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Safety Committees: A Valuable Tool for Business Success

Posted October 31, 2018 by Erin

The value of a workplace safety committee is often debated between those leaders tasked with operational assignments and those tasked with safety performance. The arguments against utilizing safety committees usually include comments related to operational inefficiencies (waste of time, slows production, etc.) or committee ineffectiveness (doesn’t accomplish anything, nothing changes, etc.).   However, when a safety committee is properly established and utilized, the financial and cultural benefits to a company far outweigh any actual or perceived negative consequences. Most companies which effectively utilize safety committees will argue that said safety committee is a vital component of the overall success of the organization.

What’s In It For My Company?

There are many advantages to establishing and utilizing a safety committee, including but not limited to:

  1. Potential reduction in Workers’ Compensation premiums (varies by state).
  2. Pursue and secure high-value contracts with more lucrative customers.
  3. Reduction in out-of-pocket expenses due to injury and illness reduction.
  4. Reduction in out-of-pocket expenses due to property damage reduction.
  5. Participation by front-line workers in identifying risks to the company.
  6. Reduction in your overall injury and illness rate (OSHA Recordable).
  7. Validation of senior leadership’s commitment to a safe workplace.
  8. Increased awareness and appreciation for the company’s safety culture; and
  9. Invaluable feedback to senior leadership to aid in decision-making.

Other Considerations

While from a federal regulatory standpoint safety committees are not required for most companies, several states do require the use of safety committees if you participate in the state Workers’ Compensation Program. However, since such requirements vary from state to state, please verify any such requirement via the agency which manages your state’s Workers’ Compensation Program.

In addition, if your company holds certain state or federal contracts you may have a regulatory requirement to establish a safety committee. You may also be required to establish a safety committee if you participate in any of the most recognizable national or international safety certification programs such as the OSHA Voluntary Protection Program, the American Chemistry Council’s Responsible Care Program, or ISO 45001.  You may also have a contractual obligation to establish a safety committee by certain customers, particularly those in highly-regulated industries such as chemical or nuclear processing, oil and gas refining, hazardous materials manufacturing, and furtherance of intermodal transportation.

Final Thoughts

All that said, the ultimate decision to establish and utilize a safety committee is first and foremost a function of senior leadership, who must be fully onboard from the outset in order to successfully develop a safety committee, grow a safety culture, and successfully reduce accidents.

Be on the lookout for future articles, where we’ll drill down into the details, including: how to establish a safety committee, selection of committee members, how to conduct a safety committee meeting, and utilization of safety committee recommendations. In the meantime if you have questions about safety committees or other safety-related topics, please contact your respective Cline Wood Risk Consultant or email us at safetrucking@clinewood.com.

 

Kenny Ray, Cline Wood Risk Consultant

 

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

The Holidays are approaching fast – beware of CARGO THEFT!

Posted October 31, 2018 by Erin

While you’re making preparations for company gatherings and thinking about holiday shopping, be sure to take some time to review the processes and checks your company has in place to prevent cargo theft – because thieves are already making their plans to take their presents early.  In fact, according to a Dec., 2016 Commercial Carrier Journal article, approximately $5.8 million in cargo losses were incurred during the holiday season between 2012 and 2016.1

If you’re ever been the victim of cargo theft, you’re likely very familiar with what that terminology means.  However, the Criminal Justice Information Services Advisory Policy Board developed the following legal definition: “The criminal taking of any cargo including, but not limited to, goods, chattels, money, or baggage that constitutes, in whole or in part, a commercial shipment of freight moving in commerce, from any pipeline system, railroad car, motor truck, or other vehicle, or from any tank or storage facility, station house, platform, or depot, or from any vessel or wharf, or from any aircraft, air terminal, airport, aircraft terminal or air navigation facility, or from any intermodal container, intermodal chassis, trailer, container freight station, warehouse, freight distribution facility, or freight consolidation facility….”2

Much of this cargo theft occurs at truck stops, parking lots, and warehouses – or in other words where most commercial vehicles can be found.  There are a couple common theft scenarios.  First scenario involves a thief following a driver from the warehouse until he stops, then stealing the cargo at that location.  Second scenario involves what’s generally called “fictitious pickups”, or pickups where a thief impersonates a legitimate carrier and fraudulently secures a contract to transport cargo.  The cargo is taken in this scenario with typically no trace of the thief upon discovery of the crime.3

