How to Reduce the Likelihood of Sexual Harassment in Agribusiness

Posted June 13, 2018 by Administrator

Sexual harassment isn’t an issue that is unique to farming. However, the conditions common to farming present a significant number of opportunities and the victims often lack resources to make it stop. A significant portion of the problem occurs when farmers contract out their labor rather than hiring their workers directly. These farmhands are often unfamiliar with harassment laws or don’t know their rights. They also fear retaliation for speaking out so they remain silent.

How to Recognize Sexual Harassment

Sexual harassment isn’t always overt, as it can be verbal as well physical. It can occur before, during, or after working hours when a supervisor or co-worker makes unwelcome advances while operating within the scope of employment. Examples of sexual harassment include:

  • Unwanted sexual commentary, jokes, written notes, or derogatory remarks of a sexual nature
  • Unwanted and intentional touching of a sexual nature or on an intimate area of the body
  • Wielding a position of authority to extort sexual favors in exchange for a promotion or preferential treatment

Any sexual action that creates a hostile work environment opens an employer up to a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Employers’ and Supervisors’ Obligations to Farm Workers

Any authority figure on the farm needs to take pains to avoid committing harassing behaviors as well as identify and correct inappropriate employee conduct. Supervisors who fail to put a stop to sexual harassment can be held liable in a lawsuit for tolerating offensive behavior. As such, all farming operations need to have a complaint procedure that allows victims to report harassment without fear of retribution. Employers should also include at least one female employee as a complaint receiver as many female victims don’t feel comfortable reporting to a male.

Farms should also implement clear disciplinary guidelines for sexual harassment claims. By following procedures every time, employers can eliminate the perception of discrimination or preferential treatment. Employers should also follow up on any reports of harassment to ensure it actually stops. When cases of employee sexual harassment make it to the courtroom, judges consider if the employer learned about the problem as soon as possible, how the employer addressed it, and what steps the employer took to prevent it in the future.

Protecting Employees and the Farm

Farming operations accused of creating a hostile work environment due to sexual harassment can find themselves at the center of an expensive lawsuit. Farms often operate on tight budgets, and a lawsuit can be enough to shut it down permanently. While taking steps to prevent sexual harassment in the first place is key, farmers can also invest in insurance to protect themselves and their agribusiness. Contact Cline Wood to learn more.

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.

How the Denham Amendment Could Impact the Trucking Industry If Passed

Posted June 11, 2018 by Administrator

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill that passed in the House in late April 2018 could have serious implications for the trucking industry if it passes the Senate as well.

The so-called “Denham” bill, named after it’s sponsor Representative Jeff Denham, has had mixed reactions from the trucking industry. Some organizations, such as the American Trucking Association (ATA) believes the amendment will help streamline interstate commerce by providing a federal standard for hour-of-service (HOS) rules. But other industry groups believe the amendment will rob truck drivers of needed rest and rightful compensation.

The amendment was originally a part of the FAST ACT passed by congress in December, but this amendment didn’t make the cut, so that’s why it’s been tacked on to the FAA bill.

Here is a breakdown of how the amendment could impact the industry.

The amendment seeks to pre-empt state laws related to rest breaks. It would require all truck drivers to abide by the Department of Transportation (DOT) hours-of-service regulations first.

  • The amendment would allow drivers to follow the federal guidelines for taking breaks, which are not as stringent as some states, such as California. California requires a 10-minute rest break for every two-hours worked and a 30-minute meal break every five hours worked. The federal guidelines require drivers to take a 30-minute break every 8 hours, which is now enforced by electronic logging devices (ELDs).
  • The amendment also prevents drivers from being paid for the breaks they take (California pays drivers for their breaks).
  • Drivers can still take breaks, but they would lose money by doing so.

The ATA wants a unified system that is seamless in order to facilitate interstate commerce. However, drivers’ rights and general wellbeing may be impacted if the amendment passes.

  • The amendment would permit drivers to disregard state HOS regulations, which might speed up shipment times.
  • However, the amendment could deter drivers from taking needed breaks in the interest of a reduction in compensation, which could lead to an increase in accidents, injuries, property damage and even death due to driver-fatigue.
  • The amendment would impact drivers’ wages because trucking companies would no longer be required to meet state wage requirements; they would only have to meet the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

This amendment could have a serious impact on the trucking industry.

  • Drivers may struggle to get better pay, which is especially critical as the truck driver turnover rate is approaching 100 percent.
  • Interstate commerce would be streamlined, but drivers may experience ELD implementation issues or become dissatisfied and leave the industry.
  • Drivers may not get the rest they need, which could exacerbate the sleep apnea problem in the industry as well as contribute to the high rate of commercial truck crashes.

