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Sunday, July 20, 2014

Why you should think about incorporating CPR training in your workplace

Workplace CPR training
Employee CPR training boosts workplace safety
By Oscar King

Cardiovascular disease is one of the leading causes of death in the US and all over the world. And the scary thing is that a significant number of the heart attacks and cardiac arrests suffered by individuals happen while they’re on the job. There’s nothing worse than an employee suffering a cardiac arrest or a heart attack in the workplace and nothing done to try and save the person on the spot.

While the company could actually call 911 or an EMT service, something needs to be done to keep the individual alive before the EMTs arrive. According to the American Heart Association, over 400,000 cardiac arrest induced deaths occur annually, and over 10% of those happen at the workplace. That’s basically over 40,000 people dying because they didn’t get the required medical help they needed to stay alive and survive the heart attack or cardiac arrest.

To drive the point home, more people die of heart related conditions every 72 hours than all those who died during the 9/11 attacks. The Center for Disease Control says over 600,000 people die of heart diseases yearly – that’s 1 in 4 deaths. These are very distressing numbers. Also equally distressing is the fact that many deskbound workers may not even know they are susceptible until they keel over at their desks, while walking to another office or on their way to lunch. This is where CPR training becomes essential. The reasons for getting your staff the requisite training are numerous, but the most important are as follows:

Boosts workplace health awareness

The first thing about CPR training is that it drives home the awareness that people could be susceptible to heart conditions. Studies and research have shown that organizations that have undergone the appropriate CPR training tend to have more active workers after the training than they did previously. This is because the workers are typically trained on lifestyle habits that’ll keep their hearts in great working condition alongside the requisite techniques needed for the resuscitation of a colleague who has an attack.

Helps workers understand the necessary measures during an emergency

Most workers typically panic or stare in shock when there’s an incidence of a heart attack at the workplace. This is not the right approach. Having CPR training shows the workers what to do immediately after someone suffers a heart attack or a cardiac arrest in the office. So, instead of just dumb shock, a well prepped workforce will be able to clear the room, take immediate action like giving the colleague CPR… all while someone contacts 911 or nearby EMTs. The training helps provide concerted focus and action as opposed to the usual mindless running around, stunned shock and panicking that does nothing for the victim.

Could save lives

The great thing about getting CPR training is the fact that the victim can actually live longer and function fully even after the attack, thanks to the CPR he/she gets on the spot. For instance, in the case of cardiac arrests where the heart has lost its electrical conductive capacity, doing a CPR can help keep the heart beating and keep the blood supply to the victim’s brain steady before the EMTs arrive with paddles or take the person to the hospital. For most victims of cardiac arrests, the first 2-5 minutes are crucial because the heart stops beating and stops circulating blood. And once the blood stops going to the brain, most people suffer some form of brain damage. Some people recover, others don’t. This is one of the reasons the death rate from heart related conditions is often high.

Incorporating a CPR training program into your workplace is both smart and economically beneficial. Get your employees the training today and your staff will be healthier, more productive and live longer.

About the author: Oscar King, when he's not writing articles, works as a safety coordinator for his own workplace - doing what he can to keep people happy and healthy. He recommends that employers that have not done so integrate software solutions to their safety programs, and heartily recommends eCompliance's Health and Safety Management System for that purpose. You can find more examples of his work on Google+.


Image: Rama; CC BY-SA 2.0 FR

What is a release of liability form?

Definition: Release of liability form
Release of liability forms protect businesses
By  David Incorvaia

A release of liability (ROL) form is simply a form that a business uses to communicate to a patron that informs them of the type or types of risks involved in the activity as specifically as possible and declares that the firm will not be responsible for injury resulting from normal activity while the patron visits the location and participates in the activity.  

