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Scurich Insurance Services has been serving the Monterey Bay Area since 1924. Our mission is to partner with our customers and provide them superior service and value. We are a member of United Valley Insurance Services, Inc., a cluster of over 70 California Independent Insurance agencies, which produced over $530,000,000 of annual premium last year. At Scurich Insurance Services we understand your business and our community. Our customers look to us for comprehensive solutions. We have established relationships with more than 40 of the nation’s leading insurance providers, which allows us to deliver multiple, competitively-priced options and a team of experts to guide you through the process. When you need to file a claim, change a policy or process a certificate you can depend on Scurich Insurance Services to respond quickly to your request. SERVICES In order to provide value added benefits to our customers that go beyond the insurance policy Scurich Insurance Services offers the following additional services: Safety Programs – English and Spanish OSHA Compliance Safety Policies – English and Spanish Online OSHA 300 Log Safety Posters and Payroll Stuffers - English and Spanish Certificates of Insurance – If received before 3:30pm done the same day Risk Management Consulting Brokerage Services Represent most major insurance companies to better market your account. Safety tapes/DVD’s BUSINESS LINES Commercial Commercial Packages Business Auto Workers Compensation Umbrella Bonds Directors & Officers Professional Liability Employment Practices Liability Personal Auto Home Umbrella Recreational Vehicles Boatss Life & Health Individual Medical Individual Life Group Medical Group Benefits

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Posts tagged with practices - practices

The EEOC Systemic Expedition

Author TonyScurich , 9/26/2016

In an issue of Corporate Counsel an article entitled It's a Systemic World Out There discusses the EEOC's pursuing large "systemic" cases. For example, in fiscal year 2011 they conducted 580 systemic investigations, filed 84 systemic lawsuits, and settled 35 systemic cases for total $9.6 million. Although your company might not be large enough to be on the EEOC's radar screen, I can tell you that attorneys are also suing small to midsized companies on a class basis. An employee walks into a lawyer's office because they didn't receive their final paycheck, and before you know it they're filing a class-action lawsuit against your company for missed overtime and meal periods. The article provided a few golden nuggets of advice:

  1. When responding to an EEOC inquiry, don't use the phrase "pursuant to our consistently applied policy." This only invites a broader request for information.
  2. Do not submit more information than is necessary.
  3. Conduct your own statistical analysis before submitting data.
  4. Do preventative analysis looking for adverse impacts in the hiring, promotion, or termination practices.
  5. Validate pre-employment tests.
  6. Conduct preventative compensation analysis periodically.
  7. Cover all internal analysis with attorney-client privilege. This might be impossible in smaller organizations, but you can certainly retain outside counsel to instruct you on how to conduct such analysis and report back to them.
  8. Listen to your employees. As I have always recommended, you should survey your employees, including use of the Employee Compliance Survey that can be found in HR That Works.
  9. Invigorate that underutilized internal complaint system. Again, go one step further and ask if there's a problem –don't wait for them to tell you there is one.
  10. Stay current with legal trends. This is one reason why HR That Works membership is so valuable.
  11. Walk the talk. Are you sensitive to the potential for your practices to cause adverse impacts? Frankly in my experience I can tell you that some business owners could care less about whether a practice causes an adverse impact. All they care about is getting the best employees they can, damn the EEOC. Of course, few companies appreciate a risk until they're hit with it.

Finally, the article points out how large corporations can gather the data requested by the EEOC easily because they have such large HRIS systems. However, most companies with less than 500 employees don't have this data readily available, and t collecting it can be an over-burdensome process. This is one reason to make sure that you hire an attorney any time you receive a communication from the EEOC or another regulatory agency.

 

Construction Safety: Myth And Reality

Author TonyScurich , 9/9/2016
construction-646465_1920 Unfortunately, a number of erroneous beliefs about worksite safety are widespread in the construction industry. Here are seven common safety myths - and why they don't pass the reality check:
  1. Safety programs ensure worker safety. In practice, this means that binders on a variety of topics (usually regurgitated OSHA standards) end up gathering dust on a back shelf.
  2. Safety is common sense. Taking risk is a very personal matter. Some people skydive, others bungee jump; some race automobiles, others rock climb.
  3. Incentive programs improve safety. Because these programs usually reward not having a recordable incident, they benefit workers been lucky enough to avoid accidents - not to mention a natural tendency not to report injuries.
  4. Progressive punishment ensures safety compliance. The best punishment can do is achieve temporary compliance. Effective policing must be continuous and consistent, with clear consequences.
  5. Firing noncomplying workers solves safety problems. This is like trying to cure a disease by treating its symptom. Instead, find the error that led to unacceptable behavior and change it.
  6. Safety training is a leading safety indicator. The sign-in sheet shows only who attended the meeting. For training to work, managers need to test what individual workers learned - or didn't learn.
  7. Inspections and audits will uncover most workplace hazards. Inspections provide snapshots of workplace conditions at a given time, rather than an accurate picture of ongoing operations or activities.
Every construction firm needs to evaluate its safety systems, practices, and procedures critically, challenge the status quo where needed - and take decisive action. Our agency's professionals would be happy to offer their advice at any time, free of charge.

