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I spent 10 years in the private club industry before pivoting into the insurance world.  As a manager, two of my top concerns internally were wellbeing of my staff and team, and the budget.

Workplace injuries drive up costs in many ways and often most significantly in your insurance premiums.  By investing in a safe workplace for your employees, you can achieve those two objectives.

Here are the Top 5 Workplace Injuries for Golf and Country Clubs

  1. Lifting & Handling: Strains and pulls (musculoskeletal)make up nearly 25% of all workplace injuries. Back pain, neck pain, leg pain can all result from lifting or handling something awkwardly or too heavy.
    Solution: Encourage employees to evaluate then lift. Get help from another co-worker and use mechanical aids if available.
  2. Slips, Trips and Falls: Many of these happen around the kitchen and when entering the building during wet weather.
    Solution: Kitchen staff must wear non-slip footwear at all times. Don’t just put mats and “slippery/wet” signs where your members enter and exit, but also where your employees do as well.
  3. Burns: Again, stemming from the kitchen, burns are common from hot surfaces and liquids.  Often times they are the result of inexperience or haste (hot plate, hot liquid spill).
    Solution: Make your staff aware of hot items or liquids. Train the new employees on potential hazards, especially if they are inexperienced in food service.
  4. Cuts: The Kitchen is a dangerous place. Cuts from knives and automated slicers are far too common.
    Solution: Staff sharp knives must use a cut resistant glove. Train proper cutting techniques.
  5. Golf Cart Injuries: Golf carts can be very dangerous. Most injuries occur when staff is not using caution, have body parts hanging outside of the golf cart, or using the cart improperly (i.e. riding on the back).
    Solution: Strict guidelines need to be in place and reviewed with the golf staff.  Specify the proper uses of golf carts (they are not utility carts) and identify areas of caution around your facility.  Under no circumstances should any person be allowed to ride on the back of a golf cart.

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

Slips, trips and falls represent half of all liability and workers compensation claims for churches. They come from members, guests, employees and volunteers, but most of them are preventable. With regular maintenance and good housekeeping, you can protect people from accidents and injury and prevent the church from experiencing a lawsuit or claim. Below are the main areas of concern for keeping the church safe, inside and out. Follow the link to download a sample Slip and Fall Protocol which includes an incident form.

Inside

  1. Keep the facility clean and free from open hazards. If someone trips over torn carpet, falls because the handrail came loose, or trips over an extension cord, the Church would be responsible, and our own liability policy would have to respond. So, use a checklist for regular maintenance, keep good housekeeping standards and invite your regular employees or members to bring maintenance issues to your attention.
  2. Entry ways are the most common area for slip and fall accidents. Entry mats help by keeping the area dry but should be watched so they don’t roll up and pose a trip hazard. During hurricane season it’s very important to monitor the water that gets tracked in the entry ways. Have ushers use umbrellas to walk people in and have an area or bags available for guests to use for wet umbrellas.
  3. Stairs should be well lit, free from obstacles and have sturdy handrails.
  4. Kitchens often can become wet or greasy.  Clean up spills immediately and utilize non-slip mats in front of prep stations and sinks.

Outside

  1. Uneven ground, cracks in sidewalks or parking lots and raised sidewalk seams are the most common causes of outdoor trip and falls. Any change in elevation or surfaces greater than ¼ inch can easily cause someone to trip. Monitor sidewalks for uneven seams or raised areas and have those seams ground down to a variance < ¼ inch. Cracks should be filled, and large holes repaired. Sidewalks should be swept of debris.
  2. Unmarked obstacles such as curbs, transitions, parking blocks, or tree roots are hazards.  These can be address by painting a bright color or preventative maintenance.  Tree roots and landscape beds should be well mulched or partitioned to prevent foot traffic.
  3. Inadequate lighting increases the likelihood of a trip, so maintain well-lit parking lots, sidewalks and stairways. Lighting has the additional benefit of deterring vandals and creating a welcoming atmosphere.

To view our complete risk management library of articles for churches and non-profits, click here.

