Construction Sites Targeted That Put Workers At Risk

 

Focusing on the importance of workplace safety for construction companies, officials in New Zealand are making a concerted effort to see to it that 2013 is a safer year in this industry.
 
According to information from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, its inspectors passed out more than 1,000 notices and written warnings to construction companies performing work at height unsafely nationwide a year ago.
 
In an effort to protect workers, inspectors a year ago assessed more than 1,600 construction sites tied to the Preventing Falls from Height project, which seeks to lessen injuries and fatalities caused by falls in the construction sector. The project is continuing over the next 12 months, with construction workers being urged to make safety a priority in the New Year.
 
 
Sites Targeted That Put Workers at Risk
 
“The Ministry will continue to target sites that carry out work at height unsafely and those companies that put their workers at risk,” stated Francois Barton, the Ministry’s Southern Division general manager. We want to see enforcement figures improving in 2013 – safe work at height should be standard practice in the industry.
 
“Despite the high number of notices and warnings issued last year, it has been very positive to see some construction companies using innovative solutions to ensure their staff are safe while working at height. Companies are using adaptive scaffolding systems, mobile stair systems instead of ladders, and soft landing systems to stop workers getting hurt from falling off the top plate.”
 
Barton added that a sizable number of these solutions are also increasing productivity by bettering access for builders and the tradespeople that work alongside them.
 
 
Hundreds of Construction Workers Injured Every Year
 
Builders, roofers, electrical workers, painters and decorators are most apt to fall from height and get seriously hurt while they are working, according to officials.
 
“Tradespeople are going back to work after a few weeks off, so now is the time for a renewed focus on safety issues,” Barton remarked.
 
Hundreds of construction workers are injured on building sites every year – these accidents are preventable if precautions are in place. Workers must make safety a priority, especially during summer when there is an overall increase in workplace injury, according to Barton.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2013 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Construction Fatalities Cost California Residents $2.9 billion

 

 
168 Construction Workers Killed in Workplace Accidents
 
Occupational injuries and fatalities in the construction industry cost California residents $2.9 billion between 2008 and 2010, a new Public Citizen report shows. Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization.
 
The report, “The Price of Inaction: A Comprehensive Look at the Costs of Injuries and Fatalities in California’s Construction Industry,” quantifies the estimated costs of deaths and injuries in the state’s construction industry by considering an array of factors.
 
From 2008 to 2010, 168 construction workers were killed in workplace accidents in California. Additionally, the state recorded 50,700 construction-industry injuries and illnesses that required days away from work or a job transfer.
 
Drawing on a comprehensive 2004 journal article that analyzed the cost of occupational injuries, and combining the paper’s findings with updated fatality and injury data, the group determined that such incidents cost the state’s economy $2.9 billion during the three-year period.
 
 
Report Proposes Safety Required for State Contracts
 
As a partial solution, the report proposes that California pass a law requiring companies to demonstrate adherence to safety standards in order to be eligible to bid for state contracts. Such a solution not only would ensure that public-sector projects are fulfilled by responsible contractors but also would provide incentives for companies to maintain clean records while working on private-sector sites.
 
The report notes that California already screens construction companies to ensure that they have met performance standards in the past and haven’t violated any laws. The state also incorporates some safety standards in its prequalification system. But the system should be expanded to require construction firms to put greater emphasis on demonstrating that they provide safety training to workers and site supervisors, and that they have not had serious safety violations.
 
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.comContact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Young Women Struck and Killed Working as Flag Person

 

Worked as Flag Person in Construction Zone
 
Charges were recently filed in the death of a young woman who was struck and killed while working as a flag person in a construction zone in southern Saskatchewan.
 
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) announced that they have charged Keith Dunford, 44, of Regina with criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.
 
The charges come almost two months to the day after Ashley Richards was hit near Midale, southeast of Weyburn. The 18-year-old, who was originally from Lakeside, N.B., was working on a highway crew when she was struck by an SUV.
 
Proper Investigation Completed
 
''It's imperative that we do a proper investigation,'' Sgt. Paul Dawson told the media.
 
''As part of this we have a re-constructionist that comes. This is not something that's done immediately at the scene. It takes time to do that, so that's part of the process. Personally, I don't think two months is a long time for a serious offence like this.
 
