Risk Management Tips for the Food Manufacturing Industry

Risk Management Tips for the Food Manufacturing IndustryRisk Management Tips for the Food Manufacturing Industry

If you are a manager or owner in the food and beverage industry, you know that it takes attention to many details to create a financially sound business, including the freshness of your ingredients, the right equipment, and a service-oriented staff. Of course running this type of business comes with risks. Here are some risk management tips for the food and beverage industry.

Supply Chain Risk. Supply delivery can be interrupted by various factors, such as adverse weather or infrastructure issues. Losing even one dependable supplier can lead to a loss of income, which can affect the quality, consistency and service of a foodservice provider. Having the right type of food manufacturing insurance coverage can cover the loss of that income, plus extra expenses that may result.

Equipment Risk Management. Food Manufacturing equipment can meet many challenges, including mechanical breakdowns, damage caused by power surges, operator error, and more. Breakdowns may be able to be prevented by utilizing infrared testing, inspections, and getting assistance in sourcing replacement for damaged equipment.

Spoilage and Contamination. Power outages and other issues beyond your control can result in spoilage or contamination of food. According to the Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 48 million illnesses are borne by food in the U.S. each year. Although cases of foodborne illnesses cannot always be prevented, you can still be covered financially with the right food contamination insurance policy.

Another risk that any business faces is cyber exposure. Restaurants are at particular risk because of the large amount of personal and financial data, including credit card and bank account number, they keep on file.

At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we understand the unique challenges faced by the food and beverage industry. Our Risk Safeguard Advantage system was born out of a philosophy that combines uncommon risk analysis and strategic risk management with human resources consulting and training to provide measurable, sustainable results. Please contact us at (877) 602-2305 for more information.

Construction Insurance CT: Tips for Job Site Safety


Each year, there are thousands of injuries and hundreds of fatal accidents related to machine and equipment operation. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), many of these accidents involve the operator, but over half involve people on the ground, including spotters, co-workers, laborers, shovel hands, civilians and sidewalk superintendents. Not only can do these accidents have the potential to be devastating to the individuals involved, they also increase the liability risk for your construction business.

Accidents can happen to even the most experienced construction workers, but proper training and knowledge may help reduce the risk of one occurring. Here are some basic safety tips to share with your project managers and other workers.

Use caution getting on and off equipment. This includes using gloves and boots with proper gripping materials to prevent slipping, and checking to make sure there is no mud on you that could cause slipping either. Also, when exiting equipment it’s important to lower yourself in a controlled manner.

Know proper techniques for loading and unloading equipment. Even on level ground, there’s a risk of machine roll-over during loading or unloading. Make sure you are centered on the ramps and stay straight, using a spotter for guidance. Also, be sure to use proper tie-down procedures as the load may shift when in motion.

Don’t crowd the work area. People on the ground must stay well away from the machine operating area. This important point should be reviewed at safety meetings and consistently reinforced by construction foremen. If you’re the one operating the machine, use your horn to warn people to stay back, stop the machine if needed, and always check your back before moving in reverse.

Be aware of your machine’s swing radius. Rope off the swing radius around the machine or otherwise secure it. Use a spotter to keep all people clear. Accidents due to not knowing the machine’s swing radius is actually very common.

These are just a few construction site safety tips to keep in mind. It’s also important to be aware of overhead obstructions and underground utilities, and to use appropriate safety gear when operating any particular machine.  At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, our construction insurance specialists work with clients of all shapes and sizes and fully understand the diversity of this industry. To learn how we can best serve you, please contact us today at (877) 602-2305.

Construction Insurance CT: Construction Pollution Concerns


Environmental concerns have been known to halt or severely delay many construction projects in recent years. Any construction activities, including demolition, excavation, and material transfer, can have an enormous impact on the local environment. This is especially dangerous when factors such as fugitive dust and vehicle emissions infiltrate into existing buildings such as hospitals or long-term care facilities where the well-being of patients or residents may already be compromised.

The greatest dust emissions are typically from truck traffic on job sites. Heavy trucks will lift the dust from the roadway, and this airborne dust will reduce both building and external air quality, foul filters, and reduce visibility. Vehicle emissions also cause these problems, in addition to creating a unhealthful odor. A dust and emissions management plan is essential for reducing this impact.

Another factor that creates an environmental impact on construction sites is noise disruption. While noise is mostly considered a minor nuisance, in some cases higher ambient noise levels have been linked to slower patient recovery time in hospitals, and the disruption of courthouse operations. ASHRAE, or the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, provides recommended design guidelines for background noise in different classifications of spaces. The following modification strategies can potentially reduce noise impacts:

  • Schedule noise-insensitive work for the lease noise-sensitive time of the day
  • Increase the separation distance between noisy equipment and noise-sensitive locations
  • Install noise barriers around active areas to screen and protect noise sensitive areas
  • Require all vehicle engines to have working mufflers.

The construction industry is becoming subject to greater environmental liability exposures and related financial losses as federal and state regulators have implemented more strict environmental laws.  It’s therefore very important to have an appropriate Construction Insurance policy in place. This type of insurance in addition to Environmental Liability should be an integral part of any construction firm’s insurance portfolio.

At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we fully understand the diversity of the construction industry. Our approach in combining uncommon risk analysis and strategic Risk Management with Human Resources Consulting and training is designed to reduce your construction operation’s exposures and premium costs while delivering measurable, sustainable results. Please contact us today for more information at (877) 602-2305.