So what can your company do to help prevent this kind of theft?  In his Dec. 2017 webinar (which can be viewed on our Recorded Webinars page HERE), NICB Special Agent Steve Covey suggests: vetting potential business associates by way of internet checks (Safersys.org, FMCSA) and word of mouth/calling other companies; contacting local Cargo Security Councils and national associations to access the latest information and resources; and, make friends with the police before your problem happens (the police want to help you prevent theft and are happy to give their input).  Other measures that can help include high visibility lighting, secured yards, high security locks, and confirming receiving facilities holiday hours to help prevent unnecessary layovers with loaded trucks.1

For more information or assistance, please contact us at safetrucking@clinewood.com.  We appreciate your safety efforts!

1source: https://www.ccjdigital.com/cargonet-freightwatch-warn-against-holiday-season-cargo-theft/

2source: “Cargo Theft, 2016”, pg. 1, 2016 Crime in the United States, U.S. Department of Justice – Federal Bureau of Investigation – Criminal Justice Information Services Division

3source: “2014 NICB Identified Cargo Thefts: NC, SC, VA”, pg. 1-2, Data Analytics Forecast Report

 

 

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Cline Wood expands Risk Management Team with addition of two experienced safety professionals

Posted September 21, 2018 by Erin

CLINE WOOD EXPANDS RISK MANAGEMENT TEAM WITH ADDITION OF TWO EXPERIENCED SAFETY PROFESSIONALS

Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, has hired two new risk consultants to help its transportation and agribusiness clients build and enhance their safety cultures and design and implement various industry-specific risk management solutions.

Steve Page has spent over 30 years as a leader in transportation and safety management. His previous leadership positions within several realms of the trucking industry included roles focusing on safety and safety programs, compliance, FMCSR rules and regulations, and driver management/coaching. He earned the NATMI Certified Director of Safety designation in 2003 and many other awards and acknowledgments because of his work in transportation safety. Steve will primarily work with employers in the Midwest region.

Kenny Ray has spent over 30 years building a successful career in safety, security and risk management. His experience includes 25 years as a peace officer in Texas and many years with the Texas Department of Public Safety and Texas Rangers in various leadership positions. These combined with his most recent role as a transportation safety director have positioned him well to support Cline Wood clients in Texas and the Southwest.

“We are committed to helping our clients build a safety culture that helps control losses and increase the value of their companies,” said Mike Wood, president of Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company. “Our team is made up of proven professionals who have met the challenges in the industries we represent and they will work with our clients to find solutions to those challenges. We are extremely pleased to have both Steve and Kenny join us, as they embark on a new stage of their careers.”

 

Please contact our Safety & Risk Management team with any questions at safetrucking@clinewood.com.

 

FMCSA Releases Electronic Logging Device Transition Information

Posted November 21, 2017 by Erin

FMCSA has released additional information on the ELD Transition. The ELD rule is going forward as planned on December 18, 2017.  Listed below are the most recent details provided by FMCSA in regard to the ELD transition:

  1. FMCSA will continue its policy of transparency towards the industry when it comes to implementation issues of this rule, passed by Congress five years ago.
  2. The ELD rule is going forward as planned on December 18, 2017. FMCSA has listened to important feedback from many stakeholder groups and is primarily concerned with helping ease the transition to full implementation of the ELD rule in a manner that does not impede the flow of commerce and maintains and improves safety for operators and the public.
  3. To ease the transition to ELDs, FMCSA’s partners at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance have previously announced a delay in placing non-ELD compliant vehicles out-of-service until April 1, 2018, which will allow continued time for carriers and law enforcement to adjust to the new technology. In addition, FMCSA is announcing that violations cited during the time period of December 18, 2017 through April I, 2018 will not count against a carrier’s Safety Measurement System scores.
  4. FMCSA has heard concerns specific to the transportation of agricultural commodities, especially the transportation of livestock. While those concerns are specifically related to the hours-of-­service requirements and not ELD, FMCSA feels it is important to take additional time to evaluate these issues, and therefore will be issuing a 90-day waiver for these groups (detailed in forthcoming guidance) to allow the Agency to fully evaluate recently filed exemption requests.
  5. In the coming weeks, FMCSA will publish guidance for comment relating to the application of the agricultural commodity hours-of-service exemption. FMCSA will also provide guidance on the existing 150 air miles hours-of-service exemption in order to provide clarity to enforcement and industry and will consider comments received before publishing final guidance.
  6. Finally, FMCSA will publish guidance on another hours-of-service issue, known as Personal Conveyance, which has become more relevant due to the upcoming ELD rule enforcement. The goal of these guidance documents is to take input on their application and develop a consistent and uniform application of the provision.
  7. Public participation in this guidance is essential to the process, so we ask for continued engagement from all impacted stakeholder groups across industries.

