Benefits of OSHA’s On-site Consultation Program 

While maintaining workplace health and safety is a top priority for most businesses, it can be a challenge. This is particularly true for smaller companies that lack the time, knowledge and resources to appropriately address the hazards that threaten their workers and business the most. To help these organizations identify and mitigate health and safety concerns, OSHA created the On-site Consultation Program.

This free, confidential service gives small and midsized businesses direct access to risk control advice. Through the On-site Consultation Program, employers can discover potential hazards at their worksites, improve their occupational safety and health management systems, and even qualify for a one-year exemption from routine OSHA inspections.

 

The service is offered through state governments using highly trained professionals. Most consultations take place on-site, though limited services away from the worksite are also available. In addition, no citations or penalties are issued during the consultation process.

 

Confidentiality is maintained during the consultation process. The consultant will only report hazard information to OSHA if the employer fails to correct an imminent danger or serious hazards.

 

Above all, enrolling in the On-site Consultation Program can help organizations:
 Recognize and remove hazards in their workplace.
 Protect workers from injury and illness.
 Educate employees on workplace hazards and encourage them to take ownership of workplace safety.
 Improve employee morale.
 Comply with federal and state safety and health requirements.
 Increase productivity rates and assure product quality.
 Decrease workers’ compensation costs.

 

Because the service is voluntary, employers have to submit a request in order to receive a consultation. To do this, you will need to find your local program’s office using OSHA’s Consultation Directory. Once a consultant is assigned to you, they will discuss your specific needs and set up a visit date based on your work schedule and the time needed to appropriately assess your business’s risks.

 

To learn more about the program and the consultation process, click here.

 

The staff at Anastasi Insurance understands the many pressures facing a small business owner today and your need for fast accurate results. From juggling the needs of employees and customers to managing cash flow and staying ahead of intense competition, we are in a unique position to help you evaluate the cost of assuming risk or transferring that risk to an insurance company or surety. Contact us today.

Does Your Auto Insurance Cover Rental Cars?

Does Your Auto Insurance Cover Rental Cars?

When renting a car, the rental company will typically ask if you’d like to purchase insurance coverage for the vehicle. It’s at this point when you have to ask yourself: Do my personal insurance policies provide the coverage I need, or should I purchase insurance through the rental car company?

Although standard auto insurance policies may extend to rented vehicles, you should never assume you are protected. Examining your own auto insurance policy will show you the types of coverage you already possess and where additional coverage may be needed. Since auto policies differ, it’s a good rule of thumb to contact your broker so they can help you navigate your policy and determine if you have the appropriate amount of coverage when renting a vehicle.

Examining Your Insurance Policies

When deciding whether or not your personal insurance will cover your rental car, there are a few different coverages you should have. If you answer yes to all of the following questions, you may not need to purchase additional coverage:

  • Do you have liability, collision or comprehensive car insurance? Liability, collision and comprehensive insurance are the three main coverage options available when purchasing car insurance. Although it is not always required to purchase all three coverages, they can optimize your protection in the event of an accident.
    • Liability insurance provides coverage if you damage or injure another person or their personal property.
    • Collision insurance provides coverage if your vehicle is involved in a collision, either with another vehicle or object.
    • Comprehensive insurance provides coverage if your car is damaged by a variety of exposures such as theft, vandalism or natural disasters.

 

  • Does your policy cover administrative fees, loss of use or towing charges? It’s always a good idea to check see whether your insurance company pays for—or provides a rider for—additional fees associated with rental cars. This coverage can be helpful if a car you rent is lost, stolen or damaged.
  • Do you have a renters or homeowners policy that will cover your belongings if lost or damaged? Your homeowners or renters insurance policy covers your personal belongings from theft, fire or vandalism within your home. Policies often include off-premises coverage that can extend your coverage to outside your residence. Therefore, if personal belongings in your vehicle are stolen or damaged, your homeowners or renters insurance policy may be able to cover a percentage of your losses. Not all insurance carriers will extend coverage to protect personal belongings within your vehicle—always check with your broker to see what your renters or homeowners policy covers.