''As well, we also consulted with the Crown on the appropriate charges.''
 
Motorists are required to slow to 35 mph when passing workers and equipment in construction zones in Saskatchewan.
 
 
Police Blitz on Construction Zones
 
Dawson said RCMP enforced the law before the accident, but Richards' death prompted police to begin blitzes in the busiest orange-signed construction zones.
 
''In the months of September and October, our dedicated traffic units have written over 400 tickets in the orange zone. That doesn't include tickets written by regular detachment members, so that's quite a lot of tickets that have been written for that one offence,'' added Dawson. ''That's solely for speeding over 35 in the construction zone  – over 400 tickets.''
 
In one case on Thanksgiving weekend, traffic officers near Maidstone said they clocked an SUV going 83 mph in a construction zone.
 
 
Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.
 
©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Construction Workers, Independent Contractors, and Workers Comp

 

Who Is and Isn’t Covered by Workers Comp in Construction?

 

Employers in the construction industry are often perplexed as to who they should cover with their workers’ compensation insurance policy.  Full-time employees are covered, but what about part-time employees, day laborers, leased employees, borrowed employees and occasional volunteer work by a family member?  In most states all of these types of employees will be covered by the workers’ compensation insurance policy.  However, independent contractors are normally excluded from coverage by the workers’ compensation insurance policy.

 

The issue that arises most often between independent contractors and construction company employers is when the independent contractor does not have workers’ compensation insurance of his/her own and is injured while working for the employer.  When the injury is severe and the independent contractor does not have workers’ compensation coverage, often the independent contractor will try to collect workers’ compensation benefits from the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company.

 

 

Employers Coverage Denys Claims From Independent Contractors

 

The employer’s workers’ compensation insurer will normally deny the claim as the insurer has not collected any premium for the additional exposure of the independent contractor.  The independent contractor (and his/her attorney) will often turn to the Workers’ Compensation Board/Industrial Commission and ask the governing authority to rule on whether or not there is coverage for the independent contractor.

 

The Board or Commission will normally look closely for any reason where they can classify the independent contractor as an employee of the construction company employer.  If the employer has not complied with all the requirements of hiring the independent contractor as an independent contractor, the Board or Commission will find the injured worker to be an employee.

 

 

Construction Employers Need to Know Law

 

For the construction company employer to protect its self from workers’ compensation claims of independent contractors claiming workers’ compensation benefits, the employer should know the law pertaining to independent contractors in their state.  Many states follow the federal government guidelines outlined in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  On the federal level, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled several times that there is not a single issue that makes a worker an independent contractor as opposed to an employee, but a preponderance of all the information surrounding the independent contractor-employer relationship.

 

 

Federal Fair Labor Standards Act

 

Per FLSA, the following issues define whether or not the worker is an independent contractor or an employee:

 

  1. The extent to which the services rendered are an integral part of the principal’s business

 

  1. The permanency of the relationship

 

  1. The amount of the alleged contractor’s investment in the facilities and equipment

 

  1. The nature and degree of control by the principal

 

  1. The alleged contractor’s opportunities for profit or loss

 

  1. The amount of initiative, judgment, or foresight in open market competition with others required for the success of the claimed independent contractor

 

  1. The degree of independent business organization and operation

 

Generally put:

 

  • If the construction company employer utilizes only one independent contractor to always perform the same type of work, he may be considered an employee.

 

  • If the independent contractor works for no other company, he may be considered an employee.

 

  • If the construction company controls when, where and how work is performed, the worker will be considered an employee.

 

  • If the worker has no exposure to financial loss on a job, he will be considered an employee.

 

  • If the worker maintains a separate business address, he will most likely be considered an independent contractor

 

  • If the worker has a federal identification number for income tax purposes, and does not use a social security number, he is more likely to be considered an independent contractor

 

 

 

Factors That Do Not Determine Employment Status

 

There are some factors that construction-company employers think should be considered in the determination of employment status, but generally the states do not agree.  The factors that normally do not make a difference include:

 

  • The location of where the work is performed

 

  • The lack of a formal hiring agreement

 

  • The licensing, or lack thereof, the worker

 

  • The frequency or timing of payment

 

 

Tips to Protect Against Contractor Claiming to be Employee

 

Construction companies can protect themselves from an independent contractor claiming to be an employee.  The construction company must mandate the independent contractor provide a copy of a policy of workers’ compensation insurance in the name of the independent contractor.  The construction company should contact the independent contractor’s insurance agent and confirm the workers’ compensation policy is paid up and has not been cancelled.

