Imagine a scenario that could happen at any community organization. A fire caused by an old electrical panel starts in a maintenance room. Soon, smoke is filling the building and patrons are rushing for the exits. The exit from the pool area is blocked by pool toys. An exit from a fitness studio can’t be opened because heavy snow is piled outside of it. The evacuation is slowed as everyone tries to find accessible exits, adding to the chaos and confusion.…continue reading the rest of Emergency Exits and Evacuation Routes
One of our loss prevention experts recently received a question that many YMCAs and larger fitness facilities face. Employees at this YMCA noticed some of their members using the facility to train other members. This isn't an unusual occurrence. Someone who wants to make money with their skills offers to provide training for others, using the YMCA or fitness center as a meeting place. They could be offering swim lessons, sports training, personal training, or other services.…continue reading the rest of Private Personal Training at the Y?
Last month, one of our loss prevention experts was at a YMCA pool. A swimmer was up on a starting block getting ready to jump into the pool when suddenly the block broke, sending the platform and the swimmer crashing into the pool. When our rep and the aquatics director looked at the broken starting block, they discovered the galvanized bolts holding it together had completed corroded and rusted (see photo below).…continue reading the rest of Pool Safety: Starting Blocks
Too often here at West Bend we receive frightening near-drowning claims. These claims can result in serious injury and many times the victims are children. A child who can’t swim wanders into the deep end during a pool party. A child who’s supposed to be wearing a lifejacket takes it off and no one notices. A child who can’t swim tells her parents she will be in another area of the Y but instead decides to go swimming with her friend. These dangerous scenarios happen all the time.…continue reading the rest of Keeping Pools Safe with Swim Tests
We spend all winter looking forward to long, sunny days. Then finally summer arrives, bringing some beautiful weather. But summer also can bring dangerous storms with flooding, tornadoes, and lightning. Last Thursday in Duluth, Minnesota, a severe thunderstorm rolled through in the early morning hours. Winds were clocked at over 80 mph in some parts of the region. Local TV and radio stations were knocked off the air. Residents awoke to trees and power lines all over the ground. Yesterday it was reported there were still 7000 homes and businesses without power, five long days after the storm. Imagine if this had happened to your organization in the middle of the day. Are you prepared?
Take a kid to a party with a bounce house and chances are you won’t see them for long. Most kids are thrilled to jump and flip in these inflatables for hours. Bounce houses and other inflatables seem to be at every church picnic and child birthday party, providing endless entertainment for kids and even adults. However, injuries are on the rise and some of these injuries can be life threatening.…continue reading the rest of Bounce Houses: Growing in Popularity and Serious Injuries
A client walks into a community organization with a large dog. The dog doesn’t have a vest or badge identifying it as a service animal and the person is not blind. The organization has a clear sign prohibiting animals on the premises. The person states the dog is their service animal. What should the organization do?…continue reading the rest of Do I Have to Let that Dog in Here?
West Bend's loss prevention representatives spend a lot of time in the field working with non-profit, youth-focused, and community-based customers. Like most homes and businesses, our customers own a lot of stuff. From extra toys to fitness equipment, it's hard to find space for everything. Most people might think, "So what? It's just some clutter...it's not a big deal."
But sometimes it is a big deal.…continue reading the rest of Dangerously Cluttered Spaces
West Bend Mutual Insurance Company works with more than 200 Y associations throughout the Midwest. Each year, these Ys submit hundreds of insurance claims to West Bend. This year, we conducted a thorough analysis of each of these claims and held a live online seminar for our customers to discuss the results. To help make other Ys (and similar organizations) safe for…continue reading the rest of Safety at the Y in 2014
Winter is definitely here. Much of Minnesota is still digging out from over two feet of snow and half the country is bracing for crippling ice storms. Every year, at just about this time, the claims department at West Bend sees a drastic increase in the number of reported claims during the winter months. These claims are usually the result of…continue reading the rest of Say "Yes" to a Snow Removal Contractor this Winter