Click Here to View the Official Notice from FMCSA

Source: Kansas Motor Carriers Association

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Preventing Slips, Trips and Falls

Posted June 26, 2017 by Erin

Sometimes all it takes is one time slipping on a wet surface to cause a debilitating injury to a worker’s back, a broken bone, or worse.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 800 work-related fatalities and over 300,000 total work-related injuries due to slips, trips and falls in 2015.[1]

Once an injury occurs, a worker is typically unable to work for an extended period of time, potentially meaning less income.  There could also be significant medical expenses and decreased ability to conduct your normal daily activities, making it difficult to take care of your loved ones.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

    1. ONLY WEAR STURDY, WATERPROOF WORK BOOTS
      This helps keep your feet dry and prevents them from slipping off most surfaces.  NO flip flops, slides, or sandals.
    2. MAKE SURE YOUR WORK BOOTS HAVE GOOD NON-SLIP TREAD
      This helps give you good traction in adverse weather conditions and prevents slips/falls.  If your work boots are old, chances are good the tread is worn down and it’s time for a new pair.
    3. MAKE SURE YOUR WORK BOOTS HAVE A STEEL SAFETY TOE
      This helps prevent injuries from bumps or items accidentally dropped on your foot.
    4. REVIEW YOUR SURROUNDINGS
      Look around you to see if there are any potential hazards, like potholes, water/snow on the ground, etc.
    5. USE THREE POINTS OF CONTACT
      When getting in or getting out of your truck or trailer, make sure you have either two hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand making contact with the truck the whole time.  This helps ensure stability.

     

    If you follow these basic guidelines you will drastically reduce the chance of a slip, trip or fall type of accident.  Your employer and your family will also appreciate your efforts to work safer and come home happy and healthy at the end of the workday.

    If you should have any questions regarding the information above or would like to discuss other safety topics, please don’t hesitate to contact Cline Wood at 888-451-3900 or safetrucking@clinewood.com.

    [1] Sources: https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2016/4836-fatal-work-injuries-in-the-united-states-during-2015.htm; https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/osh2.pdf


    This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

Helping Feed the World

Posted April 17, 2017 by Erin

To watch the video, click here.

Argo Group has a role in protecting vital industries across the globe, from agriculture to manufacturing and hundreds of others. One reason for Argo’s success in so many sectors has to do with the partnerships it forms, prompted by its emphasis on collaboration with clients.

One such collaboration is helping Cattle Empire, one of the nation’s largest cattle-feeding operations. Argo, in partnership with broker Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company, covers the herd and property against loss.

Lucas Christensen, chief financial officer for Cattle Empire, grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana. He understands the importance of having an insurance partner dedicated to the concept of sustainability.

Christensen recalls a bumper sticker on the car he drove as a teenager when he fed the animals. It read: “Ranchers: the original environmentalists.”

“I think that’s something I grew up understanding and learning that we live off the land and off the animals, and so it’s in our best interests to take care of those,” Christensen says.

He appreciates the role that Argo plays in keeping his operation running smoothly.

“More so than the monetary recovery of loss, which is important, is the speed in which we are helped,” Christensen says. “If we have a major loss, we need partners with us that will stand by us and be ready to aid us at a moment’s notice.”

Article originally published on Argolimited.com, to view the full article click here.

