Subscribe by Email

Your email:

Trades Hub

Alltop, confirmation that we kick ass

Browse by Tag

Construction Risk Blog

Current Articles | RSS Feed RSS Feed

New Employee Rights Posting (legislation delayed until 1/31/2012)



Hang this poster by January 31, 2012(updated)

As of November 14, 2011(now 1/31/2012, most private sector employers are required to post a notice advising employees of their rights under the National Labor Relations Act. The 11-by-17-inch notice should be posted in a conspicuous place, where other notifications of workplace rights and employer rules and policies are posted.

The posters are available below for download and printing. Copies also are available from any of the agency’s regional offices. In addition, employers should publish the notice on an internal or external website if other personnel policies or workplace notices are posted there.

For further information about the posting, including a detailed discussion of which employers are covered by the NLRA, and what to do if a substantial share of the workplace speaks a language other than English, please see our Frequently Asked Questions.

Poster Downloads

Job Hazard Analysis – Why should contractors use them?


job hazard construction connecticut insuranceDoes your construction company use JHAs (Job Hazard Analysis’)?  Or are you saying – “what’s the need; we know what the job is”?   With OSHA increasing its activities and proposing increased fines along with your ongoing efforts to keep your experience mods as low as possible, one of the best tools you could be using are JHAs.

A job hazard analysis should be performed by reviewing each task associated with a particular job.  They help employers, foremen, supervisors and even individual employees recognize workplace hazards they might not have noticed otherwise.  Recognizing and eliminating these hazards can help to reduce the possibility of workplace injuries in addition to increasing the productivity of your employees. Once the hazards are identified they can then be addressed and eliminated, adding extra training, or developing other company programs to reduce the hazard and/or the exposure to it. 

With OSHA’s push for the recording of MSD (musculoskeletal disorders) on your OSHA 300 logs, JHAs may become even more important and helpful in identifying these particular hazards, and assist with designing of appropriate ergonomic remedies.  Under the proposed OSHA regulation changes, all companies with MSD claims will be required to have company programs to implement full ergonomic programs.

Once again you can invest in your company by spending the extra time to review the job hazards and reduce the potention exposures or you can just start working and wait to suffer a Workers’ Compensation claim and/or OSHA fine.  How would you prefer to spend your company’s dollars?

For help with establishing a JHA program you can begin by reviewing the OSHA JHA manual HERE

OSHA: "There's a New Sheriff in Town"


hilda solis, OSHA"There's a New Sheriff in Town"was the statement made by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis  as she commented on the new commitment to worker safety and health.  OSHA is increasing its emphasis on enforcement, proposing new changes and employers better get on board or be prepared to pay the fines!

The first step we have seen is the increased activity on reviewing contractor’sosha300 log OSHA logs. If the recordkeeping isn’t being done properly they aren’t hesitating to enforce fines.  Unfortunately just following the directions on the OSHA site isn’t necessarily fulfilling the requirements, at least not in the eyes of the inspectors.

OSHA has proposed ergonomic recordkeeping requirements (yes, again). The proposal is to add the MSD injury column, as they attempted to once before.  However, this time if the proposal goes through and you have an MSD injury on your log you had better also have a company ergonomics program in place as this will likely be a requirement.  Without the ergonomics program where one is determined to be needed, employers may face “serious” or “willful” citations.  No final decision has been made on this change to recordkeeping requirements but we suspect it’ll be coming in the first quarter of 2011.

Another proposal is that the fines levied on Connecticut contractors may be on the increase!   Fines haven’t been increased in over 30 years and there is a bill pending that would increase the maximum “serious” penalty from $7,000 to $12,500 and the maximum “willful” penalty from $70,000 to $250,000! Aside, from the pain in your wallet, consider what this could do to your Risk Profile next time your Connecticut construction insurance renews!

List of Top 10 Citations for Contractors

So, where do you start?   All jobs and jobsites should have JHAs (download the OSHA Job Hazard Analysis) performed regularly.  This will provide information to you as an employer of where MSD injuries might occur (as well as all other types of injuries) and will give you a “heads up” of where programs and additional training may need to be established.  The more programs and training you have in place, the less likely you are to have a recordable incident!  Better to invest your company dollars in these then paying substantial fines to OSHA!

Stay tuned….we’ll be updating you more in the coming months on the “New Sheriff”!

New OSHA Ruling on Construction Crane Safety


Unfortunately, in the last three years, the construction industry as seen more crane related accidents than they would have liked.  Several of which were very preventable.  The most notorious of these crane accidents took place in Manhattan in March of 2008 when a 200 foot crane collapsed onto a building, completely decimating a townhouse and leaving 7 people dead.