According to ehow.com the form creates conditions that a “person is declaring that the company or organization that’s running a certain activity will not be held responsible for any injuries that the person sustains while participating.”[1]  There can be two types of forms a legal entity can create and they are known as a general release and a specific release document.  A general release “encompasses all claims that are in existence between the parties and are within their contemplation when release is executed.”[2]  While a specific release is “generally limited to the particular claims specified there in.”[3]

What the ROL covers

It is important to realize that a release of liability form does not cover all injuries and any injuries brought on by negligence may still be required to be covered by the business if the client were to sustain them during the activity.  According to Cornell University’s School of Law negligence is defined as “a failure to behave with the level of care that someone of ordinary prudence would have exercised under the same circumstances. The behavior usually consists of actions, but can also consist of omissions when there is some duty to act (e.g. a duty to help victims of one’s previous conduct)”[4]. 

So for instance if the business were to fail to perform a specific required maintenance on equipment that the patron were then to injure themselves on while they were performing the specified activity previously established in the ROL; the liability form’s validity could then be called into question and the business may still have to maintain responsibility for the patron’s injuries. This could result into a possible payout to the patron for the injuries sustained.

Releases may also be set aside if any “innocent misrepresentation that is relied upon by the release justifies setting aside a release induced by it,”[5] or if any “fraudulent representation made by the releasee.”[6]  For example if the company creates a fraudulent claim and places it on the release of liability form the client would then have justifiable grounds to prove that the release was invalid, which again would place the company responsible.

Who needs to sign

Another article to consider in maintaining the validity of your company’s ROL form is making sure the right parties have signed the form correctly.  Each person walking through your door that wants to participate in the activity that your company has specified in the document must sign their own individual ROL. “The person signing a liability release form can only sign away their own rights, each person who might sue you needs to sign a liability release.”[7]  Do not forget that “children (minors, persons under 18 years of age) can’t sign away their legal rights.  So having a child sign a liability release does absolutely no good.”[8]  A legal guardian or parent however can sign for them in their place which will then create a legally bonding document. 


Maintaining good records helps protect the company and the individual patron should an incident occur, and luckily you will only need to draft one ROL document, so once it is drafted multiple copies can be printed to use for each client.  If the company were to amend the contract a new signature would be required for each patron prior to their participation even if they signed an old contract. ROL documents provide protection for businesses and are an important, simple tool to understand and implement in daily operations.

[1] http://www.ehow.com/about_6129049_meaning-release-liability-assumption-risk_.html
[2] www.legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/release
[3] Ibid
[4] www.law.cornell.eud/wex/negligence
[5] www.legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/release
[6] Ibid
[7] www.equinelegalsolutions.com/whatmakesaliabilityreleaseenforceable.html
[8] Ibid

About the author: David Incorvaia is originally from Orlando, Florida but currently resides in Tallahassee. He has recently graduated from FSU School of Law and is presently set to take the Florida bar exam. For the time being, he recommends that those seeking legal representation for personal injuries in the Orlando area pay a visit to Heil-Law.com.

Image: Brian Turner; CC BY 2.0
"My Trusty Gavel"

Pros and cons of companies using coupons for marketing

Benefits of business coupons
Coupon branding affects business marketing
Businesses want to attract a large crowd of paper into their store or to their website. While it takes great products, amazing prices and customer loyalty to develop a winning and successful brand, it also requires you to give the consumer more than the other guys.

There is a lot of competition out there, and you must prove that your company is worthy of their time to be a success. One method that most companies use to attract customers is coupons.

A coupon entices the customer to shop, but it also reduces the profit that will be earned on that particular item. Yes, both pros and cons of coupon usage by companies exist, and here we will shed light on a few of the pros and cons.

Pros of company coupon use

One of the biggest advantages of using coupons is that they attract the customer your way. According to research, approximately 85% of all shoppers use coupons when they shop. Deals have a special way of catching the eye, so you can ensure that the use of the coupon sparks a great deal of interest in what you have to offer. The coupons even insinuate the return of the customer, especially if you are constructing things the right way.

Even when customers are redeeming coupons, your business isn’t likely to lose money. In fact, once the customer is inside of your store or on your website, they are likely to spend far more than what their coupon is offering. So, it is a gimmick that can win for both of you if the right strategies are in place.

Coupons are great to help advertise a new product or service being offered by the company. What better way to help customers get acquainted with what is being offered than with an offer that also saves the money?

