NFDA 2016-2017 Officers Elected
Kenneth A. Cahall, CFSP, CCO, President-elect, Charles "Chuck" T. Bowman, CMSP, CFSP, CCO, Treasurer, and Bryant Hightower Jr., CFSP, Secretary, have been elected to serve as the officers of the 2016-2017 NFDA Board of Directors. The Board will be led by President W. Ashley Cozine, CFSP, CPC, COO. The officers will serve one year terms, which will begin at the conclusion of the 2016 NFDA Convention in Philadelphia.
OSHA Silica Standard Change
OSHA published the final Silica Standard on March 25, 2016 and the effective date was June 23, 2016. However, businesses such as crematories, have until June 23, 2018 to be compliant. The silica rule applies to crematory brick maintenance within the retort. Crematories that outsource crematory maintenance, should have a Confined Space Policy prohibiting employees from entering confined spaces and defining the retort as a confined space. Crematories that perform their own maintenance, should also have a Confined Space Policy because it will outline all safety requirements for employees and have a silica safety program in place. Additional information on the standards can be found at https://www.osha.gov/silica/index.html.
Report on Cremation Costs and Disclosures
Consumer Federal of America and the Funeral Consumers Alliance, released results of a new study on cremation costs and disclosures. The study of 142 funeral homes, showed that 23% of them failed to tell consumers about their option for simple cremation, which violates the Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule that requires specified price disclosures on a list and verbally, but not a website. Also, 22 percent of those surveyed are listing prices for simple cremations, but the price doesn't include the cremation itself and can cost an additional $200-$595. For more information on the report, go to http://connectingdirectors.com/articles/48754-new-report-on-cremation-services-documents-that-some-funeral-homes-violate-federal-consumer-protection-rules.
EPA Moves Swiftly to Carry Out New Chemical Reform Legislation
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking action to ensure that the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act, signed this June 22, 2016, delivers on the promise of better protecting the environment and public health.
This law pushes up the deadline by which the EPA must evaluate the risk of hazardous chemicals in products on the market, like formaldehyde. If the EPA determines a chemical is unsafe, the agency must impose restrictions. EPA's toolbox of restrictions includes banning the chemical, phasing it out, imposing limits on its use, or requiring warnings and specific instructions. Virtually every EPA decision will be subject to public review and comment. More information about the law can be found at https://www.epa.gov/assessing-and-managing-chemicals-under-tsca/frank-r-lautenberg-chemical-safety-21st-century-act.
Crowdfunding Platform Designed by Licensed Funeral Directors
Fund the Funeral LLC is the only crowdfunding platform created by funeral directors that meets the needs of everyone involved in a funeral service crowdfunding platform. Fund the Funeral is a website where families and funeral directors can create a fund for people to donate money to help pay for a funeral. The funeral home is paid directly from the donations made to the fund. More information can be found at www.fundthefuneral.com.
Certificate of Death
The deadline for use of the Certificate of Death (H105-143, Revised 10/2015) has been extended to October 31, 2016. Funeral homes that are still using the Certificate of Death (H105-143, Revised 07/2012), can obtain a blank single copy of the new version from their Local Registrar and make copies until you have ordered and received a new supply. The new forms can be ordered by contacting the Department of Records Supply Unit at email@example.com or 724-656-3155. In your request, you must provide the name of the form and quantity, a contact name, telephone number, email address and a shipping address.
If you have any questions, contact Greg Cowell with the Department of Vital Records at 724-698-2385 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
PFDA PARTNERSFuneral Directors Life Releases New Suite of Digital Services
Funeral Directors Life has recently released a new suite of digital services, DIGicare™ Services, designed to help funeral professionals communicate more efficiently with the families they serve.
The five digital services that make up Funeral Directors Life's DIGicare suite follow families throughout the sales cycle to enhance their experience, offer education, automate services and support, and provide professionals with leads to follow up with and tools to build and nurture customer relationships. These subscription services-—PipelineDeals® Customer Relationship Management, Circle of Friends® eAftercare, Precare™, My Tribute Planner™ sales professional tools, and Social Media Management-—work seamlessly together to help funeral professionals save time while offering professionals innovative opportunities to connect with and care for families in ways that meet the communication needs of today's funeral consumer.
"As a company, we strive to be thought leaders in our profession, and we wanted to create a suite of advanced, customer-oriented services that would help our clients communicate with today's families in the way they prefer," said Funeral Directors Life President and CEO Kris Seale. "Our line of DIGicare Services provides unique ways of reaching out to families, building relationships, and meeting the needs of today's consumers. These services can help our clients save time and create more opportunities for preneed sales."
"In coordination with Passare, Inc., which provides family collaboration and at-need case management technology for funeral homes, Funeral Directors Life is the only preneed insurance provider that helps funeral directors communicate digitally with their families throughout the entire continuum of care-—before, during, and after the funeral-—using one integrated suite of digital care services," said Todd Carlson, Executive Vice President of Sales and Chief Sales Officer at Funeral Directors Life. "As a result, funeral directors and their at-need and preneed staff can more easily service families, build trust, and communicate on a more personal level."
Is Offering Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medication a Risk for Businesses?
