Key Steps to Take Before, During and After an OSHA Inspection

Author, Sam Clayton, Vice President, Construction Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

An OSHA officer can show up to your facility or worksite for any number of reasons: employee complaints, accidents, programmed inspections, sweeps, follow-up or a drive-by observation. In order to ensure a smooth inspection, we suggest you prepare before OSHA appears at your door. Here are some key steps to take before, during and after an OSHA inspection.

How a Bank Line of Credit Can Affect Your Surety Bonding

Author, Andy Roberts, Account Executive, Surety, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

When a surety carrier is evaluating a bonding program for a contractor, they use many different underwriting factors to determine an acceptable amount of bond capacity. They will consider a contractor’s working capital, net worth and work in progress schedules, to name a few. Another important factor that can help increase a contractor's bonding capacity is a bank line of credit. 

WCIRB Proposed Changes Affecting Schools and Disabled Services

Author, Chase Hixson, Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) recently announced plans to reclassify the 8868 (i.e., professors, teachers or academic professional employees) and 9101 (i.e., all employees other than professors, teachers, or academic professional employees) class codes under the belief that there is significant disparity between the businesses that currently fall under these two classifications.  These changes are planned to go into effect January 1, 2019.  

Four Factors when Developing A Nonprofit Agency's Youth Protection Plan

Author, Sam Brown, Vice President, Human Services Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services.

When designing youth protection measures, many nonprofit leaders want to understand the industry’s “best practices” and incorporate what already works for others. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to identify one set of “best practices” or a universal checklist all organizations should adopt. As a result, it will benefit nonprofit leaders and their clients to tailor daily practices to the unique exposures and operations of the agency. When doing so, it’s best to consider four important factors when designing a youth protection program.

Why Painting Contractors Need Pollution Liability Insurance

Author, Casey Craig, Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

At first glance, most painting contractors don’t think they need pollution coverage. One might think that if they're not pouring sludge into a lake or toxic gasses into the atmosphere, then it wouldn’t apply to their company. Everyone sees the oil spills and thinks that this is what pollution coverage is for, but how does it apply to your smaller business? How can one event jeopardize your company’s success?

CIGA is “Back in Black” - Employers will receive 2% savings on 2019 workers' comp premium

Author, Sam Clayton, Vice President, Construction Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

For the first time in 20 years, the California Insurance Guarantee Association (CIGA) will not collect its annual assessment. As a result, California employers in the guaranteed cost workers' compensation insurance market will save 2% on their premium in 2019.

Three Question to Ask Before Enrolling in an OCIP/CCIP or Wrap Program

Author, Daniel Frazee, Executive Vice President, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Subcontractors in California regularly enroll in OCIP/CCIP or wrap programs. These programs are insurance policies that cover many of the participants in a construction project, including the owner/developer, general contractor and subcontractors. As many contractors learn the hard way, they do not control the program or the coverage terms, leaving the possibility of significant gaps that can impact the contractor in the future.

What To Do When Your X-MOD is over 125

Author, Drew Garcia, Landscape Division Leader, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

If your Experience MOD (i.e., X-MOD, Ex Mod) is over 125, expect to receive a letter from the California Occupational Safety & Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) Consultation Branch. If you haven't received the letter, yet, you can be proactive and reach out to OSHA Consultation. Although it sounds intimidating, keep in mind, OSHA Consultation is only there to help you.

Case Study: First-Time Bonding for Landscape Professional

Author, Matt Gaynor, Director of Surety, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

I recently had the opportunity to work with a new client who is a landscape professional. He wanted to bid on a maintenance project for a local municipality and wasn’t sure if he would qualify for the required performance bond.

Employers Beware! Ten Red Flags You May Have a Fraudulent Workers’ Comp Claim

Author, Jeremy Hoolihan, Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Workers’ Compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured in the course of employment in exchange for mandatory relinquishment of the employee's right to sue their employer for the tort of negligence. 

Risk Management Center Streamlines Electronic OSHA Reporting

Author, Alyssa Burley, Client Services Coordinator, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) now require certain employers to electronically submit their completed 2016 Form 300A.  OSHA has created a website that allows employers to manually complete the information or upload a formatted CSV (comma-separated values) file

Federal OSHA Asserts Electronic Data Reporting Requirement Applies to Employers Across All States

Author, Alyssa Burley, Client Services Coordinator, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced Monday, April 30, 2018 it has “taken action to correct an error that was made with regard to implementing the final rule” which required some employers to electronically submit their injuring and illness reports via the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) online.

Benefits of a Student/Volunteer Accident Policy

Author, Chase Hixson, Account Executive, Human Services Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Organizations like nonprofits, schools, home health care facilities and other entities that rely on volunteers or frequently interact with the public, may be vulnerable to accidents not covered by workers' compensation insurance. These accidents can cause an unexpected financial burden on the organization if they don't have an accident policy.

The Changing Definition of Employee: What you need to know about SB 189

Author, Yvonne Gallagher, Landscape Division Account Manager, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

California State Capital Building.

State Bill 189 (SB 189) (Bradford) was recently enacted by the California State Legislature. It is intended to correct issues resulting from the passage of Assembly Bill 2883 (AB 2883) (Daly et. al) in 2017, which changed the requirements for business owners to exclude themselves from workers' compensation coverage.

Workplace Violence Insurance Surges in Aftermath of Shootings

Author, Sam Brown, Vice President, Human Services Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

In response to the hundreds of mass shootings taking place each year, the insurance marketplace has produced new workplace violence products to help employers and employees recover from a crisis.

The Rising Risk of Metal Theft from Jobsites

Author, Kevin Howard, Account Executive, Construction Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Metal theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country. Copper, aluminum, nickel, stainless steel and scrap iron have become the desired target of thieves looking to make a quick buck.

How To Lower Your Experience MOD by Understanding Your Primary Threshold

Author, Drew Garcia, NALP Program Director, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc. 

The Experience Modifier (i.e., experience MOD, MOD, XMOD, experience modification rating, EMR) weighs heavy on the calculation of your workers' compensation premium. With a MOD rating of 1.00 signifying unity  (i.e., the average for your industry), any MOD above 1.00 is considered adverse. Thus, any MOD below 1.00 is considered better than average. Higher MODs will debit the premium, resulting in higher workers' compensation premiums, while lower MODs will credit the premium, resulting in lower workers' compensation premiums.

Why All Trade Contractors Must Consider Pollution Liability

Authors Sam Clayton, ARM, CRIS, Vice President, Construction Group and Daniel Frazee, ARM, CRIS, Executive Vice President, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Contractor’s Pollution Liability (CPL), once viewed as expensive and unnecessary, has now become an integral part of every trade and environmental contractor’s insurance program. The industry is seeing requirements for this coverage from a combination of building owners, developers and general contractors for projects of all sizes.

The Hidden Gems in the OSHA Silica Regulation

Author, Glenn Ingraham, MS CIH.

If you’re complying with the OSHA Silica Standard for Construction by following the requirements in Table 1, then congratulations!  You’re doing well.  But do you know about the two little hidden gems in the standard?  Those two requirements are connected to the use of respirators in Table 1.

3 Practical Reasons for Timely Claims Reporting

Author, Jim Malone, Claims Advocate, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

When a work-related accident occurs, as a business owner or manager, it is our nature to want to analyze the situation in order to learn how to avoid it in the future. However, the reporting of the incident is equally as important. With the recent requirement to report first aid claims, timely reporting for all claims is recognized as being critical for a number of reasons.