Shippers may also be impacted. On one hand, the amendment would allow a more streamlined system for interstate commerce, which could allow shippers to get shipments out faster. On the other hand, if the amendment creates more issues for drivers and further increases the turnover rate, it could cause rates to increase. The Denham amendment has yet to pass the Senate, so the impact of the potential bill remains to be seen.

To learn more transportation industry news, trucking coverage and risk management, contact us 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.

5 Things You Need to Know About Tesla’s New Semi-Truck

Posted June 5, 2018 by Administrator

Tesla’s new semi-truck has taken the transportation industry by storm. Marking its first foray into commercial trucking, Tesla’s heavy-duty vehicle is a striking divergence from the norm. This 100% electric, aerodynamic semi-truck stands out from other standard Class 8 Trucks. Tesla’s aptly named Semi boasts speed, range, and a rapid recharge time—all features that are catching the eyes of big name companies like Walmart, Pepsi, FedEx, UPS, Anheuser-Busch, and more. The following are several facts about Tesla’s Semi.

  1. How fast is Tesla’s Semi? Without any cargo, the Semi can go from 0 to 60 in five seconds. When fully loaded with 80,000 pounds worth of freight, it can achieve this feat in 20 seconds. This is even more impressive considering a standard semi-truck requires 15 seconds and 60 seconds to achieve the same speeds unloaded and loaded. It can also ascend a 5% grade with a full load at 65 mile per hour—a standard commercial truck maxes out at 45 miles per hour.
  2. How far can it travel before it needs to recharge? With a full load, the Semi can travel 500 miles before it will need to recharge. After a 30-minute recharge, it can travel an additional 400 miles.
  3. What type of transportation is the Semi suited to? With a 500-mile range, the most likely uses of the Semi will be short and medium-hauls. For example, it is ideal for transporting cargo from ports to distribution facilities.
  4. What are the Semi’s safety features? The Semi will come equipped with Tesla’s Enhanced Autopilot, which includes self-driving features such as steering around corners, staying within the lane, adjusting cruise control speed based on traffic patterns, changing lanes, and more. What’s more, the Semi will be able to platoon with other trucks.
  5. How much does a Semi cost? On a day-to-day basis, the Semi costs $1.26 per mile compared to $1.51 per mile for a standard semi-truck. It also costs less to maintain because there are fewer moving parts. As for overall costs, Tesla will charge $150-$180,000 depending on the version.

Electronic trucks represent a significant disruption to the transportation industry. Drivers and fleets need to be prepared to adapt to these new changes and challenges, and Cline Wood is here to help. As a leading provider of transportation insurance products, we go beyond providing basic insurance coverage. We are active members of the trucking community, and we strive to stay up to date with the latest innovations reshaping the industry. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your transportation business.

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.

Driver Safety – Preventing Heat Related Accidents

Posted May 31, 2018 by Erin

DRIVER SAFETY: PREVENTING HEAT-RELATED ACCIDENTS

Whether they’re driving, unloading, tarping, or any number of other tasks they perform on a daily basis, your drivers are working in the heat during the summer months.  They may not realize it, but the summer heat presents a serious risk to their health if they don’t take proper precautions to avoid heat exhaustion, or worse heat stroke.

At Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency, it’s our mission to partner with you in ensuring your drivers are safe, accident-free, and avoid costly claims that can have a major impact on both your drivers and your business. Below are several great heat stress tips that we strongly encourage you to share with your drivers and incorporate into your safety training.

Keep employees as cool as possible

Encourage your employees to use these tips for staying safe in the heat:

  • Drink plenty of water. In hot weather, drink enough to quench your thirst. The average adult needs eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day and even more during heat spells.
  • Dress for the weather. When outdoors, wear lightweight clothing made of natural fabrics and a well-ventilated hat.
  • Stay inside if possible. Do strenuous outdoor tasks early or late in the day.
  • Eat light. Replace heavy or hot meals with lighter, refreshing foods.

Heat exhaustion, heat stress and heat stroke are not to be messed around with. If an employee starts to experience:

  • Dizziness, weakness, nausea, headache and vomiting
  • Blurry vision
  • Body temperature rising to 101°F
  • Sweaty skin
  • Feeling hot and thirsty
  • Difficulty speaking

Get the person cooled down, out of the sun and the necessary medical assistance.