And then in May of 2008, also in NYC, another collapse claimed the lives of two construction workers.The old OSHA rules for Crane and Derrick safety has been in place since 1971 and because of advances in technology and techniques, an overhaul was necessary and the very public crane constructoin incidents, unfortunately, were the impetus to speed up this overhaul.  Here are a few of the major updates that will come into effect at the end of the year.  To read the whole final ruling go HERE

A few highlights from

  • The rule becomes effective 90 days after August 9, 2010, the date the final rule will be published in the Federal Register. Certain provisions have delayed effective dates ranging from 1 to 4 years.
  • A copy of the regulatory text is available at:
  • Until the date of publication, the full rule, including the preamble, can be found at After publication, the rule can be found at the Federal Register or at
  • This new standard will comprehensively address key hazards related to cranes and derricks on construction worksites, including the four main causes of worker death and injury: electrocution, crushed by parts of the equipment, struck-by the equipment/load, and falls.
  • Significant requirements in this new rule include: a pre-erection inspection of tower crane parts; use of synthetic slings in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions during assembly/disassembly work; assessment of ground conditions; qualification or certification of crane operators; and procedures for working in the vicinity of power lines.
  • This final standard is expected to prevent 22 fatalities and 175 non-fatal injuries each year.
  • Several provisions have been modified from the proposed rule. For example:
    • Employers must comply with local and state operator licensing requirements which meet the minimum criteria specified in § 1926.1427.
    • Employers must pay for certification or qualification of their currently uncertified or unqualified operators.
    • Written certification tests may be administered in any language understood by the operator candidate.
    • When employers with employees qualified for power transmission and distribution are working in accordance with the power transmission and distribution standard (§ 1910.269), that employer will be considered in compliance with this final rule's requirements for working around power lines.
    • Employers must use a qualified rigger for rigging operations during assembly/disassembly.
    • Employers must perform a pre-erection inspection of tower cranes.
  • This final rule requires operators of most types of cranes to be qualified or certified under one of the options set forth in § 1926.1427. Employers have up to 4 years to ensure that their operators are qualified or certified, unless they are operating in a state or city that has operator requirements.
  • If a city or state has its own licensing or certification program, OSHA mandates compliance with that city or state's requirements only if they meet the minimum criteria set forth in this rule at § 1926.1427.
  • The certification requirements in the final rule are designed to work in conjunction with state and local laws.
  • This final rule clarifies that employers must pay for all training required by the final rule and for certification of equipment operators employed as of the effective date of the rule
  • State Plans must issue job safety and health standards that are “at least as effective as” comparable federal standards within 6 months of federal issuance. State Plans also have the option to promulgate more stringent standards or standards covering hazards not addressed by federal standards.
  • OSHA will have additional compliance assistance material available within the next month.

connecticut crane insurance, CT crane accident, connecticut construction insuranceConstruction Risk Advisors has the ball rolling on Connecticut safety training for whatever needs our contractor clients have.  We will be upgrading our safety training options to include the new crane regs as soon as we can.  So, if you're reading this, and you own a crane or rigging company in Connecticut, give us a call to get you and your crew up to speed.  With the public crane incidents in the last 5 years, I have a hunch that OSHA is going to be very proactive in their enforcement of these new requirements.

Do you have any thoughts on the issue?  Think any of the new regs are too heavy handed?  Please leave a comment.  We would love for this blog to become a place where Connecticut construction companies can interact with each other about what is going on in their backyard as well as in their industry.

Tired of Looooooong Contracting Bid Lists?


If so, is your construction company in the CCR (Central Contractor Registry)?  According to an article in the May/June issue of Commercial Construction Magazine, probably not.  Of the 885,000 or so construction companies in the United States, just over 20,000(2%!) are listed and approved to bid on federal construction projects.  Considering that the federal government spent close to $317 BILLION on construction last year, a whole lot of construction firms are missing out on a huge opportunity to receive ARRA construction money.  The biggest gripe we hear when we engage new prospective clients is that bid lists are too long, and the winning bidder will probably lose money on the job and probably be out of business by 2011. 

The private sector of construction has dropped over 30% since 2006 and a dramatic rebound isn't in the cards yet, but Uncle Sam still has plenty of work for you on his roads, military bases, and large civil projects revolving around Hurrican and Storm Damage prevention. To find out how to get your name in the registry, and start bidding jobs with low competition, check out How To Be A Federal Construction Contractor.

If you do start winning Federal Construction Jobs, you'll realize that the Federal construction contractor insurance requirements you will be facing are slightly more in depth and complicated than what you and your insurance agent are probably used to. In addition to extra construction insurance coverages, you may also need to secure USL&H (Longshore Harbor Worker's Compensation Act)and acquire a Waiver of Governmental Immunity.  Neither are easy to understand if you have never been required to have them before.  Luckily, some of Construction Risk Advisor's clients do a considerable amount of Federal construction work and we have helped them navigate the complicated waters of procuring construction insurance quotes for Federal construction jobs.  