This document is not intended to be taken as advice regarding any individual situation and should not be relied upon as such. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC shall have no obligation to update this publication and shall have no liability to you or any other party arising out of this publication or any matter contained herein. Any statements concerning actuarial, tax, accounting or legal matters are based solely on our experience as consultants and are not to be relied upon as actuarial, accounting, tax or legal advice, for which you should consult your own professional advisors. Any modeling analytics or projections are subject to inherent uncertainty and the analysis could be materially affective if any underlying assumptions, conditions, information or factors are inaccurate or incomplete or should change.

 

 

Holiday Security Protocols

Posted December 23, 2016 by Erin

The Christmas and New Year holiday weekends are fast approaching. While we spend time with friends and family, cargo thieves could very well be looking to target terminals and in-transit shipments. To prepare for the long holiday weekends, we urge our members to review their security procedures and protocols. Below is a list of suggestions to help maintain the integrity of

 

Facilities:

– Check and test security alarms and surveillance systems to

ensure proper working order.

– Ensure batteries are fresh in exit doors and back up cellular

(used to maintain alarm reporting)

– Perform perimeter checks, inspect fencing or other physical

barriers to ensure they are properly secured

– Check perimeter lighting to ensure lighting is functional and

inspect timers to see that lights active at darkness

– Ensure company alarm call list is current with valid contact

information. Require responsible party to respond to all alarm

calls, even if system is suspected of malfunctioning

– Contact law enforcement and request extra patrols in the area

– Remove keys from all warehouse equipment and place in a secure

location

– Use a non-integrated cellular verified alarm system as a back

up to prevent burglars in the event they defeat the main system.

 

 

Freight In-Transit:

– If you have to leave your rig or loaded trailer unattended, look

for a true secure lot or authorized location to leave vehicles.

– If forced to leave vehicles at a public facility (truck stop, etc)

pick one which is well lit and utilizes surveillance equipment.

Park within camera view if possible.

– Secure the tractor with a steering wheel lock or kill switch. On

the trailer use a king pin lock and glad hand locks while using

industrial strength padlocks on the trailer doors.

– Do not leave keys inside the tractor!

– Check on the unattended vehicles as frequently as possible.

– Notify dispatch of where and when you have dropped the load

provide an estimated time of return.

– Use covert tracking devices embedded in the freight with geo-

fencing and alert notification capabilities.

 

 

Source(s)

SWTSC Best Practices

SWTSC:

Southwest Transportation Security Council

5501 LBJ Freeway, Suite 800

Dallas, Texas 75240

214-649-6441

www.swtsc.com

 

 

FDA’s Final Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food

Posted December 23, 2016 by Erin

FDA Issues Final Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food

What You Need to Know

The Rule

On April 6, 2016, the FDA published its Final Rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food establishing transportation requirements to ensure the safety of both human and animal food. This rule results from long-time concerns over the need for regulations so that foods are being transported in a safe manner. It reaffirms that transportation plays a critical role in preventing risks to the nation’s food supply.

The final rule is part of the implementation of the 2005 Sanitary Food Transportation Act (SFTA) and the 2011 FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). These two statutes require the FDA to issue regulations requiring shippers, carriers by motor vehicles or rail vehicle, receivers, and other persons engaged in the transportation of food to use sanitary transportation practices to ensure that food is not transported under conditions that may render the food adulterated. The rule is one of seven fundamental rules proposed since January 2013 and is the sixth of seven regulations that have been finalized. This is also the only rule of the seven that is directly applicable to transportation.

The rule applies to shippers, loaders and carriers who transport food in the U.S. by motor vehicle or rail (whether or not food is offered or enters interstate commerce), and applies to food not completely enclosed by a container. Four key requirements are addressed: (1) vehicles and transportation equipment, (2) transportation operations, (3) records and (4) training. The new rule applies to the design and maintenance of vehicles and transportation equipment to ensure they do not cause the food being transported to become unsafe. It also requires specific measures be taken during the transport of food to ensure food safety, such as adequate temperatures. The rule requires carriers to train their personnel in sanitary transportation practices and to document the training conducted. Regulated parties must also maintain records of written procedures, agreements and training records (required for carriers).

So how will the rule on Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food affect the transportation industry? First and foremost, the rule is flexible. It allows the industry to continue to use industry “best practices” which is defined as “commercial or professional procedures that are accepted or prescribed as being correct or most effective.” These practices include successful sanitation procedures, effective training programs, records retention procedures, successful inspection and monitoring programs.

