Wishing You A Safe, Sober Holiday

office holiday partyWe at NATSB are wishing you a safe, sober holiday. During the holiday season, employers and workers frequently get together to unwind and celebrate. Typically, workplace parties involve plenty of food and drinks. However, if the drinks include alcohol, there is potential for unfortunate consequences.
Whether alcohol is permitted at workplace parties or other company-sponsored events is an individual decision for each company to make. If alcohol is present, it makes good sense to take precautions to help prevent workers or guests from becoming intoxicated and to discourage impaired driving.*

Tips for Safe Workplace Celebrations
If employers decide to provide or permit alcohol at a workplace event, they can take steps to help ensure a safe and sober holiday party season – while still creating an enjoyable and festive atmosphere. The following are some ways to minimize potential negative repercussions.

Be honest with workers. Make sure workers know their employer’s drug-free workplace policy and how it addresses alcohol use in work-related situations and social functions.

Post the policy.
Use different communication vehicles to ensure employees understand the policy. Prior to a party, use company bulletin boards, e-mail, and/or paycheck envelopes to publicize the policy and any rules specific to alcohol use.

Reinvent the party concept. Why have a “traditional” party? Consider trying something new like an indoor carnival, amusement park outing or volunteer activity.

Make it a party of choice.
Always make plenty of non-alcoholic drinks available.

Make sure workers know when to say when. When alcohol is served at an event, make sure all employees know that they are welcome to attend and have fun, but are expected to act responsibly.

Eat…and be merry! Avoid serving only salty, greasy or sweet foods, which make people thirsty. Serve foods rich in starch and protein, which stay in the stomach longer and slow the bloodstream’s absorption of alcohol.

Designate party managers. Remind managers and supervisors that even at a party, they may need to ensure that everyone adheres to their drug- and alcohol-free workplace policy.

Arrange Alternative Transportation
Anticipate the need for alternative transportation for all party goers and make arrangements in advance. Encourage workers to make use of available alternatives, such as designated drivers, if they consume alcohol.

Serve none for the road. Stop serving alcohol before the party officially ends.

*Although commonly used, the phrase “drunk driving” is not a legal term. Rather, “impaired driving” is used because it better describes the realities of drinking and driving—when someone consumes alcohol, even at low levels, his/her ability to drive is impaired elaptop with santa hat and wineven though there may be no obvious signs of drunkenness.

Consult Applicable State Laws
Remember, if employers provide alcohol at a workplace function, they should consult state laws regarding its use and the resulting legal responsibilities. In addition to the safety concerns, improper alcohol use can expose businesses to civil liability under tort laws. For example, a business may be held liable if a person consumes alcohol at a company-sponsored party and subsequently causes an accident or injury.

Keeping Workplaces Safe All Year Round
While the holidays serve to remind us about the perils of impaired driving, employers have a vested interest in keeping employees safe all year round. After all, accidents and injuries to employees, whether on or off the job, impact businesses through increased absenteeism and the use of health benefits. So encouraging safety before, after and, especially, during work makes good sense.

Businesses that maintain drug-free workplace programs generally have effective channels for sending messages about drug- and alcohol-related dangers – including impaired driving. They can incorporate related messages into regular worker education sessions, newsletters, payroll stuffers or workplace displays.

For those organizations that do not have a drug-free workplace program, NATSB offers a Drug Free Workplace Kickstarter, a valuable resource that offers guidance on developing one. Contact us for more details.

Remember, safe roads and workplaces are everyone’s business. This holiday season, and all year long, employers are encouraged to send workers a safe and sober message about workplaces and drinking.



The outbreak of the Ebola virus is an unprecedented health situation for the United States due to the severity of the disease, even though officials have said there is an extremely low likelihood of contracting Ebola unless there is direct and unprotected contact with the bodily fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola. We want to make sure that all employees and customers of NATSB are safe and protected.

ebola virus symptoms

From this time forward:

● Wipe down all surfaces with a disinfectant wipe, while wearing gloves, after each test.
● Protective gloves shall be discarded in the waste receptacle with a lid.
● Protective gloves shall be worn when emptying and disposing the waste from this receptacle.
● Also, frequent hand washing is always good hygiene.

hand washing

Urine has been identified as a carrier of Ebola but only by “direct contact”. Direct contact means that body fluids (saliva, mucus, vomit, feces, sweat, tears, breast milk, urine, and semen) from an infected person (alive or dead) have touched someone’s eyes, nose, or mouth or an open cut, wound, or abrasion. Please use precautions while handling these body fluids.

Q&A about Ebola

1. Q. How is Ebola viruses transmitted?
A. Ebola viruses are transmitted through direct contact with blood or body fluids/substances (e.g., urine, feces, vomit) of an infected person with symptoms or through exposure to objects (such as needles) that have been contaminated with infected blood or body fluids.

