Independent contractors are generally responsible for their own insurance coverage. Many choose to enroll in a general liability policy even when it is not required. This type of independent contractor liability insurance provides coverage for injuries, property damage and related lawsuits. Read more
How to Improve Job Site Attitudes
Attitude is everything when it comes to the job site. People love to throw around words like “teamwork” and “team building,” and often these terms are dismissed as platitudes and touchy-feely buzz terminology. The truth is, however, that acting as a team is vital to the functioning of a construction and contracting job. This is a dangerous business, and the better the attitudes of your workforce, the safer the job site becomes. Here’s a few ways you can improve job site attitudes and thus prevent costly accidents and injuries.
Benefits of Positive Attitudes
When you take steps to improve job site attitudes, you create a number of benefits that help to reduce liability and danger to your workers. Among these are a culture that operates faster and more efficiently. Fewer mistakes on the job site translates to less waste and higher quality work.
In addition, people will be more focused on their work, with fewer distractions, which will lead to a far reduced risk of accidents that can cause injury or property damage. Finally, weather and extenuating circumstances notwithstanding, projects will be far more likely to be completed on schedule.
Attitude and New Hires
When people have a positive outlook about their job and work together like a well-oiled machine, new hires are welcomed into the community and have an easier time finding their place. Coworkers are more open and available if a new hire needs help or has questions, and this includes supervisors.
In order to keep the environment happy, new hires should be given thorough training about their role in the company and on any safety and security issues before stepping onto the job site. This should apply even if they are experienced. It shows that you care about your workers and want to keep everyone safe.
Do not tolerate any form of harassment, initiation, embarrassment, or hazing at your business. Everyone has already gone through (presumably) the same hiring process and is perfectly appropriate to the job they’re taking. There is no reason for other staff to “test” or otherwise put a new worker through the ringer.
Job Site Humor
While joking around and enjoying themselves on the job should be encouraged, inappropriate humor should be avoided. Jokes that are racial, religious, political or sexual in nature should not be permitted on the job site, as they stand to make some workers distinctly uncomfortable. Avoiding these situations can save your workers stress and discomfort, can improve job site attitudes and save you the hassle of harassment lawsuits.
Fair and Equal
Always be fair and equal with your staff. Get all the facts before rendering a judgment on an issue, and always be fair and equal with everyone. When problems arise, ask your staff what you can do to remedy the situation without putting anyone on the spot. Never “out” a worker who comes to you with a serious concern. Doing so can open them up to shunning or poor treatment by others.
AGC Focuses on Highway Work Zone Safety
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) is an important organization that protects the safety of contractors across the nation. Currently, it is heavily focused on worker safety in highway work zones. Highway construction is one of the most dangerous aspects of the construction and general contracting industry, and the AGC highway safety efforts are there to act as something of a knight in shining armor for contractors in danger.
A New Study
The AGC has recently completed a new highway work zone safety study, and the results are staggering. A full 45 percent of all highway contractors have been placed in direct danger when a vehicle crashed into their work zones. These numbers are astounding and represent thousands upon thousands of workers in serious danger every year. While drivers have a higher fatality rate than workers, any fatalities from accidents are unacceptable.
Trust Fund Shortfall
The problem is even worse: in 2014, the highway trust fund, which is imperative for funding new projects, had a serious shortfall that threatened to cut transit funding by over $50 billion and cost nearly 2 million jobs across the industry. Not only does this mean fewer sorely needed highway construction projects, it means that those projects that are undertaken could face severe understaffing. When fewer people are working on a job, there are greater chances for oversights, errors, omissions and accidents that result from exhaustion or mistakes.
Hardhats for Highways
The AGC has created a new program to help address these budget shortfalls. The program, called Hardhats for Highways, seeks to encourage people to contact elected officials and impress upon them the importance of funding highway transit construction projects. It is vital that Congress understands that people rely upon federal investments to transportation.
Those who would like to help make a difference should place decals obtained from the project on company hardhats, call representatives to sit down and discuss the issues, engage them and urge employees to write letters and send emails. Spread the word as much as possible. Take photos and send them to the Hardhats for Highways website and inform others by including information in company newsletters, staff meetings and training sessions.
When it comes to your own job sites, increase safety by increasing training and certifications. The AGC and ATSSA provide training and certification for construction workers and flaggers. This training can make the difference between safe work zones and fatal accidents that can not only cost you in dollars, but in tragic loss of human life.
It cannot be stressed enough: there is no way to take highway safety in work zones too seriously. Of course, it is also vital to carry the right insurance, including workers compensation, liability and other job-specific coverage, to reduce your own liability and cost issues when the unthinkable does occur.
Construction work is exceptionally hazardous. AGC highway safety activities are making headway in reducing fatalities, but if you need more information, take a look at some more information about their activities, then get in touch with us today for answers to all of your insurance and liability questions.
Why Every Flooring Contractor Should Have Insurance
Every contractor knows that insurance is required by law as part of the cost of doing business. Do you know, however, the kinds of insurance you should have as part of your business policy? It’s not always a good idea to carry the bare minimum and as a flooring contractor. Having the right insurance can not only mitigate liability issues, it can actually save your business from going under. Here’s a look at what you should carry, and why.
Required by law, general liability insurance is carried by all contractors in the flooring and carpeting industries. This kind of insurance serves to defend you against lawsuits brought by customers, vendors, clients and other third parties who claim harm, injury, property damage or reputation damage based on your actions. It covers lawyer and court fees as well as settlements and damages from claims.
License and Permit Bonds
These are required for state contractor’s licenses in most cases, or for building and construction permits in various municipal areas. They need to be renewed along with your license and the cost varies according to your local area. These bonds show that you are approved and licensed to operate in a given area.
Most contractors have a business office somewhere, and property insurance covers this office as well as your equipment, supplies, tools and general inventory. If your property is stolen, vandalized, damaged due to natural disasters like fire or other weather events, you can use this insurance to get reimbursed and recover your losses.
Business Owners Policies
A business owner’s policy (BOP) bundles several kinds of insurance into a single policy with a single discounted premium. Generally speaking, property and general liability are put together in this sort of policy and can make your policies much more affordable. The more insurance you bundle together, the more you save. Not every contractor can get this kind of policy, however. Check your local services to see if it’s possible for you.
If you have employees, you need workers comp insurance to cover costs related to injuries or illness at the job site. Accidents and illness do happen, from exposure to chemicals to cutting your hand on a box cutter. Having a workers comp policy will enable you to avoid costly lawsuits arising from these issues, and will help your workers get back on the job quickly.
Workers compensation insurance covers legal costs, lost wages, medical bills, damages from legal claims, support of dependents and even, if the unthinkable occurs, funerary costs. Most states require this kind of insurance.
Umbrella or excess liability coverage increases your protection from general liability, commercial auto insurance and workers comp in the case of damages or lawsuits that exceed your basic coverage. While not always required, it is the type of insurance that can save your flooring contractor business in the case of disasters or serious and high-cost lawsuits.
Installing and servicing HVAC systems is a highly technical and specialized trade that can incur a great of risk. Contractors must coordinate several different systems together in a way that seamlessly provides homeowners comfort at the push of a button.
The technical nature of the trade can make knowledgeable business owners a good deal of profit, especially as their reputation for quality service expands. At the same time, though, their risk increases. HVAC equipment is pretty expensive, and it ties into many other systems within the house. There are many ways an installation can go wrong, and even a minor service checkup could result in allegations of damage to a homeowner’s valuable property.
Here are some of the ways HVAC contractors insurance can protect you against this type of risk and liability: Read more