 

Construction company employers should also have a formal contract with the independent contractor stating:

 

  • The work to be performed will be completed by a definite date, but the independent contractor will determine the days and hours actually worked

 

  • The independent contractor will furnish his/her own materials, equipment and tools

 

  • The independent contractor will complete the agreed to work for the set price, regardless of the number of hours/days needed to complete the job and regardless of whether or not the independent contractor makes a profit.

 

  • The independent contractor will maintain workers’ compensation insurance covering all of the independent contractor’s employees until the agreed work is completed to the satisfaction of the construction company

 

  • The independent contractor will determine the means and methods of how the work is performed

 

  • The independent contractor is free to work for other employers before, during and after the work for the construction company

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher. www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com. Contact: mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law.

 


Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker, attorney, or qualified professional about workers comp issues.

Should You Be Scared of a Workers Comp Ghost Policy

 

Owner with No Employees Excludes Themselves From Workers Comp Coverage

 

When a small business owner does not have any employees and elects to exclude himself/herself from coverage by the workers’ compensation policy bought for the business, it is referred to as a “ghost policy”.  The workers’ compensation insurance company is happy to write the policy, as it will collect the premium, but have no exposure to loss.  The insurance agent or broker is happy to sell the policy, as the agent or broker will earn a commission.

 

 

Primary Reason is for Workers Comp Certificate of Insurance

 

If you are now asking yourself why would a small business with no exposure for workers’ compensation buy the ghost policy, is there a valid reason?  Yes, there is.  Ghost policies are most often written for the small contractor, primarily in the construction trades and independent over-the-road truck drivers.  The reason a ghost policy is written is to provide the small business owner with a workers’ compensation certificate of insurance.

 

 

Cheaper Than Standard Policy

 

The ghost policy is cheaper than a policy that has exposure to loss.  For example – the ghost policy without any employees to be covered might have a premium of $1,200 while the true workers’ compensation policy that includes the business owner in the work comp coverage might have a premium of $2,500.

 

 

Increased Risk Exposure with Subcontractors

 

Most construction projects have a general contractor who will hire various subcontractors to perform specific trade work.  As a condition for bidding on the work being provided by the general contractor, the subcontractor is required to provide a workers’ compensation certificate of insurance.  The ghost policy provides the certificate of insurance for the small contractor to get the work.  For example:  the independent plumber reviews the blueprints for the plumbing for a small building and concludes he can install all the plumbing by himself.  He obtains his ghost policy certificate of insurance and his lowest bid for the plumbing work gets him the contract

 

Everything is fine and dandy for the subcontractor who gets the construction job using the ghost policy until the subcontractor gets hurt on the job.  The subcontractor’s ghost policy excluded himself as the business owner.  But, the general contractor will have workers’ compensation coverage and in most states the general contractor’s workers’ compensation insurance company will be required to pick up the claim.  This will cause two things to occur.  First, the general contractor’s workers’ compensation carrier will up the rates for the general contractor.  Second, the general contractor will never do business with the subcontractor again as they will feel they have been deceived.

 

 

Useful for True Independent Truck Drivers

 

A ghost policy is often useful for the true independent truck driver.  It provides the certificate of insurance often needed to obtain the contract to transport freight.  The truck driver cannot go back against the workers’ compensation insurer for the owner of the freight being transported.  Of course there is a downside.  If the independent truck driver has elected to exclude himself from workers’ compensation coverage and gets hurt while working, the medical cost and lost income is not covered. [Independent truck drivers who purchase a ghost policy for the workers’ compensation certificate of insurance should also purchase their own medical insurance and disability insurance].

 

 

Ghost Policies Typically Not Recommended

 

If you are the owner of a very small business without employees, a ghost policy can save you money.  However, the ghost policy also provides some major disadvantages.  If the small business owner has a ghost policy and hires his/her own subcontractors to assist in the completion of a project, the ghost policy does not provide workers’ compensation coverage to those subcontractors.  The small business owner with the ghost policy who hires his/her own subcontractors could find his/her business (and possibly himself/herself) liable for the medical expenses and disability pay of an injured worker.  For this reason we do not recommend ghost policies.

