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Does Your Construction Company Have a Safety Committee?


Or maybe I should ask if it is active?  Or maybe you haven’t formed one as yet. 

The Connecticut Worker’s Compensation Commission Regulations require employers meeting the following guidelines to have a Safety Committee:

  • 25 or more employees at any single work site, or;
  • A Work–related injury and illness level that exceeds the average incident rate.

 So, whether your Connecticut construction company doesn’t have a Safety Committee, or it has gone dormant, here is some information to get you in high gear!

Safety committees need to be comprised of both labor employees and management employees, with at least 50% of the committee being comprised of Labor employees.  All departments or major activities of the employer should have representation. Committees are usually comprised of 4-8 people and members usually change annually. 

Whether it’s your initial meeting, or you “re-start” meeting, you should begin with electing a Chairperson and Secretary.  You should establish how often you will meet and if possible establish a set day and time for future meetings so everyone will be able to automatically have this on their schedule.  Also, make sure to pick a meeting schedule that is realistic, such as once a month or quaterly. The secretary must take notes beginning with this first meeting and should publish them for all committee members.  Notes should be retained in a file, as it is possible that an OSHA representative may pay you an unexpected visit and request this information!

The purpose of these meetings is to heighten awareness of safety and for the committee and upper management to make a commitment to reduce exposures and provide training and education to make your business or construction job site a safe place to work!  Inspections of work areas and job sites as well as discussions of accidents and near misses are some of the items you should have on your standard agenda.  Ask for safety suggestions from all your employees – make them an active part of the safe workplace!

The number one place to start reducing injuries is at the Safety Committee Meetings!

safety resized 600If your construction firm needs help starting a Safety Committee, CRA has an on-staff loss control/safety specialist who would be happy to help.  Give us a call at (800) 252-9864 or drop us a line to schedule a meeting.

Does Your Construction Risk Management Program Propel Your Company Forward?


That may not be a fair question because it assumes you have a risk management program. Most mid-sized construction companies don't have one. At least not a formal one. It's more likely that they just have a construction insurance program that is reviewed annually.

If you did have one, what would it look like? And if you'll forgive my boating analogy (I'm looking out the window at beautiful sunny skies and wish I was riding the waves right now), is your risk management program propelling you forward or keeping you anchored in place?

If you had a risk management program it would start with strategic objectives. Just like any strategic objective a construction company might have, you would then put a plan in place to achieve it. Let's start with the strategic objectives and consider what they might look like.

• Reduce our OSHA lost time cases by 15%
• Reduce the average lost time case value by 22%
• Reduce our EMR (Experience Mod Rate) by 3 points each year until we reach our lowest possible EMR
• Average Return to Work reduced to three business days
With these objectives in place, what might be some of the action items in your construction risk management plan?
• Review your hiring practices with an eye toward the applicant's ability to physically do the job
• Train supervisors to understand the financial impact of claims and proper accident investigation to eliminate recurrence
• Create partnership with local occupational health clinic to understand treatment protocols and return to work policy
• Establish an effective safety committee that meets quarterly

If this doesn't sound like your construction company, you're not alone. When I talk to prospective customers for the first time, almost none of them have any kind of risk management plan (most have never heard of such a thing). Why should risk management be any different than other critical areas subject to financial measurement? You are certainly going to measure the profitability of a job. You are certainly going to measure productivity on a job. Then why aren't you going to measure the Cost of Risk?

The answer is simple. You don't know how. No one has ever taught you or assisted you. And why is that? Because the people who should be focused on helping you don't know how to manage risk either. They manage insurance. You know them as your insurance agent. Once a year they focus on the "price" of your insurance. Unfortunately, this short term focus on insurance price can lead to a long term disaster on cost.

Back to my boating analogy. If your risk management program is propelling you forward, you are making continual progress at reducing your total cost of risk. Soon your costs will be lower than other construction companies and you will have a competitive advantage. If you're anchored in place, your smart competitors will soon be beating you.

If you'd like to implement a risk management plan and put your cost of risk on a downward trend forever, contact us to see how a Risk Advisor is different from an insurance agent.

How Smart Contractors Reduce Their Insurance Costs


For way too long the perception of commercial insurance buyers has been that insurance agents get paid to quote cheap insurance. In some cases this is carried to an extreme where the agent who is perceived "best" is the one who sells the cheapest insurance.

In actuality, insurance agents only want to provide cheap insurance when it's in their best interests - either acquiring your business for the first time or when they are threatened by even cheaper insurance from competitors. As businesspeople, what they really hope for most of the time is expensive insurance because that's when they make more commission. What is wrong with a system where the buyer wants a completely different outcome than the seller? Everything!

Here is what we propose as an alternative - Performance-Based Risk ManagementTM. Most service professionals of every stripe are paid to produce an outcome. In order to get paid they have to produce a result expected by the client i.e. tax return is filed on time with the most deductions taken, lawsuit is won with the least amount of hassle, new software is installed and productivity goes up 25%, etc.

As a contractor, cheap insurance should not be the result you are looking for. Your insurance costs are determined by two primary factors:

1) overall market conditions 

2) your Risk Profile (with a heavy emphasis on loss experience and safety culture).

Most insurance agents pretend to look like heroes as they ride the soft market down the curve, bringing ever cheaper insurance to you each year until the market turns and then as soon as premium pricing starts to increase, they shift all of the blame onto the insurance carriers . They shouldn't be a hero or a villain because they have absolutely no control over the market.

Risk Advisors can help construction companies improve their Risk Profile and this is what they should get paid to do. Regardless of market conditions, if your Risk Profile is maximized (underwriters are falling over themselves to get your business), you win. This is the result or outcome you want. If you pay your Risk Advisor a fee to help you get this result, then your incentives are identical and you both win.

Why doesn't your insurance agent propose this? Because they don't have the tools to help you.

Call a Risk Advisor today. They have all the tools to improve your Risk Profile. Sign a performance agreement with them and watch your insurance costs plummet.

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