New Ladder Safety App Helps Construction Workers Avoid Falls

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health promoted a new ladder safety phone application recently. The app is available for all smartphone users, and it uses audio and visual signals to aid workers who must use extension ladders. The app checks the ladder’s angle when it is positioned and also provides several helpful tips for proper ladder use. It is free to download for Android and iPhone devices.

Every year, there are many injuries resulting from ladders falling on construction sites. Whether a person is on the ladder or standing under it when it is knocked over, injuries are usually severe enough they require emergency medical attention. Falls are one of the biggest concerns, and many people fall while they are on an extension ladder if safety precautions are not followed. One major risk is misjudging the angle of the ladder. It may look secure from one point, but it may actually be far from a safe angle for climbing. When it is set too steep, it often falls backward. However, ladders where the bottoms are set too shallow may fall out from below.

Experts say that the new phone app is a good way to keep workers safer in two useful ways. They also believe it will help prevent injuries if construction workers are encouraged to download it. They point out that the app is proof of how experts are constantly looking for easier ways for workers to protect themselves. This app provides feedback for setting up ladders at certain angles. In addition to this, there are references users will find helpful. There is also a guide for inspecting, using, accessorizing and selecting extension ladders.

In addition to downloading this app, it is helpful for construction workers to brush up on their extension ladder safety basics frequently.

The following are some useful points to remember:

– Never stand above the ladder’s highest safe standing level, which is outlined by the manufacturer and is usually above three rungs.

– Always keep three or more points of contact during a project.

– Avoid extending the center of the body beyond the sides of the ladder.

– Do not carry tools while using a ladder. Instead, wear a window cleaner’s belt or similar product designed to meet the purpose.

– Always face the ladder when descending or ascending.

– Do not leave an erected ladder unattended for any length of time.

– Always wear non-slip footwear when climbing a ladder.

10 Ways Commercial Property Owners Can Protect Vacant Buildings

Vacant buildings are common products of a slow economy. Researchers said that recent statistics only show about a one percent decrease in vacant buildings in recent years. If buildings do not have any personal property or occupants in them, they are more likely to face several types of problems. Every year, there are over 30,000 fires in vacant buildings, and many of these result in severe injuries or deaths. They also cost well over $640 million in property damage. Most vacant buildings do not have good security or maintenance. This can lead to the following types of problems:

– Copper piping and other valuable fixtures inside the building may attract thieves.

– Buildings become vandalism targets when there is no security on the premises. These buildings often end up with graffiti on their walls and broken windows.

– Many young people are attracted to vacant buildings to use as places for parties or drug use. They are also common places for homeless people or drug dealers.

– Groundwater and soil may become contaminated by toxic substances leaking from a vacant building.

– Fires are common due to smoking trespassers, arsonists, decayed wiring and drug production. To complicate the matter, the automatic sprinkler system may be turned off. This makes it easier for fires to spread. With a lack of security, early detection is nearly impossible.

No building owner wants to be fined for hazardous substances leaking or for a fire that could have been prevented. Building owners can take several steps to protect their vacant properties and make them less likely to be destroyed. The following are some useful tips:

– The exterior of the building should be cleared of cardboard, paper, brush and scrap wood.

– Stop by the property at least once each week. Another option for owners who live out of state is to hire a property management company to care for the building.

– Keep parking areas and sidewalks in good condition, and they should be cleared of ice or snow during the winter.

– If there are any toxic substances that may cause contamination and might harm people or emergency responders, they should be removed.

– Put up obstacles to ensure pedestrians and vehicles stay out of the parking area.

– Pay security guards to monitor the building overnight, and keep exterior lights turned on during the night.

– Make sure the electricity for exit signs and emergency lighting is always on.

– To avoid bursting pipes, make sure the heat stays on or the plumbing system is drained. There should be a minimum temperature set to keep automatic sprinkler systems safe.

– Turn off the utilities except when needed to power alarm systems and lighting.

– Fire detection devices should be linked to a central monitoring service and maintained well.

If a building is almost 70 percent vacant for longer than 60 days, it may lose some vital insurance coverage. Standard commercial policies lower loss payments by 15 percent for the majority of losses. This does not include water damage, theft, vandalism or breaking glass. The building owner may opt to buy a vacancy permit for an additional premium. This permit replenishes some or all of the coverage for a specified time period. Vacancy changes coverage is also available, and this form of insurance will lower the minimum occupancy the building must have before it can be considered vacant in comparison with the standard percentage. To learn more about this coverage option and how to add it, contact ACBI.

