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Capture CopyThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers subject to its recordkeeping requirements to post copies of their OSHA Form 300A between Feb. 1 and April 30 of each year.

The OSHA Form 300A, also known as the “Summary of Work-related Injuries and Illnesses,” must be completed by Feb. 1 using data from the previous calendar year.

As a reminder, OSHA’s recordkeeping requirement does not apply to employers with 10 or fewer employees, or to employers that are in a partially exempt industry.

Employer Action Steps
On Feb. 1, employers subject to OSHA recordkeeping requirements must ensure that copies of their completed Forms 300A are posted in each of their establishments. The form must be displayed in a conspicuous place or places where notices to employees are customarily posted.

Until April 30, these employers must also ensure that their Form 300A postings remain in place and are not altered, defaced or covered by other material.

COVID-19 Guidance
Due to the fact that many employees are working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, OSHA will not require employers to display the OSHA 300A form in establishments that are completely empty.

However, employers will need to comply with the posting requirement if employees return to the establishment before May 1, 2021.

Click here to download the legal update

Kim Ovaitte, CPCU, ARM is the Executive Vice President of Marketing & Sales at Gulfshore Insurance.  Also serving as the Construction Practice Leader, Kim works with clients to develop cost effective risk management and claims strategies that dovetail with their insurance program. Comments and questions are welcome at kovaitte@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Personal Lines Loss Prevention for High Net Worth ExposuresThere is no question that successful individuals and families have always treasured the aesthetic value of their homes and collections of artwork, wine, classic cars, antiques, and other collectibles. Too often, homeowners fail to protect their most prized possessions through proper loss prevention. Risks from water damage, sun exposure, careless transport, and improper storage could severely damage a collection and leave the homeowner with significant financial and emotional loss. The best way to protect a home and property is to prevent losses from ever happening in the first place. Below are several critical components to a comprehensive loss prevention program.

 

Home Inventory
An updated home inventory may be the single most important step available to protecting valuable items. The inventory represents the starting point for proper protection. Should a loss occur, keeping an inventory will also make the insurance claims process much easier.

Risk Management Appraisals
Gulfshore Insurance utilizes our proprietary Personal Risk Assessment to identify clients’ unique risks and exposures, while uncovering their preferences and expectations should a future loss occur. We analyze existing insurance policies to identify potential gaps in coverage and highlight program deficiencies that expose clients to unnecessary loss.

Water and Gas Shutoff Devices
Did you know that water is the number one threat of damage to luxury homes? And in most cases, water damage is preventable. Every year more than 2.5 million homeowners fall victim to water damage exceeding billions of dollars in preventable losses. Reputable water mitigation vendors can install sensors around appliances where water leaks commonly occur, thus avoiding costly claims.

Infrared Home Examinations
Utilizing infrared cameras to identify hidden hazards such as moisture in the walls, hot circuit boxes, or electrical panels can be an important step in your overall loss prevention program. It is important to correct these problems before they become expensive issues that turn into a homeowners’ insurance claim.

Home Safety & Security Assessments
Gulfshore Insurance can help facilitate locating and selecting a reputable third-party vendor that specializes in loss prevention services. These professionals will assess your home; address any issues related to the home’s structural integrity, safety, and security; and make recommendations on how to best protect your assets.

Disaster and Emergency Preparation
Preparedness should be paramount for those living in hurricane‐prone states. From hurricane shutters to family and valuables evacuation plans, there are many things you can do to avoid potential damage and be ready to evacuate should the need arise.

Employee Background Checks
When it comes to protecting your loved ones and your possessions, additional considerations are necessary, such as training domestic staff in the management of deliveries, visitor emergency procedures, and first aid. Background screenings of those staff members employed or contracted are also crucial.

 

Ron Lazarto, CPRIA is a Client Advisor and Partner at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in Private Risk Services. Ron specializes in offering customized property and casualty insurance solutions for successful individuals and their families. Comments and questions are welcome at rlazarto@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Employee Benefits OSHA Issues New COVID 19 Worker Protections After Executive OrderIn response to one of many executive orders signed by President Biden, OSHA recently issued new COVID-19 workplace guidelines to keep employees safe during the pandemic. Find out what HR teams should know about this incoming set of regulations.