John Keller, CRM ARM CIC AAI is Client Advisor & Risk Manager at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in non-profit and religious organizations. John works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis and guidance. Comments and questions are welcome at jkeller@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Is your Church renting the facility? How about providing a venue, even at no cost, to community associations, clubs, or other charitable organizations? If so, there are some important steps to take to protect the Church from unexpected claims, allegations, or even lawsuits. Any time the Church facility is used by third party individuals or organizations (think weddings, Boys/Girl Scouts, home school groups, after school tutoring, etc.) we should take the following 3 steps to best protect the Church:

  1. Get a signed Facility Usage Agreement with indemnification from the person or group. This agreement acts like a mini contract which outlines who is responsible for what. Even if there is no rental fee or monetary exchange, the Usage Agreement will transfer legal responsible for acts of the renter (or their volunteers, employees and guests). This can help avoid the Church getting dragged into a claim or lawsuit for damages or injury caused by the third-party. A well-written Usage Agreement with an indemnification clause and Additional Insured status will provide the Church protection on the renter’s liability insurance and a promise to be reimbursed for any costs the Church may incur due to the third-party’s negligence. This should be non-optional, standard operating procedure. Follow the link to download a sample Usage Agreement.
  2. Get proof of minimum insurance limits from the person or group. Individuals should provide proof of liability insurance from a homeowner’s or renter’s policy with a minimum of $300,000. Businesses and organizations should provide a formal Certificate of Insurance showing evidence of General Liability coverage with a minimum limit of $1,000,000.
  3. Restrict access to other parts of the facility.  While the Usage Agreement will outline what part of the facility is available for use, the Church should take the prudent step to physical restrict access to other parts of the building or facility. Guests tend to wander, and kids can go looking for adventure, or trouble, so if possible, lock up other rooms, buildings or amenities that are not in use.  Computers, offices, classrooms, kitchens, playgrounds, and storage closets are best kept locked when third-parties are using the facility. Even though a staff member or custodian should be on site, it’s prudent to physically restrict temptation.

To view our complete risk management library of articles for churches and non-profits, click here.

John Keller, CRM ARM CIC AAI is Client Advisor & Risk Manager at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in non-profit and religious organizations. John works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis and guidance. Comments and questions are welcome at jkeller@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Happy Holidays from the team at Gulfshore Insurance. May you and your families have a joyful holiday season and a safe and prosperous New Year!

Workplace injuries are costing your business money in a many ways; increased insurance premiums, cost of hiring and replacement, lost efficiency, additional training, increased paperwork and administrative costs, and more.

When I speak with business owners and CFO’s they often tell me, “the rates are what they are so there is nothing you can do to change what I pay for work comp.” While the state and the NCCI (National Council on Compensation Insurance) do set the class code rates in Florida, the employer has much more control over their premiums than they initially think.

What Employers CANNOT Control: 

The state sets the rate. Standard rates for Workers’ Compensation policies in the state of Florida are set by the NCCI. That means, whatever “class code” the job description of your employees fall into, is the rate you pay. Rate x Payroll = Standard Premium. But did you know, there is another factor that affects the rates you pay? And you have control over it!

Here’s What You CAN Control:

The Experience Modification Factor (The MOD). Every business that is subject to Workers’ Compensation develops their own MOD over time. The MOD is essentially a multiplier of your rates. It can (sometimes drastically) cause your Work Comp premium to increase or decrease based on how your most recent 3-year loss history compares with your competitors. The equation NCCI uses to calculate your MOD is complicated, but to simplify, if you have more Work Comp claims than your competitors and the claims dollars are higher, you are going to have a higher multiplier (MOD) than they will.

How You Can Control The MOD:

If your company has average claims frequency and costs, you’ll have a MOD of 1.00.  If your claims frequency and costs are higher than your competitors, you’ll have a MOD greater than 1.00.  If they are lower than your competitors, you’ll have a MOD less than 1.00.

Here is an example: 

  • Company A and B both have a base Work Comp premium of $50,000.  Company A has lots of claims and a MOD of 1.35.  Company B has very few claims and a MOD of 0.65.
  • A’s Premium Calculation:  $50,000 X 1.35 = $67,500 (That’s 35% more than their average competitor.)
  • B’s Premium Calculation: $50,000 X 0.65 = $32,500 (That’s 35% less than their average competitor and less than half of A’s premium!)

Depending on the size and scope of your business, it may be unrealistic to eliminate all workplace injuries.  However, the handling process is extremely important to reducing the dollar value of the claim.  At Gulfshore Insurance, we work with you and provide materials, training, and awareness for your employees.  We also have in-house Claims Specialists who are licensed adjusters, navigating each claim on your behalf.

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