Sandwich Generation Employee Benefits To Support Elder and Child Care

July 30th, 2018

sandwich generation employee benefits

With so much focus lately on Millenials, what can employers do to support another group of employees, the Sandwich Generation?

Employees in the Sandwich Generation, who are caring not only for their children but also for their own aging parents, often struggle to balance all of this responsibility.  According to the Northeast Business Group on Healthcare, these caregivers miss an average of six days of work each year due to caregiving responsibilities, are less productive because of personal distractions, and are in poorer health than non-caregiving colleagues.

By providing sandwich generation employee benefits, employers can give employees the support they need to succeed in and out of the office.

Sandwich Generation Employee Benefits:

Flexible work schedule: This enables employees with personal obligations during the typical 9-to-5 workday to accomplish everything they need without having to take off to catch up.

Child care benefits: Employers can alleviate the financial burden of child care by subsidizing care options, including backup care.

Senior care benefits: In addition to helping employees find senior care options employers can also provide tips and guidance to give caregivers confidence to navigate their new roles.

Financial planning assistance: As if managing personal finances wasn’t already hard enough, this generation may also be making mortgage payments, helping pay college tuition, and managing their parents’ estate. Access to financial planning allows employees to work caregiving-related costs into their financial plans and better prepare for the future. Pew Research Center studied the rising financial burdens of the Sandwich Generation.

Household help: Employers can ease the burden of simple household tasks by providing meal preparation, house cleaning, and laundry services.

Access to elder care experts: Senior care needs often arise suddenly, so providing information (through webinars, on-site seminars or even just contact information for local experts) can be extremely helpful to employees.

It’s in employers’ best interest to provide the tools employees need to manage their personal lives so they can do well and excel at work. Employers who offer these types of benefits show that they care about their sandwich generation employees.

Editorial Note: The content of this blog originally appeared in the July/August, 2018 edition of ABR Employment Services magazine, HR Insights. It has been edited for SEO by ABR Employment Services and originally written by Robin Throckmorton of Strategic Human Resources Inc.

What Do Paint and Jellyfish Have In Common?

July 17th, 2018

paint health hazards

They’re Both Hazardous To Your Health

What do box jellyfish and paint have in common? Both can be hazardous, even deadly. Paint is a chemical, and unprotected exposure over time causes short and long-term health effects. OSHA even created many paint safety and health standards for employers to follow to protect employees against paint health hazards.

So, if you’re a professional painter (think spray gun operator, spray line operator) how can you protect your health?

Protect Yourself Against Paint Health Hazards

You can prevent exposure to paint chemicals by wearing the appropriate protective equipment – a respirator designed for painting, coveralls, chemical-resistant gloves, and eye protection.  Use an appropriate respirator when spraying polyurethane paints and other paints in enclosed areas.  Paint in ventilated spray booths, or work in a well-ventilated area.  Change the respirator cartridge according to the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Educate Yourself About Paint Health Hazards

Always read the label before beginning a paint job.  Use your Safety Data Sheet (SDS) as a guide to what hazards your paint contains, what type of protective equipment to use, and whether the paint may easily ignite.  The SDS will also tell you how to contain and clean up a paint spill, and what to do in case of overexposure to paint.

Paint Health Hazards – What They Are

Paint contains pigments, solvents, resins, and other ingredients to give it color, texture, spreadability and durability.  Many of these ingredients are hazardous to your health.  First among them are the solvents, such as mineral spirits, naphtha and turpentine, that evaporate readily from paint exposed to the air.  Even short-term exposure to these chemicals can cause dizziness, eye irritation, nausea, coughing and other symptoms.  In addition, paints containing polyisocyanate hardeners can cause shortness of breath, chills, and fever.  Long-term exposure to paint ingredients, even when no short-term effects are noticed, can damage the kidneys, liver, blood, or nervous system.  Some even cause cancer and birth defects in laboratory animals.

You may work with paints for a long time with no ill effects.  Suddenly you develop rashes, hives, swelling or scaling of the skin, or you begin coughing and having shortness of breath, which often leads to permanent lung damage or severe respiratory stress.  This is sensitization, an allergic reaction to one of the ingredients in paint.  Once you become sensitized, it is virtually impossible for you to work with the sensitizing substance again.  This is why you must avoid contact with the paint in the first place by using the right protective equipment.

Keeping It Safe

The volatile solvents in paint are flammable.  Painting in an unventilated area near an ignition source – such as cigarette, spark or static electricity – can be dangerous.  Paint containers exposed to high heat may explode.  And some paints contain chemicals that may react violently with other substances.

Reporting An Unsafe Work Environment

ABR Employment Services and the companies we partner with to provide people jobs have a joint responsibility to keep our employees safe. If you work with paint on the job, and are unsure whether or not you need to wear protective equipment, contact your ABR Employment Representative immediately. We want to keep you safe and healthy!