2. Q. What does “direct contact” mean?
A. Direct contact means that body fluids (saliva, mucus, vomit, feces, sweat, tears, breast milk, urine, and semen) from an infected person (alive or dead) have touched someone’s eyes, nose, or mouth or an open cut, wound, or abrasion.

3. Q. Is Ebola transmissible through contact with contaminated surfaces like elevator buttons, stair railings and door knobs?
A. According to the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no epidemiologic evidence of Ebolavirus transmission via either the environment that could become contaminated during patient care (e.g., bed rails, door knobs, laundry). However, given the apparent low infectious dose, potential of high virus titers in the blood of ill patients, and disease severity, higher levels of precaution are warranted to reduce the potential risk posed by contaminated surfaces in the patient care environment. In isolated cases, Ebola on dry surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops can survive for several hours. If you have any belief that any space has symptomatic people, try to avoid “common touch” areas by using a tissue or handkerchief. Also, wash your hands frequently and have bleach based hand wipes available.

4. Q. Does bleach kill the virus?
A. Ebola is killed with hospital-grade disinfectants (such as household bleach). Ebola on dry surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops can survive for several hours; however, virus in body fluids (such as blood) can survive up to several days at room temperature.

5. Q. How long does the Ebola virus remain contagious when in contact with an inanimate surface? How long does Ebola live outside the body?
A. Ebola is killed with hospital-grade disinfectants (such as household bleach). Ebola on dry surfaces such as doorknobs and countertops can survive for several hours; however, virus in body fluids (such as blood) can survive up to several days at room temperature.

6. Q. Should gyms and fitness centers be closed? (Health officials in Dallas where the first laboratoryconfirmed case of Ebola to be diagnosed in the United States answered this question directly)
A. No, regular cleaning that all gyms and fitness centers undergo to prevent other infections and transmissions is more than sufficient.

Updated 10/17/14 12:20 A.M.

Physical Therapy: Safety Consideration for the Aging Worker

Physical Therapy is a safety consideration for the aging worker. For the first time in the history of American business four different generations are in the work place at the same time. This can cause communication, management and worksite safety issues and increased workers’ compensation claims. It should be noted that “older employees” can be defined from 40 to 55 and over, depending on the agency.

WorkSafe Physical Therapy Logo

Guest Blog Post by WorkSafe Physical Therapy

The Situation:

According to the Department of Labor, the situation will not be changing soon. They estimate that by the end of 2030 25% of employees will be over the age of 55. That translates into 32 million people. The breakdown looks like this:

  • 76 million “Baby Boomers” born between 1946 and 1964
  • 30.8 million are in the workforce now
  • 85% plan to work after retirement age
  • 70% prefer to work full-time
  • Nearly half plan to work into their 70s and 80s
  • 32 million workers over age 55 by 2015 (US Census prediction)

The reasons for the employees continuing to work include lagging retirement funds, cost of health insurance and/or wanting to stay active. On the part of the employer it is pretty simple – the need for skilled, experienced labor.

While the incidence rate of injury among older workers declines, injury severity increases. Older workers have more lost work days, higher treatment costs and the fatality rate is nearly three times higher than younger workers.

The Effects:
The physical changes affect the entire system of the aging worker.  Changes in the cardiovascular system means older individuals may have more difficulty working in extreme heat and humidity or extreme cold. They will also have more trouble recovering from work.

Musculoskeletal changes mean they lose flexibility, joints get stiff and injuries take longer to heal. This means older adults are more prone to sprains and strains and have a decreased capacity for repetitive work. Reaction times slow down and older workers have decreased balance, making falls a great risk.

Falls from the same level are the second highest cause of work injury and in the older worker falls can be fatal, due to the chronic health conditions common in older adults. These conditions include diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity. These conditions may also increase the amount of time required for any injury to heal.

The Solutions:
Older workers are a valuable resource to any organization. Their skill and experience is priceless. Good safety practices will keep them as well as their younger counterparts working safe.

