When you’re in a high-risk industry like construction, insurance is a must-have. And coverage can be affordable, if you play your cards right. If you want to keep your rates low, avoiding claims is the #1 tip to do so. But sometimes that can be easier said than done.
Here are seven jobsite mishaps that could lead to a claim and higher insurance rates (and some tips to help you avoid them.)
There’s a reason that falls head up the list of OSHA’s top four construction hazards. There are so many times during construction that your work boots are up off the ground. Whether you’re on top of a ladder, a scaffold, or a roof, avoiding falls is critical to your (and your employees’) safety.
Tips to avoid fall-related claims:
The second leading cause of construction fatalities is struck-by hazards. Most fatalities for highway workers occur from being struck by heavy construction equipment, and one in four struck-by-vehicle deaths involves construction workers.
The danger of a struck-by hazard is just as real off the highway as on it. Falling and flying objects pose a serious threat to worker safety, whether you’re working under a crane or scaffold or nearby power tools that could send particles flying at high speeds.
Tips to avoid struck-by claims:
The third leading cause of fatal construction accidents is electrical hazards, which account for 12% of construction deaths. Electrical hazards can take many forms, from contact with power lines and live circuits to your equipment itself.
Tips to avoid electrical hazard claims:
Preventing caught in or caught between hazards could prevent up to 5% of all construction fatalities from occurring. Caught in hazards can include trench cave-ins, being pinned by or caught in machinery or mechanical equipment, or getting caught in/ pinned in a heavy equipment rollover.
Tips to prevent caught in or between hazards:
Preventing the “Fatal Four” construction fatalities from occurring is a huge step in keeping workers safer, avoiding accidents, and keeping your insurance history claim-free. But there are a few other ways you can prevent mishaps that could lead to increased insurance rates, as well.
Even if a fire occurred on an empty jobsite and nobody was injured, there could still be damage and loss to the project itself, your tools and equipment, or the materials on site. Make fire prevention a priority.
Tips for fire prevention:
Deter unauthorized site visitors to prevent anyone from coming on to the jobsite without approval. Securing the project site can not only help prevent vandalism and theft of material and tools left on site, it can also help prevent third-party injury. Because the only thing worse than having your site vandalized would be to pay for the vandal’s medical bills if they tripped over a 2x4 and got injured in the process.
Tips to secure the worksite:
Did you know that an open line of communication with a client can help keep them happier and less likely to bring a lawsuit your way? In a study of malpractice claims, doctors that had never been sued tended to spend more time conversing and engaging with their patients compared to doctors who had been sued.
The takeaway is clear: stay engaged with homeowners and clients, and let them know what’s going on with the project. You never know, a few extra phone calls could be all it takes to prevent a lawsuit from an unhappy client.
Tip: Clients who feel like they are being listened to and included are less likely to sue.
Your insurance coverage is there for when you need it, but wouldn’t it be great if you never did? From worker safety to properly securing your tools and equipment, and even being attentive to a homeowner, there are many ways you can prevent incidents and accidents that become insurance claims. And claim prevention means more affordable rates for your construction business.
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