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John Scott Insurance Agency

6 Safety Tips on Job Sites

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So many things can happen on a job site and while you need to be aware of them, preventing them whenever possible is even more important. You want to make sure your employees are as safe as possible at all times.

Here are 6 safety tips for your jobsite:

Fall Protection

Statistics show that falls are the leading cause of worker deaths in construction. As an employer, be sure to assess job sites and implement systems to protect your workers.  You are required to provide a fall protection system when your workers are walking or working on surfaces with unprotected edges or sides that are six feet above a lower level. Protection systems can include guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems.

Workers also need to be responsible in this areas and familiarize themselves with all potential hazards on the job that a fall could occur from. Any system in place to prevent a fall should be inspected by the workers prior to using them to make sure they are working properly and free of damage.

Safe Scaffolding

Approximately 65% of all construction workers perform work on scaffolds. Due to this, they are exposed to falls, electrocutions, and falling object hazards.

Be sure your employees are wearing hard hats when working on, under, or around a scaffold. They should also wear sturdy, non-skid work boots and use tool lanyards when working on scaffolds to prevent slips and falls and to protect workers below. Another step they should be taking is making sure the scaffolding is clean and dry before getting on.

Make sure any scaffolding is professionally erected with guardrails, midrails and toeboards put up, and that it is at least 10 feet away from power lines.

Ladder Use

Improper ladder use is one of the leading causes of falls for constructions workers resulting in injury or death. Reasons for ladder falls include using the wrong ladder for the job, failing to secure the ladder, and attempting to carry tools and materials while climbing. Be sure the foreman at the job inspects all ladders before use each day. Any that are deemed unsafe should be removed immediately and repaired.

Safety Training

Your employees should be able to recognize safety hazards and know procedures to follow to minimize these hazards.

Make sure your training is done by someone competent to teach employees what to look out for. Topics of the training program should include the nature of fall hazards present on the construction site, how to ensure scaffolding and ladders are safe, use of fall protection systems and personal fall arrest systems and the role of the employee in safety monitoring and the fall protection plan.

Keep a certification record of any trainings as well as a list of when retraining is required.

Face and Eye Protection

OSHA requires that workers be provided with and wear face and eye protection when there are eye or face hazards present on a job site. When flying object hazards are present, eye protection must be equipped with side protection or be fitted with detachable side protectors.

Head Protection

Hard hats are second nature on a job site. They protect workers from a number of safety hazards. Hard hats should fit snugly and not come loose during normal movements or work activities. They should be kept in good condition and be replaced immediately if they suffer a heavy blow or electric shock.

Be safe out there and if Contractors Insurance can help you in any way to be sure you
have the coverage you should for your business, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

9 Tips to Keep Safe When Working Outside in the Summer

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We are in full swing this August for the heat of the summer and things need to keep moving forward as far as work.  So how do you accomplish everything you need to and still keep yourself and your employees safe?

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, heat stroke is the most serious heat related disorder and it occurs when the body can no longer control its temperature.

Your body temperature can rise to 106 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in just 10 minutes, resulting in heat stroke which can cause death or disability if emergency treatment is not provided immediately.

Here are 9 tips to keep safe when working outside.

  1. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of fluids; water is important to drink but you may want to add in a drink that has electrolytes in it as well. Drink every 20 minutes especially when you are doing strenuous activity. Also be sure to stay away from dehydrating drinks such as alcohol, coffee, tea and caffeinated drinks.  They can do more harm than good.
  2. Wear protective clothing. Lightweight, light-colored and loose-fitting clothing helps protect against heat.
  3. Pace yourself. Know your limits and be sure to work at an even pace. You need to work smart not hard in the heat.
  4. Take breaks often. Take time for rest periods and water breaks in a shaded or air conditioned area.
  5. Apply cool water.  Wipe your face or put a cool cloth around your neck to help keep your temperature regulated.
  6. Avoid sunburn. Use sunscreen and wear a hat if working outside.
  7. Be alert. Heat related illness can come on suddenly. Know what to look for and check on other workers that might be at high risk.
  8. Avoid direct sun. Find shade or block out the sun if possible.
  9. Eat smaller meals. Eat fruits high in fiber and natural juice. Avoid high protein foods.

If there is anything we can do to help you here at Contractors Insurance Agency, just reach out.  We are always here for you.

 

How to Avoid the Top 3 Summer Safety Hazards in the Construction Industry

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You and your crew work a lot of long hours in the heat. It can be draining for you as well as pose a health threat if you are not careful.

There really is no way around being out in the heat since you need to be in order to do your work, but here are 3 safety hazards you can avoid now that you know about them.

#1: Fatigue

Fatigue in this case isn’t about not getting enough sleep. It is an impairment that could harm yourself or others. It can reduce your mental and physical functioning, your response/reaction time and your judgement/concentration. It will also lover your motivation to get your work done at all.

