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May 2019

Ensuring a Safe Job Site is Essential

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For the first time in many years, OSHA has made significant changes in their PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) requirements.  We urge you to take a look at this “Quick Glance Card” they have issued, to make it easier to understand.

The basics of these new requirements regarding policy and certificates are:

  1. When it comes to liability insurance for contractors in terms of PPE, it is vital that you have a current liability policy for yourself and any and all employees at all times.*
  2. You’ll always be issued a Certificate of Insurance that should be kept with you at all times on the job.
  3. This certificate verifies that you hold fully active insurance coverage, workers’ compensation, employer (contractor) liability, general liability, and what the liability limits are.
  4. There is a lot of coverage in this, but to boil it down, ensure that the coverage includes premises and operations, independent contractor, products, completed operations and contractual liability.
  5. The Certificate should clearly state that your primary coverage is contractor liability.
It’s important to understand that the Certificate of Coverage is simply that—a certificate stating you have coverage. It is neither indefinite nor a guarantee of coverage. It’s your responsibility to make sure your coverage is valid. As a contractor, you are responsible for maintaining all PPE requirements for yourself and any and all of your employees. As we’re sure you already know, most people are aware of what PPE is— equipment designed to protect your head, eyes, body, extremities, and even lungs. It’s safe and smart to use, even if you’re only going to be on site for a few minutes. The old adage “better safe than sorry” is never truer than here! So, the laws state PPE is necessary when high-risk work is being undertaken, and responsibility for supplying it is in the hands of the contractor, along with liability insurance as you are, in effect, self-employed.

What are your obligations?

In brief—please remember, this is not an all-inclusive list and we, along with OSHA’s guidelines, will help you make your way through all the jargon-filled twists and turns!
  • Performance of a complete and comprehensive survey and assessment of any and all workplace hazards
  • Identification of all required PPE and ensuring adequate quantity
  • Full training in the usage of PPE
  • Inspection and maintenance of the PPE, replacing when necessary
  • Record-keeping of any and all safety incidents
  • Remember—it is your responsibility to strictly enforce the wearing of and adherence to all PPE regulations, and to update your compliance program whenever circumstances may change

A few best practice tips for you as a contractor to achieve safety compliance and work without complications:

  • Make sure your PPE policy is in writing, and everyone can easily and quickly refer to it when necessary. A written policy is a requirement of OSHA.
  • Keep up-to-date with state and federal regulations that are specific to your industry. Professional associations can help you with this, if you’re unsure of them.
  • Enforcement, enforcement, and enforcement yet again! Hold everyone responsible, set the rules, and be ready and willing at all times to set the example. Remember, you and your employees are your responsibility.
  • Your PPE policy should follow all regulations set forth in any Material Safety Data Sheets—make sure these are at-hand and everything is in perfect sync.
  • Check you have the correct level of hard-hat protection for the job, as there are three classes of protection.
  • The proof is in the details! Check to make sure, just as with the hard-hats, that gloves and the like are adequate to the job hazard presented.
  • Record-keeping, record-keeping, and more record-keeping! Just like with enforcement, this needs to be stressed.
So when it comes to your liability protection, PPE compliance is only one among many. Along with talking to us here at Contractors Insurance, OSHA’s website is your go-to. It contains some easy-to-understand information for contractors. We have also created a downloadable checklist for a PPE audit. Download it now. ___________________ * This information is not to be deemed legal advice on your insurance liability responsibilities, and legal counsel should be retained if you have questions. This information is for liability insurance requirement purposes regarding Personal Protective Equipment.
Insurance for construction equipment

Insuring Your Equipment is Insuring Your Livelihood

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Insurance, insurance, insurance—I just can’t keep it straight! Do I need to have Inland Marine insurance for my business? And what exactly is it?

Do you ever feel like this when it comes to protecting your excavation or contractor business?

Let’s start at the beginning. Inland Marine Insurance (IMI) is a specialized type of property insurance that covers equipment that likely will be moved from site to site. IMI is also used for equipment that is in a class of its own when it comes to valuation, such as small tools, self-propelled equipment, and other miscellaneous equipment.

Here is a little background so you understand how this insurance came about. Long ago when companies were shipping goods overseas via freighters or the like, this special insurance was created and called Ocean Marine Insurance. As times progressed and shipments started transporting in other ways, it was renamed to Inland Marine Insurance. It’s all about protecting goods and equipment during transit while “on the move.”

Therefore, IMI coverage is used to insure specific equipment that will move from place to place or has a unique risk, such as tools, cargo, and even fine art! Though you wouldn’t think fine art would go in this category, just imagine how it is transferred from museum to museum, or gallery to gallery. There are so many types of “equipment” that move from location to location, ranging from construction equipment and cargo to even things such as musical instruments, medical equipment in mobile vans, and even movie cameras.

So, now that you understand better what it is, let’s talk about why you should have this coverage as part of your insurance protection plan.

Although IMI is a bit more of an investment than just having “regular” property coverage, it gives you extra protection from theft or damage to your equipment, during transit or off premise.  Whereas the basic property coverage applies to equipment limited to your premise only.  This is the primary difference between the two types of coverage

If you have equipment of any type that will be moved or used off-premises, we highly recommend you add this protection to your policy if you don’t already have it. Examples of contractors who need IMI would be builders, installers, construction companies, excavators, tree trimmers, etc.

So, simply put, if you have equipment or tools that are used off premises, give Contractors Insurance Agency a call and let’s discuss what your policy and investment would look like.  Most clients are surprised at the affordability of adding Inland Marine Insurance coverage.

In conclusion, if any of your equipment is used off premises, you want to be sure that it is covered properly so that no matter what happens you can have peace of mind that you are protecting your investments in the best way you can. At Contractors Insurance Agency, all of our agents are CRIS Certified (Construction Risk and Insurance Specialist).  Also, we are not your typical “jack-of-all-trades” insurance agency!  Due to our specialty focus we have access to selected programs and more competitive rates for contractor business owners like you, than the traditional agent.

Feel free to leave a comment or ask any questions! If you are ready to get a quote, just reach out to us and let’s talk. We are here to help!

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