ensure your employees are doing the same. If we can be of any assistance in this area or if you simply just want to have a chat, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team on (02) 9587 3500 or email your account manager.

Original article source: MyFitness Passport

Cybercriminals targeting building & construction companies

BUSINESS EMAIL COMPROMISE SCAMS ON THE RISE

The Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) has seen a growing trend of cyber attacks affecting construction companies and their customers. In the past six months there has been an increase in cybercriminals targeting builders and construction companies to conduct business email compromise (BEC) scams within Australia.

According to the ACSC, in a BEC scam, cybercriminals will send fraudulent emails posing as a legitimate business. These emails typically target the customers of the business and will ask them to change bank account details for future invoice payments. Victims assume this request is legitimate and will then send invoice payments to a bank account operated by the scammer.

These fraudulent emails may come from hacked email accounts, or cybercriminals might register domain names that are similar to legitimate companies (typically by swapping letters or adding additional characters). At a quick glance, an email address may look legitimate when it is actually being operated by a cybercriminal.

Successful BECs may go unnoticed for weeks or months until the construction company follows up on missing payments.

All parties to construction projects should be vigilant when communicating by email, particularly when discussing bank account details or invoicing.

If you need help in any of these areas, or you have any questions with regards to Cyber insurance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team on (02) 9587 3500 or email your account manager.

Original article source: https://www.cyber.gov.au/acsc/view-all-content/alerts/cybercriminals-targeting-construction-companies-conduct-email-scams

Cyber premiums on the rise

cyber premiums on the rise

Similarly to what we saw happen with D&O cover, we are now seeing more challenging market conditions in the Cyberspace as a result of an increased number of cyber attacks against businesses – particularly the rise in ransomware.

We sat down with Gerry Power from Emergence Insurance who are a specialist insurer in Cyber. He suggested some additional claims trends in the cyberspace:

  • There is an increased severity of ransomware attacks.
  • Business email compromise – employees are getting tricked into clicking on phishing emails, clicking links and opening attachments.
  • Exfiltration of the data – criminals are selling the data. 
  • Cyber theft – for example, fraudulent invoices are being created and companies are paying them
  • Social engineering – where people are being tricked into giving up confidential information.

In order to combat this challenging market and present your business in the best light to the insurers, it is important that businesses manage their risks. Some of the things businesses can do are:

  • Multi-factor authentication – this introduces another level of complexity to an organisation.
  • Disable legacy systems.
  • Regular backups – keep these off-site. This assists incident responders in the event of a breach.
  • Train employees on what to do in response to a suspicious email or pop up.
  • Keep your systems up to date.
  • Implement a two person sign off procedure.

If you need help in any of these areas, or you have any questions with regards to Cyber insurance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team on (02) 9587 3500 or email your account manager.

Clean air. Clean Lungs.

CLEAN AIR. CLEAN LUNGS.

NOT ALL HAZARDS IN THE WORKPLACE ARE VISIBLE

Work processes can release invisible dusts, gases, fumes, vapours, mists and microorganisms into the air.

The air you, your workers and others breathe at work can be hazardous and cause damage to your health. It’s important to understand the hazards at your workplace – whether it’s a construction site, a factory, on a farm or if you work with engineered stone. Your workers may be at risk of developing occupational lung disease.

Occupational lung diseases are conditions of the respiratory system caused by workplace exposure to hazardous chemicals and dusts. 

Types of occupational lung diseases

Pneumoconiosis is lung disease that is caused by breathing in certain types of dust. Commons types are:

  • dust with aluminium (aluminosis)
  • asbestos (asbestosis)
  • dusts or vapours with beryllium (berylliosis, also called chronic beryllium disease)
  • cotton dust (byssinosis)
  • coal dust (coal workers’ pneumoconiosis, sometimes called ‘black lung’)
  • dusts of hard metals such as tungsten, tungsten carbide and cobalt (hard metal pneumoconiosis, also called hard metal lung disease)
  • crystalline silica (silicosis)
  • talc dust (talcosis)

Other lung diseases can be caused by breathing in:

  • asbestos or wood dust (mesothelioma and other cancers)
  • some chemicals or allergens, like pollen (asthma), some gases or fumes (chronic bronchitis or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD))
  • exposure to the Coxiella burnetii bacteria in contaminated dusts and aerosols (Q fever)

FOUR KEY INDUSTRIES MOST AT RISK

  • Manufacturing workers can be exposed to hazards in the air that are invisible to the naked eye, such as fumes and dust.
  • Construction workers can be exposed to hazards like dust from concrete and fumes from welding.
  • Engineered stone workers can be exposed to silica dust in all parts of their work process – from preparing and working on the slab, to cleaning up the workplace and disposing of waste.
  • Agricultural workers can be exposed to a range of hazards in the air, such as pesticides, chemicals, and fuels.