Why Homeowners Should Ask Hired Workers For Proof Of Insurance

When doing business with someone else, it is crucial to know whether that person is insured or not. Asking this question is very important. If a service worker such as a gardener, arborist or contractor does not have insurance and causes damage on a homeowner’s property, the homeowner may be on the hook to pay for it. The same is true if an uninsured worker is injured. Hired workers who do not carry insurance tend to be less responsible than those who do, so asking about coverage is also a good way to determine whether someone will be a reliable worker. It is always best to pay a little more for someone who is insured than to take the risk of hiring an uninsured worker.

Avoid taking a person’s word if he or she says there is insurance. A verbal confirmation will do no good if the person is actually injured while being uninsured. Ask the individual to have his or her broker send a certificate of insurance. If the broker sends it via email or fax, then the policy can be verified. In some cases, smaller firms may try to convince homeowners that insurance is not necessary. Avoid falling for this lie, because it is a common trap used by amateurs to convince homeowners to buy services or products that are usually poor quality. In addition to this, damages or inadequate services will have to be compensated for out of pocket due to lack of insurance.

The following are some examples of types of workers and services a homeowner should request insurance certificates for:

– Installation or repair services for home, business or automobiles.
– People who have a lease or rental agreement with the homeowner.
– Contractors hired to work on commercial or home remodeling projects.
– Independent contractors or contract-based employment agreements.
– Professionals such as mortgage brokers, staffing firms, CPAs and consultants.
– Housekeepers, gardeners, maids and other service contractors.

Contractors and carpenters should have a general liability policy or CGL that is designed for their field of work. Professionals such as CPAs and consultants should carry professional liability insurance, which includes errors and omissions coverage. Hired workers should also carry workers’ compensation insurance. This is especially important if they will be bringing in a sizable crew of their own workers to complete a project. If vehicles will be used on the job, ask for commercial auto coverage as well. Whether or not to request insurance proof for every service agreement is a decision each homeowner must make. However, it is especially important to purchase coverage when paying large sums of money for jobs. Also, consider the type of job and potential for injuries. To learn more about these types of insurance, call ACBI at 203-259-7580 or visit our website. 

What Contractors Need to Know About Venturing to Other Types Of Work

Contractors who are picking up projects to stay busy in a tough economy are starting to move into areas that they are not familiar with, which means they are taking more risks. Experts say that with such limited work opportunities, contractors are faced with having to change their operations. When contractors also decide to work with subcontractors on these projects, they are often taking on the risks of working with the sub’s employees. In many cases, the employees are not properly trained, so they only contribute to the existing risks. Many of the areas contractors are choosing to migrate to have different legal implications, but some may not be aware of the risks involved in such a change.

Experts say that going out of a specialty area to take on new types of work is a mistake that many experienced contractors advise newer ones against. Acquisitions and mergers for contractors are happening more and more often in the tough economy. When contractors combine their work through mergers, it is important for them to involve their insurance underwriters and engineers to help in identifying risks.

Types of work that would have drawn less than five bidders in the past are drawing between 15 and 20 now, but many contractors who are bidding are unfamiliar with the work. They may think it sounds interesting and may be confident that they can complete it. However, getting involved in an entirely different type of work could be disastrous. For example, a carpenter who decides building roads sounds more interesting would not have the right skills to make an immediate jump.

When contractors start working in states where they have not worked before, the exposures become even more complicated. In addition to rules and regulations, several aspects of construction can differ from one state to another. Some examples are different weather conditions and different soil. Moving to a new state also puts contractors in different selection pools. This means they will not be familiar with which subcontractors are reliable and which ones are not. It is important for contractors to stay alert and keep their insurers informed of their plans. This will help insurers identify risks before incidents happen that may result in uncovered claims.

