Your customers expect you to have safe and reliable products, and failing to meet these expectations can lead to huge financial losses. If one of your products harms a customer in any way, they can sue your business, leading to costly legal fees and settlements. These costs can easily reach six figures. While you may do everything in your power to ensure your products are safe, mishaps can still occur without warning. That’s why, to protect against claims and ensure the longevity of your business, you need product liability insurance.
Coverage for manufacturing or production flaws.
One of the key features of product liability insurance is its coverage for manufacturing or production flaws that cause unsafe defects in the product.
Protection against design defects.
Even after product testing and trial runs, potentially dangerous defects can still appear long after products. Product liability insurance can provide coverage for design errors that make goods unsafe for use by the public.
Response for packaging and warning issues.
In the event that you fail to provide adequate defect warnings or instructions for using the product, your company can be sued. These claims arise when products are not properly labeled or have warnings that are not explanatory enough to reduce consumer risks while using the product. Product liability insurance helps organizations prepare for and litigate these types of claims.
Supplemental commercial general liability (CGL) coverage.
General, there is limited product liability protection under a CGL policy, yet it may not be enough coverage to adequately protect your business. Product liability policies work alongside CGL coverage, providing protection against losses caused by malfunctions or defects in your products.
Want to learn more about product liability insurance?
Product liability is a complex exposure and managing your risk can be a major undertaking – even if you have access to all the right resources. To supplement your risk management strategies and address specific exposures, contact Scurich Insurance Services to review your insurance coverage.
On Monday, July 30, 2018, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service issued a public health alert that advised shoppers to not purchase or consume over two dozen different salad and wrap products. These products, which you can find at major grocery stores like Trader Joe’s, Kroger and Walgreens, contained romaine lettuce that may have been contaminated with the cyclospora parasite.
What is cyclospora?
The cyclospora parasite causes intestinal illness that can last from a few days to a few months. In some cases, patients initially begin to feel better, but then see their condition get worse.
Symptoms of cyclosporiasis typically begin a week after you consume the parasite, but could take longer to appear, and typically include diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, loss of appetite, weight loss and flu-like symptoms. Fortunately, cyclosporiasis can be treated with antibiotics.
What products are affected?
The contaminated food product list contains 25 items, ranging from roast beef wraps to small chef salads. The recalled products were produced between July 15-18 and are marked with either the “Best by,” “Enjoy by,” “Sell by,” or “Best if sold by” dates ranging from July 18-23.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that, because of cyclospora’s two- to 14-day incubation period, you may have the contaminated products in your fridge. Follow their advice and throw away these products or return them to the store where you purchased them.
The CDC and USDA will continue their investigation into this food recall and will provide updates whenever they are available.
For the time being, check your fridge and throw out any recalled products. Although the grocery stores shouldn’t have the contaminated products on their shelves anymore, you should check dates carefully before purchasing them to ensure you are buying safe food.
If you believe you’ve consumed contaminated food, or if you have symptoms of cyclosporiasis, please contact your doctor.
On July 30, 2018, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued a proposed rule to eliminate electronic reporting requirements for data from OSHA Forms 300 and 301. OSHA initially established these requirements— which apply to establishments with 250 or more employees—in a final rule issued in 2016.
Covered establishments must still submit electronic reports on data from Form 300A through the agency’s Injury Tracking Application (ITA). The next deadline for this reporting is March 2, 2019. The proposed rule would require covered establishments to submit their federal employer identification numbers (EINs) along with their Form 300A information.
- Covered establishments must submit data from Form 300A through the ITA every year, but should not electronically submit data from Forms 300 and 301.
- Anyone who is interested in submitting comments on the proposed rule must do so by Sept. 28, 2018.
On May 12, 2016, OSHA issued a final rule that requires certain establishments to electronically submit information about work-related injuries, illnesses and incidents through the agency’s ITA website every year. Under the final rule:
- Establishments that were already required to create and maintain OSHA injury and illness records and have 250 or more employees must electronically submit information from their OSHA Forms 300A, 300 and 301; and
- Establishments that have between 20 and 249 employees and belong to a high-risk industry must electronically submit information from Form 300A.
The final rule’s deadline for submitting 2017 data from these forms was July 1, 2018. In June 2018, however, OSHA announced that it will not:
- Enforce the July 1, 2018, deadline for information from Forms 300 and 301; or
- Accept any electronic reports on information from Forms 300 and 301.
The June 2018 announcement confirmed that all establishments subject to the electronic reporting rule must still use the ITA to submit information from Form 300A.
2018 Proposed Rule
Citing worker privacy issues related to information from Forms 300 and 301, OSHA’s proposed rule formally announces that the agency intends to remove the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from Forms 300 and 301 every year. Under the proposed rule, these establishments (along with other establishments that are subject to OSHA’s final rule) would only be required to electronically submit information from Form 300A.
According to the proposed rule, OSHA believes this change is necessary because electronic submission of data from Forms 300 and 301 allows the federal government to collect information that workers may deem sensitive, such as descriptions of their injuries and the body parts affected. As records in federal possession, this information would put worker privacy at risk because it could be subject to disclosure under the federal Freedom of Information Act.
OSHA explained that this risk does not justify stopping its electronic collection of Form 300A summaries, because the Form 300A information offers significant enforcement value with little privacy risk. OSHA uses this information to help it identify and target establishments with high rates of work-related injuries and illnesses and to develop and assess intervention programs.
OSHA also proposed changing the electronic reporting rule to require covered establishments to submit their EINs along with their Form 300A information. OSHA believes this requirement could reduce or eliminate duplicative reporting and increase the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ ability to use OSHA-collected data for purposes of publishing its annual Survey of Occupational Injury and Illness (SOII). OSHA uses data from the SOII to help determine how to improve safety programs and to measure the Occupational Safety and Health Act’s effectiveness in reducing work-related injuries and illnesses.
Request for Public Comments
OSHA’s proposed rule invites the public to submit comments on the benefits and disadvantages of removing the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit data from Forms 300 and 301 on an annual basis. OSHA also invites comments on its proposal to add a requirement for employers to submit their EINs along with their injury and illness data.
The specific questions that OSHA is seeking comments on, along with instructions for submitting comments, are outlined in the proposal. The agency will accept public comments on these issues until Sept. 28, 2018.
Impact on Employers
While OSHA’s proposed rule is under consideration, the agency will not enforce the July 1, 2018, deadline for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit the data from Forms 300 and 301. For 2017 data from Form 300A, OSHA indicated that it will continue accepting electronic submissions after the July 1, 2018, deadline, but will mark these submissions as late. The next deadline for electronically submitting data from Form 300A is March 2, 2019.
Contact Scurich Insurance or visit OSHA’s ITA website for more information regarding electronic reporting.