If you’re using “contingent workers” — on a part-time, temporary, or contract basis — be aware that these employees face a greater risk of occupational injuries and illness. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) reasons for this higher vulnerability include the tendency to outsource more hazardous jobs, lack of experience and familiarity with operations in a dangerous workplace, inadequate protective equipment, and limited access to such preventive measures as medical screening programs. The chances are that temporary workers have a wide variety of experience levels (due to high turnover) or have had the benefit of formal safety programs.
Also, bear in mind that even though the safety of contract workers is the legal responsibility of the contractor, the OSHA General Duty Clause could be interpreted to make you responsible for protecting everyone in your workplace. To help meet this obligation, and bolster workplace safety compliance we’d recommend that you take these steps:
- Include safety requirements in the contract, even if only to state that the contractor must comply with OSHA requirements. If the contractor doesn’t follow safety rules, you can force compliance or stop work for breach of contract.
- Set the safety compliance ground rules up front, during orientation or before they start work.
- Share accountability. Although an accident caused by a contract worker might not be your legal responsibility, it’s still your problem. Don’t leave safety compliance problems for the contractor to solve alone.
- Offer assistance. Explain all hazardous conditions or processes during the initial project orientation and stress any rules and restrictions, such as hot-work permit requirements, lockout/tagout, and confined spaces situations and needs.
- Document communications with contractors. Give the contractor(s) a document or form to sign when resolving specific safety problems or for conducting inspections.
- Read the OSHA Multi-Employer Citation Policy. OSHA published an enforcement and compliance directive (CPL 02-00-124, December 10, 1999) laying out its citation policy for multi-employer worksites, which includes contractors.
Finally, don’t forget that most contingent workers will only be in your workplace for a relatively short time. This only adds to the urgency of getting them up to speed on your company’s safety policies and practices as quickly as possible.
Contact our office today for more information.
Content provided by Transformer Marketing.
When you think of insurance, the typical ones come up. Auto insurance, health insurance, homeowners insurance and business insurance. Some people may have even heard of umbrella insurance, flood insurance, farm insurance and so on.
But we want to share with you about some of the more uncommon types of insurance that are out there.
- Cold Feet Insurance. That’s right. If your spouse-to-be happens to get cold feet right before the big day, reimbursement could be in order. However, there are some conditions: The change of heart has to happen a full year before the wedding and the reimbursement will be sent to a third party (such as parents).
- Fantasy Football Insurance. Football lovers all over are excited about this one! FantasyPlayerProtect.com allows fantasy players to insure their teammates.
- Multiple Birth Insurance. Oh boy, a bundle of joy is coming your way! And then you find out you’re having 3 bundles of joy! The insurance will pay out a lump sum to parents who were expecting 1 bundle of joy. The condition is that you did not use a fertility treatment.
- Divorce Insurance. Splitting up assets and debts and adding legal expenses to the mix, divorce can get costly. Divorce insurance will help with a payout in case of divorce.
- Chicken Insurance. Yes, you heard me correct. Pet insurance has been popular for all of the dog and cat lovers for years, but now some insurance companies have included the not-so-common pets such as chickens and mice.
- Kidnapping Insurance. For companies who have overseas employees to people who travel to third world countries, kidnapping insurance is there to help cover the costs associated with kidnapping, including negotiators fees, travel expenses and the ransom itself.
- Drunk Guest Insurance. For everyone who loves to entertain at your home, this one’s for you! The formal name is social host liquor liability coverage and this will provide coverage for an intoxicated guest who destroys property or harms another person. Most homeowners insurance policies have something like this in the policy.
- Infertility Insurance. You really want to have a baby and in-vitro is a viable option. The costs of fertility treatments can be excessive. Infertility Insurance will help you out with your dream, but only if you live in one of the fifteen states that offer this special insurance.
- Golf Insurance. This kind of insurance is popular throughout Asia and Europe.
- Bedbug Insurance. Typical homeowners and renters insurance won’t cover the costs associated with a bedbug infestation, which can add up to the $1,000s. Most bedbug infestations occur during travel, so when you sign up for travel insurance, make sure you have a bedbug rider.
Scurich Insurance Services can help you out with many types of insurance policies. Give us a call today!
Content provided by Transformer Marketing and http://money.msn.com/insurance/10-crazy-insurance-policies-you-didnt-know-existed
(Bloomberg) — As the final hours of Malaysian Air Flight 370 remain wrapped in mystery, the question of who bears full liability for the jet’s disappearance is also unresolved.
This much is clear: Families of the 227 passengers aboard the flight that vanished on March 8 can recover some compensation from Malaysian Airline System Bhd even if the plane isn’t found. The airline is liable under international treaty for as much as $175,000 per passenger, and possibly more.
For survivors to capture significantly greater damages, wreckage would probably have to be located and a narrative of the plane’s demise assembled. Several scenarios have been offered for the flight’s disappearance, including hijacking, intentional downing or an on-board fire. Evidence of any of these could open avenues for family members to sue.
“The disappearance of Flight 370 remains a mystery. The legal claims against Malaysia Airlines — those are not a mystery,” said Robert Hedrick, a pilot and air-disaster lawyer in Seattle. “If the wreckage is located, the evidence may establish liability of other parties.”
The Montreal Convention of 1999, an international treaty that covers air travel, requires carriers to pay damages for each passenger killed or injured in an accident, even if its cause is unknown. By those rules, the airline’s liability could stand at more than $40 million.