Federated Insurance is not aware of any specific employment statute that addresses a private sector employer providing over-the-counter (OTC) medication such as Tylenol, Advil or antihistamines to its employees. That said, it is not recommended that employers supply employees with any kind of medication, even OTC medications, or advice concerning what OTC medicines they should take, because doing so could expose the company to unnecessary liability on a number of fronts.
If an employee helps him or herself to such medicine provided by the employer and suffers internal bleeding as a result, not only is there the possibility that the company could be potentially liable from a negligence standpoint, but it could, perhaps, also be faced with potential OSHA violations.There could be added liability associated with dispensing medication (even OTC), given that the employer is not a medical practitioner or licensed druggist, etc., depending on the state laws as they pertain to dispensation of medication (which is not governed by employment laws and, therefore, outside the purview of this service). Companies should play it safe and tell employees to use their own OTC medications if they have a headache or minor illness or injury at work (which would include a bee sting, in most cases). Of course, a first aid kit that includes non-medicinal items such as hand sanitizer, alcohol swabs, gloves, gauze, and/or bandages to clean minor cuts and scrapes is generally fine for the employer to provide. We recommend that the employer contact the local OSHA office for further guidance on this topic: https://www.osha.gov/html/RAmap.html
Source: Federated Employment Practice Network
What Impact Will Millennials Have on Funeral Service?According to the United States Census Bureau, millennials (ages 18-34 in 2016) are the largest generation in the country. They are about to move into their prime spending years and redesign the economy and how we buy and sell things. They will force companies to rethink how they do business, and this includes funeral service.
Millennials are closer to their parents then previous generations and feel they must help their parents make informed purchases. Funeral homes must communicate to millennials that they can create non-traditional memorial ceremonies for them and their loved ones. When communicating with this generation, funeral directors must be very descriptive and speak about celebrating life versus having a funeral service, they must have everything online so the information is readily available, and funeral directors must think outside the box, because millennials don't want to be in a funeral home or what feels like a funeral home environment. By reconfiguring your funeral home space with props, decorated caskets, a memory jar, a wreath with photos, etc, you can create unique, personal experiences and give millennials and attendees what they are looking for.
Additional Electric and Phone Company Scams
Member funeral homes have been receiving scams from people claiming they are from the local electric company and MCI phone company. Both callers claim the funeral homes are behind on their electric and phone bills and a credit card is needed to pay the balances. Don't provide a credit card or any form of payment to these callers.
$500K Given to Oak Lawn Victims
The Victims Compensation Assistance Program, a state program that helps crime victims, gave victims of the Oak Lawn Cemetery theft case, almost $500,000. There were 301 submitted claims and 245 of the claims were awarded. The program is available to crime victims that earn 50 percent or more of their income from free monthly benefits like social security, disability, retirement or pension plans.
PFDA Welcomes Abby Haman
PFDA welcomes Abby Haman as our new Administrative Assistant. Prior to coming to PFDA, Abby was an Administrative Assistant at PASBO and an Event Coordinator at MABX. She is a graduate of Middletown Area High School. In her free time, Abby enjoys being an Aunt to her 11 nieces and nephews and being outdoors and camping/fishing. Please join us in welcoming Abby.
PFDA Annual Convention
The 2017 Annual Convention and Expo will be held April 23-26, 2017 at Kalahari Resorts and Convention Center in Pocono Manor, PA. Attendees can reserve overnight rooms by calling 855-356-9208 and asking for the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association block or going online to https://book.kalahariresorts.com/poconos/groups.asp and using the group booking ID 416.
2016 NFDA Convention in Philadelphia
Don't miss out on the 2016 National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) International Convention and Expo will be October 23-26, 2016 at the Philadelphia Convention Center. You can register at http://convention.nfda.org/.
The Indiana Funeral Directors Association (IFDA) is hosting OSHA Teleconferences October, 7, 20 and 27, 2016. They are extending the training to PFDA members at their member rate of $65.00. This class is not approved for CE credit. You can register for any of these classes by going to http://www.infda.org/online-registrations. You can have all of your employees listen to the training.
Virginia "Jean" Rago, 93, died August 29, 2016. She is survived by her son Mark, a licensed funeral director at the Monti-Rago Funeral Home, Inc, Philadelphia.
Stephen R. Haky, Jr., 82, of Uniontown, died on August 30, 2016. He was a licensed funeral director and was the previous owner and operator of the Stephen R. Haky Funeral Homes. Since 1996 he has been a Consultant and Supervisor of Stephen R. Haky Funeral Home, Inc Uniontown. He is survived by his daughter Stephanie Ann Georgiana, a licensed funeral director working in the family business, supervising the Haky Funeral Home Inc, Masontown, but also helping at the Uniontown facility.
Mary L. Jarrett, 91, of Mahanoy City, died on August 30, 2016. She is survived by her son, David D. and daughter-in-law Mary Ann, owners and operators of David D. Jarrett Funeral Home, Mahanoy City.
Ann H. Carr, of Brookhaven, died on September 10, 2016 at St. Martha's Manor in Downingtown. She is survived by her husband John E. and son John, both licensed funeral directors in the family business, Carr Funeral Home, Wallingford.
Robert L. "Bobby" Ewing, 58, of Newville, died on September 10, 2016. He is survived by his brother, Steven A., a licensed funeral director and owner of Ewing Brothers Funeral Home Inc., Carlisle.