Gulfshore Insurance > Safety

Commercial Lines Client Alert Florida Governor Signs Condo Safety Bill 1

The Florida legislature’s special session held recently resulted in new laws aimed to promote condominium building safety. Senate Bill 4D passed the House of Representatives and Senate each, and was signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis on May 26, 2022.

Under the new legislation, Florida will require statewide recertification of condominiums three stories or more in height as a response to the Surfside building collapse. The legislation includes a framework for:

  • “Milestone” building inspections as structures reach 30 years old and every 10 years thereafter. For similarly situated condominium buildings that are within 3 miles of a coastline, the milestone inspection must be performed when the structure reaches 25 years, and every 10 years thereafter.
  • Mandatory reserve study and funding for structural integrity components (building, floors, windows, plumbing, electrical, etc.).
  • Removal of opt-out funding of reserves for structural integrity components.
  • Mandatory transparency—providing all owners and residents access to building safety information.
  • Clear developer requirements for building inspections, structural integrity reserve study, and funding requirements prior to transition to the residents.
  • Engagement of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation and local municipalities to track condominium buildings and the inspection reporting.

The legislature has provided a two-year period of compliance for many of the requirements. Despite the two-year period, associations will have to ultimately comply with some of the requirements, their board of directors and members should not delay strategizing how these changes will be implemented. Condominium associations should consult with legal counsel and other professionals (including insurance advisors, accountants, reserve study professionals, and architects and engineers) as they begin implementing these new laws into practice to receive guidance on the funding, contracting, and scheduling of work to be performed.

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 OSHA Launches Program to Protect Workers from Heat Hazards

On April 12, 2022, OSHA launched its National Emphasis Program (NEP) for protecting workers from heat hazards in indoor and outdoor workplaces. Through the program, OSHA will conduct heat-related workplace inspections before workers suffer preventable injuries, illnesses or fatalities. The NEP is effective on April 8, 2022, and will remain in effect for three years unless canceled or extended by a superseding directive.

NEP Background
The NEP establishes heat priority days when the heat index is expected to be 80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. On those priority days, OSHA will:

  • Initiate compliance assistance in the targeted high-risk industries; and
  • Continue to investigate any alleged heat-related fatality/catastrophe, complaint or referral regardless of whether the worksite falls within a targeted NEP industry.


The NEP encourages employers to protect their workers from heat hazards during heat priority days by providing them with access to water, rest, shade, adequate training and acclimatization procedures for new or returning employees.

High-risk Industries (Appendix A)
The NEP targets over 70 industries that present a high risk for heat hazards. OSHA identified these industries based on Bureau of Labor Statistics and OSHA report data, which finds that high-risk industries exhibit the following:

  • High numbers or incidence rates of heat-related illnesses;
  • An elevated number of days away from work or high numbers of severe cases of heat-related illnesses;
  • The highest number of heat-related general duty clause violations and hazard alert letters over a five-year period; or
  • The highest number of OSHA heat inspections since 2017.

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 Holiday Stress Traveling

The holiday season is the busiest time of the year for long-distance travel. Flights are often overbooked and highways are overcrowded, which can add stress to the season.

Keep Your Sanity
To keep travel worries from ruining your holiday plans, reduce your stress by planning ahead. Use the following tips to help you stay in control during your trip.

If you are flying:

  • Do not delay purchasing tickets. Make your reservations well in advance to make sure you have many flight times, prices and seats to choose from.
  • Choose your ticket wisely. Travel on off-peak days and during early morning hours whenever possible. Airports tend to be less crowded during these times, which will make it easier to get another reservation if your flight is canceled.
  • Call or check online to confirm that your flight is still on time before leaving for the airport.
  • Check in for your flight online, if possible, to avoid waiting in line at the airport
  • Stay hydrated. Drink water frequently to avoid jet lag.
  • Pack wisely. Avoid checking luggage, but if you have to, keep prescriptions, glasses and other overnight basics in your carry-on bag in case your luggage gets lost. Keep in mind that most airlines charge fees for checking luggage.
  • Fight boredom. Pack activities to help pass the time, especially if traveling with children.


If you are driving:

  • Be prepared. Have a mechanic examine your vehicle before your trip. Also, be sure to pack emergency and first aid supplies in case your car breaks down.
  • Know your route. Plot out your route before leaving, and bring a map. Make sure your phone is fully charged if you plan on using smartphone maps or bring along a GPS.
  • Save time. Try to do most of your driving during non-rush hour times to avoid the bad traffic.
  • Take a break. Rest every two hours and limit yourself to eight hours of driving each day. Stop at rest areas to walk around and stretch. Make more frequent stops if traveling with small children or pets.
  • Lay off the caffeine. Drink plenty of water and eat balanced meals. Drinking caffeine may make you crash a few hours later.
  • Wear safety belts at all times. When used correctly, they significantly reduce the number of serious traffic injuries and fatalities.