When contractors who are not familiar with certain types of work are winning bids, it usually means they are undercutting specialists who know what it takes to do the job. The main issue for contractors moving into new areas is expertise. If they lack it, they should not bid on the job. Taking a job without the right expertise only harms the specialists who miss out, the party contracting for the job and possibly the environment or the neighbors of the contracting party. Contractors looking to change to a different area of work should ensure they receive the proper training before making such a switch and also be certain insurance coverage is in place for any new venture.  If you would like to review your policies or have any questions, call ACBI at 203-259-7580 or visit our website

New Ladder Safety App Helps Construction Workers Avoid Falls

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health promoted a new ladder safety phone application recently. The app is available for all smartphone users, and it uses audio and visual signals to aid workers who must use extension ladders. The app checks the ladder’s angle when it is positioned and also provides several helpful tips for proper ladder use. It is free to download for Android and iPhone devices.

Every year, there are many injuries resulting from ladders falling on construction sites. Whether a person is on the ladder or standing under it when it is knocked over, injuries are usually severe enough they require emergency medical attention. Falls are one of the biggest concerns, and many people fall while they are on an extension ladder if safety precautions are not followed. One major risk is misjudging the angle of the ladder. It may look secure from one point, but it may actually be far from a safe angle for climbing. When it is set too steep, it often falls backward. However, ladders where the bottoms are set too shallow may fall out from below.

Experts say that the new phone app is a good way to keep workers safer in two useful ways. They also believe it will help prevent injuries if construction workers are encouraged to download it. They point out that the app is proof of how experts are constantly looking for easier ways for workers to protect themselves. This app provides feedback for setting up ladders at certain angles. In addition to this, there are references users will find helpful. There is also a guide for inspecting, using, accessorizing and selecting extension ladders.

In addition to downloading this app, it is helpful for construction workers to brush up on their extension ladder safety basics frequently.

The following are some useful points to remember:

– Never stand above the ladder’s highest safe standing level, which is outlined by the manufacturer and is usually above three rungs.

– Always keep three or more points of contact during a project.

– Avoid extending the center of the body beyond the sides of the ladder.

– Do not carry tools while using a ladder. Instead, wear a window cleaner’s belt or similar product designed to meet the purpose.

– Always face the ladder when descending or ascending.

– Do not leave an erected ladder unattended for any length of time.

– Always wear non-slip footwear when climbing a ladder.

If you have any questions about insurance for your Construction Business or Workers Compensation, please contact ACBI at 203-259-7580 or visit our website by clicking here.

What Contractors Need to Know About Venturing to Other Types Of Work

 

Contractors who are picking up projects to stay busy in a tough economy are starting to move into areas that they are not familiar with, which means they are taking more risks. Experts say that with such limited work opportunities, contractors are faced with having to change their operations. When contractors also decide to work with subcontractors on these projects, they are often taking on the risks of working with the sub’s employees. In many cases, the employees are not properly trained, so they only contribute to the existing risks. Many of the areas contractors are choosing to migrate to have different legal implications, but some may not be aware of the risks involved in such a change.

Experts say that going out of a specialty area to take on new types of work is a mistake that many experienced contractors advise newer ones against. Acquisitions and mergers for contractors are happening more and more often in the tough economy. When contractors combine their work through mergers, it is important for them to involve their insurance underwriters and engineers to help in identifying risks.

Types of work that would have drawn less than five bidders in the past are drawing between 15 and 20 now, but many contractors who are bidding are unfamiliar with the work. They may think it sounds interesting and may be confident that they can complete it. However, getting involved in an entirely different type of work could be disastrous. For example, a carpenter who decides building roads sounds more interesting would not have the right skills to make an immediate jump.

When contractors start working in states where they have not worked before, the exposures become even more complicated. In addition to rules and regulations, several aspects of construction can differ from one state to another. Some examples are different weather conditions and different soil. Moving to a new state also puts contractors in different selection pools. This means they will not be familiar with which subcontractors are reliable and which ones are not. It is important for contractors to stay alert and keep their insurers informed of their plans. This will help insurers identify risks before incidents happen that may result in uncovered claims.

When contractors who are not familiar with certain types of work are winning bids, it usually means they are undercutting specialists who know what it takes to do the job. The main issue for contractors moving into new areas is expertise. If they lack it, they should not bid on the job. Taking a job without the right expertise only harms the specialists who miss out, the party contracting for the job and possibly the environment or the neighbors of the contracting party. Contractors looking to change to a different area of work should ensure they receive the proper training before making such a switch.