Read more about the symptoms and first aid treatments on our MMA blog and also learn more about Resources available from OSHA/NIOSH, including their Heat Safety Tool and how it can help you determine the heat index, precautions to take in the day’s heat and more.

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

 

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.

5 Serious Risks for Poultry Farms

Posted May 28, 2018 by Administrator

There are several risks involved with poultry farming. However, infection disease is the biggest and most concerning. That is why poultry farmers need to practice good biosecurity to reduce incidents of disease. The following are the most common sources of disease in poultry farming.

  1. The stock itself. The fowls can carry and transmit disease, dead birds in particular. Poultry farmers need to be careful when disposing of deceased animals to prevent the spread of infectious disease. Farmers should also take care when moving poultry stock from one area of the farm to another as this represents another opportunity for the spread of disease.
  2. Vehicles and farming equipment. Famers can unwittingly spread contagions by transporting and using contaminated equipment. For example, if a farmer transported dead birds in a wagon and then loaded that same wagon with feed later, disease may infiltrate the feed.
  3. The animals’ feed. Continuing with the above, feed can transfer disease in several ways. In addition to transporting feed in a contaminated vehicle, rodents can infiltrate it and leave behind disease. Farmers should take great care when transporting and storing their feed to prevent infection.
  4. People on the farm. Farmers may think only visitors pose a risk for spreading disease, but this is not the case. Any workers or individuals who live on the farm are also a threat. Anyone can transfer disease from their shoes as they come and go on the farm.
  5. Water. This is the main source for the spread of disease. Any feces that make it into the water can contaminate it and infect animals across the farm.

Farmers can take several steps to prevent the spread of disease. Implementing common sense biosecurity measures such as not allowing vehicles into the production area, situating production areas far from water sources, treating all drinking water before allowing animals to ingest it, and utilizing freezers for managing the disposal of dead poultry. There is no one simple method for preventing disease on poultry farms, but following the above practices can help. Contact the experts at Cline Wood to learn more about reducing risk on your poultry farm.

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.

How to Count Women in Trucking When the Numbers Don’t Add Up

Posted May 21, 2018 by Administrator

The Women in Trucking Association (WIT) is a non-profit organization dedicated to encouraging the employment of women in trucking as well as promoting their accomplishments and reducing the hurdles they face. So, it should come as no surprise that WIT has a vested interested in the statistics surrounding women in the trucking industry. When the department of labor (DOL) reported that women drivers dipped to 5.1%, WIT raised an eyebrow at the statistic. After examining how DOL obtained its data, WIT realized DOL wasn’t tracking accurate job positions or counting the right women.

WIT Joins Forces with NTI

To find the most accurate data regarding women in trucking, WIT collaborated with the National Transportation Institute (NTI) to amend the questions researchers ask trucking companies. NTI added two new questions to help distinguish between women truck drivers and women leaders in transportation companies. With this new line of inquiry, NTI found that women truck drivers accounted for 7.13% in January of 2017. This percentage grew to 7.89% by the end of the year. Women in management saw similar growth from 23% at the start of 2017 to 23.75% by its close.

These numbers differ from DOL’s. For the same timeframe, DOL reported women accounted for 5.1% of truck drivers and 18.1% of leadership positions within trucking companies. WIT contends this is because what DOL counted as truck driving jobs were not always accurate reflections of traditional drivers. As a result, DOL’s numbers became less reliable. To monitor the true number of women in the trucking industry better, WIT and NTI developed the WIT Index.

Combating the Driver Shortage

While WIT and NTI took a deeper look at the number of women in trucking, the gender divide remains stark. Although WIT aims to help women achieve positions at all levels within the trucking industry, they believe more women in leadership positions will reap the most rewards. If women can see other women in positions of power, it helps remove fears of male-dominated workplaces with limited upward trajectory. This can encourage more women to apply for trucking positions and help ease the driver shortage.

Trucking companies have a diverse array of problems to contend with—the driver shortage being one of the most pressing. As a leader in transportation insurance, Cline Wood strives to find solutions that meet trucking companies’ need. Contact us today to learn how we can help your trucking business.

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.

Improving the Bottom Line for Agribusinesses

Posted May 14, 2018 by Administrator

Proper budgeting allows farmers to estimate their costs and profits for an upcoming production period. A solid budget will help farmers make decisions about their agribusiness as well as calculate their ability to achieve financial goals. These goals can include paying off or reducing debts as well as saving enough to make significant purchases for the farm. Budgeting is vital to completing business objectives because it provides a baseline. Without this reference point, farmers cannot hope to make improvements to their operation.

