NSC Urges Organizations to Invest in Worker Sleep Health

As most parts of the country prepare to turn clocks ahead one hour this weekend, the National Safety Council is cautioning employers that workers in certain positions and industries who already have a higher risk of being drowsy may be even more tired than usual on Monday.

Shift workers, medical staff, emergency responders, military personnel, workers older than 40 and transportation professionals – especially those who work rotating or night shifts – always are at increased risk for circadian misalignment, which occurs when we force ourselves to stay awake at hours when our bodies believe we should be sleeping, according to a new report from NSC.

Research shows that fatal motor vehicle crashes increase on the Monday following the time change, the report states.
Continue reading “NSC Urges Organizations to Invest in Worker Sleep Health”

How to Make Healthy Habits Stick

Healthy choices can have a dramatic effect on your life.  Indeed, healthy habits like eating fruits and vegetables and getting regular exercise not only makes you feel better, but they can also reduce your risk for the most common and preventable health problems—such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.

Maybe you’ve already tried to eat better, get more exercise or sleep, quit smoking, or reduce stress. It’s not always easy. However, research shows that change is possible, and there are proven strategies you can use to set yourself up for success.

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Prescription Opioid Risks to the Workplace Explored at RIMS 2018

When the White House declared opioid use a national Public Health Emergency under federal law in 2017, businesses began reviewing their policies and making efforts to curb their employees’ abuse of the drug in its prescribed form. This escalating risk to organizations is why the business impact of prescription opioid use was such a hot topic at RIMS 2018, where a session on April 17 focused on the practical and bottom-line costs of workforce use of prescription opioids. In a session the next day, attendees learned how liability policies are responding to government-led lawsuits against opioid manufacturers, and how to prepare for similar suits brought against other industries. Continue reading “Prescription Opioid Risks to the Workplace Explored at RIMS 2018”

Four Ways to Prepare for Another Active Hurricane Season

Hurricanes Harvey, Maria, and Irma all had substantial effects on the US and Caribbean in 2017 and now rank among the top five costliest on record, according to the National Hurricane Center (NHC). With the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecasting a similarly active 2018 hurricane season, businesses must take steps now to prepare.

What We Learned in 2017

The sheer number of devastating storms, along with simultaneous earthquakes and wildfires, challenged organizations, their employees, insurers, claims adjusters and consultants, governments, utilities, vendors, and suppliers in 2017. Obtaining qualified expertise, equipment, labor, power, and fuel proved difficult for many organizations without adequate and tested risk management and business continuity plans. Companies also experienced delays in loss assessments, reporting, claims filing, and funds distribution.

Some of the delay was attributable to the varied terms and conditions in insurance policies, which had not been fully vetted prior to sustained losses and were open to interpretation by insureds, insurers, and legal counsel.

If you could be affected by this year’s hurricanes, whether you are located in US regions prone to storms or reliant on suppliers and vendors in such regions, you should consider taking the following preparatory steps. Continue reading “Four Ways to Prepare for Another Active Hurricane Season”

Four Connected Car Challenges Facing the Auto Industry

The future of the automotive world is currently focused around connected vehicles. A connected vehicle is equipped with access to the internet. This allows the vehicle to share access to the internet with other devices and other technologically-based devices outside of the vehicle, such as traffic signals or weather satellites. As is common with leading edge technologies, connected vehicles are causing new, unforeseen challenges within the industry.

 

Here are 4 of the greatest challenges facing the automotive industry in the era of connected cars.

  1. Big data storage

As the complexity of connected cars grows, especially when it comes to autonomous vehicles, the amount of data required is mind-blowing. For example, BMW has stated that a single vehicle on their autonomous platform generates 16-40 terabytes of information per day! Auto engineers need to figure out how much of the data generated is essential, what data requires storage on board the vehicle, and how much can be off loaded to cloud storage systems.

  1. 5G data systems

The demand for data systems will continue to expand with the advent of connected vehicles. One possible solution to this exploding demand is to transition to 5th generation (5G) wireless networking architecture built on the 802.11ac IEE wireless networking standard, which is expected to increase data communication speeds by up to three times the current 4G architecture. While 5G technology may be the answer, it will increase the cost, which goes against current automotive goals of keeping costs down. The industry as a whole will need to address this issue as the data requirements for connected cars continues to escalate. Continue reading “Four Connected Car Challenges Facing the Auto Industry”

Why Personal Cyber Security is Vital Today

The concept of cyber security is becoming well known today. Many people are more concerned than ever about protecting themselves from online threats such as terrorism and espionage. What is cyber security and why is it so important today? What does the future of cyber security look like? What can be done to protect all of us from these online dangers? The paragraphs that follow will answer these important questions.

What is Cyber Security?

Cyber security is a modern term describing a wide variety of techniques designed to protect individuals from online attacks that threaten various aspects of their well-being. Therefore, cyber security could refer to actions taken to prevent online terrorism, espionage, or warfare.

While cyber related threats can be launched on a personal level, in their most severe form, they can attack an entire infrastructure of a country or government. This serious type of threat is one reason why advanced technologies relating to cyber security are consistently sought by government officials all over the world.