At the same time, coupons can also help promote products that aren’t selling very well in the store. While a customer may be unwilling to spend X amount of dollars on the item, with a 25% discount coupon, the price may be just what they need to make that purchase. This is a trick that so many businesses use, and it just happens to be one that works very well in most situations.

Coupons make it easy to measure and analyze your sales. The coupons are considered to be one of the most accountable methods of advertising today. What does this mean to your business? It means that you can see exactly where customers are spending their money, the price they are willing to spend for a product and so much more.

Cons of using coupons

There are also a few negative aspects associated with the use of coupons by business owners. It is imperative that the negative aspects of things be taken into consideration just as the positive. Let’s take a look at some of the negative points of using coupons as a business owner.

One of the biggest considerations that a company needs to consider when deciding to use coupons is whether or not it will impact their business in a manner that requires the use of coupons and sales to get customers in the door. While you want to always have a great deal for the consumer to take advantage of, you do not want this to be the one and only reason they visit your store.

Coupons can also hurt the image of some businesses. Some people do not view coupons as a way to save money, rather than a cheap gimmick. Consider the reputation of the business that you operate to determine whether or not coupons will reflect this negative image rather than a positive image.

As you can see there are far more advantages of using coupons than disadvantages. As a business owner it is up to you to decide whether or not coupons should be used at your facility. However, for the most part, coupons are a great form of marketing that almost all businesses can use to benefit greatly.

Consider both the pros and the cons of coupon use with your company, and then decide. Chances are you will love what coupons can do for your company.

Image license: Dmdonahoo; CC BY 2.0

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Are metro card advertisements good for business?

Municipal transportation authority revenue sources
Metro card ads are viewed before, during and after transit
Metropolitan transit authorities often use advertising to generate operating revenue. However, in many cases, most of this revenue is derived from billboards, vehicle advertisements and within transit stations.

The extension of advertising to mass transit fare cards aims to provide an additional source of income for financially strained transit authorities, and also seeks to channel increased business to advertisers. Yet, studies and data pertaining to the effectiveness of such marketing is questionable.

Several factors negatively impact the usefulness of mass transit fare cards. Research conducted by the Transportation Research Board led it to findings that state transit advertising, “lacks credibility, relevance and distinctiveness in today's advertising market.” This is partly because transit advertising is broad and mostly un-targeted. However, ineffective design and delivery of ads is also a reported problem per the TRB.

Ridership engagement is also a pertinent factor in the effectiveness of ads on mass transit fare cards. More specifically, a research study released by the Kellogg School of Management, and  designed to gauge the effectiveness of transportation advertising, found the level of passenger involvement with an activity to affect the usefulness of advertising. Moreover, individuals who were less engaged in an alternate activity such as in-depth reading and intermittent access to smartphone signals were found to have a more favorable perception of advertising presented to them. The broad use of metro cards and the brevity with which they are viewed are an additional obstacle for targeted marketing campaigns.

Despite a relatively low appeal to advertisers, transit authorities have earned increased revenue from fare card ads. For example, by 1998, just one year after the New York City metro card advertising debut, the Metropolitan Transit Authority had earned $400,000 in fare card advertising fees per Advertising Age. By 2011, this amount declined to between $16,000 - $165,000 per year according to AM New York.

Advertising revenue is also typically a small fraction of metropolitan transit revenue. Furthermore, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority reported just 2.2 percent of its 2011 revenue from all its advertising sources including fare cards. Similarly, no more than four percent of operating revenue is attributable to advertising via the Metropolitan Transit Authority of New York per the National Transit Database.
Pros and cons of metro card advertising
Public transit ridership is correlated to employment levels

Innovative use of ads on mass transit fare cards is one way to improve the benefits of advertising for sponsors. For instance, according to the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority, exclusive fare card advertising combined with coupon incentives via the ads “solidifies a stronghold within the tourism market.” Additionally, the findings from the TRB suggest improved media planning services and advertising sales representation would help steer advertisers away from a perception of low-quality service.

Image: Eyone; "MTA MetroCard"; CC BY-SA 2.5; 2. US-PDGov