 

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.

PRS Holiday Season Safety Reminders

From Thanksgiving to New Year, it’s time to enjoy your favorite holiday traditions, celebrating around the table, and making memories with friends and family. To ensure that the festivities are not only happy, but also safe, here are some useful holiday season safety tips to keep in mind this season.

Shopping Safety

  • Try not to carry cash—Stealing someone’s debit or credit card takes extra work. That’s why cash is so attractive to thieves. If cash is all you’ve got, keep it in a wallet and in your front pocket.
  • Dress down—Dress comfortably and leave the jewelry at home. This will take a thief’s focus off of you.
  • Avoid using ATMs—Using ATMs can put you in a vulnerable position, not to mention the risk of card skimmers.
  • Don’t shop alone—Not only is shopping with someone safer, but it makes the adventure much more enjoyable! If you must shop alone, try your best to do so during the day, or part in a well-lit area close to the mall entrance.
  • Walk with your head high—Nowadays, everyone’s heads are down staring at their phones. Whatever the reason for head being down, lift it up! This will help you have better awareness of your surroundings and keep you safer.
  • Put purchases in the trunk—Leaving your purchases visible in any of the passenger seats can increase your risk of theft. To be safe, put as much of your purchases in the trunk. You can cover them with a sheet or blanket, too! That way criminals are less likely to entertain the thought of breaking into your car.
  • Find your keys before walking to your car—While you’re still in the mall, find and hold your keys before you leave. Looking down and fumbling through your purse makes you an easy and distracted target for someone trying to commit a crime with minimal resistance.
  • Lock your car doors the moment you get inside—Once you’ve successfully finished your holiday shopping and made it back to your car safely, lock your car doors. Yes, even before you buckle up and put the keys in the ignition. This is the proverbial safety “cherry on top.”
  •  Park in the garage to unload your purchases—When possible, park in the garage and close the garage door before unloading your items.


Unattended Home Safety

  • Check your doors and windows—Ensure that all doors and windows are closed and locked.
  •  Never hide keys around the outside of your home—Consider giving an extra key to a trusted neighbor instead.
  • Keep the outside of your house well lit—This will make it appear like someone is home. Motion detector lights may also be an option.
  • Close curtains—Close any curtains that display presents in plain view, such as under a Christmas tree.
  • Keep your mail or packages from piling up outside of your door—Schedule a delivery time for when someone is home or have a trusted neighbor sign for packages.


Cooking Safety

  • Smoke Alarms & Fire Extinguishers—Make sure you have a smoke alarm on every level of your home, inside each bedroom, and outside sleeping areas. Also keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen for easy access.
  • Pan fires—If a pan catches on fire, cover it with a lid to smother the flames or use a fire extinguisher. Never use flour or water to put out a pan fire. Call 911 if necessary.
  • Frying turkeys—Only fry a turkey outside and away from your home–not inside your garage, or on your porch. Do not overfill the oil in the turkey fryer and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on use, including thawing your turkey thoroughly and maintaining control of the oil temperature.
  • Flammable items— Keep flammable items, like potholders and paper or plastic bags, away from the stove and oven. Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing or dangling jewelry.
  • Never leave cooking food unattended on the stove—Monitor food at all times while it is being cooked. Make sure to turn pan handles towards the back of the range to prevent someone from bumping into it.


Tree Safety

  • Picking the tree—Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that do not fall off when touched.
  • Placing the tree—Before placing the tree in the stand, cut 2in from the base. Make sure the tree is at least 3ft away from any heat source (fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents, or lights). Make sure tree is not blocking an exit.
  • Keep it watered—If you have a real tree in your house this season, keep it watered. A tree that is not well watered is very dangerous and can turn into a fire hazard. It is best to water the tree every day and dispose of the tree after the holidays or when it is dry.
  • Turn off the lights—Always be sure to turn off the tree lights before going to bed or leaving the house.


Decoration Safety

  • Use step stools or ladders—Use step stools or ladders while putting up decorations. Keep ladders and decorations away from overhead power lines. Ensure the ladder is securely placed on the ground before climbing. Never stand on furniture as this can result in an injury.
  • Shoe safety—When putting up holiday lights and other decorations make sure to wear protective and sturdy shoes inside or outside of the house. No flip flops!
  • Check lights—Double check lights for frayed wires or cracks, and be sure there is a bulb in each socket. Discard and replace damaged strands. Indoor lights should not touch drapes, furniture or carpeting.
  • Extension cords— Prevent tripping by placing cords and decorations in low-traffic areas where they won’t be walked on. Avoid twisting, kinking or crushing cords. Use heavy-duty extension cords, and only use cords outdoors if they are designated for outdoor use. Avoid overloading extension cords by using no more than three sets of standard lights per cord. Do not hammer tacks or nails into the electrical cord when hanging lights. Instead, use clips to safely attach lights to the house.

 

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.

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.