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GEN New OSHA Heat Initiatives 2A coordinated, interagency effort is being launched to respond to extreme heat that threatens the lives of workers. OSHA issued a release that points out that while heat illness is largely preventable and commonly under-reported, thousands of workers are sickened each year by workplace heat exposure.

OSHA implemented an intervention and enforcement initiative recently to prevent and protect workers from heat-related illnesses and deaths while they are working in hazardous hot environments. Despite widespread under-reporting, 43 workers died from heat illness in 2019, and at least 2,410 others suffered serious injuries and illnesses.

Increasing heat precipitated by climate change can cause lost productivity and work hours resulting in large wage losses for workers. It is estimated that the economic loss from heat to be at least $100 billion annually – a number that could double by 2030 and quintuple by 2050 under a higher emissions scenario. The newly established initiative prioritizes heat-related interventions and inspections of work activities on days when the heat index exceeds 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

The initiative applies to indoor and outdoor worksites in general industry, construction, agriculture and maritime where potential heat-related hazards exist. Employers are encouraged to implement intervention methods on heat priority days proactively, including regularly taking breaks for water, rest, shade, training workers on how to identify common symptoms and what to do when a worker suspects a heat-related illness is occurring, and taking periodic measurements to determine workers’ heat exposure.

To better protect heat-exposed workers, OSHA is:

  • Launching a rulemaking process to develop a workplace heat standard
  • Implementing an enforcement initiative on heat-related hazards
  • Developing a National Emphasis Program on heat inspections
  • Forming a heat work group to engage stakeholders and inform ongoing efforts


In October 2021, OSHA will take a significant step toward a federal heat standard to ensure protections in workplaces across the country by issuing an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on heat injury and illness prevention in outdoor and indoor work settings. The advance notice will initiate a comment period allowing OSHA to gather diverse perspectives and technical expertise on topics including heat stress thresholds, heat acclimatization planning, exposure monitoring, and strategies to protect workers.

The agency is also working to establish a National Emphasis Program on heat hazard cases, which will target high-risk industries and focus agency resources and staff time on heat inspections.

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.

GEN OSHA Developing Private Sector Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID 19 5On Sept. 9, 2021, President Biden announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing an emergency temporary standard (ETS). The new ETS will require private-sector employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated or test negative for COVID-19 every week before coming to work.

OSHA Developing Private Sector Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID 19

 

Click here to download the Legal Update

 

 

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 Lightning Safety When Working Outdoors 2021 09 REV1Lightning is a dangerous natural force. Annually in the United States, cloud-to-ground lightning occurs 20 to 25 million times and over 300 people are struck by lightning. During the past 30 years, about 50 people, on average, have been killed by lightning strikes every year, and many more suffer permanent disabilities.

Precautions should be taken to prevent worker exposure to lightning. Employers should recognize lightning as an occupational hazard. Supervisors and workers at outdoor worksites should take lightning safety seriously.

Workers whose jobs involve working outdoors in open spaces, on or near tall objects, or near explosives or conductive materials (e.g., metal) have significant exposure to lightning risks. Worker activities at higher risk for lightning hazards include:

  • Logging
  • Explosives handling or storage
  • Heavy equipment operation
  • Roofing
  • Construction (e.g., scaffolding)
  • Building maintenance
  • Power utility field repair
  • Steel erection/telecommunications
  • Farming and field labor
  • Plumbing and pipe fitting
  • Lawn services/landscaping
  • Airport ground personnel operations
  • Pool and beach lifeguarding

 

Fact Sheet Lightning Safety OSHAClick here to download the Fact Sheet that provides employers and workers at outdoor worksites with lightning safety recommendations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

 

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.

Take Action to Prevent Heat Related Illness at WorkAs we enter the hottest months of the year, it is important to plan ahead for work-related heat exposure and the potential for heat-related illness among workers. Heat stress and heat strain can increase the risk of workplace injuries.  Workers in a wide variety of industries are exposed to hot environments during work and are at risk for heat-related illness. A recent study identified public administration (35% of the total cases); agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting (13%); and construction (8%) as industry groups with the highest number of heat-related illnesses. Younger workers and male workers were at greater risk than other demographic groups. This study also found that 9% of heat-related illness cases happened to new workers within two weeks of hire.