 

What Is Rental Car Insurance, and What Does It Cover?
Car rental companies provide additional coverage that is often used to supplement insurance you already possess.

Rental car agencies offer four different coverage options:

  1. Supplemental liability insurance: Most car rental companies need to have the minimum amount of liability coverage required by the state, but oftentimes it isn’t an adequate amount of coverage. If you have a personal car insurance policy with a high liability limit, you may not need additional protection.
  2. Loss damage waiver (LDW)/collision damage waiver (CDW): This is not insurance per se, but rather a document that can alleviate your financial responsibility should your rental vehicle be damaged or stolen. This also includes loss of use coverage if the rental company charges you for the amount of time the car could not be used while being repaired, as well as other administrative fees the car rental agency assesses. The LDW may become void if the incident occurred from the driver of the rented vehicle exhibiting reckless behavior, speeding or the vehicle being driven on unpaved roads.
  3. Personal accident insurance: This will cover the driver and any passengers within the rented vehicle for any medical bills caused by a car crash. This coverage is useful if you do not already have health insurance or personal injury protection insurance.
  4. Personal effects coverage: This covers any personal belongings that are stolen from the rental vehicle. If you already have renters or homeowners insurance, this may already be covered under your policy.
    The coverages offered are oftentimes the same as what you already have for your personal car insurance. Again, to avoid paying for coverage you already have, review your policy before renting a vehicle.

Does Your Credit Card Provide Rental Insurance?
Many reputable credit card companies offer rental insurance to their customers. To utilize this secondary form of coverage, you must put the total amount of the car rental on your credit card. In many cases, credit card companies will also require you to deny any insurance offered by the car rental agency in order to access their coverage. In the event that your rental car is in a covered incident, the credit card company will help cover costs of damage or theft up to a certain dollar amount. Various rental car fees can be covered by your credit card, but this can vary by provider.

Before purchasing any additional coverage through the car rental facility, call your credit card company to see if your card offers car rental insurance. Since most credit card rental insurance is classified as a secondary form of coverage, you may need to rely on your personal auto insurance coverage first.

Ask About Your Policy
Deciding on your rental car coverage can be a tricky endeavor. Before purchasing any extra coverage, talk to your insurance broker about your personal auto insurance policy and whether you may need to purchase any additional insurance. No one wants to pay more for their auto insurance, and you shouldn’t have too.

If you have any questions or are unsure if rental vehicles are covered under your policy, contact Anastasi Insurance Agency, Inc. today.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Publishes Hours of Service Proposal to Improve Safety and Increase Flexibility for Commercial Drivers

FMCSA Unveils Proposed Changes to Hours-of-Service Rules

On Aug. 14, 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published its much-anticipated notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on changes to hours of service (HOS) rules. In the NPRM, the FMCSA revealed five HOS revisions that, if implemented, could affect commercial motor vehicle drivers and their employers.

The FMSCA claims that this proposal is crafted to improve safety on the nation’s roadways while providing commercial drivers more flexibility. The proposed rule would not increase driving time and would continue to prevent CMV operators from driving for more than eight consecutive hours without at least a 30-minute change in duty status.

Proposed Changes to the 30-minute Break Rule
Under the FMCSA’s proposed rule, there would be increased flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by tying the break requirement to eight hours of driving time without an interruption for at least 30 minutes, and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on-duty, not driving status rather than off-duty status.
The FMCSA predicts that this proposal would have no adverse effect on drivers because drivers would still be constrained by the 11-hour driving limit and would continue to receive on-duty/non-driving breaks from driving tasks.

The Sleeper-berth Exception
The proposed rules would also modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10 hours off duty into two periods:

⦁ One of at least seven consecutive hours in the sleeper berth; and

⦁ Another period of not less than two consecutive hours, either off-duty or in the sleeper berth.

This change could lead to increased use of sleeper berths because drivers using a berth would have two additional hours to complete 11 hours of driving by virtue of excluding the shorter rest period from the calculation of the 14-hour driving window.

Off-duty Breaks
The change would allow one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than three hours, that would pause a truck driver’s 14-hour driving window. For this to apply, the driver would have to take 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift.

