Landscape

Providing Anti-Harassment Training Is the Employer’s Responsibility

Author, Alyssa Burely, Media Communications and Client Services Manager, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Many industries like construction utilize a semi-transient workforce that can shift from company to company as labor needs change throughout the project’s life cycle. Employees may work a few months for one employer, then move on to another employer when the project is completed. This scenario poses a dilemma for California employers looking to comply with Senate Bill 1343 (SB 1343). Providing training to an ever-changing workforce can be a challenge.

Fraudulent Claims Could Be on the Rise

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

California is in the middle of a construction boom. There is more work than qualified employees and contractors need people on their job sites. While fraudulent workers’ compensation claims are relatively low right now, California contractors are asking what will happen when there is not enough work to keep everyone busy?

Top 5 Free Safety Apps for Landscape Contractors

Author, Drew Garcia, Vice President, Landscape Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Mobile devices have become an invaluable tool for many people, on the job. They provide access to contacts, email and applications (i.e., apps) that can make work a lot simpler and safer for landscapers. We researched the top apps that boost worker safety. In no particular order, here are the top 5 free safety applications for the landscape industry.

Employers Prepare As Reports of Sexual Harassment Spike

Author, Alyssa Burley, Media Communications and Client Services Manager, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Americans are all too familiar with the #MeToo movement that has shed light on sexual harassment in the workplace. Outspoken celebrities and prominent public figures have brought this topic to the forefront in the media. With all the publicity surrounding sexual harassment allegations, people are empowered to speak out and report unwanted behaviors in the workplace. This leaves many employers asking what they can do to prevent harassment and prepare for possible harassment allegations.

Fleet Management: Driver Behavior Counts

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

When you give the car keys to your teenager for the first time, you wish you were sitting in the back seat controlling how they drive. Unfortunately, you have very limited control and the consequences of poor driving can be disastrous. It’s time to think of your employee drivers in a similar manner; these principles apply to your company’s fleet management program.

Time To Renew Your Bond Line of Credit

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

The majority of Rancho Mesa’s contractor clients have a fiscal year, end of December 31, for their company financial statements. During March, April, and May we collect a variety of financial information from our contractors to update the bonding company. The underwriting items we request include the 12/31 CPA financial statement, along with the work in progress and closed contract schedules. We also request an updated bank letter, account receivable/account payable schedules, and a personal financial statement from the owner.

Pollution Liability for Landscape Contractors

Author, Drew Garcia, Vice President, Landscape Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Most Landscape Contractors believe their exposure to pollution is limited to the herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers they apply. In order to provide some limited coverage for this it is common to see the Herbicide/Pesticide Endorsement added to the Commercial General Liability Policy. Although the endorsement extends some coverage, Contractor’s Pollution Liability would help fill the gaps created by the General Liability Policy for all of the landscape contractor’s pollution exposures. 

What Do You Mean My Deductible Is Infinity?

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

In this unsettling time throughout various workforces, it makes good business sense to consider EPLI options with varied deductible ranges. Having that clarity brings comfort to many clients who have worked years to build their business, acquire assets, and improve their net worth. Exposing their business to what could very well be unlimited costs creates considerable risk moving forward.

Higher Workers' Compensation Premiums Linked to New Employee Injuries

Author, Drew Garcia, Vice President, Landscape Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Based on Rancho Mesa Insurance Services’ client’s information, we have been able to identify that the majority of work-related injuries occur within the first year of employment. During the first year, the majority of these claims occur in the first six months. Having a system for onboarding and training new hires is a critical component to dealing with the heightened risk of injury during this time period.

Ensuring CA Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Training is SB 1343 Compliant

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

In September 2018, former California Governor Jerry Brown approved Senate Bill 1343 (SB 1343) which expanded the requirements for Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention training within California workplaces.

In order for the Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention training to be compliant, it must meet the following requirements. The training must:

Cal/OSHA 300A Form Posting Begins February 1st

Author, Lauren Stumpf, Media Communications Assistant, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc. would like to remind its clients that February 1, 2019 marks the start of the Cal/OSHA Form 300A posting period. The Cal/OSHA Form 300A is a summary of the company's annual work-related injuries and illnesses. It must be posted from February 1, 2019 to April 30, 2019.

California SB 1343 Expands Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention Training Requirements

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

In September 2018, former California Governor Jerry Brown approved Senate Bill 1343 (SB 1343) which expands the requirements for Sexual Harassment and Abusive Conduct Prevention training within the workplace.

Reporting Serious Workers’ Compensation Injuries

Author, Jim Malone, Workers’ CompensationClaims Advocate, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Workers’ Compensation injuries occur every day. The majority of these injuries are minor incidents which require no medical treatment or loss of time from work. For others, the injury is reported to the insurance carrier, the injury is addressed, forms are provided, and the recovery from the injury is monitored until the employee is released back to work and a discharge from care is provided.

3 Key Differences Between Self-Insured Retention and Deductibles

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

Every business or non-profit that purchases a form of liability insurance has seen the term deductible or self-insured retention (SIR). While many know the difference between the two, many do not. Deductibles and SIRs, while quite different, are both designed to keep your premiums down. Insurers are willing to reduce the premium on policies, which have a deductible or SIR, because the insured assumes some of the risk. This however, is where the similarities end.

IRS Extends 2018 Deadline for 1095c Forms

Authors, Shane Medlin, Employee Benefits Account Executive, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2018-94 outlining extended deadlines for 2018 Minimum Essential Coverage under Section 6055 and Large Employer Shared Responsibility under Section 6056. This notice extends the due date to provide individuals the 2018 Form 1095-B, Health Coverage, and the 2018 Form 1095-C, Employer-Provided Health Insurance Offer and Coverage, from January 31, 2019, to March 4, 2019. This notice also extends good faith transition relief from section 6721 and 6722 penalties to the 2018 information reporting requirements under sections 6055 and 6056.

Developing an Effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP)

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

If you have operated a business in the state of California for any period of time, you have very likely heard about or run across the acronym IIPP. Wherever you stand with your knowledge within the world of safety, injury, and illness, it is important for every organization to understand the mandatory parts of an IIPP. What is often overlooked is how developing an effective safety program can create positive change and truly impact your bottom line.

Six Reasons for Promptly Reporting a Workers’ Compensation Claim

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

Reporting workers’ compensation claims in a timely manner can have a huge impact on the severity of the claim. Some policyholders believe the practice of not reporting employee injuries early is a good business practice. This could not be further from the truth.

15 Tips for Reducing Exposures When Performing Median Work

Author, Drew Garcia, Vice President, Landscape Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

Many city contracts and some residential communities will call for landscape contractors to install, maintain, or remodel road dividing medians. The potential risk for injury that can occur due to this exposure is highly severe. If your operations include any percentage of median work, then be sure to understand this increases your overall risk profile and slides the operations needle towards “heavy” in class.

California SB 1343 Expands Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

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

On September 30, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown, approved Senate Bill 1343 (SB 1343), which expands rules for required sexual harassment prevention training for businesses.

Currently, employers with 50 or more employees must provide supervisors with sexual harassment prevention training every two years. By January 1, 2020, employers with 5 more employees must provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment prevention training and at least 1 hour of training to non-supervisory employees. The trainings are required every 2 years.

California Insurance Commissioner Announces Rate Cuts for 2019

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

California employers received some great news regarding their Workers Compensation premiums for 2019. On November 6, 2018, Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones recently announced his decision to cut California Workers’ Compensation advisory pure premium rates by 8.4% significantly higher than the initial recommended 4.5%. This change will affect policies that renew or incept on or after January 1, 2019.