How Do Successful Farmers Budget?

The following are strategies prosperous farmers employ when managing their budget:

  1. Set goals. Budgeting should not be about breaking even. Budgeting allows farmers to visualize and achieve goals with a realistic margin. Goals can be short-term, such as producing more than the previous years, or they can be long-term, such as retiring within the next half-decade. Farmers who approach budgeting with a purpose will be better equipped to manage their agribusiness from year-to-year.
  2. Use budgets for daily management. A budget isn’t a one-and-done deal; it’s a living document that requires nurturing. Farming situations change and budgets should reflect this. Budgets allow farmers to make decisions such as planning for expenditures, making arrangements that will affect the next generation on the farm, etc.
  3. Make smart marketing decisions. Marketing in farming is not the same as marketing for a traditional office job. Farmers have to make decisions on when to sell crops, grain, etc. to ensure they remain in the black. While many companies approach marketing as a means to get rich quick, farmers use it as a method to avoid going in the red. Agribusinesses operate on thin margins and need to use their budgets to make sales decisions that keep their costs and profits in balance.

Budgeting is an effective part of risk management for farmers. In an industry that is often at the mercy of the weather, farmers need to take command of their budget to monitor the factors they can control. If your farm is struggling to manage its risks, Cline Wood can help. Contact us to learn more about assessing your risks and implementing strategies to mitigate them.

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.

Medical Certification Submission Requirements Postponed Due to Cyber Attack on FMCSA Registry

Posted May 4, 2018 by Administrator

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced changes to the CDL Medical Certification reporting submission requirements, due in part to technical issues on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners registry website.

The FMCSA Medical Program requirements are designed to ensure commercial motor carriers are physically qualified to engage in interstate commerce. Drivers are required to obtain a medical exam from a certified medical examiner that is listed in the National Registry. In a new rule that is expected to roll out June 2, 2018, medical examiners are required to submit driver exam results by midnight the following day. However, due to the technical glitch in the current system, examiners are being told to hold on to the exam results from completed physical and then upload them when the system is back online.

The agency is postponing requirements that medical information on drivers and their exam results be submitted to state agencies for three additional years. The postponement is due in part to the technical issues that resulted from unauthorized access to the system, triggering the National Registry website outage. An incident in early December 2017 caused the National Registry to be taken offline, leading to interruptions in the development of the electronic transmission process.

Delaying compliance on the submission of the records until June 22, 2021 will give the agency adequate time to make the necessary programming changes.

Drivers are still required to self-report their certification status to their state agencies, a requirement that has been in effect since January 30, 2012. Certified medical examiners are encouraged to continue to conduct DOT physicals and issue medical examination certifications. Examiners are required to pass certain tests and become listed in the registry.

FMCSA has confirmed that no personal information was exposed in the December 2017 cyber attack. The registry has been down since December and continues to remain down. A simple search by zip code is accessible, but access to the full portal is still not functioning. The attempt to access data by the cyber criminals was not successful, and no information was compromised. Roadside inspectors are continuing to check drivers’ medical certificates, but there is a backlog of exam results being uploaded into the system due to the site still being offline.

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.

Frequently Reported Technical Issues with Electronic Logging Devices

Posted April 24, 2018 by Administrator

Recently the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a list of frequently encountered issues that have been reported by motor carriers and drivers. These concerns have been found to be related to devices not being set up properly. Any of these issues could result in a device being investigated and possibly removed from the list of registered devices.

In a nutshell, the Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rules require commercial truck drivers to keep hours-of-service (HOS) and records-of-duty status (RODS) reports using an electronic device or an on-board recording device. The ELD mandate also lays out certification and registration as well as performance standards for the use of ELDs. It is illegal for carriers to harass drivers based on ELD data and gives drivers recourse if they believe they have been harassed.

Here are some of the most frequently reported ELD issues.

  1. Erroneous Fields

The ELD rule specifies that drivers submit an output file. The acceptable ranges for these field values are also specified. When there are missing fields, or the fields contain invalid values, safety officials will not accept the file. The types of issues that are commonly seen include:

  • Incorrect field size (i.e. Shipping Document Number, Trailer Number or CMV VIN)
  • Invalid field ranges (Elapsed Engine Hours, Accumulated Vehicle Miles)
  • Missing fields that are required (Event Sequence ID Number, CMV Order Number, Last Name, Carrier Name)
  • Incorrect file and line data check values
  • Invalid characters
  • Invalid dates, times or numbers

The above inputs are data-checked by the FMCSA File Validator system.