The FMCSA stated that drivers could use this time to:
⦁ Rest without penalty of losing time in their driving window;
⦁ Avoid traffic by waiting in a parking lot and increasing their vehicle miles traveled efficiency; or
⦁ Mitigate the effect on the 14-hour rule of long detention times by allowing driving later in the work shift.

One potential downside is that drivers could be driving in a longer driving window without restorative rest.

Adverse Driving Conditions Exception
The FMCSA is also proposing modifications to the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by two hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.

Under the current rules, a driver may drive a commercial vehicle for no more than two additional hours beyond the maximum time allowed. However, this does not extend the maximum “driving windows.” This proposed change would potentially better reflect the impact of adverse-condition delays on drivers by adding two hours of driving and two hours to the driving window.

Short-haul Exception

The proposal also includes a change to the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum onduty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles. This proposal could increase the number of drivers able to take advantage of the short-haul exception.

Next Steps

Industry stakeholders may comment on the proposed rules for 45 days. The Federal Register Notice, including how to submit comments, is available here. Following the comment period, the FMCSA will again consider those comments before issuing a final rule.

Remember, for the time being, these are proposed rules that are not yet in place. For more information, review the FMCSA’s press release on the proposal here.

A Guide to Creating and Updating Driver Qualification Files

When it comes to managing a fleet, there’s a lot to consider. Not only do you have to ensure every vehicle under your care is safe and operational, but there are also specific Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requirements you must follow in order to remain compliant and avoid potential fines. One complex and often overlooked requirement relates to driver qualification (DQ) files.

DQ files are critical documents motor carriers  are required to develop and maintain by law. These documents serve as proof that motor carriers are hiring qualified drivers and that those drivers are legally fit for the road throughout their years of service.

Motor carriers must have a DQ file for each one of their drivers—including owner/operators—regardless of how many drivers they have in their fleet. The FMCSA has very specific guidelines on the types of information carriers need to have in DQ files as well as how often that information needs to be reviewed. Failing to maintain DQ files as required by the FMCSA can trigger fines, audits or even lead to your business being placed out of service.

Further complicating matters, record retention is a common area of confusion when it comes to DQ files. Some aspects of your files are permanent, while others need to be updated on a continuous basis. Ensuring that your organization has DQ files in good standing for all of your drivers will save you valuable time and—most importantly—protect you should a claim be brought against one of your drivers.

As our insured, we make available to you a guide that is meant to provide a general overview of DQ files, highlighting what you need to have on hand for each of your drivers and how long you must retain those documents.

 

If you are interested in this guide, please contact our office.

Groups Petition OSHA to Add Official Standard for Heat Exposure

Although OSHA has established many standards to protect employees in the workplace, the agency doesn’t have any official regulations regarding everyday heat exposure.

According to the National Safety Council, nearly 250 people die from exposure to excessive temperatures every year, and many more experience injuries from heat exhaustion and heat stroke. As a result, over 130 organizations have recently petitioned OSHA to create a standard that provides at-risk employees with rest breaks, access to shade and other protections.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has recommended that OSHA create a heat standard three times—in 1972, 1986 and 2016. Even though OSHA has supported NIOSH’s framework for the standard and created heat exposure guidelines, the agency can only examine heat-specific hazards under its general duty clause for employers to provide a generally safe work environment.

All businesses need to take care to protect their workforces from dangerously high temperatures. Here are some strategies you can use to protect your employees from the heat:

  • Increase ventilation at your workplace by using air conditioning, setting up cooling fans or installing insulation around hot surfaces.
  • Encourage employees to download the OSHA-NIOSH heat safety tool on their iOS or Android smartphone.
  • Train employees on how to recognize the early signs of heat-related illnesses, such as red skin, nausea, confusion, heavy sweating, cramps and dizziness.
  • Schedule physical work during times when the temperature is lower, such as the early morning or late afternoon.
  • Make sure that your employees have access to water in their work areas, and encourage them to take small drinks every 15 minutes—even if they aren’t thirsty.
  • Let your employees take more frequent breaks as the temperature rises.
  • Keep in mind that anyone who hasn’t been exposed to excessive heat for a long period of time may need to allow extra time for their body to reacclimatize.