Cyber Terrorism

Cyber terrorism occurs when terrorist groups gain access to information through technological sources that further their agenda and allows them to launch terrorist attacks on unsuspecting people.

Cyber Warfare

In a similar vein, cyber warfare refers to gaining access to secure information through technological sources that allow one country to stage a war against another nation. These security breaches are often performed by computer hackers who have advanced technical skills that allow them to bypass security features effectively.
Continue reading “Why Personal Cyber Security is Vital Today”

How Consumers, Enterprises and Insurance Providers Tackle Cyber Risk

The number of instances of hacks, data breaches, system compromises, ransomware and cyber fraud keeps ballooning and shows no indication of stopping.

As the number of instances of hacks, data breaches, system compromises, ransomware, and cyber fraud keeps ballooning and shows no indication of stopping, the insurance industry is striving to keep pace by offering products that will meet the demand for cyber insurance.

The consumer perspective

In many ways, private individuals can have a much easier time deciding to get cybersecurity insurance than businesses.

For one, many have already personally experienced inconveniences, or have seen someone close to them having problems due to comprised personal data. According to the 2017 Identity Fraud Study from Javelin Strategy & Research, there were over 15 million incidents of identity theft in the US in 2016—and that was before the Equifax breach, which resulted in the compromise of names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and, in some instances, driver’s license numbers of some 143 million US individuals, i.e. 44% of US consumers!

Martin Hartley, Chief Operating Officer, PURE Group of Insurance Companies, predicts that with the increase of fraud, cyber extortion and ransomware attacks, cybersecurity insurance will become a much more standard part of homeowners’ policies in the coming years, as consumers find themselves liable for resulting costs.

“The risk of consumers’ exposure will continue to increase and similarly, consumers can no longer solely rely on financial institutions, retailers and credit card companies to protect their customers’ data,” he says.
Continue reading “How Consumers, Enterprises and Insurance Providers Tackle Cyber Risk”

Five Digital Trends in Education

Educators are coming to realize the tremendous opportunity digital technology offers student learning in the U.S. Traditionally, the education sector can be resistant to change, holding on to conventional methods and practices. However, the digital revolution has impacted educational technology; teachers are making significant progress in their use of technology in their instruction, testing and even the physical environment of their classrooms, at a much faster rate than expected. These current trends are making headlines in education because of the impact they are having on student learning and development.

  1. Personalized instruction

Every student is a unique learner, with their own strengths and challenges. In the past, educators often had to apply the same teaching approach to all students in their classroom.

Today’s technological advances have made it possible for teachers to evolve beyond this limiting paradigm. In the classroom of today, teachers are using a “blended learning” approach, that enables them to allow individual students to move through the materials at their own pace and with personalized learning opportunities. While traditional instruction will continue where appropriate, teachers have many more learning techniques that can be employed to better fit the learning style of each unique student.

  1. Augmented and virtual reality

Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are game-changers in the world of education. Students are no longer expected to sit at their desks all day long. Education technology has facilitated collaborative and interactive learning opportunities. AR and VR are being used to enhance instruction while simultaneously creating immersive lessons that are fun and engaging for students. Examples include:

  • Giving students the opportunity to choose their learning setting
  • Providing first-hand creative learning experiences (i.e. traveling in a historic time-period)
  • Enabling students to interact with teachers and other students within a virtual reality setting

Current learning applications that are being used in the educational industry include Unimersiv, Cospaces and Magic Leap. While the full impact of VR and AR in the classroom is still not understood, it is clear that these technologies have the potential to increase visual literacy, technological literacy and attention to audience. Continue reading “Five Digital Trends in Education”

Smartphones: The Distraction Is Killing Us

The advent of the smartphone has brought with it a deluge of texting and other distractive behavior while driving a vehicle. Distraction is not confined to the young and restless – we see people of all ages, genders and backgrounds using phones when they should be driving.

Safety Threats

Some startling figures:

These numbers are most likely higher as drivers involved in accidents may be reluctant to admit to driving distracted.

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Source: https://blog.cinfin.com/2018/04/10/distracted-driving-smartphones-distraction/

Is the Automobile Industry Ready for an Electric Revolution?

Though Tesla has emerged as the seeming electric car leader, in July 2017 Volvo announced that it would go fully electric by offering an electric version across its full range and, that their new models offered would all be electrically powered. Other automobile manufacturers, such as Ford, General Motors, and BMW have likewise pledged to design and deliver vehicles to meet the growing public demand for electric motor vehicles. But is the automobile ecosystem ready for the dramatic changes that electric-powered autos will bring?

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Currently, petroleum-based fueling stations outnumber electric charging stations by a wide margin. That gap is expected to narrow with planned charger installations and significant development in fast charging. In order for electric vehicles to become competitive with internal combustion engine vehicles, a charging infrastructure needs to be in place to ensure drivers won’t be stuck out on the road. While many of the current chargers being installed run on 240 volts, in order for chargers to be seen as truly competitive, fast chargers need the capacity to reach 350 kilowatts (kW). The next-generation fast charger is expected to recharge electric cars for a range of 200 – 300 miles with a 15 minute fast charge. Continue reading “Is the Automobile Industry Ready for an Electric Revolution?”

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