Friday, April 18, 2014

Spring is here! Just ask the snowman!

Snow in Brooklyn Park on Wednesday afternoon changed to rain as we approached Rochester to finish, on Thursday, yet another week of Spring Loss Control Workshops.

With spring weather comes anticipation of summer fun for winter weary Minnesotans.  Now is the time to brush up on inspection skills designed to keep park patrons and city employees safe at play and on the job. Need a quick refresher?  LMCIT Loss Control puts the training and tools at your finger tips.

Visit the League of Minnesota Cities website at www.lmc.org for valuable tools and  information on:  Mock OSHA Inspections, Aquatic Facility Risk Management and Playground Safety  .

Next week we "hop" on down the road to St. Cloud and St. Paul for the wrap up of the 2014 workshop season.  See you on the trail!

by Cheryl Brennan

Monday, April 14, 2014

What’s all the buzz about?

LMCIT’s spring safety and loss control workshops are in full swing all around the state of Minnesota.  The hotel’s complimentary morning newspaper and a cup of coffee greet us as we groggily prepare for the day…..What?! Man survives after chainsaw slips .   The saw blade and chain are graphically clear against the bones in a chest x-ray photo that accompanies the article. 

Did you know that the federal OSHA logging and operations standard applies to any tree felling done by city employees?  Did you know that the LMCIT loss control consultants can provide guidance if you need to develop your employee safety program?  Well it does and they can.

The logging operations standard includes various requirements for the provision, inspection and maintenance of equipment (e.g., personal protective equipment, tools, vehicles, and machines) used in performing logging operations.  It also requires first aid training.  

The standard incorporates performance requirements that provide flexibility to employers in developing safety and health programs to suit logging operations in all regions of the country. The standard also requires employers to provide training for each employee who has not been trained previously.

For free chainsaw safety training  contact Ed LaFavor at MN OSHA  by:
  • phone at (218) 362-5915;
  • fax at (218) 362-5916; or
  • e-mail at ed.lafavor@state.mn.us.

     
Let's keep the buzzin' for the bees!    

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Contractors – Do Your Homework Before You Hire

Have you ever hired a contractor only to witness them doing unsafe acts while doing work for the city?  Many of you have probably had these types of experiences, and can think of several examples when this happened to you.  What did you do about it? 


Although it may not happen that often, there are times when OSHA can hold the city responsible for safety violations committed by the contractor.  This can happen when the city hires a contractor, but doesn’t do their homework before they hire.  Whether or not your own employees are put at risk by these unsafe acts or conditions, the city can still be held liable in some situations.

In order to make sure you are hiring quality contractors (and reducing city liability), you should consider having a written contractor safety program.  The program may include some of the following:  
  • Contractor safety records
  • Insurance requirements
  • Indemnification
  • Unsafe Acts
  • Written safety programs and training
  • Supervision
  • Use of equipment




Contractors should be thoroughly screened before hiring.  If you don’t already have one, you may wish to consider using a checklist or form to gather contractor data before signing the contract for the work to be done.  The checklist may look something like the following:

_____   Contract bid specifications include a requirement of workers’ compensation modifier of 1.1 or                      below, OR include language that weighs the contractors’ safety records.

_____   [ENTITY] is named on the contractor’s policy as an “Additional Insured”.  List coverage periods:

_____   The contractor has provided a certificate of insurance to [ENTITY] for both liability and workers’                compensation.  List coverage periods:

_____   Contractor agrees to defend and indemnify [ENTITY], and the employees, officers and agents of                  the entity for any claims filed against the entity arising from the contractor’s actions.

_____  The contractor has provided [ENTITY] with the following written safety programs:

_____  The contractor has provided [ENTITY] with the following safety training records:

_____   The contractor has attended an orientation session for working with [ENTITY].  List date:

 If your city has questions about contractor safety and liability, please be certain to contact your assigned loss control consultant.  They can help answer your questions and provide you with additional resources.

LMCIT Loss Control Staff