Staying Safe After a Hurricane or Severe Weather

Hurricane Harvey has recently slammed into the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane. Most people know to seek shelter during a hurricane or other severe weather, but unfortunately many people are killed or injured in the aftermath of a storm. Here are a few tips to stay safe after severe weather strikes your area:

  1. Be prepared. Staying safe after a storm starts with being prepared before it hits. Be sure to have an emergency kit with flashlights, bottled water, non perishable food, blankets, and a first aid kit. If anyone in your group has a chronic medical condition, be sure to have enough of their medication to last a few days.
  2. Be Alert. Pay attention to local news alerts: This can help you determine when it is safe to leave your shelter or home.
  3. Avoid driving if possible as many roadways may be flooded or blocked by debris.
  4. Beware of downed power lines. This may seem like common sense, but many people are killed or injured after storms by getting too close to a down power line.

Trojan Labor Employee is Encouraging Others to “Go Out and Make a Difference”

Recently, a Trojan Labor employee in Gainesville, Florida made a big impression on the Executive Director Andy Hopson at The Agency at the University of Florida.
Trojan Labor employee Jeff Simon was working outside of the University’s basketball stadium ensuring that people did not enter the construction site. As the University of Florida employee passed by, Jeff greeted him with a smile and said “Let’s go out and make a difference in the world today.” According to Andy, Jeff’s words had a profound impact on him. He later wrote in his blog,

 

“Thousands of UF graduates will go out into the world after this week’s graduation with educations that have prepared them to make a difference in their various fields, while Jeff stands in the blistering Florida sun smiling and giving encouragement to everyone he encounters. The takeaway is clear. It’s not education or status in life that empowers us to make a difference. It is our attitude. Making a difference in the world requires the ability to truly care about the people who inhabit it.”

 

At Trojan Labor, we strive to be the “right people at the right time.” We are very proud of Jeff Simon for having a positive impact on the people around him and being a great representative of the Trojan Labor family.

To read Andy Hopson’s full blog, please click here

 

 

2016 American Hero Awards are Approaching

The 2016 American Hero Awards are quickly approaching. The American Hero Awards are an annual event sponsored by Trojan Labor, Acrux Staffing, and the Higher Quest Foundation honoring two American service members for meritorious actions while defending our country.tempstaffinghero7

The ceremony is held on the decks of the USS Yorktown at Patriot’s Point in Mt. Pleasant, SC.

Each year we are honored to have wonderful guest speakers including U.S. Medal of Honor recipient Major General James Livingston (retired) and members of local government.

This year the Ultimate Hero Award recipient will be Sgt. Randy Matheny and the American Hero Award recipient will be Major Matthew Kaplan. Both of these men are true American Heroes.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as the event approaches to learn more about this year’s recipients.

Texas Company Faces More than $321,000 in Fines

A metal stamping plant in Texas is facing $321,000 in fines. The company has a 15 year history of safety violations according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

This most recent fine comes from an inspection that resulted in OSHA issuing 13 health and safety violations. The inspection was performed due to a formal complaint. During the inspection 13 violations were found that exposed workers to potentially serious injuries including amputation risks.

These risks were primarily from unsafe machinery. One of them was for “ignoring the danger of allowing employees to work with a defective 500-pound metal press that the company knew had dropped without warning” according to an OSHA press release.

Some of the other violations included not requiring workers to wear eye protection when there was a danger due to metal particles in the air and not ensuring proper hearing protection in areas with high noise levels.

In a statement regarding the violations, Diego Alvarado Jr., OSHA’s area director in El Paso, Texas said, “D&D is aware of the dangers at its production facility, but has done nothing to correct them. An employee could have been seriously injured. There is no reason, or excuse for a company to ignore basic safety requirements.”

Businesses can learn a lot from this company’s mistakes. OSHA takes worker safety seriously and so should employers.

For more information you can read the full OSHA press release.

Marijuana Users in Colorado Can Face Disciplinary Action from Employers

When Colorado legalized recreational marijuana it became one of four states to allow it. Twenty states allow medical marijuana.

This has left national employers that have employees in Colorado (and in other states where marijuana is legalized) wondering what they can do if an employee tests positive for marijuana and the company has a zero drug tolerance policy.

The case of a worker in Denver, CO named Brandon Coats has finally given employers an answer. Brandon is a registered medical marijuana user who uses it to relieve pain caused by a car accident that left him paralyzed.

After testing positive for marijuana, he was fired from his job at Dish. Dish has a nationwide zero drug tolerance policy.

Coats filed a wrongful termination complaint saying that he was protected by a Colorado law that makes it illegal to fire someone for carrying out a legal activity during non working hours.

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the employer was able to fire Coats for his off-duty and off-premises marijuana use. The court ruled that because marijuana use was still federally illegal it did not qualify as a “legal activity” that would be protected under the Colorado law.

As a result, in Colorado, employers are now able to practice their drug-free workplace policies as long as it is a zero tolerance policy applied to all employees and the consequences are clearly laid out to employees to avoid possible discrimination charges.

The materials available at this web site are for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.

 

Caught in the Crosshairs: Affordable Care Act Policy Rate Increases

Back during the 2008 election campaign and in the lead up to the passing of the Affordable Care Act, it was constantly fed to the American people by supporters of the law that the average American would save $2600 per year due to the passage of health care reform.