Working With Third-Party Administrators Helps Control Claims

Author TonyScurich , 4/13/2016
1 Third-Party Administrator (TPA) adjusters form the front line of defense against unnecessary claims expenses, including such traditional cost drivers as fraud or opioid pain medication addiction. They're the ones who determine how soon employees will mend and return to the job, the length of claims, and whether closing a claim will require additional resources, such as attorney involvement. It makes sense that the more closely you monitor the adjusters of your company's TPA, the lower your Workers Comp claims costs - and premiums. However, adjusters today are running on overload more than ever. In addition to managing larger caseloads, they face growing real-time information demands, increasing communication speed, and expanding regulations - which distract them from such cost-control practices as staying in contact with injured workers. Says one claims adjustment expert, "The fastest way of getting an injured employee to hire an attorney is making them feel like you don't really care about their injury. So you end up with a lot more claims than necessary going to attorneys, which leads to higher claim costs." It makes sense to work closely with your TPA adjuster by following these guidelines:
  1. Interview adjusters before they're assigned to your company.
  2. Review the adjuster's claims notes on a regular basis.
  3. Audit the TPA's services periodically to make sure that the adjuster is meeting your expectations.
  4. Develop close relationships with claims examiners and their supervisors.
We'd be happy to work with you and your TPA adjuster on keeping tabs on your Workers Comp claims costs. Please feel free to get in touch with us.  

How to Create a Safe Workplace with a Safety Management Program

Author TonyScurich , 8/24/2015

There are good reasons to take safety seriously. In 2012, there were, on average, 89 workplace fatalities a week.1 An estimated $1 billion is paid by employers in direct workers compensation costs every week.2

A safe work environment does not happen by accident. Management must be fully engaged in creating, planning, implementing, communicating and making sure safety programs work and are designed to fit the business. Most importantly, employees have to understand their role in making their workplace safer.

Eight Key Components of a Safety Management Program

Your safety management program should incorporate the following 8 key components:

  1. Demonstrate management involvement – Management must lead by example. A visible demonstration that you embrace a safety culture is imperative to its success. Provide the essential time, budget and resources to create and support a safety program.
  2. Communicate your safety plan clearly – Your safety plan must be published and available to all employees. Reminders and updates should be timely and effective. Allow employees to contribute their suggestions to making the workplace safer.
  3. Get everyone involved – A safety program is likely to be more effective when employees at all levels are involved. Standardized policies should outline responsibilities and accountability for all employees. Safety goals can become part of job descriptions and employee reviews. Safety committees can help ensure that safety practices are understood and reinforced throughout the company. Positive reinforcement of safe behaviors can be an effective way to help build the desired culture.
  4. Train your employees to work safely – Safety training should begin from the moment an employee is hired. Ongoing training is also essential to creating a safety culture.
  5. Review, revise, improve – A safety program should be dynamic, especially since most business environments continue to evolve.  An effective safety program should be flexible enough to adjust to changes. Regularly review, evaluate and identify risks that could affect safety, and make the changes necessary to keep your workplace safe.
  6. Create safety standards - Each department should set safety standards through a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) to make sure every task is done correctly and safely. Recognize good safety performance, and cite and correct unsafe practices.
  7. Investigate every incident and accident thoroughly – Properly trained staff with experience in investigation, analysis and evidence collection should conduct an accident analysis as soon as possible after an incident. Report the claim within 24 hours to help ensure prompt response and injury management.
  8. Manage every injury – Even with the best safety program, an employee injury can still occur. Planning helps you to react immediately when an employee is injured on the job. Learn about five strategies that can help you put employees on the road back to productivity.

While initiating a comprehensive program can seem like a major hurdle to safety, we can help businesses like yours take the necessary steps to begin creating a safety culture.

Get Manufacturing Resources that Can Help You Turn Risk into a Business Advantage >


You Need to "Call Before You Dig"

Author TonyScurich , 7/20/2015

Person digging in backyard

What is 811?

Are you a homeowner or contractor? Did you know that you are required to call the number ‘811’ before digging on any property so that you can be made aware of any underground lines (e.g. pipes, cables and associated utilities) buried in the area? Improper digging can lead to damage to underground lines that can disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, harm diggers or excavators, and even incur potential fines and repair costs.

In case you did not know, 811 is the national "Call Before You Dig" phone number designated by the Federal Communications Commission. This number was developed to eliminate the confusion of multiple "Call Before You Dig" numbers because it is easy to use, is the same for every state, and can help protect anyone who does dig from injury, expense and potential penalties.