 

OSHA Releases New Resources to Help Businesses Comply With Silica Rule

OSHA’s new silica rule for the general industry recently went into effect, which lowered the permissible exposure limit for the substance to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air (50 µg/m3) and requires employers to take other steps to protect employees. Now, the agency has released new tools to help employers comply with the new standard.

Many of the new materials focus on silica risks that are specific to the construction industry, which has had to adhere to the new standard since last year. Here’s an overview of the new OSHA resources:

 

OSHA Proposes Eliminating Forms 300 and 301 From Electronic Reporting Rule

OSHA has proposed rescinding two major parts of its electronic reporting rule in order to protect employees’ sensitive information. The agency also stated on its website that it’s no longer accepting electronic data from OSHA Forms 300 or 301, even though the change is still technically a proposal.

In the proposed rule, OSHA stated that the change will prevent sensitive personal information from being released under the Freedom of Information Act. The agency also noted that the effort of submitting Forms 300 and 301 is an unnecessary burden on employers given the uncertain benefits of obtaining the data.

Public health advocacy groups have challenged the proposal in court and argued that OSHA’s sudden move to state that it won’t accept data bypasses the rule-making process. Other lawmakers believe that OSHA should establish guidelines for submitting the forms without releasing personal information.

To see OSHA’s full notice of proposed rule-making, visit the Federal Register’s publication.

$10.5M in Grants Announced for Safety and Health Training

The Susan Harwood Training Grant Program recently received $10.5 million in grants to help support hands-on safety training. This OSHA program focuses on interactive training programs and other resources in order to help with safety training for small businesses, high-risk industries, temporary employees and more.

According to OSHA, the grants will help improve the development of quality training and prevent workplace hazards. The program also helps employers with limited training resources provide their employees with a way to identify hazards before they become a danger.

 

Anastasi Insurance Agency, Inc.

(508) 248-1440

www.anastasiinsurance.com

What is Storm Surge and How it Puts 10 States at Risk

The NOAA defines a Storm Surge as

the abnormal rise in seawater level during a storm, measured as the height of the water above the normal predicted astronomical tide. The surge is caused primarily by a storm’s winds pushing water onshore. The amplitude of the storm surge at any given location depends on the orientation of the coast line with the storm track; the intensity, size, and speed of the storm; and the local bathymetry.

 

Storm surges can be extremely dangerous as they usually happen after the area has suffered a severe weather event, that locals sometimes think that there is no more danger and they let their guard down.

The “2018 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report” includes the following takeaways for insurers and their policyholders living and doing business in affected states:

  • 9 million homes along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts are at risk for hurricane storm surge damage
  • Those homes have $1.6 trillion in potential reconstruction costs
  • Florida, Louisiana and Texas top the list of states with the most homes at risk

“While industry predictions for this year’s storm season indicate average activity levels, associated storm surge risk remains an important consideration for residential and commercial properties in the 19 states analyzed,” Dr. Tom Jeffery, senior hazard scientist at CoreLogic, said in a press release. “Depending on the location of a storm’s landfall and that area’s population density and reconstruction costs, lower Category storms can cause just as much damage as storms in higher categories.”

The following states are the most vulnerable to damage:


 

Making sure your property is adequately covered is critical in times like this. Give us a call to review your insurance to make sure there are no gaps.

 

Preparing For Hurricane Season

The Importance of Being Prepared During A Hurricane
From June through November, hurricanes are at their peak. During a hurricane, heavy rains and catastrophic winds barrel through coastal areas and can severely damage or destroy homes and businesses. The best way to minimize damage from a hurricane is to be prepared before one strikes.
 