 

If you are a small business without any employees, you never hire any subcontractors, have your own medical insurance and have your own disability insurance; a ghost policy could be beneficial for the certificate of insurance.  Otherwise, a true workers’ compensation policy is your better bet.

 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact:  mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 
WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Report Shows Construction Industry Cost Maryland 712 Million, State Taking Action

 

Public Citizen Report Shows Construction Injury Costs

 

Occupational injuries and fatalities in the construction industry cost Maryland residents $712.8 million between 2008 and 2010, a new Public Citizen report shows.

 

The report, ThePriceofInactionAComprehensiveLookattheCostsofInjuriesandFatalitiesinMarylandsConstructionIndustry,” quantifies the estimated costs of deaths and injuries in the state’s construction industry by considering an array of factors.

 

 

18,600 Construction Injury Accidents from 2008 – 2010

 

During the period of 2008 to 2010, Maryland recorded 18,600 construction industry accidents, of which 11,000 required days away from work or job transfer. Additionally, 55 construction-related fatalities were reported in these years.

 

Public Citizen determined the costs of occupational injuries and fatalities through a conservative methodology that totaled costs from three broad categories: direct costs, indirect costs and quality of life costs. Combined, the incidents cost the state’s economy $712.8 million during the three-year period.

 

“The economic picture we came up with is quite staggering,” said Keith Wrightson, worker safety and health advocate for Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “We now know that construction accidents impose huge economic costs in addition to tremendous pain.”

 

 

Public Construction Contracts to be Awarded only to Strong Safety Records

 

A solution proposed in the report is to award public construction contracts only to companies that have strong safety records, according to Public Citizen.

 

The report notes that Maryland already screens construction companies to ensure that they meet standards on past performance, bonding capacity and legal proceedings. But safety is excluded from the state’s pre-qualification system. The system should reportedly be expanded to require construction firms to demonstrate that they provide safety training to workers and site supervisors, and that they do not have serious safety violations.

 

Implementing a pre-qualification process for public construction projects would not address all of the industry’s safety problems, according to Wrightson. However, such a positive step could yield significant gains to the economy for minimal costs.

 

“It’s the right thing to do and would position Maryland as a leader in occupational safety and health,” Wrightson added.

 

 

<pAuthor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact:  mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.

 
WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

13 Employees Die Every Day at Work, OSHA Can Be Your Partner in Prevention

 

What Is OSHA and What Do They Do?
 
Mention of the word “OSHA” around employers usually makes them cringe with discomfort.  But really what is OSHA and what do they do?  How can they help employers instead of just fining and disciplining them?
 
The answer to this comes in many forms, but let’s take a look at some general OSHA stats.  Usually when OSHA is called, someone is whistle-blowing on their employer for safety reasons.  Another common reason is that OSHA is called to investigate a serious injury or fatality on the job—which is any employer or insurance company’s worst nightmare. 
 
The following statistics were taken from the OSHA website http://www.osha.gov/oshstats/commonstats.html
 
“OSHA is a small agency; with our state partners we have approximately 2,200 inspectors responsible for the health and safety of 130 million workers, employed at more than 8 million worksites around the nation — which translates to about one compliance officer for every 59,000 workers.”[WCx]
 
 
Worker Injuries, Illnesses and fatalities
 
4,690 workers were killed on the job in 2010 [BLS revised 2010 workplace fatality data*] (3.6 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers) — more than 90 a week or nearly 13 deaths every day. (This is a slight increase from the 4,551, fatal work injuries in 2009, but the second lowest annual total since the fatal injury census was first conducted in 1992).
 
"Every day in America, 13 people go to work and never come home. Every year in America, nearly 4 million people suffer a workplace injury from which some may never recover. These are preventable tragedies that disable our workers, devastate our families, and damage our economy. American workers are not looking for a handout or a free lunch. They are looking for a good day's pay for a hard day's work. They just want to go to work, provide for their families, and get home in one piece."
– Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Workers Memorial Day speech April 26, 2012
 
 
Construction's "Fatal Four"
 
Out of 4,206* worker fatalities in private industry in calendar year 2010, 774 or 18.7% were in construction. The leading causes of worker deaths on construction sites were falls, followed by electrocution, struck by object, and caught-in/between. These "Fatal Four" were responsible for nearly three out of five (56%) construction worker deaths in 2010*, Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Eliminating the Fatal Four would save 437 workers' lives in America every year.
 
