We’re well into the winter months, now, but work goes on. Some of the toughest challenges contractors face in the cold months is how to work with materials like concrete and paint that have trouble curing in frigid temperatures. It is possible, however, to do painting during the winter months. Here are some tips and tricks for exterior painting in cold weather so that your contracting business doesn’t freeze with the temperature outside. Read more
Carpentry Contractors Insurance
Carpentry is an art and a calling as much as it is a science. Those who do this work tend to have a passion for what they do. Unfortunately, as part of the contracting industry, carpentry tends to be a dangerous profession, with thousands of accidents occurring every year. It’s vital to make sure that you keep the proper safety precautions and procedures in place so that you avoid injury on the site, and carry the right carpentry contractors insurance to reduce your liability when the unthinkable happens.
There are general safety precautions that should always be in play on the job site. Make sure your tools have proper upkeep and regular maintenance. Hand tools should be sharp, clean and only used for their intended purpose — a screwdriver is not a pry bar!
All equipment should also be kept in good working order with scheduled maintenance and be inspected thoroughly before each use. Proper personal protective equipment should be worn at all times and any loose items such as rings, watches and jewelry should be removed and kept clear of the equipment. Loose clothing and hair should be tied back.
Power tools, such as nail guns, are part and parcel of the carpentry industry. They need to be properly and safely used to avoid accidents. Make sure they are adjusted and tightened, and all blades and bits are keen and sharp. Remember, it’s easier to get cut on a dull blade than a sharp one!
Keep safety guards in place at all times, and be sure your work area is secured with a vise or clamps. Never yank on cords or hoses, and be sure that you and your workers are thoroughly educated and trained on the use of any and all power tools and heavy equipment. Education is the first line of defense against accidents and injury.
Carpentry Contractors Insurance
As a carpenter, it is vital to be sure that you carry the right kinds of insurance coverage to make sure that when accidents do happen, you are covered for the damages. The three basic elements of a strong carpentry insurance policy are as follows:
- General Liability: This kind of coverage protects you against lawsuits, damages and injuries that are inflicted by your business on others in the course of your work. It is intended to pay for damages and legal fees.
- Workers Compensation: Most states require this by law. If you have employees and they get hurt on the job, workers comp will pay for their injuries and recovery including a portion of lost wages.
- Auto and Truck Insurance: Your personal auto policy generally won’t cover your car, truck or van when you drive it in the course of your job. When you are going from site to site, or the office to the site, and you have an accident, you’ll need this to cover the damages
Becoming a Licensed Electrician in New York
The electrician industry is on the rise, and the demand for licensed professionals along with it. There is currently a shortage of professional electricians, so the timing is perfect to get into this rewarding and lucrative career path. Here are the steps towards electrical license requirements for becoming a licensed electrician in New York State.
High School Graduation
The first step in your electrical license requirements in New York is get your high school diploma. This applies across the board, no matter what you want your career to be. A diploma is vital to your success and career path. If you have not graduated high school, whatever the reason, you still have options. If you can go back to school, do so. Otherwise, look into getting a General Equivalency Diploma, or GED. This is accepted by most apprenticeships and trade schools.
Do Your Homework
You’re looking to get a licensure in New York. This means you will want to tailor your education to those state laws. The New York City Department of Buildings website has a wealth of information on how to become a licensed Master Electrician or Special Electrician in NY. You will want to take special note of the term of your license as well as the fees involved. Specific requirements include, but are not restricted to:
- Being 21 years of age
- Able to read and write in English
- Possessing good moral character
- 5 years of experience under the supervision of a Master or Special electrician
- Journeyman status or a college degree in electrical plus lesser experience (instead of the above)
- Graduation from trade school or apprenticeship
School or Apprenticeship
Attending a trade or vocational school and entering an apprenticeship is vital to getting your license. Here you will learn all the tools of the trade, including mathematics, wiring and circuitry, motors, electrical theory and other skills important to the trade. You may also learn the ins and outs of the business of being an electrician, which will help you when you strike out on your own.
Generally speaking, those seeking licensure go to trade school first, and then pursue an apprenticeship. In some cases you may find an educational program that includes an apprenticeship. The process generally lasts up to five years, after which you become a Journeyman.
Taking the Test
All of the knowledge and experience you gained during your training comes together when you take the test to become a certified and licensed electrician. You will apply what you know about the National Electrical Code and all of your New York State requirements to their fullest. When you pass the test, you can apply for your license!