What Happens After Calling 811?

All 811 calls are routed to a local One Call Center and the affected utilities. The utility will then send crews to the location to mark any underground lines for the homeowner or excavator for free.

Do Most People Call Before They Dig?

Believe it or not, in spite of all the potential danger and damage that can be caused, the answer is "no." According to a recent national survey, 45 percent of American homeowners who plan to dig this year said that they would not call 811 beforehand.*

More Information

For more information about the 811 call system, visit http://www.call811.com. To download the most current industry Best Practices in connection with preventing damage to underground facilities, go to http://commongroundalliance.com/.


Call before you dig

Author TonyScurich , 5/13/2015

"811" number makes it easy to Call Before You Dig.

Call Before You DigOne Number for All States

811 is the national "Call Before You Dig" phone number designated by the Federal Communications Commission. This number was developed to eliminate the confusion of multiple "Call Before You Dig" numbers because it is easy to use, remember and it is the same for every state.

Why Call 811?

It is important to call 811 before digging so that professional excavators and do-it-yourself homeowners are aware of any underground lines buried in the area. This information can help protect people who dig from injury, expense and penalties. Damages to underground lines can disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, harm diggers and cost diggers fine and repair costs. Hopefully this number will increase awareness and create a positive behavioral change.

What Happens After Calling 811?

Similar to the current "Call Before You Dig" numbers, all 811 calls will be routed to a local One Call Center and the affected utilities. The utility will then send crews to the location to mark any underground lines for free.

Do Most People Call Before They Dig?

Believe it or not, the answer is "no." According to a recent national survey, roughly half of all Americans are "active diggers," yet only one-third have called to get their utility lines marked.

How Is 811 Being Promoted?

The Common Ground Alliance (CGA) is an organization created in 2000 to prevent damage to underground infrastructure, reduce service disruptions, save lives and improve safety practices industry-wide. The national 811 number provides a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to focus national attention on the importance of calling before digging. CGA is working with its members, sponsors and national launch partners to increase awareness about calling 811 before digging.

More Information

For more information about the 811 call system, visit http://www.call811.com. To download the most current industry Best Practices in connection with preventing damage to underground facilities, go to http://commongroundalliance.com/.

†Source Common Ground Alliance, 2010 Damage Information Reporting Tool (DIRT) Annual Report(pdf)

The information on this site is general in nature. Any description of coverage is necessarily simplified. Whether a particular loss is covered depends on the specific facts and the provisions, exclusions and limits of the actual policy. Nothing on this site alters the terms or conditions of any of our policies. You should read the policy for a complete description of coverage. Coverage options, limits, discounts and deductibles are subject to availability and to individuals meeting our underwriting criteria. Not all features available in all areas.


Protect 'contingent workers' and your business

Author TonyScurich , 3/31/2014
Scurich Insurance Services, CA, Safety in the WorkplaceIf you're using "contingent workers" -- on a part-time, temporary, or contract basis -- be aware that these employees face a greater risk of occupational injuries and illness. According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH) reasons for this higher vulnerability include the tendency to outsource more hazardous jobs, lack of experience and familiarity with operations in a dangerous workplace, inadequate protective equipment, and limited access to such preventive measures as medical screening programs. The chances are that temporary workers have a wide variety of experience levels (due to high turnover) or have had the benefit of formal safety programs. Also, bear in mind that even though the safety of contract workers is the legal responsibility of the contractor, the OSHA General Duty Clause could be interpreted to make you responsible for protecting everyone in your workplace. To help meet this obligation, and bolster workplace safety compliance we'd recommend that you take these steps:
  1. Include safety requirements in the contract, even if only to state that the contractor must comply with OSHA requirements. If the contractor doesn't follow safety rules, you can force compliance or stop work for breach of contract.
  2. Set the safety compliance ground rules up front, during orientation or before they start work.
  3. Share accountability. Although an accident caused by a contract worker might not be your legal responsibility, it's still your problem. Don't leave safety compliance problems for the contractor to solve alone.
  4. Offer assistance. Explain all hazardous conditions or processes during the initial project orientation and stress any rules and restrictions, such as hot-work permit requirements, lockout/tagout, and confined spaces situations and needs.
  5. Document communications with contractors. Give the contractor(s) a document or form to sign when resolving specific safety problems or for conducting inspections.
  6. Read the OSHA Multi-Employer Citation Policy. OSHA published an enforcement and compliance directive (CPL 02-00-124, December 10, 1999) laying out its citation policy for multi-employer worksites, which includes contractors.
Finally, don't forget that most contingent workers will only be in your workplace for a relatively short time. This only adds to the urgency of getting them up to speed on your company's safety policies and practices as quickly as possible. Contact our office today for more information. Content provided by Transformer Marketing.