WHAT CAN YOU DO AS AN EMPLOYER?

Ensure that as an employer, you regularly:

  • Identify hazards and assess risks
  • Manage risks
  • Monitor and review

If you need help in any of these areas, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team on (02) 9587 3500 or email your account manager. Together, we can help ensure #cleanair and #cleanlungs for your employees.

Original source: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/clearlungs

VIC Legislation changes for Provisional Payments

An overview of the legislative changes regarding Provisional Payments for psychological injury:

  • The changes are being brought in, in response to a trend developing that suggests 1 third of all claims will be primary psychological by 2030.
  • Victorian Scheme Agents will now be required to make provisional payments for ‘Reasonable and Necessary’ treatment expenses (not wage payments) for up to 13 weeks where a primary, secondary or concurrent psychological injury is claimed by an injured person.
  • These provisional payments will be made until the claim is accepted (at which point they no longer become provisional) or disputed.
  • In the instance where provisional payments are made for psychological treatment and the psychological injury is subsequently declined by the agent, those costs will not be considered in premium calculation for the employer.
  • The scheme agent stance, in accordance with the legislation, a worker is entitled unless determined otherwise (i.e. disputed).
  • Claims determination and provisional payments are to be treated as distinctly different streams. For example, if a primary physical injury is declined and secondary psychological treatment is requested through provisional payment; those provisional payments for psychological treatment can still be claimed up to a maximum of 13 weeks.
  • WorkSafe VIC have developed some internal processes to cross-check and validate claims to ensure workers are not duplicate claiming for provisional payments on their claims.
  • In the instance where a claim is ‘withdrawn’; entitlement to provisional payments are also withdrawn.
  • An employer will not be required to pay the medical excess (currently $735) on provisional payments. This will be handled by the scheme agent directly.
  • The timeframes for lodging a claim remain the same; a worker is required to submit the completed claim form within 3 business days from the date of injury (early notification) and an employer has 10 calendar days to send the completed claim form in full along with any supplementary material regarding the claim. The scheme agent has 28 days to determine liability from the date on which they receive the signed claim form from the employer.
  • Even where a psychological injury arises from a Management Action (Section 40 of Victorian Workers Compensation Act), provisional payments are still required.
  • Provisional Payments can be requested at any point throughout the claims lifecycle up to a maximum of 13 weeks.
  • The costs associated with Provisional Payments are still expected to be in line with the gazetted ‘Schedule of Fees’. Where a worker makes payment for costs above the gazetted rate, they will be out of pocket for the gap between capped rate and billed rate.

For more information please contact us on (02) 9587 3500 or email your account manager.

Audit Insurance

How to prepare yourself for the current wave of ATO audits and reviews

We’ve heard from Industry Experts Kelly & Partners on the hot topic of how to prepare yourself for the current wave of ATO audits and reviews…

The ATO definitely plans to be more active in 2021 and increase its audit activity. In October 2020 the ATO commenced its “Next 5,000” streamlined assurance review program, which specifically targets private groups connected to individuals with wealth of more than A$50 million.

Ultimately the ATO uses a variety of strategies to determine who to review, one of those being your approach to tax risk.

What this means for you?

One of the ways you can manage your risk and prepare yourself for an ATO audit or review is through Audit Insurance which is outlined below:

Audit insurance

We all know the saying that taxes and death are certain. If you are a high net worth taxpayer, you can add a tax audit to that list. Addressing ATO reviews and audits takes time and money. Even if the ATO does not find any issues when reviewing your tax affairs, you still need to answer their queries as comprehensively as possible. This takes time and money – expect a bill north of $10,000 to address an ATO review where no issues are found.

Having audit insurance to cover ATO reviews will help cover these costs that you will inevitably incur.

Just remember, the time to act on this is now. You need to have this insurance in place before you get selected to be audited.

Contact us today to find out more on (02) 9587 3500 or theteam@wsib.com.au.

Is Your Workplace too Noisy?

NOISE IN THE WORKPLACE

Hearing loss can be very socially isolating.  As employers, you are required to address noisy working environments by reviewing the sound levels, worker exposure times and providing hearing checks for those workers exposed to excessive noise levels.  The SafeWork Authority has extended an exemption to employers till 31st December 2021 to implement a hearing conservation program, including hearing checks for those workers exposed to excessive noise.  This is something we can organise for you through Saunders Safety and Training.

Some examples of workers who might be affected by hearing loss are: workers who are rostered to work at a Disco, dance party, DJ events or other noisy events.  Too much noise at work can lead to temporary or permanent hearing loss, or tinnitus – ringing in the ears. The damage can occur gradually, from extended exposure to noise or immediately, from exposure to a sudden explosive sound.

