GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR A LOSS CONTROL PROGRAM – 7 BASICS
Establish a loss
control policy and who will be in charge of it.
- To be effective, a loss control program should share responsibility with a person or persons with authority to act. This person must be known to have the backing of the owner of the business and of senior management.
- Good loss control practices should be an integral part of the job; not something that is done separately or as an additional step. Such programs are destined to fail because they add time and cost to the construction process and, therefore, will quickly fall into disuse.
authority and accountability.
- It is suggested that accountability need not only be punitive. Rewards for compliance with safety practices, innovative suggestions to promote safety as well as for periods of time on the job without accidents can be a great way to involve all employees in safety consciousness.
Maintain safe working
This is the hard part. Can
a loss control program stand the test of time? One vital
suggestion here is to establish periodic meetings.
- Attendance should be required with rollcall records maintained.
- An agenda of 2 to 3 items is recommended for each meeting to keep the meeting on track and to provide a sense of progress and direction.
- The number of meetings is not as important as their quality. However, it is usually wise to meet at least once each quarter.
- This is the hard part. Can a loss control program stand the test of time? One vital suggestion here is to establish periodic meetings.
Establish training for
- Things change. Jobsite locations, the impact of weather conditions, the use of unskilled or temporary workers, types of homes being built, other logistical concerns are just a few of the many constantly changing elements of many active jobsites. The need to educate new employees and subcontractors in company policy; all these things challenge every builder to continuously update and implement changes to his / her loss control program. This means training must be ongoing.
Set up procedures for
accident reporting and investigation.
What needs to happen when
there is an accident? What are the 1st,
things that have to happen to minimize further injury or damage?
After an accident, what is the procedure to review what just
happened so causes can be identified and future incidents
prevented, or at least minimized?
- The best loss control program can come to nothing without a system to report and investigate accidents.
- What needs to happen when there is an accident? What are the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th things that have to happen to minimize further injury or damage? After an accident, what is the procedure to review what just happened so causes can be identified and future incidents prevented, or at least minimized?
Create and maintain
first aid procedures.
- Assume there is no such thing as a minor injury. Providing quick and appropriate first aid can prevent a little injury from turning into a much worse one.
Develop a culture of
safety through employees’ acceptance and involvement in their own
- Your goal should be to instill in every employee and subcontractor an attitude of safety. The best loss control program is the one that is second nature to all who are involved in it.
(See the next page for the 5 most common areas accidents happen)
WHERE DO YOU HAVE THE MOST RISK FOR ACCIDENTS? - 5 AREAS
- Property – Your office, your jobsites, your land, property of others where you engage in activities related to your business. In other words, anywhere your business takes you (within the coverage territory of the US or Canada).
– While not covered under your RWC Insurance Advantage general
liability policy, you should consider the potential for loss arising
out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of vehicles. How many do
you own, lease, rent or borrow? Who has access to them? How well
are they maintained? How are they used? Are you in compliance with
all state and federal regulations? Do employees who use your
vehicles have their own auto insurance? Are they properly licensed
to operate your vehicles? What do their driving records look like?
- These are just some of the questions you may want to consider.
- Equipment – Do you own, rent or borrow contractor’s equipment? Your general liability refers to equipment that is not subject to motor vehicle laws as “mobile equipment” that is covered by your general liability policy. The damage some types of mobile equipment can cause to the public may be substantial. What is the condition of such equipment? Are the operators properly certified, trained and licensed to operate it? What about their experience? Have they been screened for drugs and alcohol where required? Do you have records to prove this has been done? If you sub out all your heavy equipment needs, are your subs properly insured and do they comply with all laws and regulations?
- Completed operations – The homes you build and the remodeling projects you complete are your work, your completed operations. What procedures do you have in place to ensure quality control? How well do you know your critical subcontractors i.e., your framers, roofers, plumbers, electricians and HVAC subs? Do they have proper training, experience, licensing/certification and insurance? Have you asked about their loss history? What about accidents/incidents they may have had while working for you?
- The general public - Perhaps this should be number 1. The potential for loss in this area is extreme. Anyone from a homeowner filing a claim for alleged construction defects to a passerby tripping over a piece of scrap lumber left at one of your jobsites after hours is a claim waiting to happen. Things for you to consider include, but are by no means limited to, how secure are your jobsites before, during and after regular hours? Are obvious hazards such as falling debris, open trenches, etc., fenced off or otherwise rendered inaccessible? Do you have model homes? How safe is access to them during weekend open houses? Homeowners love to visit their homes while under construction. If you can’t prevent this, what can you do to ensure their safety when they visit? What about other third parties located near your active jobsites or other property you own or control? For example, if you own a number of acres of vacant land, is it posted “no hunting?” Engaged in “green” construction techniques or materials? Are you and your subcontractors fully trained in their use? What do you know about “green” manufacturers? Where do these products come from? Do any renovations? If so, and you renovate a structure built prior to 1978, are you and your subcontractors familiar with the government’s position on lead paint? Speaking of hazardous materials, are you aware of regulations governing asbestos? Keep in mind that you have limited to no coverage under your general liability for losses arising out of “hazmat.” That means you are self-insured.
The foregoing suggestions are intended as a rough guideline to help you get started in establishing a loss control program. If you already have a program, it is hoped this will help you review your procedures and make any improvements necessary.