MA Safety Training: How to Maintain a Safe Workplace

Safety Training MA: How to Maintain a Safe WorkplaceMA Safety Training: How to Maintain a Safe Workplace

Safety within the workplace should be a top priority for your company, no matter what type of business you own or run. Workplace accidents could be physically and emotionally damaging to your workers and their families, not to mention they can cost you significant money and time. You could potentially be held liable for substantial penalties that could wipe out your business’s cash flow.

Maintaining basic workplace safety includes making sure your building or area of work adheres to handicap accessible laws, installing adequate lighting by all entrances and parking lots, and keeping walkways at your building’s entrance are free of debris such as snow, ice, or foliage.

Here are a few more basic ways to maintain a safe workplace:

  • Write a fire safety plan and draw a map showing escape routes
  • Remove flammable trash on a daily basis.
  • Keep equipment rooms, mechanical rooms, and electrical rooms free of paper, wood, or rags.
  • Store items on shelves at least 2 feet below the ceiling to allow firefighter access.
  • Keep all exit doors unlocked and free of obstructions or debris.
  • Check all electrical cords on appliances and machinery for damage.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in a visible location.
  • Use power strips with circuit breakers instead of extension cords if an appliance is permanently plugged into a socket.
  • Require employees to wear protective equipment necessary to do their jobs safely.
  • If your employees need to handle hazardous materials, require them to read Material Safety Data Sheets for any chemicals being used, even if it is for cleaning purposes.

Safety training, or loss control, can help you look at your company’s safety risks beyond the above mentioned factors. For example, one of Sinclair’s training programs is OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) training for supervisors. All employers, whether they have one employee or 1,000, are subject to federal OSHA requirements. Under OSHA, you have a general duty to maintain a safe workplace for your employees, which covers all situations for which there are published standards.

Loss control is an integral part of what we do at Sinclair Risk & Financial Management. We have established a number of training programs, including establishing the Sinclair Institute of Training, to help our clients — whether in construction, the energy industry, food sector, health care, technology and many others — improve their safety record and control losses. Contact us today at 877.602.2305 for more information.

Energy Dealers Insurance: U.S. Oil and Gas Producers Prevailing

ENERGY INSURANCE: HOW THE U.S. OIL AND GAS PRODUCERS ARE PREVAILINGEnergy Dealers Insurance: U.S. Oil and Gas Producers Prevailing

In a surprising shift that is reshaping energy markets and taking dominance away from presumed energy-rich nations, the U.S. is overtaking Russia as the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas.

In a past post, Energy Dealers Insurance: The Future of Renewable Energy, we discussed renewable energy, but In recent years, U.S. energy output has been surging. This comeback has been fueled by shale-rock formations of oil and natural gas that was unimaginable a decade ago. According to global data found in a Wall Street Journal analysis, the U.S. is in fact on track to pass Russia as the world’s largest producer of oil and gas combined this year, if it hasn’t already.

The U.S. produced the equivalent of about 22 million barrels a day of oil, natural gas, and related fuels in July of this year, according to figures from the EIA and the International Energy Agency. Neither agency has data for Russia’s gas output this year, however Moscow’s forecast for 2013 oil-and-gas productions works out to about 21.8 million barrels a day.

Last year, the United States tapped more natural gas than Russia for the first time since 1982, according to data from the International Energy Agency. Russia forecasts that its gas production will show a slight increase in the coming years, but its forecase for this year is below current U.S. production.

With all of this in mind, it’s safe to assume that business for oil and gas energy dealers will be booming, highlighting the importance of attaining energy insurance coverage, which will protect your business from risks of financial loss. Businesses that will benefit from energy insurance are those that work in oil and gas, power and utility, or alternative energy.

At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we offer a customized, comprehensive risk management and insurance program for Energy Dealers to protect business from risks and loss. We have a deep understanding of the underlying economics and operating requirements of a commercial company, as well as a company in a specialty industry. Contact us today at 877.602.2305 for more information.

How Financial Management Impacts Large Businesses


In an earlier post, we discussed the role that financial management plays in your small Connecticut business, highlighting the main financial aspects that a small business owner should at least be somewhat knowledgeable about.

Financial management is viewed and handled different in large businesses, but one thing remains the same; an organization’s financial management plays a critical role in the financial success of a business.

A common misconception throughout larger organizations is that financial management is only apparent within the accounting department. While this department maintains the overall big picture of a company’s finances, data from each department all contribute to this big picture.

For example, each department within a large business should have a budget to determine how many employees they can hire, for what purpose, and at what salaries. Also, employee expenses such as travel, fixed assets, and training opportunities should be considered and budgeted for per department.

One department within your business that is generally the most responsible for income is the sales department. Due to this, the sales department should have a good handle on potential income through projects that are pending or secured and on the schedule. Another department that has equally serious expenses is the marketing department.

After taking a look at the departments of your company, it’s important to ask yourself if it would be appropriate for the accounting department to create the budgets, decide on the salaries of the employees, and collect income projections from every department. Chances are it is not.

The primary goal of financial management within a large business is to minimize risks for the organization by implementing strategies that help the company to counteract unforeseen liabilities. At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, our team of seasoned and talented professionals will gain a full understanding of your management philosophy, goals, and individual risk tolerance. For more information, contact us today at (877) 602-2305.