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Heavy Equipment Safety and Contractor Insurance

Posted by David Ross on Sun, Jun 17, 2018

Tips for safely dealing with heavy equipment in the construction industry, resulting in lower contractor and commercial insurance rates in PA, including Philadelphia, Reading, Pittsburgh, Lehigh Valley, Erie and beyond. Whenever the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) releases its list of the deadliest jobs in America, some type of construction work is on that list.

According to the BLS, there were 991 fatal work injuries in construction in 2016. They listed first-line supervisors of construction trades and extraction workers as the ninth deadliest job with 134 fatal injuries and a fatal injury rate of 18 per 100,000 workers.

Roofers were number four (behind only aircraft pilots, fishers, and logging workers) with 101 fatal injuries and a fatal injury rate of 48.6 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers.

It's Wise to be Properly Insured 

No one would argue that construction is a dangerous job, and one of the elements that make it dangerous is the use of heavy equipment. According to the Center for Construction and Research Training (CPWR), vehicles and heavy mobile equipment caused 7,681 deaths from 1992 to 2010 with about 404 deaths annually.

Plus, even when vehicles and equipment are involved in an accident, they are often not listed as the cause of death. Given these facts, it's clear that having the proper contractor insurance is key for those in the construction industry. 

Types of Dangerous Heavy Equipment

Cranes have been the most dangerous heavy equipment machinery used in the construction industry for the past two decades. CPWR found that from 1992 through 2006, 632 of all the construction fatalities reported were caused by cranes. In 2008, crane collapses caused 25 deaths and 59 injuries, contact with overhead power lines resulted in ten fatalities and eight injuries. Contact with crane load caused six deaths and ten injuries.

But cranes aren’t the only dangerous type of heavy equipment. Here is a list of the top five most dangerous construction equipment:

  1. Cranes
  2. Bulldozers
  3. Dump trucks
  4. Backhoes
  5. Excavators

Heavy Equipment Safety

Yes, experience does go a long way to ensure the safety of heavy equipment operators and those working around them. The danger comes when someone who has been working on the job for a long time is lured into a false sense of security and lets their guard down.

Distractions Can Cause Accidents

Today, one of the most common dangers may be simple distractions – both external and internal - that can affect veteran and novice heavy equipment operators alike, and many of these distractions can be avoided.

Before cell phones became so ubiquitous, many heavy equipment operators listened to radios. This was distracting enough (and could keep the operator from hearing if something is wrong with the machinery or someone is shouting at them), but cell phones have taken that distraction to a whole new level. 

Today’s cell phones allow operators to listen to music, text, watch videos, play games, check social media, search for information online and make phone calls. Some operators use earbuds to block out external noises. All of this can lead to distraction and danger.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has addressed the use of cell phones in cranes. OSHA states; “The [crane or derrick] operator must not engage in any practice or activity that diverts his/her attention while actually engaged in operating the equipment, such as the use of cellular phones (other than when used for signal communications).”

While OSHA doesn’t address this with other types of heavy equipment, it’s a smart safety measure to employ across the board to both operators and those working around heavy equipment.

Do You Have a Safety Policy? 

The best way to avoid distractions of any kind and keep your workers safe is to have a safety policy in place that forbids the use of cell phones while operating or working around heavy equipment, educate workers on that policy, and address any issues as soon as they arise.

Protect Your Business with the Right Type of Insurance

Get the right insurance for the construction industryUnfortunately, accidents still happen, but the right insurance can help protect you and your employees if an injury does occur. Workers Compensation Insurance, which is often a state mandate, can provide wage replacement and medical benefits to employees injured on the job.

Commercial Liability Insurance can help protect your business from lawsuits. Various types of insurance can be combined to create a custom Contractor Insurance policy as well. 

To learn more about these and other types of commercial insurance, call American Insuring Group at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 or contact us online.

 

Tags: Contractor Insurance, Heavy Equipment Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Construction Equipment Insurance

Business Insurance for Heavy Equipment: What You Should Know

Posted by David Ross on Thu, Feb 27, 2014

Get commercial insurance protection for your heavy construction equipment like tractors, forklifts, and backhoes. We insure construction firms in Reading, PA, Philadelphia, Allentown, Harrisburg, Lancaster, Pittsburgh, Erie, PA and beyond. Call today for a free construction insurance consultation.If your business requires the use of heavy equipment - such as tractors, backhoes, and forklifts – chances are a large percentage of your business assets are tied up in that equipment, making the protection of that equipment from damage or loss a high priority for you and your business. 

According to the 2012 Equipment Theft Report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NCIB), the total value of stolen equipment in 2012 was close to $300 million.  Those numbers don’t include losses from business interruption, project-delay penalties, and wasted workforce time. 

Here are some eye-opening statistics from the NCIB report:

 

  • In 2012, a total of 10,925 heavy equipment thefts were reported to law enforcement in the U.S.
     
  • Texas ranked number one in 2012 with 1,401 reported thefts. In second place was North Carolina with 1,037 thefts, followed by Florida in third with 890 thefts. 
     
  • The three most stolen heavy equipment items in 2012 were mowers (riding or garden tractor: 5,363), Loaders (skid steer, wheeled: 1,943), and Tractors (wheeled or tracked: 1,459).
     
  • Heavy equipment manufactured by John Deere was the number one theft target in 2012 followed in order by Kubota Tractor Corp., Bobcat, Caterpillar and Toro.
     
  • Most often, equipment was stolen from a work site where there is usually less physical security.

A Poor Recovery Rate Means Construction Company Insurance for Heavy Equipment is Critical

Perhaps the most alarming statistic in the report was the recovery rate - “Of the 10,925 reported equipment thefts in 2012, [the National Crime Information Center] NCIC reported 2,204 recoveries.”    With a 20 percent recovery rate, the loss of stolen equipment is costly to insurance companies and equipment owners alike.  In fact, theft is the most frequent cause of heavy equipment loss. 

Theft Prevention Strategies

The good news is that in addition to protecting your equipment with the appropriate insurance, there are also measures you can take to significantly decrease the chance of a theft in the first place.  Here are some theft prevention strategies from the NCIB. 

  • Install hidden fuel shut-off systems.
     
  • Remove fuses and circuit breakers when equipment is unattended.
     
  • Render equipment immobile or difficult to move after hours or on weekends by clustering it in a “wagon circle.” Place more easily transported items, such as generators and compressors, in the middle of the circle surrounded by larger pieces of equipment.
     
  • Maintain a photo archive and a specific list of the PIN and component part serial numbers of each piece of heavy equipment in a central location. Stamp or engrave equipment parts with identifying marks, numbers, or corporate logos.
     
  • Use hydro locks to fix articulated equipment in a curved position, preventing it from traveling in a straight line.
     
  • Use sleeve locks to fix backhoe pads in an extended position, keeping wheels off the ground.

Play it Smart: Insure Your Heavy Equipment

Call us today to get insurance for your heavy equipmentSince no amount of prevention will stop every thief, it’s important that you contact an American Insuring Group agent at (800) 947-1270 or (610) 775-3848 to make sure that you have the right insurance for your expensive heavy equipment in the event of a theft.

Tags: Construction Equipment Insurance, Commercial Insurance Allentown PA, Commercial Insurance Lancaster PA, Commercial Insurance Harrisburg PA, Heavy Equipment Insurance, Commercial Insurance, Commercial Insurance Reading PA, Business Insurance, Commercial Insurance Philadelphia PA, Commercial Insurance Berks County