PREPARING FOR HURRICANE SEASON
During Hurricane Season:
  • Plan evacuation routes and designate a contact person who family members know to call once the storm is over.
  • Stock up on items such as bottled water, flashlights, battery-operated radio, nails, tarps and plywood.
  • Keep an up-to-date log of all of your possessions with photographs and videos, and review your home insurance policy.
When There’s A Hurricane Threat:
  • Cover windows and doors and secure outdoor furniture.
  • If you are told to evacuate, do so immediately.
  • Refill your prescriptions, fill up your gas tank and withdraw a week’s worth of cash so you are prepared in the event of a power outage.
During a Hurricane:
  • Listen to your battery-operated radio for instructions from the local authorities on evacuation and safety guidelines.
  • Seek shelter in an interior room away from windows, such as a closet.
  • If the electricity goes out, use a flashlight to see; do not use candles.
  • If you hear the winds subside, do not assume that the storm is over. The calm may be the eye of the storm, and the worst part may still be coming.
Safety First
After the storm is over, stay inside until you hear that an “all clear” notice has been issued. If you were told to evacuate, do not return home until you have been given permission by the authorities.

Additionally, exercise extreme caution when inspecting your home for damage. Do not try to inspect damaged utilities and appliances; contact a professional to do so.
 
(508) 248-1440

DOT # – September 1st – TIME IS RUNNING OUT

DOT # Changes:
Some mothers and fathers may be looking forward to summer ending, however I am sure a lot of small business owners operating pick up trucks and trailers in Massachusetts are wishing they had a few more weeks. There are big changes to who needs a DOT # coming September 1st.
Have faith – there is still time!!
September 1 is the deadline to obtain a DOT # and properly display the name of your company, address Phone # and DOT number on all commercial motor vehicles that weigh 10,001 lbs or more or in combination with a trailer weigh even if you do not travel out of state
Important distinction: You do not need a DOT# if you operate a motor truck or in combination with a trailer that has a maximum load capacity of 2,000 lbs -10,000lbs BUT you do need to have your vehicles MARKED according to the 540 CMR2.22
 
So lets recap – You need a DOT# and proper marking if:
  • You are the owner of motor truck used for the transportation of goods, wares or merchandise for hire, gain or reward
  • Engaged in intrastate commerce having a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 10,001 or more pounds
  • Used in the transportation of hazardous materials in a quantity requiring placarding; or Designed to transport more than 15 passengers including the driver, used in intrastate commerce in Massachusetts

 

If you have any questions, or need to obtain your DOT # by the deadline, please contact our office and speak to our highly trained Commercial Lines Representative that can walk you through the process and answer any questions you may have. Your Business First…

Providing A Safe Environment For Women In Construction

As increasing numbers of women enter the construction trades, concerns about their health and safety are growing. In addition to the primary safety and health hazards faced by all construction workers, there are safety and health issues specific to female construction workers. The small percentage of females within the construction trades and the serious health and safety problems unique to female construction workers have a circular effect. Safety and health problems in construction create barriers to women entering and remaining in this field. In turn, the small numbers of female workers on construction worksites foster an environment in which these safety and health problems arise or continue.

Hazards for Women on Construction Sites

There are common hazards for women that work on construction sites. Know how to identify these risks to keep your employees safe:

Workplace culture: The construction industry has been overwhelmingly male-dominated for years, and on many job sites, female construction workers are not welcome. Isolation—working as the only female on a job site or being ostracized by co-workers—evokes both stress and fear of assault. Many female construction workers say they are reluctant to report workplace safety and health problems for fear of being tagged as complainers or whiners, which would further strain their workplace relationships and jeopardize their employment.

Hostile workplace: A hostile workplace presents safety and health concerns on several levels, ranging from a lack of training and safety information to physical assault. The effects of a hostile workplace are visible in acute as well as chronic stress reactions. OSHA has already begun to recognize workplace violence as an occupational safety and health issue.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that in a one-year period, 41 percent of female construction workers suffered from gender harassment.

Sexual harassment: Sexual harassment is a serious problem for female construction workers. Sex discrimination and anti-women attitudes are still prevalent on worksites, despite the fact that sex discrimination is illegal. According to a USA Today analysis of U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Bureau of Labor Statistics data, female construction workers have the second-highest rate of sexual harassment complaints per 100,000 employed women.

