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5 Tips to Work Safe on Construction Sites this Winter

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Working in cold weather requires some different preparation than in warm weather. Here at Contractors Insurance Agency we want to be sure your construction work can continue safely through the winter months so you can stay profitable.

Winter has a whole new area of incidents that could occur on a job site, such as slipping on ice, frozen fingers or toes, damage to equipment in storms, and more.

Here are 5 tips to help you work safely through the winter:

  1. Winter Inspections

Having a well-maintained road before winter starts will make snow removal and maintenance easier once worse conditions blow in. Any holes, etc. that can be filled in need to be marked or barricaded off so that they do not become hazards when it snows.

Keep any reserves of sand or salt for road surfaces readily available and have a procedure in place for how you will use them.

Make sure engine and hydraulic oils in your equipment are rated for the temperatures in your area, and replace them if needed. Make sure the heaters in your vehicles and equipment work correctly and get them repaired if they don’t.

  1. Snow and Ice Removal

Be careful if you are shoveling snow by hand.  Studies have shown cold temperatures can constrict arteries, which increases blood pressure and the chance of a heart attack.

Any workers that have risk of heart attack should not be participating in shoveling snow.

  1. Prevent slips on ice whenever possible

Slipping on ice is one of the most common incidents that occurs at a construction site.

Ice can accumulate on scaffolding, ladders, walkways, stairs and work platforms, so you need to be careful and instruct your staff to be careful and everyone that sees ice on a surface should be responsible for cleaning it off or alerting someone in management about the issue.

  1. Work Indoors as much as possible in Freezing Temperatures

Freezing temperatures cause skin and internal body temperatures to drop. This can lead to issues such as frostbite and hypothermia. If that happens, it can lead to permanent tissue damage or in some serious cases, death.

If work cannot be rescheduled, set up warm areas for workers, make hot drinks easily accessible during breaks and give frequent breaks to warm up inside if possible. You may want to also consider shifts that are shorter in time so that you can reduce exposure to freezing weather.

  1. Personal protection equipment

Because personal protection equipment (PPE) for winter is to help you and your staff to stay warm, they can be bulky and limit mobility.

Be sure you are balancing protective gear so that it is warm and safe but also allows mobility to complete tasks.

Choosing PPE that is insufficient for the task or conditions can lead to issues such as loss of peripheral vision, loss of clear hearing, fogged up eyewear, decreased mobility and inadequate traction when on the ground.

Selecting PPE that best suits the task and conditions will ensure the risk of injury is as low as possible while still allowing functionality.

Gloves need to be heavy and durable, but with the right fabric and texture to allow you to remain dexterous. They should also be durable and waterproof in case of rain, melting snow and ice.

Insulated boots keep your feet warm and dry. They need to be breathable, so perspiration can get out. Also important is the level of traction you have when walking on slippery surfaces.

 

We hope these tips are good reminders of the best way to stay profitable and efficient through the cold and sometimes dangerous months of winter.

 

If you need any help with your insurance needs, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Contractors Insurance Agency at any time.

Protect Your Business from Unexpected Claims

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As a small business owner, you want to make sure that business is coming in steady and your employees are happy, but you also need to make sure that your business is protected from any unforeseen circumstances that may arise.

Property and Liability Insurance will provide you peace of mind when you need it most.

You may be wondering what exactly would be covered in that type of policy so we are going to break it down for you here:

Property Damage – when a customers property is damaged by one of your employees your coverage may help pay for repairs or replace the item.

Bodily Injury – If someone other than one of your employees is injured on your property, this can help with medical expenses, legal expenses and damages.

Libel, Slander, Copyright – Helps protest you against some lawsuit expenses from personal and advertising injury which may include disparaging another business in your ads, stealing an ad idea, and a host of other issues.

Building or Leased Space – Protects the building you own or a building where you are required to provide insurance coverage in your lease.

Contents of your Building – Can cover inventory, equipment, tools, other people’s property in your building that has been damaged, stolen, or where there was a natural disaster or weather damage.

Income – If there is a disruption or property damage, you may be covered for the expenses needed to resume business such as net income, payroll costs, and temporary relocation.

Contractors Insurance Agency wants to be sure that you are well protected so you can spend your time growing your business, not worrying about the what ifs.  Call us today to see how we can help you cover your business in the best way.

 

 

Why Your Contracting Business Needs Liability Insurance

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You have worked hard to build up your contractor business. You don’t want something that could have been avoided to be the downfall.  That is why you need liability insurance.

This insurance is referred to as commercial general liability insurance or contractor liability insurance. It is a policy that covers your business from the risk of personal injury claims, wrongful death, property damage, slip and fall on your business premises, and claims of infringement by other businesses.

The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 Liability Insurance policy for small contractors ranges from $37 to $60 per month.

Without liability coverage, your tools, bank accounts, vehicles, properties and more could be a part of a court battle in the case something happens.  You don’t want to become bankrupt or lose everything and have to start over when you could have easily put liability coverage in place.

Liability coverage is for the following:

Bodily injury claims – If someone visiting your site or working at it is injured, you can use the policy to cover their medical expenses, funeral expenses in the case of wrongful death, and compensation for pain inflicted and lost wages.

Completed products claims – You are protected against claims by clients who are injured by services and products that you already delivered.

Property damage claims – If someone claims that you damaged their property, they are eligible for compensation by your business if the court finds you responsible.

If we can help you put this valuable policy in place, or ensure you have the right coverage on your existing policy, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  Our Commercial Protection Leaders here at Contractors Insurance Agency are always here to help and keep you and your business protected.

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.

 

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