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Dog Bite Prevention Week

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Dog Bite Prevention Week

Dog bites are a dangerous risk faced by veterinarians, their staff, and owners every day. Veterinarians play an important role in their own safety, the safety of their staff and clients, and the welfare of the dogs presented for care. However, while the risk of dog bites is high in veterinary practice, it is often dismissed as an expected aspect of the job. When implementing safety measures, these measures not only include the veterinarian and veterinary staff, but also the owner and other clients and patients in the clinic and its surrounding facilities, such as the parking lot.

Did you know there are 4.5 million dog bites reported every year in the United States? Even the nicest dogs can bite, making it particularly important for dog handlers to be aware of dog biting prevention techniques. Before learning these techniques, it’s important to first understand the motive behind their biting triggers.

Preventing injuries can only happen if the causes and contexts of biting are considered. By nature of clinical practice, we restrain, palpate, poke, and perform procedures that trigger fear and sometimes pain in our patients. Escape is impossible, so biting becomes a practical defense for some animals.

Biting triggers may include:

  • Feels Frightened. Dogs that have been in a veterinary setting previously may have developed fear from the experience. Classical conditioning (think of Pavlov and his bell) often occurs; white coats, the smell of disinfectant, stethoscopes, and other innocuous stimuli become aversive or predict the possibility of an aversive event.
  • Feeling Trapped. In many veterinary hospitals, the examination room is often a small space with only 1 access door. In addition, typically the dog and owner are the first to enter and wait. Defensiveness and anxiety can occur when the pet feels that there is no escape.
  • Injured or Sick. Hip dysplasia, severe otitis, or any chronic injury can cause even the friendliest dog to bite.
  • Bites by Accident. The dog may not have learned bite inhibition.
  • Overly Excited. This likely stems from boredom or lack of stimulation. Redirect the dog’s high energy to keep it occupied and away from biting.
  •  Views You as Prey. This may occur when a person runs or screams while moving past the dog.

All dog bites can be prevented. With a better understanding of their behavior, you can employ techniques to reduce the likelihood of a dog biting you or someone else. Here are some prevention tips:

  1. Read Body Language. Pay attention to the dog’s body language for signs that it may be fearful, anxious, or ready to bite.
  2. Adjust Entry/Exit and Schedules. For dogs that may be potentially fearful or reactive, provide separate waiting and/or entry areas or schedule them for the first or last appointments of the day.
  3. Let the Dog Be Last. Allow the dog and owner to be the last individuals to enter the examination room.
  4. Postpone Greeting the Patient. Do not rush to greet the patient; instead, give the dog some time to decide about interacting and respect the dog’s space until the physical examination.
  5. Approach Sideways. Have the owner bring the dog to the center of the room and approach the dog from the side instead of the front.
  6. Feed Tidbits. Use food liberally throughout the visit to create a positive experience for the dog.
  7. Make Use of Muzzles. Use a basket-style muzzle on any dog with a history of biting.
  8. Write it All Down. Keep a medical record for each patient that includes a behavior score as well as specific information about the dog’s behavior.
  9. Protect the Client. Educate the client about safely medicating the dog at home or have the client board bring the dog to the clinic for medication administration.
  10. Keep Patients Happy. Make every effort to ensure that the dog’s visit to the clinic is as positive as possible; allow the pet to learn that visits include delicious food, consistent routine, and gentle handling.

Before a dog bite occurs in the workplace, make sure your business has insurance coverage specific to your unique risks. NIP Group provides a comprehensive PetPro insurance program and claims handling support that protects professionals who make a positive impact on the lives of animals every day.

To learn how PetPro insurance program can protect your animal care business from significant financial loss, visit us online at http://www.nipgroup.com/programs/petpro/.

Info from: http://www.doggonesafe.com/why_dogs_bite and http://www.floridapeninsula.com/blog/post/May-17-23-is-Dog-Bite-Prevention-Week.aspx

Will Your Insurance Carrier Be Able to Pay Your Claim? Here’s One Way to Tell

Hand receiving money from businessman - United States dollar (US

When a large claim is made against your business, are you confident your insurance company will be able to pay it?  Your balance sheet and financial future are on the line.

An insurance carrier is not just a provider, but a long-term financial partner you rely on to keep your business out of a financial hole.  If financial obligations from your chosen partner can’t be met right away or at all (i.e., not paying your claim or slow payment), your business could be left digging for cash.  To help prevent this from happening, the financial strength of an insurance company needs to be considered before you purchase coverage.

Rating the Financial Strength of Carriers

The system used by A.M. Best, a respected rating agency, grades the financial strength of an insurance company from financially secure “A++ (Superior)” to vulnerable “S (Suspended).”  Each grade indicates how likely the carrier is able to meet its financial obligations to policyholders.

