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Commercial Lines 8 Elements of a Fleet Safety ProgramFleet vehicle accidents are among the most costly injury claims for businesses. The average cost of a loss related to vehicle accidents is approximately $70,000. This is almost twice the cost of the average workplace injury ($36,592).

Without a formal fleet safety program, you may be putting the welfare of your employees and company at risk. A generic safety program is better than none. But it is far more effective to specifically design a program for your company and your fleet. A fleet safety program establishes the policies and procedures that are needed to help ensure a safe work environment for employees. It can also help protect against liability from vehicle accidents.

For any company with a fleet of vehicles of any size, a formal fleet safety plan can provide a number of
advantages, including improved safety, employee satisfaction, and the potential to improve fleet efficiency.

8 Essential Elements of a Fleet Safety Program

An effective fleet safety program must be comprehensive, up-to-date, and instituted as a part of your company’s safety culture. It should be thorough, reaching each employee who gets behind the wheel. And the commitment has to start at the top.

  1. Identifying all of your drivers. Businesses may not be aware of the full extent of their non-owned vehicle exposure. You should identify everyone who drives on behalf of the business, even those employees that use personal and/or rented vehicles.
  2. Management commitment. Leadership support of the program can help assure that the program is used.
  3. Screening and selecting drivers carefully. This can help create a reliable, safe team. Without safe drivers, no organization is likely to have a good long-term safety record. Establish clear hiring standards and a thorough screening process for anyone who drives on company business.
  4. Training drivers. This can help to ensure that all drivers understand vehicle safety policies and procedures. All drivers should have access to information on safe driving strategies and techniques, including instruction in defensive driving.
  5. Managing drivers on an ongoing basis. This is essential in helping to ensure that drivers are following fleet safety rules and driving safely.
  6. Managing accidents, when they occur. This can help mitigate accident costs. It also helps you to understand your exposures and can reduce the potential for future losses.
  7. Establishing written policies and procedures. This sets clear consistent expectations.
  8. Formalizing a plan for vehicle inspection, repair, and maintenance. This can help reduce costly, unexpected breakdowns, and can assist in avoiding accidents due to faulty equipment.

Dave Wissel is a Client Advisor and Partner at Gulfshore Insurance who specializes in construction, landscaping, and the oil and petroleum industries. Comments and questions are welcome at dwissel@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.

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.

Commercial Lines Top 10 Causes of Disabling InjuriesThe 2020 Liberty Mutual Workplace Safety Index (WSI) found that the most disabling workplace injuries cost more than $59 billion per year.

U.S. businesses spend more than $1 billion per week on the most disabling workplace injuries. Compiled annually,  the Index researched the top 10 causes of the most serious workplace injuries — those that cause employees to miss work for more than five days — and ranked those causes by their direct cost to employers, based on medical and lost-wage expenses.

Top 10 causes of disabling workplace injuries:

Top 10 2020 workplace safety index the top 10 causes of disabling injuries 700b

As businesses reassess and refine business operations, now is a good time to address the many risks that employees can face in the workplace. Liberty Mutual took the Workplace Safety Index (WSI) a step further and broke down the most costly causes of injuries into eight industry-specific reports:

 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. We are here to help.

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

Have a Plan for Medical Emergencies at Your FacilityAfter spending 10 years as a PGA Professional at some of America’s most prestigious clubs, I saw my fair share of medical emergencies. I once had a member faint of heat stroke just steps away from me. Another time, I had a guest go into cardiac arrest on the 18th fairway. Emergencies are going to happen. The only way to handle them properly and potentially save a life is to have a plan in place.

  1. Create Your Plan
    Who is doing what in case of emergency?  Don’t ever assume that even your most seasoned employee will handle themselves correctly during an emergency.  Think of how an emergency may play out (i.e. a member has a heart attack on the golf course).  Iron out the details of what will be required of each staff member. Who is calling 911?  Who is going to meet and escort the ambulance from the entrance of your property?  Who has been trained with the defibrillator? Who is CPR certified?
  2. Practice Makes Perfect
    This is no secret. The only way you can trust your staff to react accordingly is to practice.  Create a mock scenario and run through it as if it is the real thing.  Run through a scenario on the golf course, then a scenario in the dining room, sports complex, etc.  Practice the scenario in each area of your facility.
  3. Communication is the Key
    The entire staff should have radios for effective communication.  The nearest staff member may use their cell phone to call 911, but they still need to alert the rest of the staff of the medical emergency so everyone can pitch in. The emergency alert call should go to one main location that can alert the rest of the staff (i.e. golf shop). Don’t forget to communicate with other departments (i.e. the guard gate)!
  4. Assess How Your Staff Responded
    The assessment post emergency or practice scenario is essential. If there were any imperfections, discuss how they can be improved. Get feedback from your staff and if they recommend any changes, consider the changes. Don’t assume you know better than your troops on the ground.

I can tell you from experience, having a plan in place that has been practiced can save a life. Be sure your staff and team are ready for that emergency.

At Gulfshore Insurance, we specialize in insurance and risk management for golf and country clubs. We work with more than 50 clubs throughout Florida and we are happy to assist you with training materials, safety programs, and insurance for your club.

Jeffrey Sanders, TRIP is Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance. Jeff works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis, guidance, and insurance. Comments and questions are welcome at jsanders@gulfshoreinsurance.com