  • Sexual harassment complaints at worksites range from subtle forms such as being stared at or seeing “pinups” of naked and nearly naked women to more blatant forms such as unwanted sexual remarks (including comments on appearance), being touched in sexual ways and sexual assault.
  • One illustration of how sexual harassment is an occupational safety and health issue is prevalent in a recent settlement between a construction company and 14 employees, seven of which were female. According to the Department of Labor, L&M Construction permitted sexual harassment, retaliated against workers who complained about a hostile work environment and interfered with a federal investigation. During a workers’ outreach forum in 2012, department officials were alerted to complaints of sexual harassment that included inappropriate touching, lewd acts, sexual gestures, comments and propositions directed at female employees of L&M. Officers discovered that the company terminated nine employees for complaining about the hostile work environment created by this harassment and fired an additional five workers to prevent them from being interviewed during a compliance review.

Hazard reporting: The work culture described above—combined with female construction workers’ more tenuous hold on their jobs than that of the more senior workers or male workers—often deters women from reporting unsafe or unhealthy working conditions. Women in a NIOSH study reported that they could not bring up the issue of proper restrooms or worksite safety, because doing so might threaten their employment.

Access to sanitary facilities: Access to sanitary facilities is frequently a problem on new construction sites. Temporary facilities are usually unisex, often without privacy and generally not maintained well. The availability and cleanliness of restroom facilities are major concerns for women. According to a survey report by Chicago Women in Trades (CWIT), 80 percent of female construction workers have encountered worksites with either dirty toilets or no toilets whatsoever. Respondents to the CWIT survey said that facilities, when available, were filthy or were some distance from the site. Unclean facilities and the avoidance of using them can result in disease, including urinary tract infections (which can happen when a person delays urinating). Because of this, women report that they avoid drinking water on the job, risking heat stress and other health problems. Courts have found that the lack of appropriate sanitary facilities is discriminatory and violates OSHA standards.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) and clothing (PPC) fitment: Many women in nontraditional jobs, such as the construction trades, complain of ill-fitting PPC and PPE. Clothing or equipment that is not sized properly or does not fit can compromise personal safety and the protection offered. It also may not function effectively in the manner for which it was designed. This can cause serious health and safety risks for women.

  • Ill-fitting PPE may be due to unavailability (e.g., manufacturers don’t make it or distributors don’t stock it), limited availability or lack of knowledge among employers and workers about where equipment designed for a woman’s body structure can be obtained.

Ergonomics: Studies have shown that to reduce work-related musculoskeletal disorders, tools, materials and equipment should be designed based in part on ergonomic considerations. Tools and equipment, like clothing, are often designed to be used by average-sized men.

  • Handle size and tool weight are designed to accommodate the size and strength of men, yet the average hand length of women is 0.8 inches shorter than the average man’s. A woman’s grip strength averages two-thirds of the power of a man’s grip. The grips of tools are typically too thick. Tools like pliers require a wide grasp, which puts too much pressure on the palm, leading to the loss of functional efficiency. In addition, women do not receive training on how best to use tools and equipment designed for men.

Reproductive hazards: There is inadequate information on the extent to which female construction workers are exposed to reproductive hazards in the workplace. Reproductive hazards are defined as chemical, physical or biological agents that can cause either reproductive impairment or adverse developmental effects on fetuses.

  • Only a few agents or conditions have been identified as being capable of producing structural abnormalities or birth defects, with a fraction of those being common to construction sites (e.g., polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), hypothermia and, for hazardous waste workers, ionizing radiation). In addition, several agents such as lead, solvents and pesticides have been recognized to affect sperm development. The vast majority of construction workers are of reproductive age and are at risk of potential harm if exposed to chemicals and conditions which have not been fully studied with respect to their reproductive hazards in humans.
  • Some employers find it easier to resolve potential problems by denying jobs to women, especially pregnant women. This is in spite of Supreme Court rulings prohibiting employers from continuing such a practice. While these actions may be well-intended, their effect is needless limitation on work opportunities for women. This can lead to discriminatory treatment and result in a female construction worker hiding her pregnancy, possibly endangering herself and her unborn child.