Of course, before you start your own business you will want to be sure you have all the necessary contractors’ insurance, such as electrical insurance. This can protect you from the legal hassles of lawsuits, workers compensation and equipment coverage, and defend against inevitable liability issues.
Safety with New Roofing Materials
Laws and regulations surrounding the contracting and roofing industries are constantly changing and evolving. While sometimes more stringent rules may slow down work, they are always important to protecting workers from harm and employers from liability issues. Here’s a look at new roofing materials, safety standards and how the right contractors insurance can protect you and your employees.
The modular home is a popular option for construction businesses these days. With this method of construction, homes are prefabricated in sections to exacting standards off-site. These sections can then be put together in different configurations to the requirements of the individual project. Modular home construction, including roofing, allows for a high degree of quality control in manufacturing. This in turn means a safer structure for the new homeowner. In addition, the ease of construction reduces risk for contractors.
Lightweight Building Materials
Once upon a time, the accepted truth was that heavier is better. This is no longer the case. Now, lighter materials are available that are even stronger than the old-fashioned heavy options. These lightweight new roofing materials which include composite woods, plastics and others are weather and pest-resistant and are much easier and safer to install.
Rain and snow are a major threat to any building. Modern roofing materials excel at protecting homes from moisture and damage from the elements. Newer gutter guard systems are ideal for directing water away from the home while avoiding clogs and debris backup.
Wind resistance is another area in which newer materials are improving safety and stability. In fact, many states are now requiring that buildings incorporate wind resistance in their construction.
Roofing Contractors Insurance
When addressing roofing safety standards, the right insurance policy is a contractor’s first line of defense against liability and accidents. No matter how careful you are, no matter how complaint with OSHA standards you may be, unfortunate incidents tend to occur. By maintaining a thorough and complete insurance policy, you can make sure that when injury or accidents happen, your workers and your business are protected.
Roofers insurance can include a broad variety of coverage from a general business owner’s policy to vehicle insurance, but there are three common elements that should be included in every policy. These are:
- General Liability Insurance: Liability insurance is a sort of umbrella that covers you against lawsuits resulting from disasters at the workplace. It covers your legal fees and damages from lawsuits and is a state requirement across the nation.
- Professional Liability: As a supplement to general liability, this coverage protects you against damages and injuries from negligence on the job site.
- Workers Compensation: Also required in most states, workers’ comp coverage protects roofers who get hurt on the job and require rehabilitation, medical care, lost salary recovery and other issues that arise from workplace injury or illness.
Preventing Risk and Liability for Contractors
The construction business is a dangerous one. There are risks for illness and injury at every turn. Any contractor needs to take precautions to mitigate these risks and save themselves great cost in liability, manpower and efficiency. Failure to include the right policies and procedures can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines and damages. Here’s a look at how contractors must be aware of these issues and how proper masonry contractors insurance can protect you, your business and your workers from disaster.
Maintaining proper safety standards is the first thing a contractor can do to defend against the costs of accidents and injury. Some contractors make the mistake of believing that guidelines put in place by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are onerous and unnecessary. Nothing could be further from the truth.
OSHA standards are sometimes stringent, but they are important. These regulations are in place to protect workers from harm. Not only are they vital for maintaining safe work conditions, but they are the law. Contracting businesses who fail to obey them can be subject to fines and other censures from the organization.
Heavy equipment such as mixers are a fact of life on masonry job sites. It is vital to ensure that all employees and workers are properly trained and educated in the policies and procedures involving the use of heavy equipment. Safety zones should be established to keep unauthorized persons from the area of the equipment, and only those completely trained and certified should use the equipment.
In all cases, anyone on a work site where heavy equipment and machinery is in use should wear the proper personal protective equipment (PPE). This varies by equipment but could include hard hats, safety suits, gloves, boots or other pieces of protective clothing.
Hazardous materials aren’t common on masonry jobs, but situations can arise where asbestos, lead and other substances may be encountered. Follow OSHA guidelines in dealing with these substances to the letter. This includes the use of HEPA filters, respirators and other PPE indicated based on the substance that could be encountered. All workers should be properly trained and educated in safety policies and procedures. Regular updates in this training should be scheduled to make sure everyone is always up to date.
No matter how careful you are, accidents happen. The best way to manage liability issues is to carry a proper and complete masonry contractors insurance policy. This can include workers compensation, vehicle insurance, accident and liability insurance, and a variety of other coverage options that may vary from business to business and even job to job. The right insurance can make the difference between helping an injured worker get back on their feet, and going out of business.