Many workplace controls are available to minimize heat-related illness among workers. A complete heat stress program for the workplace should include assessing the risk, limiting heat exposure, reducing metabolic heat load, acclimating workers, encouraging hydration, and providing periodic training for heat stress and heat-related illness. Workplace-based educational programs have been shown to improve workers’ knowledge about heat illness; training has been identified as a central part of a heat stress educational program to decrease heat-related illness among outdoor workers.

When providing heat stress education and training, consider your workers and what delivery methods might work best.

 

Employers should provide heat stress training for all workers and supervisors on the following:

  • Recognizing the signs and symptoms of heat-related illnesses and administration of first aid.
  • Causes of heat-related illnesses and the procedures that will minimize the risk, such as drinking enough water and monitoring the color and amount of urine output.
  • Proper care and use of heat-protective clothing and equipment and the added heat load caused by exertion, clothing, and personal protective equipment.
  • Effects of non-work factors (such as drugs, alcohol, obesity, etc.) on ability to adapt to occupational heat stress.
  • The importance of acclimatization.
  • The importance of immediately reporting to the supervisor any symptoms or signs of heat-related illness in themselves or in coworkers.
  • Procedures for responding to symptoms of possible heat-related illness and for contacting emergency medical services.

 

In addition, supervisors should also be trained on:

  • How to implement appropriate acclimatization.
  • Procedures to follow when a worker has symptoms consistent with heat-related illness, including emergency response procedures.
  • Monitoring weather reports and responding to hot weather advisories.
  • Monitoring and encouraging adequate fluid intake and rest breaks.
Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, 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 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 6 Essential Truck Driver Safety Tips to Minimize RiskKeeping your drivers safe on the road isn’t just essential for their health and well-being. Their safety directly impacts other motorists on the road, as well as your bottom line. The Department of Labor (DOL) singles out trucking as one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States. In fact, transportation and logistics fleets have some of the highest numbers of injuries and fatalities on the job—and those numbers seem to only grow year over year. By improving the safety of your drivers, you not only ensure their protection, but you can also reduce costs associated with accidents, claim payouts, and rises in insurance premiums. The good news is that you can improve your truck drivers’ safety by creating a work culture that actively coaches, trains, and rewards the safest drivers. Here are 6 essential truck driver safety tips to keep your drivers protected on the road.

  1. Encourage your truckers to practice defensive driving. Drivers are encouraged to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries by anticipating potentially dangerous situations and making safe, well-informed decisions while behind the wheel. By using defensive driving techniques, drivers are less likely to be involved in accidents—so you can worry less about costly repairs, claim payouts, and insurance premiums increases.
  2. Develop preventative maintenance schedules. The safety of your drivers really starts with the safety of the vehicles they’re in. Trucks and tractor-trailers that aren’t up-to-date with their regular maintenance—like oil and brake pad changes—are more likely to break down on the road. Telematics devices offer real-time visibility into odometer and engine data, including fault codes.
  3. Ensure comprehensive pre-trip and post-trip inspections. Hand-in-hand with increasing driver safety through maintenance is using thorough vehicle inspections to ensure all trucks are safe before drivers start driving. While pre-trip and post-trip inspections are required by the DOT, not just any inspection will do. To protect the safety of your drivers, use tools that ensure all inspections are thorough and accurately documented.
  4. Coach drivers to avoid distractions. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has identified distracted driving as the number one cause of accidents for truck drivers. Distracted driving is anything that causes a driver to take their eyes off the road or their hands off the steering wheel. Distractions can range from eating lunch while driving to turning out the window to stare at a billboard. But the most common form of distracted driving is cellphone usage, in particular, texting while driving.
  5. Encourage proper rest and breaks. Under HOS regulations, all drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are required to take certain breaks before they can continue driving. For instance, under HOS truck driver limits, all CMV drivers must take a 30-minute break after eight hours of driving and a 10 to 11 hour break before coming back on duty. Outside of taking these mandatory breaks, encourage drivers to always prioritize their safety and the safety of other motorists while on the road
  6. Build out coaching and rewards programs with dash cams. An important part of building a safety-first culture is incentivizing and rewarding drivers who embody good driving habits and practices. One of the easiest ways to ensure safety in your fleet is through building out coaching and rewards programs. By introducing dash cams to your fleet, you can use real footage to actually show drivers how to improve their safety on the road.

Nick Wichmanowski 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 nwichmanowski@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.