  • Falls – 264 out of 774 total deaths in construction in CY 2010 (34%)
  • Electrocutions – 76 (10%)
  • Struck by Object – 64 (8%)
  • Caught-in/between – 33 (4%)
 
 
Top 10 most frequently cited OSHA standards violated in FY2011
 
  • Scaffolding, general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
  • Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
  • Hazard communication standard, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
  • Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
  • Control of hazardous energy (lockout/tagout), general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
  • Electrical, wiring methods, components and equipment, general industry (29 CFR 1910.305)
  • Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
  • Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
  • Electrical systems design, general requirements, general industry (29 CFR 1910.303)
  • Machine guarding (machines, general requirements, general industry) (29 CFR 1910.212) [WCx]
 
 
OSHA is Making a Difference
 
In four decades, OSHA and our state partners, coupled with the efforts of employers, safety and health professionals, unions and advocates, have had a dramatic effect on workplace safety.
 
  • Worker deaths in America are down — from about 38 worker deaths a day in 1970 to 13 a day in 2010
  • Worker injuries and illnesses are down — from 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972 to fewer than 4 per 100 in 2010.
 
 
Summary
 
The “Fatal Four” injuries within the realm of construction can be hard to avoid.  Falls and electrocutions can happen.  But being struck by objects and being caught in/between things can be lessened with proper training and overall increased alertness within your workforce on the jobsite.  All injuries cannot be prevented, but these stats can be an eye opener for any employer that does construction-type work. 
 
The mere fact that on any given day, 13 workers leave the house for work and never come home due to a fatality incident is a scary statistic.  Fatality claims are an adjuster’s worst nightmare.  There are a ton of issues, and none of them are pleasant.  Every worker out there doesn’t think it will happen to them, but it happens 13 times every day.
 
Safety is a team effort, and every employee has to do their part. Share these points with your staff at your next meeting, and be proactive in ways to lessen risk on the jobsite.  By implementing more safety awareness, you could very well be saving the life of one of your employees. 
 
 
 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

VIEW SAMPLES PAGES

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Common Mistakes that Cause Falls on Construction Sites

 

Per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) there were 774 deaths among construction workers on the job in 2010. Falls accounted for 264 fatalities and were the leading cause of death for construction workers. The sad part is most of the fatalities could have been prevented with proper construction site safety. Falls also cause numerous non-fatal injuries. With proper fall prevention incorporated into the safety program, a significant portion of the non-fatal accidents on constructions sites could be avoided as well.

 

 

There is risk of a fall is whenever employees are on an elevated surface – ladders, scaffolds, bridges or roofs.. Employers need to recognize the potential dangers involved and plan the work in a way that will allow its completion while reducing the risk of injury as much possible. This includes determining what safety equipment and safety gear is needed, and how it will be used to prevent the possibility of a fall.[WCx]

 

 

OSHA regulations require any worker six feet or higher above the lower level to have “personal fall arrest systems”. In non-government speak, a safety harness or a system of railings around the edges of the work surface to keep the employee protected from the edge and a fall.

 

 

In planning the work, the employer should be conscientious to provide the right equipment. Ladders that are too short, scaffolding that has seen better days or worn out safety gear is an invitation to a workers compensation claim. The equipment and gear provided to the employees should be appropriate for the job.

 

 

Planning the work with safety in mind and providing the safety equipment and safety gear will not prevent injuries if the employees do not know how to use the equipment and gear correctly.Employers often take it for granted that employees know how to use ladders or scaffolding, but improper use of equipment is the most common reason for accidents. For example: Ladders are  frequently used in a dangerous fashion.

 

Common ladder mistakes include:

 

Going up or down the ladder facing away from the ladder

Over reaching away from the ladder

“Walking the ladder” (moving the ladder sideways by bouncing up down while on the ladder)

Failure to maintain three point contact (two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot while ascending/descending the ladder)

Not placing the ladder on a level surface

Not securing the ladder (tying it off or bracing so that it cannot move)

Setting a ladder up on scaffolding, or worse, a ladder on a ladder!

