Preparing for COVID-19

The past several weeks have been difficult for us all. The news is dominated by the novel coronavirus and the disease it causes, COVID-19, and is rapidly changing, which has affected us all in one way or another. In times like these, it is critical to keep a balanced perspective and consider all facts. Adversity is not new to people. History tells us the human response always rises to the challenges faced, and we are confident that this time will be no different.

While nobody knows exactly what the coming days, weeks or months will bring, we can prepare for various scenarios. During uncertain times we often see an uptick in bad actors trying to exploit an individual’s anxiety, or even generosity. Whenever you make any judgment, it’s important to consider the source of the data that you receive. We wanted to personally reach out and let you know that Prime’s physician leadership team has taken this extremely seriously and is meeting everyday to improve our responses in a timely manner.

We are closely monitoring the guidance of the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the spread of the virus. Our focus is to ensure we meet our customers, the employer-clients as well as their employees, needs while doing our part to keep you, Prime staff, and our communities safe.

Many of you are managers of your enterprise. Your family and your employee’s health, welfare and safety are of paramount importance to you. We have developed detailed guidelines related to how we would recommend that you and your family protect yourself. Since the situation is rapidly changing, please send an email to covid19@primeoccmed.com for a current copy of the “Employee Guide.”

From a business resiliency perspective, we advise you to have comprehensive plans in place to ensure that your employees remain safe. Prime is doing our utmost to achieve the same goals while remaining ready and able to serve you with the best of professional services, without disruption. As you may already know, OSHA has stated that it is the employer’s responsibility to protect their employees from contracting COVID-19 from the workplace by classifying COVID-19 as a “recordable” disease. We have also developed an “Employer Guide” to COVID-19. Again, you can send an email to covid19@primeoccmed.com to receive a current copy of the guide.

If you happen to visit a Prime facility, you may notice some changes are evident. Our facilities that are located in areas of widespread community spread are already screening all persons entering the facility, including Prime employees. The remainder of our facilities will implement the same process as the situation dictates. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but we feel it is the appropriate step to take in protecting not only our employees but yours as well.

Additionally, we encourage you to visit our website at PRIMEOCCMED.COM for current responses to protect you and our staff .

Above all, we want you to know that you can continue to rely on the global resources and stability of Prime and our international partner, International SOS. We stand with you, ready to help, offer advice and share our best thinking on how to manage through this period.

Thank you for your continued trust and confidence in us.

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Medical Marijuana: What Employees Need to Know

Last month, we hosted an Occupational Health Insights panel focused on medical marijuana in the workplace. Comprised of several health industry professionals, including PRIME’s medical director and founder, Dr. Luke Lee, panelists discussed the topic and the countless things employers should be aware of.

With Louisiana’s medical marijuana program starting earlier this year, many participants were interested in its potential impact. The discussion covered several potential problem areas including insurance coverage, workers’ compensation and the enforcement of pre-existing company policies. “A lot of companies feel an ethical responsibility not only to protect their workers but also the community,” said Dr. Lee.

Read The Advocate’s coverage of the panel here.

Flu Season Tips

During this time of the year, it is extremely important to keep your health in check. Every year, a large number of people fall ill to the flu virus, preventing them from working and enjoying everyday activities. While we cannot ensure that you won’t catch the virus, we can provide some tips that will help prevent the flu from spreading.

To prevent the spread of the seasonal flu, follow these steps:

  • Get your annual flu shot. While this may sound obvious, several people skip out on this vaccination every year. Why not be cautious and lower your chances of catching it?
  • If you have already fallen ill to the flu, remember to stay away from others. This means no work or other public activities. It is important to note that once symptoms cease, you should remain in isolation for 24 hours. After that, you’re good to return to your regular schedule.
  • If you have to interact with someone who has the flu, please wear gloves and an N95 mask. This might sound extreme, but it is a necessary precaution if you want to remain healthy.
  • Whether dealing with someone who has the flu or with someone who is seemingly healthy, always wash your hands with warm water before and after interacting with anyone. Carrying a bottle of hand sanitizer around is never a bad idea during this time of year.

We hope these tips encourage you to think smart and remain healthy during this time of the year!

PRIME Employees Achieve ISNetworld Certification

We are very excited to announce that two of our team members, Jessica Nabors and Nicholas Michel, have completed their ISNetworld user training. With only 150 certified users, this is an accomplishment we’re extremely proud of. 

Michel said, “The training involved not only the contractor side of ISNetworld, but also the hiring client side. This gives us a better understanding of what our clients are looking for when they log into their account.” 

ISNetworld is an industry-leading online contractor and supplier management platform of data-driven products and services that help manage risk and strengthen relationships. With certified ISNetworld users, we show our clients PRIME’s commitment to understanding their needs.

“Our ISNetworld training shows how dedicated we are to understanding what our clients are looking for. This certification is just another thing that we do to set ourselves apart while showing that PRIME puts its client’s needs first,” says Nabors. 

Federal CCF Update

IMPORTANT NOTICE:
New Federal Custody & Control Forms must be used after June 30, 2018

Dear Clients:Please note that according to the Department of Transportation, “After June 30, 2018, you are required to use the newly revised Federal CCF.”

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Cold Stress: Cold Stress can be Prevented

It is important for employers to know the wind chill temperature so that they can gauge workers’ exposure risk better and plan how to safely do the work. It is also important to monitor workers’ physical condition during tasks, especially new workers who may not be used to working in the cold, or workers returning after spending some time away from work.

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Employers should consider a prescription drug use policy to avoid lawsuits.

If your workers are engaged in safety-sensitive duties, know if they are using prescription medications.

The issue of privacy has become a matter of paramount importance in modern life, particularly with regards to medical issues.

Health care professionals and their assistants are constrained from revealing a person’s medical history and treatment without the express permission of their patients. However, in the workplace, liability can attach to an employer if an employee causes an accident, and the issue of liability can be exacerbated if the employee was impaired by an undetected use or misuse of legal prescription drugs. It’s a good idea for employers in safety-sensitive industries to be proactively aware if their employees are using prescription medication that may physically and mentally impair them.

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Apply these 5 techniques to help employees return to work after a medical accident.

19 Sep 2017 Medical

When a worker gets hurt or sick and misses a substantial amount of time, it can be hard for you as a business owner to know what to do. The situation can become even more challenging when it’s time for the employee to return to work after a medical absence.

If you don’t have a plan for dealing with people’s return as well as their absence, this could become a major distraction.
Balancing Responsibilities as a Business Owner
Any sort of employee sickness or injury — regardless of whether it was sustained on the job — is sensitive. Obviously, rules, laws and company-specific protocol have to be respected as well as the personal side of the matter.

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