  1. Invalid Delimiters

The ELD rule requires that the formatting of the output file must include comma separators and lines must be separated with carriage returns (<CR>). If your ELD output file has a value that includes a comma or <CR> code in it, the rule requires that these be replaced with a semi-colon.

  1. Pre-Configuration

The ELD rule requires that the ELD be able to transfer output files using both a web service and FMCSA email address. These transfer methods must be pre-configured into the device based on ELD rule 4.2.3.4, 4.10.1.1(b)(1), and 4.10.1.2(c).

An ELD should never send an email or output file directly to a safety official, and a driver or motor carrier should never have to request the email address or end points from the FMCSA or a safety official.

  1. Event Times

The ELD output file must have time reports listed in the time zone in effect in the driver’s home terminal. While date and time are recorded in UTC, if times are reported in UTC in the output file, it will result in the incorrect time being viewed by the safety official. This can be tested by viewing the safety official view of your ELD output files that have been successfully run through the File Validator. Or, you can test files that have been successfully submitted to the web services test environment. This ELD rule can be viewed at 7.8 and 7.40.

  1. 30 or More Days of RODS

The ELD rule specifies that ELDs be able to send a report for the current 24 hour period as well as the previous consecutive 7 days for review during a roadside inspection. An ELD must also produce records for a subset of its drivers, vehicles and the 6 month record retention period, as specified by the safety official, including 30 days’ worth of RODS. For more information, see ELD Rule 4.9.2(b).

  1. Incomplete Set of the Data Transfer Option

Any system that motor carriers decide to use that offers support must provide support for data transfer through either telemetrics (web services and email) or local transfer (USB and Bluetooth) options. Local transfer must include both USB and Bluetooth. For more information, see ELD Rule 4.9.2.

While changing from a paper logging system to an electronic logging device has been frustrating for carriers and drivers alike, ensuring that your device is properly configured from the get-go will eliminate at least some of the initial headaches that have been reported.

Cline Wood offers specialized insurance expertise. We are able to help drivers and fleets identify areas of risk as well as implement solutions to mitigate risks specific to the transportation industry. For more information, contact us today.

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.

Developing an Effective Hazardous Materials Training Program

Posted April 19, 2018 by Erin

As the American economy has developed over the years, the transportation of hazardous materials has become a vital service to businesses and consumers alike.  These materials are used in so many ways, including cleaning our water, helping to grow our food, running our cars, and providing medicine to our families.  However, with these types of materials come significant safety risks (including chemical burns) – to truck drivers and anyone else who might come in contact with the materials.  In fact, #2 on OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for 2017 involved improper communication and training as it relates to hazardous chemicals.1

As an example of hazardous materials training in action, just recently a tanker truck carrying hydrochloric acid was involved in an accident with a train in Pennsylvania.  According to news reports, the acid spilled onto the roadway and billowed into the air.  Another truck driver familiar with hydrochloric acid was working nearby when the collision took place.  He knew what to do, grabbed his safety equipment, and rushed to the scene to give the driver of the tanker truck an oxygen mask while getting him to safety.2

To take the first step toward preventing risk of injury and becoming a safe operation, we strongly encourage you to develop a comprehensive hazardous materials training program.  Whether it’s a program that you develop from scratch or an existing training program that you enhance, an effective training program has many benefits, including3:

  • Develops a strong safety culture
  • Heightens employee safety by helping employees protect themselves
  • Improves a company’s effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity
  • Increases employee skills
  • May prevent regulatory sanctions
  • Aids in ensuring safe and secure shipments of hazardous materials
  • Reduces likelihood of catastrophic events such as fire or spill
  • Provides employees with understanding of why compliance and safety are necessary

Please click HERE to review and download a free guide from the USDOT, and get started developing your program TODAY!  For questions on this topic or to request a safety consultation contact Cline Wood’s Safety & Risk Management Team at 888-451-3900 or safetrucking@clinewood.com.

 

Scott Dunwiddie
Director of Risk Management
Cline Wood, a Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC company

 

Sources:

1 “Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards”, https://www.osha.gov/Top_Ten_Standards.html, Accessed 3/28/18

2“What You Should Know: A Guide to Developing a Hazardous Materials Training Program”, U.S. Department of Transportation – Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration

3 “Road reopens, residents allowed back in homes after train crashes into truck hauling acid”, https://www.wpxi.com/news/top-stories/road-reopens-residents-allowed-back-in-homes-after-train-crashes-into-truck-hauling-acid/711807985, Accessed 3/28/18

 

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.

 

 

 

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