The final rule indicates that businesses (other than small businesses) will have one year from date of publication to comply, so until April 7, 2017. Small businesses have 2 years to comply. “Small businesses” are defined as businesses other than motor carriers that are also not shippers and/or receivers and that employ fewer than 500 persons, and motor carriers having less than $27.5 million in annual receipts.

Before the rule becomes enforced in April 2017, those involved in the food transportation industry should review their vehicle and transportation equipment to determine how the new requirements may affect them. To comply with this new rule, all companies need to develop and implement a written procedure governing all aspects of their shipping operations. The procedure should spell out in detail the sanitation procedures for both loading and unloading and shipping equipment. If the current “best practices” are not suitable, then changes to the procedure must take place. 

Failure to comply with the rule is subject to injunction and criminal prosecution. Further, food will be deemed “adulterated” if it is transported or offered for transport by a shipper, loader, carrier or receiver under conditions that don’t comply with the rule. FDA also intends to conduct some inspections and the Department of Transportation (DOT) will establish procedures for transportation safety inspections to be conducted by DOT or state agencies.

These new requirements may be used by plaintiffs to establish negligence and negligence per se, and may appear in litigation through discovery or FOIA requests. On the other hand, proper compliance with the rule will allow companies to prove safe and proper practices.

For more information on the Sanitary Transportation of Human and Animal Food visit: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2016/04/06/2016-07330/sanitary-transportation-of-human-and-animal-food

Article originally published by Roberts Perryman.

Anna Beck is an associate attorney at Roberts Perryman. Anna’s practice focuses on transportation, insurance coverage and defense.

Roberts Perryman has been a leader in transportation defense for over 50 years with offices in St. Louis and Springfield, MO and Belleville, IL. www.robertsperryman.com

Follow their blog at: Driven to Keep You Driving

 

Thanksgiving Weekend – Holiday Theft Awareness

Posted November 21, 2016 by Erin

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Motor carriers should be mindful of the increased risk of theft as Thanksgiving approaches. Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, and warehouses and trailers are filling up with valuable inventory. Naturally, these make for target-rich environments to would-be thieves. In fact, around Thanksgiving 2015 there were 18 reported cargo theft incidents totaling approximately $1.48 million in reported losses.

Source: Freightwatch International

Please click on the link below for some great loss prevention tips from Great West Casualty Company that can help motor carriers and drivers prevent cargo thefts this year.

http://blog.gwccnet.com/blog/prevent-cargo-theft-over-thanksgiving

ELD mandate upheld in court, compliance date remains December 2017

Posted October 31, 2016 by Erin

A federal mandate requiring nearly all U.S. truck operators to use electronic logging devices to track duty status has been upheld in court, meaning the December 18, 2017, compliance date remains effective.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, the federal court overseeing the case, voted to keep the mandate in place, securing a victory for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and its ELD rule. Its decision was issued Oct. 31, following oral arguments made in Chicago on Sept. 13.

The decision does not change the rule’s exemption for pre-2000 year-model trucks, which are allowed to operate without an ELD.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association filed a lawsuit on behalf of two truckers in March in an attempt to have the mandate overturned. But OOIDA was unable to convince the court of its arguments that the rule violates truckers’ Fourth Amendment rights to privacy. OOIDA also claimed the rule didn’t meet standards set by Congress for an ELD mandate — an argument the court also rejected.

The rule “is not arbitrary or capricious, nor does it violate the Fourth Amendment,” the 7th circuit judges wrote in their decision.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is the same court that tossed out FMCSA’s 2010-published ELD mandate on the grounds that the rule didn’t do enough to protect truckers from harassment by carriers via the devices.

The court in its Oct. 31 decision said the agency fixed those issues in its 2015-issued rule.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is the highest court in the country next to the Supreme Court. OOIDA still has the option to appeal a ruling.

The Supreme Court, however, has signaled it may not take up the case, at least from preliminary filings made this year.

The ELD mandate rule, published December 2015, requires all truckers currently required to paper logs to transition to an ELD by December 18, 2017.

This article was originally published on ccjdigital.com by James Jaillet. To see the full article click here.

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