 

 

Common mistakes with scaffolding include:

 

Partially planking the scaffolding, instead of fully planked

Not installing the guardrails

Not verify the scaffolding is plumb and level before using it

Not checking the assembly to be sure all proper connections have been made

Climbing over the cross braces

Standing on the guardrails

Reaching outside of the scaffolds

 

 

When working at heights of six foot or higher, the most effective “personal fall arrest systems” is a full body harness, a rope-grab lifeline, and connectors. The full body harness uses D-rings to connect the body harness to the rope-grab lifeline. The rope-grab lifeline is securely attached to the roof, scaffolding or other surface that is structurally strong enough to support the employee’s full weight in the event of a fall.[WCx]

 

 

Fall prevention on construction sites will save the employer significantly on the cost of workers compensation insurance, as fall prevention will lower both the frequency of accidents and the severity of the accidents that do happen. By planning the job,providing the right equipment and training the employees on the proper use of it, employers can eliminate most falls, save lives and reduce the number of injuries.

 

Author Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com.  Contact:  mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com.


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Make Your Workers Comp Costs Fall to Their Death Instead of Your Employees

 

Per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) there were 774 deaths among construction workers on the job in 2011. Falls accounted for 264 fatalities and were the leading cause of death for construction workers. The sad part is most of the fatalities could have been prevented with proper construction site safety. Falls also cause numerous non-fatal injuries. With proper fall prevention incorporated into the safety program, a significant portion of the non-fatal accidents on constructions sites could be avoided as well.
 
 
The risk of a fall is presented whenever employees are on an elevated surface – ladders, scaffolds, bridges or roofs.  Employers need to recognize the potential dangers involved and plan the work in a way that will allow its completion while reducing the risk of injury. This includes determining what safety equipment is needed and how it will be used to prevent the possibility of a fall.[WCx]
 
 
OSHA regulations require any worker six feet or higher above the lower level to have “personal fall arrest systems”.  These could include a safety harness or a system of railings around the edges of the work surface to keep the employee protected from the edge and a fall.
 
 
The employer needs to be conscientious to provide the right equipment for the job. Ladders that are too short, scaffolding that has seen better days, or worn out safety gear is an invitation to a workers compensation claim. The equipment and gear provided to the employees should be appropriate for the job.
 
 
Planning the work with safety in mind and providing the proper safety equipment will not prevent injuries if the employees do not know how to use it correctly.Employers often take it for granted that employees know how to use ladders or scaffolding, but improper use of equipment is the most common reason for accidents. 
 
Common ladder mistakes 

  • Going up or down the ladder facing away from the ladder
  • Over reaching away from the ladder
  • “Walking the ladder” (moving the ladder sideways by bouncing up down while on the ladder)
  • Failure to maintain three point contact (two feet and one hand or two hands and one foot while ascending/descending the ladder)
  • Not placing the ladder on a level surface
  • Not securing the ladder (tying it off or bracing so that it cannot move)
  • Setting a ladder up on scaffolding, or worse, a ladder on a ladder!
 
 
Common Scaffolding Mistakes

  • Partially planking the scaffolding, instead of fully planked
  • Not installing the guardrails
  • Not verify the scaffolding is plumb and level before using it
  • Not checking the assembly to be sure all proper connections have been made
  • Climbing over the cross braces
  • Standing on the guardrails
  • Reaching outside of the scaffolds
 
 
When working at heights of six foot or higher, the most effective “personal fall arrest systems” is a full body harness, a rope-grab lifeline, and connectors. The full body harness uses D-rings to connect the body harness to the rope-grab lifeline. The rope-grab lifeline is securely attached to the roof, scaffolding or other surface that is structurally strong enough to support the employee’s full weight in the event of a fall.[WCx]
 
 
Fall prevention on construction sites will save the employer significantly on the cost of workers compensation insurance, as fall prevention will lower both the frequency and severity of the accidents that do happen. By planning the job, providing the right equipment, and training the employees on the its proper use, employers can eliminate most falls, save lives and reduce the number of injuries. 
 