Get yourself in the CCR (no, not Creedence Clearwater Revival) and get on the shortlist for winning some bids!

Sexual Harassment Hasn't Disappeared


We've come a long way from the "casting couches" of Hollywood but Harassment still exists today! Nowadays, it is more the Hostile Work Environment then it is QuidProQuo issues, and the hostile work environment can even be more difficult for an employer to deal with.

So how are these issues still happening, and why does there continue to be lawsuits? Picture this, Whiney Wendy comes to your office to make her fiftieth complaint of the week! Except this time when you are about ready to turn her away she says "I'm very offended by the jokes being told in the lunchroom". Whether it's Whiney Wendy, Complaining Charlie or your very best employee you need to pay attention right then and there!

Employers end up being sued when supervisors or HR departments don't act promptly when a complaint is filed. If the incident occurs again after you have been notified, but before you address it, this can be termed repetitive and the next thing you'll be receiving is a lawsuit! If a supervisor knows of a harassment situation and does nothing, he/she can be personally involved in the lawsuit!

Employers with 50 or more employees are required by State law to have all supervisory employees attend a 2 hour harassment training session within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position. Although not required, it is highly recommended that employees be provided an update once every 2 - 3 years. We even have clients that have us do the training once every year!

Connecticut has posting and training regulations that are required by all employers! Follow this link to learn more and save yourself a lawsuit!


Contract Compliance for Dummies, Lesson 1: Contracts


No offense meant with the "for Dummies" title. I just happen to know that everyone, contractors, lawyers, insurance underwriters and risk managers, are dummies in one form or another when it comes to construction contracts. Collectively we've made a mess of these contracts but I think I can help you begin to sort it out.

The first step in my C4TM process is Contract. As simple as this step sounds, it's often skipped or dangerous shortcuts are taken. You have to READ the contract or your Risk Advisor has to read the contract before you bid the job. That's right. Someone who understands the lingo needs to READ (I can't emphasize that enough) the contract and take appropriate action. Lots of jobs are being bid by contractors who have no idea what obligations they are signing on for. This is especially true right now when there is so little work and everyone is bidding like crazy.

There are three pieces to reading the contract:

1) All contractors are downstream parties to the contract. GCs or CMs to owners, Subs to GCs and Sub-subs to Subs. The first thing a downstream party needs to understand is what risks are being transferred to them. Are they reasonable? Can they be transferred to another party? Are they deal breakers? In other words, if you can't make them go away do you need to pass on the job?

2) If you have to buy additional insurance to comply with the contract, what is it going to cost? Is the coverage available and affordable? Can you get the upstream party to pay for it? Can you get a downstream party to pay for it?

3) If you are passing the same upstream requirements downstream to subs and sub-subs, are the requirements clear to them in your specs or pro-forma contract? Ignorance is not an excuse and will not hold up in court. If the downstream party doesn't comply and you do, you get stuck with the problem.

Later on I'll be providing a more in-depth checklist to assist with this process and make it foolproof for you. In my next post we'll look at what can go wrong if the Contract phase of the C4TM process goes wrong.

Navy SEALs Use C4 and So Should Every Contractor


Whenever we watch modern-day spy and war movies, it seems that C4 is the explosive of choice on most missions. It's a plastic explosive which means it can be molded into different shapes depending on its intended use, and it's extremely powerful, 1.34 times the explosive power of TNT. When it is detonated, gases are released at 26,400 feet per second. Everything nearby disappears.

What does this have to do with how contractors manage risk? As I've said earlier, I want to make this insurance and risk stuff easy to remember. C4 the explosive destroys everything. C4TM, the contract compliance process, is what you need so your business isn't destroyed. I know that is a reverse analogy, one C4 destroys and the other protects but I just want you to remember my C4TM and here's what it is:

1. Contract

2. Compliance

3. Certificate of Insurance

4. Check

There it is. Four simple steps. Not too complex. Easy to remember. No insurance mumbo jumbo. Just four easy words to remember.


Not so fast. There is a lot of process embedded in those words. Each one is a critical element. Leave out any one of them and the whole thing falls apart. If that happens, you're the one left with all the risk.

In the next four posts I'll dig deeper into each one of these elements. Then you'll know how to work with your Risk Advisor to build your own process. This blind side will be protected and you can move on to others where your Left Tackle may be missing.

This video shows just how little C4 can cause a huge damage to a structure, and begs the question of how much C4 are you ignoring when you sign construction contracts?




All Posts