· Avoid having workers in direct sun for long periods and make sure a shady area is available for breaks.

· Provide plenty of fluids such as gatorade and even some salty snacks like pretzels to replenish sodium lost to sweat.

· Encourage use or provide hats to protect workers from the sun

#2: Heat Sickness

There are a number of illnesses that go along with the heat including heat rash and heat stroke.

To minimize the risks of workers getting sick from exposure to the heat, if the temperatures are extreme consider rescheduling work to cooler parts of the day such as early morning or evening. Also when possible, work in shaded areas to avoid direct sun exposure even if only temporarily.

When it is very hot out or humid try to reduce physical demands and change out the workers that are on the project if possible. Mandate rest periods in cool areas and encourage hydration continuously.

Training your employees to recognize heat illness symptoms and how to treat them can also be a huge plus as they may spot one of their coworkers experiencing symptoms and can help right away.

Early symptoms include lethargy, disorientation, stumbling, dropping tools, slurred speech or unresponsiveness.

#3: Dehydration

Extreme heat and hard physical labor can increase the rate at which our bodies lose water, depleting our hydration levels and causing a risk to health and safety.

Water is arguably the best hydrating beverage, but it’s tasteless and boring. If you want to keep water on hand you can add lemon to the cooler. You can also keep electrolyte beverages on hand such as Gatorade.

Here at Contractors Insurance Agency we hope that you stay safe and healthy this summer and if you need anything at all please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

Did You Know About These Two Commercial Auto Coverage Options?

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Your business has you on the road a lot going to sites, visiting clients, picking up supplies and more. We want to make sure you are protected as much as possible when you are on the road so we wanted to share with you two coverage options  that Hastings Mutual supplies for our commercial clients. 

Business Auto Emergency Roadside Assistance and Towing

Being on the road a lot means that things happen.  Maybe you get a blown tire, you run out of gas or your battery dies.  And sometimes you may encounter something more major and you just need a way to get that vehicle safely back to homebase. This emergency roadside coverage will be there for you. 

Features provided in this coverage include: 

  • Emergency Fluid Delivery
  • Tire Changes 
  • Towing for private passenger and light truck
  • Towing for larger truck types

Business Auto Protection Plus

Maybe you just want an added layer of protection from risk when you are on the road. The business auto protection plus coverage offers specialized coverages including: 

  • Fellow Employee
  • Glass Repair – Waiver of Deductive
  • Hired Auto Physical Damage
  • Loan/Lease Gap Coverage
  • Waiver of Subrogation

If you are interested in learning more about these offerings and seeing if they are a good fit for your business please reach out to Contractors Insurance Agency today and we can go over your options and get them in place if you choose to move forward. 

We look forward to speaking with you soon!

8 Tips to Growing Your Construction Business

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Are you ready to ramp up your business? Are you looking for the best ways to grow?  Having a plan in place is key to growth and that plan needs to have strategic ways to increase your operations effectively and ensure you have the resources for the growth you are looking for. 

Here are 8 tips to help you successfully grow your construction business

1.) Your Team: In construction, your team is one of your most important assets. Be sure to take your time hiring and put team members in place that are dependable, knowledgeable and skilled in their areas. Then once you have them you want to keep them so be sure to always promote and reward them for jobs well done. 

2.) Be a Leader: You don’t need to manage your team, you need to lead them.  You brought each person on for their unique talents so let them do what they are good at.  You oversee that and lead them and you will have a team that is happy and wants to expand your business just as much as you do. 

3.) Invest: To make money you also need to spend money. Invest not only time but money into your company’s growth. Invest in new equipment and technology when needed, train your employees and actively market your business.

4.) Word of mouth: The number one method to growth is having people refer you to others. Let your customers know you appreciate their referrals and will do right by them. 

5.) Network: One of the best ways to grow is to have the resources and people around you that can help you do that.  Networking is a great way to accomplish this.  You want to go into this process by not just thinking of how others can benefit you but how you can serve others as well. Being active in your community and giving back when you can is a great way to build repo ire. 

6.) Quality Work: Don’t sacrifice the quality of your work.  When it comes down to it, your company will be remembered for how well the job held up in the long term, not how cheap you could do it for. Cutting corners to reduce costs can be detrimental. Your company’s reputation is key to growth. Never compromise your high standards.

7.) Customer Service: Ensuring your customers are happy is extremely important to building your business and your brand.  This doesn’t mean they are always right or that you need to cave in on everything they want. You are the expert. It is about actively communicating with your client on the project and making decisions together on the progress. Happy customers will send you referrals and choose to work with you again. 

8.) Be Proactive: Proactively seek new opportunities to retain and grow your business. Reach out to the owners, architects and general contractors you know and have worked with to find out what projects they have on the horizon.

Here at Contactors Insurance Agency we want to support you in your growth and make sure that you have the best insurance coverage in place.  Call us today to review your policy and make sure you are ready for the growth that will be coming your way!

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