How Does the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Protect Workers?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the U.S. government under the Department of Labor (DOL). OSHA’s mission is to aid in the prevention of work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Employers are required to adhere to certain OSHA regulations that ensure compliance with these goals, including record-keeping for on-the-job injuries and illnesses and providing a hazard-free workplace.

These objectives have been put to the test during the coronavirus pandemic. Between providing personal protective equipment (PPE), working remotely, and enforcing social distancing measures, many employers have struggled to keep up with the guidelines that help keep employees safe from COVID-19. As a result, pandemic-related lawsuits against American employers are on the rise.

OSHA Issues New COVID-19 Guidance in 2021
On Jan. 21, 2021, President Biden signed an executive order that directs OSHA to provide more COVID-19 safety guidelines. On Jan. 29, 2021, OSHA released these new regulation guidelines on its website.

Many of the components of this guidance remain consistent with previously released recommendations:

  1. Making a COVID-19 Vaccine/Vaccine Series Available at No Cost to All Eligible Employees: Including providing information and training about the safety and benefits of vaccinations.
  2. Maintaining Safety Standards Despite Employee Vaccination Status: Workers who are vaccinated should still follow protective measures like mask-wearing until more evidence about post-vaccination transmission is available.
  3. Providing Masks to Employees: Face coverings should be provided at no cost to the employee, among other recommended guidelines.
  4. Continue Offering FFCRA Leave: While still available through March 31, 2021, FFCRA leave is no longer mandatory. With this said, employers that do offer voluntary FFCRA leave are eligible for a tax credit to cover costs related to employee time off.
  5. Providing Guidance About Screening and Testing: Employers should follow state or local guidance and priorities for screening and testing in workplaces. Workplace testing can be arranged through the employer’s health provider or in coordination with the local or state health department.

 For the full list of guidance, visit osha.gov.

OSHA Considering Emergency Temporary COVID-19 Standards for 2021
The executive order also mandates OSHA to determine the necessity of new emergency temporary safety standards for the workplace and implement and enforce these measures if applicable. New emergency standards are required to be issued by March 15, 2021.

There is a difference between OSHA guidance and emergency temporary standards. The former constitutes a set of recommended guidelines for employers while the latter includes rules that must be followed by employers—and is enforceable by OSHA. While not yet released, temporary, enforceable directives could include:

  1. Requiring mask-wearing in the workplace; and
  2. Making short-, medium-, and long-term changes to better protect employees on the job and ensure equity in enforcement.

What Else Should HR Know About New OSHA Requirements for Employers? The same executive order stated that it will launch a new national program to focus OSHA coronavirus enforcement efforts on violations that put the largest number of employees at serious risk. While little is known about the program at this time, the refocused enforcement initiative is likely to impact larger employers and industries on the frontline of the pandemic, including healthcare workers, food supply workers, and more.

HR professionals should stay on top of the two deadlines set by the Biden administration and adjust practices accordingly. As a reminder, these dates include: 

    • New OSHA Guidance: Issued on Friday, Jan. 29, 2021
    • New  Emergency Temporary Standards: By Monday, March 15, 2021

 

We will continue to share information as it becomes available and keep you informed.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in employee benefits insurance including group medical, dental, vision, life insurance, short and long term disability, voluntary life, employee assistance programs, wellness programs, individual life insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are experts can provide valuable services including benefits plan design and administration, human resources support, funding options, compliance assistance, benefit administration, and enrollment services. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Commercial Lines The Growing Problem of Contractors Equipment TheftTheft of contractors’ equipment continues to be a serious problem for the construction industry. The National Equipment Register (NER) estimates the total value of equipment stolen from construction sites to be between $300 million and $1 billion annually and rising. And, these estimates don’t include additional costs associated with stolen construction equipment such as renting replacement equipment, lost productivity, schedule delays, and increased insurance premiums. Delays can lead to missed deadlines which can result in hefty penalties.