Read the entire article here.
Content provided by: http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2014/03/24/jets-mystery-disappearance-leaves-riddles-over-who?eNL=5330756f150ba0af70068ede&utm_source=PC360NewsFlash&utm_medium=eNL&utm_campaign=PC360_eNLs&t=es-specialty&_LID=160558015
You hope nothing will go wrong with your car, especially late at night or far from home. Yet we all know that breakdowns can happen unexpectedly. We recommend taking a risk management approach to car safety — assume the worst will happen and prepare for it in advance.
Start by getting a good emergency kit. Whether you purchase one or build it yourself, your kit should contain at least a working flashlight, flares, reflective triangles, distress sign, first aid supplies, and basic tools.
Before leaving the house, make sure your cell phone is fully charged. Take along some spare change or a telephone calling card in case you break down in a “dead” area for your cellular provider.
If your vehicle breaks down, pull off the road as far as possible on the right shoulder (or in the center median, if getting to the shoulder is impossible). Activate your hazard lights and place flares or reflective triangles far enough behind your vehicle to warn oncoming traffic of your presence. Many authorities advise against you attempting to change your tires or jump your battery while traffic is present. Open your hood, then stay in your vehicle and wait for help.
If a stranger approaches, it’s safest to talk through a closed window. Don’t ask them to assist in repairing your vehicle. If they wish to help, ask them to call your auto club or the police.
For more recommendations on helping minimize the risks of everyday events, give our Personal insurance experts a call. As always, we’re happy to help.
Strawberry Commission looks at positive impact of Santa Cruz County’s No. 1 crop.
Watsonville >> California strawberries employ 70,000 people and contribute $3.4 billion to the state’s economy each year.
That’s according to “Sustaining California Communities,” an economic report released Tuesday by the California Strawberry Commission.
The report comes as the harvest of Santa Cruz County’s premier crop begins. More than 240,000 pounds were picked in the Watsonville-Salinas region during the week that ended March 15.
“We want people to understand it’s not just the farmers and their crews out there,” said commission spokeswoman Carolyn O’Donnell. “The community is important to farmers, and farmers also realize it’s important how they integrate with the community.”
Nearly 90 percent of U.S.-grown strawberries come from California. Watsonville-Salinas is the top producer among the state’s four strawberry regions, accounting for 47 percent of the total harvest of nearly 1.8 billion pounds in 2013, according to commission statistics.
The industry spends about $2 billion on wages, equipment and supplies, land and taxes, the report says. It generates another $1.4 billion indirectly through, for example, the restaurants and grocery stores that cater to agricultural workers and the police and teachers funded by the estimated $108 million the industry pays in taxes.
And it’s not just the berry-producing counties on the Central Coast and Southern California. Nurseries in the northern part of the state produce 2 billion plants for transplant in the strawberry fields.
The industry is labor-intensive, requiring a large pool of workers to handpick berries. But mechanics, researchers, educators and forklift drivers are among the thousands who work in berry-related jobs.
The report doesn’t assess costs associated with the industry, such as subsidized housing for low-wage workers. O’Donnell said that would require a more comprehensive and expensive report. But she pointed to the industry’s charitable giving. The report notes as an example, the $2 million in scholarships awarded by the commission to the children of farmworkers since 1994.
Read the entire article here.
Content provided by http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/watsonville/ci_25370176/study-strawberries-boost-ca-economy-by-3-4
U.S. farmers last week finalized their crop insurance plans for spring planting with critics of the government-subsidized program saying insurers are set up for a bonanza after passage of the new five-year farm bill last month.
Farmers who sign up for crop insurance by March 15 won’t, in fact, enjoy the enhanced subsidies of the new federal law, which go into effect with the 2015 crop year. But grain farmers in 2014 will still see up to two-thirds of their insurance premiums paid for by the government. Private insurance companies will also still benefit from the government as their “reinsurer,” an arrangement critics say limits their losses while boosting underwriting gains. With the new farm bill, the government’s largesse gets even bigger next year. “I think taxpayers lost on that farm bill for sure. There was lots of money that could have been saved to reduce the deficit, but they chose not to,” said Bruce Babcock, an agricultural economist at Iowa State University who has studied crop insurance for more than a decade. “The industry lobbies heavily,” Babcock told Reuters. “It’s just rub my back, I’ll rub yours.” A new farm bill was held up for more than a year by wrangling over cuts in food stamps and subsidized programs for the poor. Backers also touted cuts in direct payments to farmers estimated by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) at $40 billion over 10 years. But 80 percent of those savings—some $33 billion, according to CBO data—reappear in the new farm bill as “enhanced” crop insurance, reformers say. “The crop insurance program survived essentially unscathed in this farm bill,” said Craig Cox of the Environmental Working Group, which sees U.S. farm policies as wasteful to taxpayers. “This was the first farm bill where there was a lot of attention paid to trying to reform the crop insurance program. None of those reforms made it into the final bill.” Crop insurers, on the other hand, praised the new law. “For the taxpayer, it eliminated direct payments and reduced some of the price support policies of the past in favor of expanding crop insurance, which is purchased by farmers on an individual basis,” David Graves, president of the American Crop Insurance Association, said in a written response to questions. “For crop insurance companies, the farm bill underscored the fact that crop insurance is the top risk management tool for America’s farmers and ranchers.” Read the entire article here
Content provided by: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2014/03/17/323445.htm