Gulfshore Insurance > Gulfshore Blog

Commercial Lines Reducing the Risk of Work Related InjuriesFor most employers, the cost of an employee’s work-related injury is covered by workers’ compensation insurance, which pays for medical care and replaces some of the income that the injured employee lost while unable to work. There is no coverage, however, for the hidden costs to your organization of that injury, such as reduced efficiency, the cost of training replacements, and increased overtime expenditures.

On-the-job injuries or vehicle accidents aren’t limited to occupations that are obviously dangerous. In most years the top three causes of injuries in the workplace are overexertion (injuries caused from excessive lifting, pushing, pulling, holding, carrying, or throwing of an object), falls on level ground, and bodily reaction (injuries from bending, climbing, slipping or tripping without falling). Such injuries can affect workers in most environments. Whatever your industry, attention to such risks can pay dividends.

Employees should be trained to recognize hazards and to report them to the appropriate person so that the hazard can be corrected as soon as possible. Work requirements involving safety should take precedence over any other.

Any near miss, first aid incident, accident, or other workplace injury-related event should be investigated. Where possible, the investigation should be carried out immediately by a team that includes both management and hourly employees, all of whom have been trained in incident investigation. The goal of investigations is to identify the cause of the accident or injury rather than assign blame and to correct any hazards or other problems found, such as poor communication.

Supervisors and managers should also be trained to recognize and correct unsafe behaviors that can lead to injuries, including rushing, frustration, complacency, and fatigue.

Once a year a team should review all incidents from the prior year to see whether there are any patterns in the accidents and, if so, how to address the problems identified.

Each worksite should confer with its fire and police departments and hospital about plans for all potential emergencies, including fire, explosion, accident, severe weather, loss of power, and violence. Emergency drills should be used to ensure that employees know what to do and to assess the effectiveness of emergency plans.

For additional information, visit the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration website.

Tim Spear, is a Client Advisor and Partner at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in the construction, oil/petroleum, and landscape industries. Through his consultative and diagnostic approach, he helps clients develop customized programs to meet their risk management needs. Comments and questions are welcome at tspear@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 Changes to PPP Help Small BusinessesThe Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was created in 2020 to provide financial assistance to businesses affected by the pandemic. The loans do not have to be paid back if a business complies with the program’s rules.

Several recent changes to the PPP loan program are intended to help small businesses qualify for these loans:

  1. PPP applications limited to small businesses and sole proprietors for two weeks. From February 24th to March 9th, banks may only accept and process PPP loan applications from businesses with 20 or fewer employees. This change is intended to allow lenders to focus on smaller businesses needing a loan. If your business did not receive a PPP loan in 2020, you can apply for your first PPP loan now.  If your business did receive a PPP loan last year, you can apply for a second PPP loan, but you must show that your business had a 25% reduction in gross receipts from 2019 to 2020. Contact your bank to apply for a PPP loan –most banks are requiring that you have a business account already established with them before they will work with you on a PPP loan.  To find a lender in your area, you can use the Small Business Administration’s tool to find lenders in your area by clicking here.
  2. New loan formula for a sole proprietor/self-employed/independent contractor. The amount these businesses were eligible for previously was based on their annual profit, which severely limited the amount of their loan.  But the new criteria will focus on gross income before expenses are deducted to help increase the amount of the loan these businesses are eligible to receive.
  3. Expanded eligibility to apply for a loan. Non-citizen business owners who are lawful U.S. residents may now apply for a PPP loan using their Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). Also, business owners with felony convictions and delinquent federal student loans may apply. Businesses with more than 20 employees will be able to resume applying for a PPP loan after March 10th until the PPP loan program ends on March 31st.

Click here for more information. We will continue to share information as it becomes available and keep you informed.

 

Ryan Schmidt is a Client Advisor and Partner with Gulfshore Insurance. Ryan specializes in working with commercial clients. Comments and questions are welcome at rschmidt@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.

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.