The risks and liabilities that come with vacant construction sites can be extensive. These risks can quickly turn to very expensive costs. We’ve put together a list of ways to reduce the risks if you have to maintain an idle construction site. These steps can help protect your materials and equipment, while reducing liabilities for injuries or damages to surrounding properties.

Inventory Control

The first step in effective theft prevention is for contractors to know exactly what equipment they own or lease and where it is at all times. Procedures should be established to maintain an inventory control program which, at a minimum, records the following information on each piece of equipment:

  • Equipment manufacturer and model number
  • Serial, VIN or PIN number – if none is available, a unique number should be placed on the equipment and recorded
  • Date of purchase (information needed in the event of a claim, manufacturers’ recall, evaluation of equipment durability and related issues)
  • Location of storage and use
  • Photograph
  • Personnel authorized to operate the equipment

 

Mobility vs. Value

Equipment owners should consider the mobility of equipment as well as value to determine where to focus security efforts. Contractors often concentrate only on their highest value equipment neglecting to consider how easily other equipment can be moved. Cranes, for example, are high value items, but are seldom stolen. They are difficult to transport and easy to identify making them hard to resell. According to the NER Equipment Theft Report, three types of equipment account for 78 percent of the losses: riding mower/garden tractors, loaders, and tractors. Within the loader category, skid steers and backhoes are the predominate target for theft. These types of equipment can be easily transported using a trailer and easily resold since they have few unique characteristics. Other commonly stolen equipment are generators, compressors, welders, pumps, and arrow/ message boards.

No single method or device can eliminate theft. However, there are ways to reduce theft losses:

  • Secure the premise/work site
  • Secure individual equipment
  • Register equipment
  • Track equipment

An effective theft prevention program will include more than one approach and be adapted to reflect variations among construction sites. Supervisors should be held accountable for implementing the theft prevention program and job site inspections should be made to verify its effectiveness.

 

Secure the Premise/Work Site: Securing the entire construction work site is a common theft prevention practice used by general contractors. It can be very effective for smaller, well-defined sites, but cost prohibitive for larger, more spread out work sites. Securing the entire premise usually involves one or more of the following:

  • Perimeter fencing
  • Controlled access points (as few as possible)
  • Police patrol or private guard service, particularly during off-hours
  • “No Trespassing” signs posted along the perimeter
  • Proper illumination throughout the site
  • Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

 

Register Equipment: NER offers a voluntary registry service that consists of entering a machine’s serial number, engine number, transmission number and other selected identification numbers into a database that’s available to law enforcement. All registered vehicles are marked with NER decals, which acts as a theft deterrent and increases the likelihood of detection while a thief is moving, storing or selling the equipment. Additionally, many insurance companies either offer discounts for companies who register their equipment or waive the theft deductible if a registered item is stolen.

Track Equipment: There are different types of tracking systems on the market. Some are designed to recover stolen construction vehicles and equipment after a theft. When the owner discovers the equipment missing and calls law enforcement to report the theft, the systems are automatically activated. Others, such as GPS (global positioning system) fleet management systems have the ability to continuously monitor and track construction equipment. Most GPS systems have a “geofence” capability that generates an alert if a vehicle leaves a permitted area or enters a prohibited area. In addition, many systems can define a secure period (i.e. off-hours) and generate an alert if a vehicle moves or is moved during that period. Another capability of a GPS-based system is the use of software to electronically lockdown or disable vehicles so they cannot be moved. With this system, a contractor can remotely disable or enable equipment ignition, monitor vehicle condition, and generate an alarm if the equipment moves outside of predetermined boundaries.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Commercial Lines The Growing Problem of Contractors Equipment TheftTheft of contractors’ equipment continues to be a serious problem for the construction industry. The National Equipment Register (NER) estimates the total value of equipment stolen from construction sites to be between $300 million and $1 billion annually and rising. And, these estimates don’t include additional costs associated with stolen construction equipment such as renting replacement equipment, lost productivity, schedule delays, and increased insurance premiums. Delays can lead to missed deadlines which can result in hefty penalties.