  • Job demands analysis: By evaluating each job demand individuals can perform tasks that actually match their physical capabilities. This makes good sense for workers of any age.
  • Ergonomic principles: Use sound ergonomics when designing work areas. By limiting the work above shoulder or below knee height one can avoid aggravating age-related changes in those joints.
  • Physical ability testing: After a thorough job demands analysis is performed the next step is to test new employees to make sure they can perform those job demands. Testing should include job specific tasks such as lifting and carrying or postural demands like kneeling, squatting and stooping.
  • Return to work testing: These tests are similar to the physical ability testing but are performed after an employee returns to work following an absence for medical reasons.
  • Good Safety Practices: Clear trip hazards, spills and clutter to prevent slips, trip and falls. Make sure employees are wearing proper footwear and protective equipment.
  • Buddy system: Pairing older, experienced workers with younger employees. Benefits for both younger employees can help with the physical tasks and knowledge is passed down to the newer employee

Nancy Wilson, PT, CEAS
Owner, WorkSafe Physical Therapy
Nancy Wilson, PT, CEAS Owner, WorkSafe Physical Therapy

The Importance of Job Fit

The importance of job fit is key, technical skills are not enough!
Technical skills are necessary, but not sufficient, to predict future success as a manager when selecting a professional for a management position. What is missing? The answer is Job Fit. Does an engineer or an accountant have the right combination of mental abilities, personal interests and behavioral traits to allow for success as a manager?

job fitLeaders Do Not Determine Job Fit
Generally, most leaders do not understand nor cannot determine Job Fit so instead they evaluate the individual’s Company Fit and Skills Match, but not Job Fit. According to Chuck Russell in his book, “Right Person-Right Job; Guess or Know, The Breakthrough Technologies of Performance Information” Job Fit is defined as:

“The degree to which the candidate’s cognitive abilities, interests, and personality dynamics fit those required by the position.”

COMPANY FIT is determined by one or more of the following:

  1. Drug testing
  2. Integrity testing
  3. Honesty testing
  4. Interviewing

SKILLS MATCH is evaluated by:

  1. Education
  2. Work History
  3. Objective Skills Testing
  4. Reference Checking

JOB FIT requires an assessment in three critical areas:

  1. Cognitive Ability
  2. Personal Interests
  3. Personality

Why success in hiring seems to be a 50-50 proposition?
The pool of otherwise qualified job applicants for any position contain several individuals who will not be successful because they lack Job Fit. Roughly one-third of the otherwise qualified candidates have Job Fit which is based on the traits required by the position itself. The other two-thirds include the obvious misfits and the less obvious future non-performers. The misfits and non-performers are about equal in number (one-third each) but only the obvious misfits are readily excluded in the screening process. Therefore, we have reduced the pool of acceptable applicants by one-third, the obvious misfits and we are left with the one-third future non-performers and the one-third with Job Fit.

In summary, the pool of acceptable candidates consists of two groups—applicants with Job Fit and the future non-performers. Since most managers cannot distinguish between the two groups, the success rate in hiring or promoting is about 50%.

The Price of People Failure

  • Performance — Quality & Quantity 
  • Dependability — Turnover, Absenteeism, Tardiness
  • Workplace Health — Tension, Stress, Accidents
  • Negative Attitudes — Poor Morale
  • Counterproductive Behaviors — Dishonesty, Substance Abuse, Sabotage, Harassment
  • Loss of Image — Negative Reputation

Successful Hiring Comes Down to Fit
By matching jobs and candidates based on what science has shown predicts superior performance, turnover can be reduced and performance at work can be dramatically increased. Job-matching techniques and psychometric assessments are tools that can be used to clarify and solidify placement decisions. They provide the best possible insight for those seeking deeper information helpful in both hiring and development processes.

Will Stricker, Job Fit Specialist

Will Stricker

Want to learn more?
Placing the right people in the right positions will make a positive impact within any organization. Right Fit Hiring™ is an advanced, state-of-the-art solution available for measuring human potential and predicting job performance. To learn more, contact National Screening Bureau: 877-264-4405 or will@natsb.com.

Privacy Conscious Volunteers

Every day, hundreds volunteer countless hours to help districts fulfill their mission. Their help is often vital to your success, but it can come with a hidden cost and a growing challenge – How do you properly screen out the bad volunteers (yes, they are out there) without alienating your stars?

hands in the airThe good news is, it’s easy. In fact, we are finding that most volunteers in today’s environment are expecting to have a background check done on them and are concerned if one is not requested.

Our goal is to make the process as simple as possible. The two most popular options are:

1. Use the same process that you do for employees.

2. Set up a weblink that you can send them in an email or post on your website.
The great news is, during the months of August and September, we are waiving the weblink setup fee!

Quick, Simple and Thorough.

At NATSB, our mission is to be the ultimate source of services to hire and retain superior employees for our clients. With our team of experts adhering to industry standards, we use robust products to help you achieve your goals and objectives. As your company continues to grow, we would like to grow with you! Monitoring the screening industry and the relevant regulatory bodies is imperative in keeping your companies free of hazards. We stay up-to-date in all our practices. We continue to invest in training, technology and systems to provide the best environment for our clients to hire with success. Please feel free to contact any of our customer service representatives with questions you may have regarding your account or our services. If you are searching for educational training for your business, you may contact Dan at dan@natsb.com. He will be excited to formulate a quote for you and come out to train your volunteers.