The investigations, finger-pointing and lawsuits arising from the deaths of two construction workers in a scaffolding collapse near Disney World this summer could easily drag on for years.
Beyond the immediate horror, if you’re in the construction business, hearing the news from Orlando might have evoked a sense of relief that nothing like that has happened on your job site. The workers killed were pouring concrete seven stories above ground just after 4 a.m. when the scaffolding gave way.
The investigation into the tragedy near the World’s Happiest Place on Earth will undoubtedly delve into the general contractor’s safety programs.
So, the natural question would be: how thorough is your safety program?
Who’s in charge of it? When’s the last time it was updated? When’s the last time you had a safety meeting? Is your crew getting adequate safety training?
Oh, and perhaps one more important question: are you saving 5% a year on your workers’ compensation insurance premiums under Colorado’s Premium Cost Containment Program?
The program helps companies go through the process of establishing safety program with sample inspection templates, checklists and more. (It’s the sort of thing we help our clients navigate daily).
Perhaps better than saving companies money on their premiums, the program also has helped employers see meaningful reductions in their claims frequency and costs.
Companies that can document having a qualified risk management program in force for at least a full year can qualify for the state’s Cost Containment Certification and the discount on their premiums.
Construction companies, of course, aren’t alone in needing a safety program.
The state’s largest workers’ comp insurer, Pinnacol Assurance, just released five years of claims information on injury causes in construction and three other major fields of employment. Not surprisingly (at least for those us in the insurance and claims world), it found a lot of commonalities.
For instance, its data showed a spike in the number of injuries occurs at 10 a.m. across the service/hospitality, construction/natural resources and healthcare industries, possibly pointing to “brain drain” associated with dropping blood-sugar levels before lunch.
It also found that:
- The most commonly injured body part in both the professional/clerical and construction/natural resources fields is the lower back.
- Seven injuries per day occur in the clerical/professional fields in Colorado.
- Nearly 40 percent of injuries in the healthcare field occur when an employee is in his or her first year on the job.
A safety program can’t prevent every accident and mishap, of course. But having a program in place is a no-brainer, especially when you consider that the lack of skilled workers is cited as the No. 1 factor impacting jobsite safety by 58% of contractors surveyed.
Scott Carlson is a Vice President at CCIG. Reach him at ScottC@thinkccig.com or 720-330-7925.
CCIG is a Denver-area insurance brokerage with the full-service capabilities of a national brokerage. We do more than make sure you have the right policy. We also help you manage your long-term cost of insurance with our risk and claims management expertise and a commitment to service excellence.