Recommendations for Improving Female Safety

Take steps to promote the safety of female employees:

Workplace culture

Include sexual harassment prevention training in safety and health programs.

Ensure all communication materials are gender-neutral and include women. Visual materials should include examples of female construction workers to promote an integrated construction workplace.

To address the problem of workplace isolation, employers, apprenticeship programs and unions (where responsible) should assign female workers to work in groups of two or more when possible, especially those who are relatively new to the construction trade.

Make sure supervisors are trained in ensuring the safety of female workers and can answer any questions workers may have.

Sanitary facilities

Gender-separate sanitary facilities should be provided on worksites.

Where changing rooms are provided on construction sites, they should also be gender-separated and provided with inside and outside locking mechanisms.

Employees should be allowed to use sanitary or hand-washing facilities as needed.

Toilet facilities should be kept clean and in good repair with clean toilet paper within reach.

Hand-washing facilities should exist within close proximity to toilet facilities.

Health and safety training

Employers and unions should make skills training courses available and encourage all workers to take advantage of them.

Journeymen should establish mentoring relationships with new workers to provide informal skills and safety training.

Supervisors need to emphasize safety as well as productivity on the job site.

Employers should emphasize that safety training is as important as skills training.

PPE and PPC

The design of PPE and PPC for women should be based on female measurements.

Union apprenticeship programs should provide female construction workers with resources on where to find equipment and clothing that fits.

Employers should make sure that all workers of all sizes have well-fitting PPE and PPC for safe and efficient performance.

Ergonomics

It should be accepted that some workers need to use different lifting and material handling techniques.

Employers, unions, apprenticeship programs and other training entities should review skills training programs to see whether alternative methods are included for getting work accomplished by workers of different sizes or strengths. All programs should emphasize the importance of safe lifting.

Workers need to hear from employers and unions that it’s acceptable to ask for help and to explore alternative ways to lift and carry.

All workers should be trained in the proper ways to lift and bend.

Reproductive hazards

Employers should post Safety Data Sheets (SDS) for each chemical present on the worksite.

Workers should read all SDSs and share the information with their physicians if they are pregnant or planning to start a family.

All workers should educate themselves about the potential reproductive risks from exposure to certain chemicals.

Employers should make reasonable accommodations for workers in later stages of pregnancy, rather than forcing them out of the workplace.

During the later stages of pregnancy, women should consult with their physicians about strenuous physical activities on the job.

 

If you have questions, or would like access to more material like the article you just read, contact us at Anastasi Insurance Agency.

Heatwave Safety

Heat danger comes in many forms and ranges across a whole spectrum from inconvenient and itchy to downright deadly. When a heatwave is approaching, thinking ahead and being properly prepared and equipped will help you maximize your fun in the sun.

Basics Reminder:

  • Stay hydrated (Water is best)
  • Wear sunscreen
  • Know when to retreat indoors or to shade

It is important to know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of different heat-related illnesses. Heat related illnesses and fatalities are serious business. CDC says that, on average, 658 people a year die from heat-related illnesses.

Heat exhaustion: this can look like heat stroke, but is not as serious. Heat exhaustion can be addressed with hydration and moving to a cooler area.

Heat Stroke: is a serious and possibly deadly condition.

Check out the below graphic from the CDC website to recognize the symptoms of both. This graphic is important to keep handy during a heatwave.

 

The staff at Anastasi Insurance understands the many pressures facing a small business owner today and your need for fast accurate results. From juggling the needs of employees and customers to managing cash flow and staying ahead of intense competition, we are in a unique position to help you evaluate the cost of assuming risk or transferring that risk to an insurance company or surety.

Whether you need to protect your car and home, want insurance for the possessions in your apartment, or need a general umbrella policy for peace of mind, our agents will provide you with outstanding service and the policies you need.

Exceptional customer service is our core value. We’re here to answer questions, provide quotes, and get you on track after a setback. As a member of Renaissance Alliance, we represent over 40 top insurance companies, allowing us to aggressively negotiate terms and conditions on your behalf.

Contact Anastasi Insurance today!