What is considered noisy? 
SafeWork NSW states exposure to noise above 85 decibels (dB) when averaged over 8 hours increases the risk of permanent hearing loss.  Every 3dB increase after this doubles the risk of hearing loss.

What can you do?  
Workers who are exposed to excessive workplace noise require protection under the WHS Act 2011.  Make sure the noise a worker is exposed to at the workplace doesn’t exceed the exposure standard for noise.  Provide audiometric testing to a worker who is frequently required to use personal hearing protectors to protect them from hearing loss associated with noise that exceeds the exposure standard.

Engineering Controls
Reduce the volume, e.g:

  • Install noise limiters or compressors either within the sound system or externally.  There are two main types of noise limiters:
    • microphone controlled;
    • electronic in-circuit devices.
  • Enclose or partition off the Bar area with glass or Perspex;
  • Mount noisy or vibrating floor standing machinery and equipment on rubber pads to reduce vibration noise;
  • Install flexible acoustic screens or curtains of sound absorbent material to reduce the exposure to noise from particular loud sources, e.g.: as a sound partition.

Administrative controls and personal protective equipment (PPE) are the least effective and the least reliable controls and must only be used for any leftover risk that cannot be controlled by the above engineering controls.  Administrative controls and the use of PPE rely solely on human behaviour and require constant supervision.

For more information please click on the links below which will direct you to the Safework NSW website or contact us on (02) 9587 3500 to find out how we can help you through the services of Saunders Safety and Training.

SAFE WORK NSW – Noise Article
SAFE WORK NSW – Controlling Hazardous Noise in the Workplace Article

WSIB - NOISE THERMOMETER - Final

Prestige Home Insurance

IS YOUR FAMILY'S MOST VALUED POSSESSION COVERED WITH THE LEVEL OF PRESTIGE INSURANCE IT DESERVES?

Bushfire, storm and flood season is still very much upon us therefore it is an important time to ensure your home and valuables are sufficiently protected.

If you live in a prestige home we would like to inform you of the Chubb Masterpiece product. This policy is tailored for individuals and families with significant assets who appreciate premium levels of cover and service.

Click on the link below to download the product brochure:

CHUBB MASTERPIECE BROCHURE

Contact us to find out more about this great product on (02) 9587 3500 and ask for Robyn (robynh@wsib.com.au) or Paige (paigeb@wsib.com.au) or theteam@wsib.com.au.

Prize Indemnity Insurance

PRIZE INDEMNITY INSURANCE

Do you want to encourage more patrons through the doors of your business?

We can help you come up with fun and engaging ways to attract more patrons into your premises through prize promotion.

By engaging in prize indemnity insurance, this gives you the ability to offer special contests and promotions with attractive prizes like cars, holidays, and even cash, while transferring the risk of the prize to an insurer.

Some of the benefits include…

  • Increase sales
  • Generate revenue
  • Customer rewards/loyalty
  • A way to drive membership
  • Fundraising

Some examples of when to run a promotion…

  • Sporting related events eg. State of Origin, Australian Open
  • Mothers Day
  • Easter
  • Christmas
  • Father’s Day
  • Australia Day

Case Study – City Tattersalls Club – 125 Reasons

City Tattersalls Club gave their customers the chance to win a major prize of $125k, $50k or $12.5k.

The Results

Wednesday’s

In comparison to the Wednesday average turnover for the 16 weeks prior to the promotion, the promotional period recorded an increase of 24.7%.

Friday’s

In comparison to the Friday average turnover for the 16 weeks prior to the promotion, the promotional period recorded an increase of 56.87%.

Contact us to find out more about this and how we can help you come up with fun and engaging ways to attract more patrons through your doors – (02) 9587 3500 or theteam@wsib.com.au

icare proposes NSW Workers Compensation premium rate increases

icare proposes NSW Workers Compensation premium rate increases

NSW Workers Compensation insurer (icare) has advised an expected premium increase of 2.9% at a Scheme level for 2021-2022, and a further 2.9% increase for 2022-2023. For employers within the Loss Prevention & Recovery (LPR) scheme, it is anticipated that there will be a 5% increase to the adjustment rates for 2021-2022, and that the ESI will remain and at 7.5%.

Please see icare’s media release with further information below:
https://www.icare.nsw.gov.au/news-and-stories/workers-compensation-premiums-adjust-to-future-risks

 

Please note that whilst this has only been proposed to the Insurance Regulator (SIRA), we expect that it will be approved and if so, may result in a premium increase to you. We will keep you informed of developments however should you have any immediate concerns please do not hesitate to contact your account manager or the office on (02) 9587 3500, or email us at theteam@wsib.com.au