What does this mean to you?  Similar to a school system, carriers receiving a grade of “A-” and above are top performers.  They’ve shown financial stability and appear to have a positive long-term financial future, meaning they’re trusted to back you up when needed.  Carriers receiving a “B++” and below have some work to do.  They’re often dismissed by brokers and business owners because their long-term financial futures are uncertain.

A.M. Best – Insurance Financial Strength Rating Scale

 Secure  Vulnerable
 A++, A+ (Superior)  B, B- (Fair)
 A, A- (Excellent)  C++, C+ (Marginal)
 B++, B+ (Good)  C, C- (Weak)
 D (Poor)
 E (Under Regulatory Supervision)
 F (In Liquidation)
 S (Suspended)

 

To give policyholders security and peace of mind, NIP Group is only backed by “A” rated carriers. Our comprehensive insurance programs can be custom-tailored to address the unique risks of each client, helping to avoid damaging claims. In the case that a claim does occur, we got you covered immediately. In other words, NIP Group is a top performer.

Need a boost of confidence for your financial future? Check out these insurance programs backed by “A” rated carriers to find one that best fits your needs.

April is Safe Digging Month – Tips to Help Your Contractors Control Exposures and Claim Costs

iStock_000013069217_MediumAn underground utility line is damaged every six minutes because someone decided to dig before calling 811. All states have laws that require utilities be pre-located by an appropriate locator service, which can be reached by calling 811 – the national “Call Before You Dig” phone number.
The following steps can help contractors control exposures, avoid losses, or contain losses that do occur:

Take daily photos of the work site

Check utility marks to help ensure all known utilities have been located

In the event a strike does occur, once site safety is established, gather detailed documentation of where the marks were in relation to the excavation; documentation can include photos, diagrams and witness statements

Not collecting these facts immediately could seriously damage your contractor’s defense. The average utility damage claim is approximately $25,000, and as such, implementing an effective incident investigation plan containing the elements above can help you defend your contractor.

Keeping Your Greenhouse Operational While the Snow Melts

Winter greenhouseThe weight of snow can change based on whether the snow is wet or dry, as wet snow can be up to four times heavier than dry snow.  Dry snow can mostly be found in the middle of the country, while wet snows are more typically found on coastlines or by large bodies of water. When melted, three inches of wet snow or twelve inches of dry snow is equivalent to one inch of water. How can this water weight affect your greenhouse? In order to lighten the load of the snow, the best method is to melt it before it starts to pile up. Here’s a list of some snow melting tips to help you as this winter comes to a close.

  • Energy Blanket: Before the storm starts, lay out the energy blanket and turn the heat on BEFORE the snow starts to fall. This will warm up the glazing so the snow will melt on contact. Even if the snow does start to pile up, it will act as a good insulator, which will reduce heat loss.
  • Reducing Air Pressure: Double layered greenhouses are less effective at melting snow, as the second layer slows the heat transfer. By reducing the air pressure, you can deflate the greenhouse to a single layer.
  • Snow Rake: If energy blankets are not available, you can manually remove snow from the greenhouse with a snow rake. Be careful not to build the snow up too high around the sides, as it may crush the walls in.
  • Heating Cables/Water Piping: The effects of these methods are limited due to the small concentrated area of the tools and their small heat output. However, these methods can help if used with other tools.

As always, you should be sure to develop a complete plan before a storm starts. Be sure to check up on snow accumulation throughout the storm’s duration. Also, check all heating equipment before the storm, to make sure it is operational.

Safety Tips for Handling Cleaning Chemicals

Cleaning productsThe US Department of Labor continually lists cleaning and custodial work as one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. This is due mostly to the high probability of accidents involving chemicals that occur each year. Here at NIP Group with our MaintenancePro program, we encourage cleaning professionals to develop a safety program for their cleaning chemicals. Some key components include:

• Be sure to document all cleaning chemicals used on site. This list should include details of how many gallons are stored, where they are stored, and the potential hazards of, and necessary precautions for, each specific chemical.

• Create Safety Data Sheets for each chemical used, and never mix chemicals even if they are the same type of chemical.

• All chemicals should be stored in well-ventilated areas far from HVAC intake vents. This helps to prevent any fumes from spreading to other areas.

• Safety signs are very important to have on site. Consider having signs that use images, not words. If this is not possible, the next best option is to have signs in multiple languages. All signs must follow OSHA’s standards.

• Cleaning workers should know exactly what the following “signal words” mean:

  • Caution: product should be used carefully, but is relatively safe.
  • Warning: product is moderately toxic.
  • Danger: product is highly toxic and may cause permanent damage to skin and eyes.

ALL INFO FROM http://www.cleanlink.com/news/article/Six-Tips-on-the-Safe-Handling-of-Cleaning-Chemicals–15549#