The risks and liabilities that come with vacant construction sites can be extensive. These risks can quickly turn to very expensive costs. We’ve put together a list of ways to reduce the risks if you have to maintain an idle construction site. These steps can help protect your materials and equipment, while reducing liabilities for injuries or damages to surrounding properties.

Inventory Control

The first step in effective theft prevention is for contractors to know exactly what equipment they own or lease and where it is at all times. Procedures should be established to maintain an inventory control program which, at a minimum, records the following information on each piece of equipment:

  • Equipment manufacturer and model number
  • Serial, VIN or PIN number – if none is available, a unique number should be placed on the equipment and recorded
  • Date of purchase (information needed in the event of a claim, manufacturers’ recall, evaluation of equipment durability and related issues)
  • Location of storage and use
  • Photograph
  • Personnel authorized to operate the equipment

 

Mobility vs. Value

Equipment owners should consider the mobility of equipment as well as value to determine where to focus security efforts. Contractors often concentrate only on their highest value equipment neglecting to consider how easily other equipment can be moved. Cranes, for example, are high value items, but are seldom stolen. They are difficult to transport and easy to identify making them hard to resell. According to the NER Equipment Theft Report, three types of equipment account for 78 percent of the losses: riding mower/garden tractors, loaders, and tractors. Within the loader category, skid steers and backhoes are the predominate target for theft. These types of equipment can be easily transported using a trailer and easily resold since they have few unique characteristics. Other commonly stolen equipment are generators, compressors, welders, pumps, and arrow/ message boards.

No single method or device can eliminate theft. However, there are ways to reduce theft losses:

  • Secure the premise/work site
  • Secure individual equipment
  • Register equipment
  • Track equipment

An effective theft prevention program will include more than one approach and be adapted to reflect variations among construction sites. Supervisors should be held accountable for implementing the theft prevention program and job site inspections should be made to verify its effectiveness.

 

Secure the Premise/Work Site: Securing the entire construction work site is a common theft prevention practice used by general contractors. It can be very effective for smaller, well-defined sites, but cost prohibitive for larger, more spread out work sites. Securing the entire premise usually involves one or more of the following:

  • Perimeter fencing
  • Controlled access points (as few as possible)
  • Police patrol or private guard service, particularly during off-hours
  • “No Trespassing” signs posted along the perimeter
  • Proper illumination throughout the site
  • Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

 

Register Equipment: NER offers a voluntary registry service that consists of entering a machine’s serial number, engine number, transmission number and other selected identification numbers into a database that’s available to law enforcement. All registered vehicles are marked with NER decals, which acts as a theft deterrent and increases the likelihood of detection while a thief is moving, storing or selling the equipment. Additionally, many insurance companies either offer discounts for companies who register their equipment or waive the theft deductible if a registered item is stolen.

Track Equipment: There are different types of tracking systems on the market. Some are designed to recover stolen construction vehicles and equipment after a theft. When the owner discovers the equipment missing and calls law enforcement to report the theft, the systems are automatically activated. Others, such as GPS (global positioning system) fleet management systems have the ability to continuously monitor and track construction equipment. Most GPS systems have a “geofence” capability that generates an alert if a vehicle leaves a permitted area or enters a prohibited area. In addition, many systems can define a secure period (i.e. off-hours) and generate an alert if a vehicle moves or is moved during that period. Another capability of a GPS-based system is the use of software to electronically lockdown or disable vehicles so they cannot be moved. With this system, a contractor can remotely disable or enable equipment ignition, monitor vehicle condition, and generate an alarm if the equipment moves outside of predetermined boundaries.

Kim Ovaitte, CPCU, ARM is the Executive Vice President of Marketing & Sales at Gulfshore Insurance.  Also serving as the Construction Practice Leader, Kim works with clients to develop cost effective risk management and claims strategies that dovetail with their insurance program. Comments and questions are welcome at kovaitte@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.