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Health Insurance Premiums on the Rise

Another famous claim—later shown to be demonstrably false—was that if you liked your current policy that you could keep it.

As most recall, at the end of 2013 the President unilaterally altered the law to delay implementation of certain requirements of the law, including one that allowed “inferior” policies to be renewed for one more year.

We have all heard horror stories of people with cancer losing their policies or massive price increases.

While I never disbelieved the accounts, I never personally knew anyone caught in the crosshairs, so to speak.

Well, this week, it proved to be me in the crosshairs.

I received a notice from my insurance company informing me that my policy was non-compliant with the diktats of our government and thus was being cancelled.

The company was happy to sell me new, government-sanctioned coverage.

The catch?  My rates are to go up $399 per month or 54% from what they are now.  Maybe I am not average.  Or maybe we weren’t told the truth.

 

About the Author:

This blog post was written by Richard Hermanns, CEO of Trojan Labor and Acrux Staffing.

 

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Former American Hero Awards winner is awarded the Medal of Honor

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In 2011 Lance Cpl. William “Kyle” Carpenter was a Trojan Labor American Hero Award winner.

Kyle was on a rooftop in Afghanistan when a live grenade landed close to him and Lance Cpl. Nicholas Eufrazio. Kyle quickly threw himself on top of it to save his fellow Marine.

His injuries were extensive. Kyle has spent years recovering and has undergone roughly 40 surgeries, but he has not let his injuries slow him down. Kyle ran a marathon, completed a mud run, and went skydiving.

Today, he received the military’s highest award, the Medal of Honor. He is the eighth surviving veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq to receive the medal.

He is now medically retired from the Marine Corps and attends the University of South Carolina.

We are incredibly grateful for brave service men and women like Kyle Carpenter. He is a true example of heroism and selflessness.

Holidays, Arctic Blasts, and Obamacare…oh my!

The Holidays are over as quickly as they came. Everyone here at Trojan Labor hopes that your holiday’s were filled with fun and family.

Meanwhile, we are only a week into 2014 and it has already made our lives interesting. While the majority of North America is being attacked by an arctic blast which has plunged them into record breaking low temperatures, we have also seen the individual mandate begin to take effect. The individual mandate is a section of the Affordable Care Act requiring most individuals to purchase health insurance if they do not already have it.

The new insurance plans that were purchased on the new healthcare exchanges began to take effect at the start of the new year. Hospitals and doctors offices had to prepare themselves for the inevitable confusion that resulted. We will not know the full consequences of the individual mandate until more time has passed.

 

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We Love Colorado, Welcome Trojan Labor Longmont!

 

Here at Trojan Labor we love Colorado! We love it so much that we have branches in three Colorado cities: Denver, Colorado Springs, and Fort Collins.

However, we decided that we wanted to see even more of Colorado. We are so excited to announce the opening of a new branch in Longmont, Colorado. We officially received the building on November 1st, and after some renovations, we began taking applications on Monday.

Mark Davies is currently helping the branch get on it’s feet. He got his start in Augusta with the Trojan Labor and Acrux Staffing there. He is from Philly and spent most of his youth in Europe.

Mark is an American hero, having served in the United States Marine Corps and served in combat overseas.

Mark married his high school sweetheart and has three kids.

Mark’s goal for the Trojan Labor Longmont branch is to help the cities of Boulder, Longmont, and Lyons rebuild after the floods that devastated them a few months ago.

So far everyone involved in any of our Colorado branches have found it to be a beautiful place to live. The locals call it “God’s Country” and so far they seem to be right.

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Colorado Flooding

Massive flooding has devastated parts of Colorado. So far

there have been 8 confirmed deaths. According to the Weather Channel the

floods have caused damage in 17 counties. The flood waters have destroyed

nearly 2,000 homes along with 200 miles of highway and 50 bridges.

According to the Weather Channel, “The Federal Emergency

Management Agency said it had approved $19.6 million in individual

assistance, most of it to help people find temporarily rentals or make house

repairs. More than 15,600 people have applied for FEMA relief.”

 

To better understand the situation in Colorado from a resident’s perspective

we contacted Brittney Richardson the Branch Manager of Trojan Labor Fort

Collins. She had this to say about the current situation,

“Roads are all open now, but at the worst part of the flood the bridges that

separate one part of Fort Collins from another were all under water and

therefore unusable cutting us off from the rest of town. We have two rivers in

and near our town the Poudre River and the Big Thompson River. Both of them

overflowed and we had a dam break that caused houses and businesses in

the surrounding area to flood. All access to major highways was shut down

cutting off Fort Collins from both Wyoming and the the Greeley/Denver area

essentially turning the city into an island. As of right now we are sending out

around 30 guys a day for flood restoration and cleanup. One of our biggest

projects is with a local elementary school that has been severely damaged and

currently rendered unusable. Our men have been working very diligently to get

the job done in a timely manor so that the kiddos are able to get back to

school as soon as possible.”

 

Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been impacted by this

disaster.

 

For further info on the flooding in Colorado:

http://www.weather.com/news/colorado-rushes-repair-flood-damaged-roads-20130923

http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/23/us/colorado-flooding/?hpt=us_c2