Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Dangers Of Driving

"..driving alert is driving safe"

A recent tragedy has hit close to home. A tour bus crashed killing seven Canadians on a trip from British Columbia to Las Vegas. The bus, carrying 47 passengers, crashed near a cliff after veering off icy roads.
Image by "Salvatore Vuono" from
The Vancouver travel company is now being sued by two survivors of the accident.  They claim the bus driver violated American federal laws by working 90 to 100 hours during the first eight days of their trip.  They indicate in the lawsuit that the tour company’s driver seemed extremely fatigued and ignored evident dangerous road conditions.

After the driver lost control, the bus spun and crashed through the guard rail. There were 9 fatalities and 38 others were hurt.  Although this is an extreme case of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle without acknowledging ones mental and physical capabilities to drive, this is a subject that relates to all Canadian drivers. 

All drivers should be aware of their mental and physical state before operating a vehicle. Being overly tired and drowsy is a “silent killer”.  Drivers’ nodding off while at the wheel leads to fatal accidents. Some of the signs you should look out for besides the obvious ones of yawning and heavy eyelids, are daydreaming, missing road signs or exits and feeling irritable and restless. If you experience any of the mental or physical signs of exhaustion, pull over to the side of the road immediately and phone a relative or a friend to come help. In the event that you are out of town, you can call a tow truck to come help you in this type of situation.

And remember, driving alert is driving safe.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Buidling a Brighter Future, The Final Day

Rachel McCullys' trip to Nicaragua has concluded. She has arrived back to her home in Ottawa and also back to the Rhodes & Williams Office.  Below is a blog that Rachel has written about her final day of helping to build a School for the community of El Sasle.

We knew the day would be good when breakfast was served: pancakes and watermelon salad.  After breakfast, Gregorio the engineer took us back to the job site on the scenic route (otherwise known as mud alley). Along the way we saw royal lemons the size of a grapefruit, a variety of cacti and a plant that shrinks to the touch.  Kelly McKinney also led us through a surprise session of "Kelly-thetics", otherwise known as a massage circle to get our shoulders ready for the day.

Then Gregorio numbered us off and we were put into 3 teams: Team 1 Rebar, Team 2 Leveling the classroom floor and surprise, surprise, Team 3 Cement!

Team 1 Rebar, powered through creating the forms for the back slope and finished in record time!  Despite finishing their assigned task early, they were soon asked to move 1,200 clay tiles. When moving one stack, a scorpion emerged. Before we could get a clear photo, our local hero swooped in and eliminated the threat.

Team 2 Levelers, MacGyver'd some much needed tools to help level and stamp the sticky red clay used to form the floor in the classroom.  Here's something funny about that clay.  Most of you will recall that expression "Ants in your pants," well Christine understood the literal meaning of that expression when she sat in the pile of clay on the return trip from the quarry. Upon this discovery, Chico advised the best remedy was to stand under running water. Christine sprinted to the shower only to find there was no running water.

Team 3 Cement,  mixed 8 pans and finished the back slope all while incorporating cement mixing competitions and humorous exchanges all day long. By the end of the day, all teams were working together on the cement.

Rachel 2012We finished the work day a little early and had time to visit with a local family. Rachel McCully, Rhodes & Williams, was impressed with the tight knit family values.  "It was interesting to hear from the 75 year old patriarch who fathered 15 children, each of whom worked together to ensure family priorities were met. Two of the sons were Contra soldiers in the war, while their home was located in the Sandanista territory, placing the family in a dangerous position. The father's response was to this unfortunate arrangement was "war is not delicious" which left us all in tears.".....

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Building a Brighter Future Part 2

Last month we posted an article on our website about one of our team memebers upcoming journey to Nicaragua. If you havent had a chance to read it you can do so here.
Rachel McCully has arrived in Nicaragua where she will be helping to build a school for the community. A blog has been posted each day since the team arrived to Nicaragua, they can be read below.

Day 4

We are very proud of Rachel. We are looking forward to seeing the progress of her and the other indivuals who are helping build this school. Please stay tuned for future updates.  

"...I am very excited to be part of this amazing project and know that this will be a life changing experience"

-Rachel McCully

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Going out of town? Make sure your home is protected!

Imagine coming home from a nice relaxing vacation, to find a foot of water in your house! Not a pleasant welcome home!

What happened? A pipe has burst and the water has been running out of it ever since! A 1/8-inch crack in a pipe can spill 250 gallons of water a day. That’s a lot of water where you don’t want it to be!

Why would a pipe burst? If the pipe gets cold, the water in the pipe freezes, and water expands when it freezes. This causes the pipe to burst. It can happen to copper or plastic pipes, old or new.

How would a pipe get too cold? The answer is simple--there is not enough heat in the home. The cause of the loss of heat could be the oil or propane running out, a power outage, or just having the temperature set too low.

Is it covered?  Check with your insurance company on their requirements when you are away. Some insurers require that the home be checked, but you will need to confirm with them how often. If the home can’t be checked, some insurers will require that you turn off the water and drain the pipes. To drain the system, you need to shut off the water supply and turn on every tap until the water stops running. This way, there is no water in the pipes, so they can’t freeze.

It can be extremely costly to have to replace everything ruined by the water, not to mention a health risk due to mold. You don’t want to come home to that!

Written by Sandy Bafia, Account Manager Rhodes & Williams Limited

Monday, January 7, 2013

Insurance is Just a Part of it

Rhodes Williams

Lorne Wiebe has written another article about issues important to business owners, for the local online hub serving Cornwall, Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry - . What follows is an introduction to that article. The full article can be read in his column, "Risky Business"

A Sign of the Times
Photo Credit

"..if all you are hearing from your broker is that you “need more insurance” perhaps it’s time to find a different broker"

When it comes to protecting your business from the hundreds of risks it faces everyday, you might expect an insurance broker (guilty as charged) to offer a one-word solution…insurance. But that isn’t the case – or at least it shouldn’t be. Your insurance broker needs to point out a whole list of other options for you whenever the discussion revolves around protecting your company.

We use a handy little chart at Rhodes & Williams Ltd. which spells out all of your potential protection options, including risk avoidance, risk mitigation, risk transfer and even risk acceptance. I won’t dig deep into all of these risk management options because each of them is a discussion as long as your arm and not all of them apply to every business situation but knowing just a few of them might make you think about your operation a bit differently.....

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