Workplace Safety

Wellness in the Workplace

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

The care and concern by employers for their employees’ well-being has significantly increased over the past few years. About 75% of employers indicated that their companies offered some type of employee wellness program or service, according to research conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management. Wellness programs can benefit employers in many ways, including better insurance rates, reduced absenteeism, increased productivity and a positive culture in the workplace.

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.

RM365 Safety Star Program May Lower Risk of Receiving OSHA’s Most Frequently Cited Violation

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

Rancho Mesa Insurance Services’ RM365 Advantage Safety Star Program™ checks several boxes for contractors who are looking to improve their safety culture and lower risk. The program provides safety training designed to reduce an organization’s probability of work-related injuries; thus, minimizing the likelihood of an OSHA citation when used in conjunction with the Risk Management Center tools.

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.

Promoting Safe Behaviors in the Workplace

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

Safety awareness is one of the most important factors in reducing workplace injuries. There are approximately three million workplace injuries, every year. This amounts to roughly 8,000 injuries per day, 350 per hour, or 6 injuries per minute. Many of these injuries are preventable. Unsafe behaviors or decisions are usually the most common contributing factors. If employees are unaware of hazards or not motivated to follow safety protocol, their behavior will expose them even more.

Protecting Employees from Third Party Harassment

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

The recent changes to California’s Anti-Harassment Training Requirements have prompted employers to take a closer look at their internal operations and how they can eliminate harassment from the workplace. A question that is frequently asked is “What happens if the harassment comes from someone other than one of my employees?” This is known as Third Party Harassment.

Stay Off OSHA's Radar with an Effective Ladder Safety Program

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

Year after year OSHA publishes the “Top 10 Most Cited Violations” and it always seems to include violations dealing with falls. Fall protection, scaffolding, ladders, and fall protection (training requirements) all made this list and all of them have been on this list perennially for over a decade. How can a company that is using ladders keep from becoming just another name on the list of violators? How can you ensure that your employees are using provided equipment properly?

Painters Stretching Can Lead to Reduced Premiums

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

Having played professional baseball for several years, I know the importance of stretching to prepare oneself for the day. My team would stretch when we got to the field, then again before batting practice, and once more before the game started. Most people reserve stretching for sporting events. They forget the importance of stretching before work - feeling they will “loosen up” as the day goes along. However, there are countless ways for employees to become injured and those medical bills can grow all too fast.

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.

Advances in Active Shooter Coverage Leads to More Protections Against Broader Violent Events

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

The need for insurance to cover workplace violence is at an all-time high. Traditionally, this type of insurance policy has been referred to as Active Shooter Coverage in response to situations involving mass shootings. As its name implies, the overage responded only to active shooter scenarios. They did not cover other types of workplace violence that can occur. As unique acts of violence occur, coverage continues to change to cover a broader spectrum of events.

Equipment Hazards and Ways to Reduce Exposure

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

The very nature of the construction business creates risk; from injuries in the course of employment, damage to property, third party liability, etc. One important area that can be overlooked is equipment security. While there is simply no way to eliminate 100% of risk to equipment, there are several steps a contractor can take to initiate proper controls and minimize losses in this area.

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.

Cyberbulling: Identify and Prevent

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

While schools and nonprofit agencies serving youth are typically very serious about preserving child safety, organizations’ leaders may not understand the risk factors or have a plan in place to prevent a growing threat: cyberbullying. The Cyberbullying Research Center states that about 28% of recently surveyed youth and teens have been the victim of cyberbullying in their lifetime, and 16% admitted to participating in cyberbullying. This article will define cyberbullying, identify risk factors, and list preventative measures.

Mitigating Risk at Height

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

Falls from elevated heights are the single most hazardous injury within the construction industry; representing 38% of all construction fatalities (NSC Construction & Utilities). That is a scary fact if you are a painting contractor that works off the ground. In years past, it was common to see painters working on multi-story scaffolding with few controls in place, or working from ladders on top of trucks to get those extra couple feet needed to finish a project. Workers compensation underwriters have difficulty with risks that work over 30 feet. Why is this 30 foot threshold so critical to insurance companies who write workers compensation?