Waitte's Insurance Agency
Serving the area for over 100 years
Waitte's Insurance Agency
Serving the area for over 100 years
Waitte's Insurance Agency
Serving the area for over 100 years
Waitte's Insurance Agency
Serving the area for over 100 years

Black Friday: From Origin to Modern Day Spectacle

Black FridayBlack Friday has something of an infamous reputation for becoming a no-holds-barred, bring-home-the-bacon, make-or-break the holiday season for many retailers and shoppers alike. From its humble beginnings as simple day-after-Thanksgiving sales to the modern day spectacle of excess it has become to many, Black Friday has consistently been the busiest shopping day of the year in the United States for decades. In recent years, many retailers have actually been expanding the day into Thanksgiving Day itself, opening stores at midnight the day before to remaining open for a number of hours on Thanksgiving Day before commencing Black Friday Sales. Here’s a brief history of the craziest day of the shopping year, and a list of stores that will be closed Thanksgiving Day in order to let their employees share the holiday with family and friends without requiring them to work.

The History of Black Friday:

Black Friday traditionally falls on the Friday after Thanksgiving Day in the United States (the last Friday of November every year). Many federal and state government employees are off work, and so many employers also extend the day as a paid holiday to many of their workers as well. This means that millions of Americans have a four day weekend right before December begins, and many choose to go shopping for Christmas gifts during this time since they have the time off from work. The long weekend led many retailers over the years to offer special sales and incentives on popular items in order to drive up sales revenue and give the holiday shopping season and their annual sales numbers an extra boost.

Why it’s Called ‘Black’ Friday:

The name actually derives from the business term, “out of the red and into the black”, referring to accounting ledgers that used to write losses in red under revenue tallies, and profits in black. The Friday after Thanksgiving Day has traditionally been a record-breaking sales day year after year, putting many businesses “in the black” for the year with billions in sales revenue. Many retailers report vast crowds that line up for specials each year, sometimes resulting in scuffles or injury as customers strive to get items at extraordinary deals before they sell out each year. Stock shortages are common in the face of high demand, and behavior by the general public in search of bargains for the holidays has proven to be something of an issue over the years.

There is a cultural movement to end the greed, rush, and materialism of Black Friday in the United States by boycotting Black Friday sales, instead choosing to shop throughout December in the weeks leading up to Christmas. This has led to a trend of retailers spreading out their Black Friday sales over the entirety of November and December instead of putting all of their efforts and budget into Black Friday alone. Many shoppers have also started boycotting stores on Black Friday in protest of businesses that require their employees to work hours on Thanksgiving in preparation for Black Friday as well.

In case you were considering having an early dinner and getting in some extended Black Friday shopping on Thanksgiving Day, you’ll want to plan accordingly by knowing which retailers will even be open. To see the  list of retailers that will be closed on Thanksgiving, visit www.bestblackfriday.com. 

Waitte’s Insurance encourages all shoppers on Black Friday and onward to be safe and courteous to others to ensure that everyone’s holiday season is merry and bright!

The end of the calendar year is rapidly approaching. If you haven’t yet reviewed or renewed your current insurance policies, you’ll want to do so before January 1st! Contact Waitte’s Insurance Agency in Norwich, CT by clicking here or by calling us at (860) 886-1961.

7 Steps to Keep a Safe Workplace and Avoid Injuries

Safe WorkplaceAs a business owner, you have a legal and moral responsibility to provide as much of a hazard-free and safe workplace for your employees as possible. Many businesses, however, do not do everything in their power to keep their workplaces safe. Managers sometimes neglect to enforce various safety regulations or cut a few corners to save time and/or money. Even if precautions are put in place, many places of work don’t properly train their employees in how to avoid danger or they don’t provide the necessary follow-up to ensure their employees remain alert, vigilant, and aware.  Because of this, employees in these businesses are more at risk for various dangers and are unsure of what to do in such an emergency.

It must be a primary concern, as an employer,  to do everything possible to put safety measures in place and train your employees accordingly and regularly.  If you are unsure of how to proceed, use the following guide to help you in making your workplace a more safe and secure area for your employees.

1. Establish a Safety-Conscious Attitude

The most important thing you can do to ensure the safety of your employees is to initiate a climate of safety in your workplace.  If you and your employees are committed to safety it will have a tremendous effect on the environment.  This means putting as much thought and effort into your safety as you would any other aspect of your business.  By changing the climate of your business, you can have a real effect on workplace safety throughout your entire staff.

2.  Identify Your Workplace Hazards

The next step is to identify what areas of your business environment and operations are potentially the most hazardous.  Review past injury records, survey employees, and consult with a safety expert who is trained to find problem areas that the rest of us might otherwise overlook.  Also, make sure you are well-versed in the various OSHA regulations that pertain to your situation.

3. Create a Plan for Each Potential Hazard

Now that you have identified equipment, processes, or locations where accidents are more likely to occur, it is time to create a plan of action. Take the following questions into consideration when writing out your safety plan:

  • – What Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) do employees need to perform their duties safely?
  • – What actions (or non-actions) can put employees at risk in each situation?
  • – What do they need to know?
  • – What should they avoid?
  • – What steps should they take if they are involved in an accident?

4.  Involve Your Employees in the Planning of a Safe Workplace

As previously mentioned regarding surveying employees, as you start to create your plans, make sure to get employee input.  Since they are the ones most in harm’s way, they definitely have a stake in the safety of the workplace.  In addition, they might also be aware of potential hazards, or ways to avoid those hazards, that you would not know since they are around those dangerous areas each and every day.

5.  Provide Adequate Employee Training

Once your plans are in place, train your employees.  This means educating each employee about all of the dangers they might come into contact with each day, as well as what they should do in the event of an accident. This also means reinforcing this training with regular drills to deal with certain situations, such as environmental concerns or employee injury. Many workplaces even require staff members to become certified in first aid and CPR. If your business falls into this category, ensure that all employees are up-to-date with all necessary certifications. The more they know and are capable of responding to, the safer everyone will be.

6.  Make Sure New Hires Are IMMEDIATELY Trained for Their Jobs

One of the biggest concerns for workplace safety is with new and inexperienced hires.  It is at this time that someone is most vulnerable to accidents.  Make sure new employees are exceptionally trained in all workplace safety protocols BEFORE they begin their regular work duties.

7.  Always Look for Ways to Improve the System

Finally, always be on the lookout for ways to improve your safety.  Just because something is working does not mean it can’t be improved and made even safer.  As you and your employees learn more, offer incentives to encourage them to find new ways to keep your business hazard-free.  A little investment now can have huge dividends in the future!

Keeping a safe workplace is no joke.  As a business owner, you need to do everything in your power to keep your employees safe not only from an ethical standpoint but to also avoid a Workers Compensation claim.  By following these simple guidelines, you will have gone a long way to keeping everyone free from danger and your business free from liability suits.

Regardless if you take all of the necessary precautionary measures, accidents are always a possibility in the workplace. If you are a business owner, contact Waitte’s Insurance Agency by clicking here or by calling (860) 886-1961 to review your current Worker’s Compensation policy. Make sure you are sufficiently covered in the event of a worst case scenario.