Employment Related Practices: A Growing Concern

Workplace discrimination claims are at an all-time high and small-business owners might feel vulnerable.  With a difficult economy and new employment laws making charges and lawsuits more likely, every business owner should consider purchasing Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI). 


EPLI is a form of liability insurance that provides protection for an employer against claims made by employees, former employees, or potential employees.  It covers claims of discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment and other employment-related allegations. 

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Yard Tool Safety

Yard tools may seem safe, but each year, nearly four million people are admitted to hospitals across the country because of accidents involving these seemingly harmless pieces of equipment.  It is very important to remember that all tools can be very dangerous if they are used improperly.


The majority of the accidents are caused by people using the wrong tool for the job, or otherwise using a tool for something other than its intended purpose.  You must always use tools for the job they are intended to do, because accidents are unpredictable, and one becomes especially vulnerable when they are not expecting one to occur.  After you are sure that you are using the correct tool, some of the following precautions may help you avoid an accident:


  • Wear safety glasses or goggles
  • Never adjust a power tool while the motor is running
  • Inspect the work area before you start, and clean up if necessary
  • Store pesticides and herbicides out of the reach of children
  • Ensure that all tools are properly sharpened
  • Ensure that all tools are cleaned and free of rust
  • Check that power tools are equipped with the proper safety mechanisms
  • Clean your work area when you are finished
  • Keep your tools in a safe place, out of the reach of children
  • Ask for information or assistance when you need it


For many people, yard work is a great way to relax and enjoy a little fresh air.  It is also a good way to get exercise while beautifying your home and community, but if you don’t take the proper precautions when you work, a relaxing afternoon in the yard can become a quick trip to the emergency room.  Work safe and use your head when you take care of your yard.


Northwest Boating Safety

With boating season underway, now is a good time to make sure you are doing everything you can to protect yourself, your passengers and other boaters while crusing Northwest waters this summer.  Practicing safety and having the appropriate insurance will help reduce the risk of injury and keep you financially afloat while enjoying your time on the water.


Ensure your boat has the appropriate safety items, most importantly, proper Coast Guard-approved life vests for everyone on board.  And, be sure to have a fire extinguisher in case of a fire.  Next, check to make sure you have the appropriate amount of insurance to cover damage to your boat and any damage or injuries you may cause to other boaters and passengers.  Owners of both sailboats and powerboats need insurance coverage just like car owners need auto insurance.


Most Homeowners or Renters Insurance policies offer limited coverage for property damage to small boats like canoes, small sailboats or powerboats with less than 25 horsepower.  Property damage coverage is typically limited to $2500 or less, and liability coverage is subject to the limits of your Homeowners or Renters policy and applicable exclusions based upon size and horsepower.  For larger watercraft, a separate policy is necessary to cover both the damage to the boat and liability for damage caused to others due to owning and/or operating the boat.


For more information about insuring watercraft, contact Elliott, Powell, Baden & Baker Insurance at 503-227-1771.




Common Sense: Outdoor Grilling Safety

Americans fire up barbeque grills more than three billion times a year, according to the Insurance Information Institute.  Each year U.S. fire departments respond to an average of 7,900 home fires involving grills, hibachis or barbecues. These fires cause an annual average of more than $80 million in direct property damage.   Firing up your grill is a great way to kick off a summer full of outdoor fun.  Since an improperly handled grill can cause fires, exercising common sense will help keep your summer from becoming tragic and costly.  

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