 

 

Author Rebecca Shafer, JD, President of Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is a national expert in the field of workers compensation. She is a writer, speaker, and publisher. Her expertise is working with employers to reduce workers compensation costs, and her clients include airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality, and manufacturing. She is the author of the #1 selling book on cost containment, Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: RShafer@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

Editor Michael B. Stack, CPA, Director of Operations, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. is an expert in employer communication systems and part of the Amaxx team helping companies reduce their workers compensation costs by 20% to 50%. He is a writer, speaker, and website publisher.  www.reduceyourworkerscomp.com Contact mstack@reduceyourworkerscomp.com

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com
MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

Construction Industry Has High Back Injury Rate

The Center for Construction Research and Training (CCRT) recently reported that the construction industry has the highest incident rate of back injuries of any industry except transportation. Of all the construction-related injuries that occur each year, one-fourth of them are back injuries.

Every year, a back injury causes 1 in 100 construction workers to miss work; usually missing approximately seven workdays, but sometimes more than 30, according to CCRT. The majority of back problems are low-back injuries. Repeated injury to the back can cause permanent damage and end their career.

 

Most back injuries are sprains and strains from lifting, lowering, carrying, pushing, and pulling materials. According to CCRT, workers are at greater risk of low-back injury if they often carry heavy loads, must twist while carrying heavy loads, or work a lot while bent over or in other awkward postures.

 

Injuries can be reduced by planning, changing how work is done, and training workers and supervisors.


Among the ways
to reduce injuries are:

  • Cut down on carrying. Have materials delivered close to where they will be used.
  • Store materials at waist height whenever possible.
  • Raise your work to waist level, if you can. Pipefitters use pipe stands. Masons have adjustable scaffolds to keep the work at waist height.
  • Make sure floors and walkways are clear and dry. Slips and trips are a big cause of back injuries.
  • Take rest breaks. When tired, you are more prone to injury.

 

Get Assistance

  • Use carts, dollies, forklifts, and hoists to move materials, not your back.
  • Use carrying tools with handles to get a good grip on wallboard or other odd-shaped loads.
  • If materials weigh more than about 50 pounds, do not lift them. Get help from another worker or use a cart.

 

Move Carefully

  • When lifting or carrying materials, keep the load as close to the body as possible.
  • Try not to twist, when lifting and lowering materials. Turn the whole body instead.
  • Lift and lower materials in a smooth steady way. Try not to jerk the lift.
  • When picking up materials off the ground, try supporting by leaning on something while lifting. Do not bend over; instead, kneel on one knee and pull the load up on to the knee before standing. (Wear kneepads when kneeling.)

 

Apprentices

Apprentices get some of the hardest work to do. Being young and strong, they sometimes carry more weight than they should. Make sure apprentices are protected against back injuries, so they do not end up with back problems and have to leave the trades. Work with the employer to decide how the work can be changed to protect you and your coworkers from back injuries.

 
Build back-safety into any training. Fewer injuries mean better productivity and lower costs.

 

What about Back Belts?

Some contractors have workers wear back belts. If a doctor prescribes a back belt, it may help someone recovering from a back injury. But a recent government study (by NIOSH) found no evidence that back belts can prevent injuries.[WCx]

 

If you have questions about stretching exercises, back belts, or other issues, call your local union, the Center to Protect Workers’ Rights (CPWR) (301-578-8500 or www.cpwr.com ), the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (1-800-35-NIOSH or www.cdc.gov/niosh), or OSHA (1-800-321-OSHA or www.osha.gov). Or check the Web site: www.elcosh.org.

Author Robert Elliott, executive vice president, Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. has worked successfully for 20 years with many industries to reduce Workers Compensation costs, including airlines, healthcare, printing/publishing, pharmaceuticals, retail, hospitality and manufacturing. He is an editor and contributor to Workers Compensation Management Program: Reduce Costs 20% to 50%. Contact: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

 

 


WORKERS COMP MANAGEMENT MANUAL:  www.WCManual.com

MODIFIED DUTY CALCULATOR:  www.LowerWC.com/transitional-duty-cost-calculator.php

 

Do not use this information without independent verification. All state laws vary. You should consult with your insurance broker or agent about workers comp issues.

 

©2012 Amaxx Risk Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved under International Copyright Law. If you would like permission to reprint this material, contact us at: Info@ReduceYourWorkersComp.com.

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