Inside this issue you can find articles about:
- Meeting New OSHA Standards with Safer Alternatives to Ladder Cages
- Agricultural Commodities Hours of Service and ELDs
- Benefits of Contingent Business Interruption Insurance
Ladder Cages Fading Into History Replaced by Safer Alternatives. Are your Facilities in Compliance with the New OSHA Standards?
Ladder cages have long been a familiar site on grain bins, feed mills, silos, water tanks, coops and industrial facilities. They have also long been recognized as an ineffective way to prevent serious injury and death in the event of a fall from a structure. OSHA recently revised the requirements related to ladder cages in a standard known as the Walking-Working Surfaces standard CFR Part 1910, Subpart D&I. These new standards were first published in 2016 and went into effect in November 17, 2017, with varying phase-in periods.
Under the new standard, ladder cages are no longer recognized as an acceptable means of fall prevention or fall arrest on fixed ladders over 24 feet in height. Any facility constructed after November 19, 2018, should not have ladder cages installed, as they will no longer comply with standard safety measures. Instead, newly constructed fixed ladders should be equipped with a ladder safety system. Alternatively, employers may choose to install a personal fall arrest system.
This new standard mandates that existing fixed ladder cages may remain in place for 20 years; however, if the ladder or portion of the ladder requires repair or replacement, employers must implement a ladder safety system, personal fall arrest system or replace the fixed ladder with a stairway. Replacing a fixed ladder with a stairway is a popular alternative on newly constructed grain bins for two reasons: Stair systems do not require additional equipment such as harnesses and lanyards. Additionally, with an aging workforce in the agriculture industry, ease of use makes stairs a more desirable option compared to fixed ladders.
As mentioned above, there are two primary alternative measures designed to take the place of cages on fixed ladders:
Ladder safety system: This is an engineered system designed to eliminate or reduce the possibility of falling from a ladder. These systems usually consist of full-body harness, connector, lanyard, carrier and safety sleeve. Many of these systems use a permanent cable system on each ladder that extends the full height of the ladder. The climber uses the harness, lanyard and connector system to attach to the cable. Should the climber lose contact with the ladder, the braking system will automatically engage and prevent a fall.
Personal fall arrest system: A system of components that provides protection from falling, or arrests the person’s fall once it begins. As with the ladder safety system, a full-body harness, connector and lanyard are used, along with other components such as vertical lifelines or permanent anchor points.
Most significantly, the new standards require increased levels of employee training. Employees must be trained by a qualified individual to identify and understand the hazards associated with working at heights and how to reduce those hazards. Ladder safety systems and personal fall arrest systems require specific training to ensure that employees understand how to properly inspect and operate safety equipment.
If you are contemplating building a new facility or remodeling an existing facility, it’s in your best interest to meet with your current contractor to confirm the latest OSHA requirements are incorporated into the project. You will also need to update your training employee requirements. Additional information can be found at OSHA.gov.
DOT Electronic Logging Device and Hours of Service Guidance
Since the announcement of significant changes to the 150-air mile exemption from the hours of service (HOS) rules for transporting agricultural commodities by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) last year, concerned businesses have come up with more questions than answers, and the use of electronic logging devices (ELDs) for companies hauling agricultural commodities has also been a central point of discussion in this time.
Agricultural Commodities HOS
What does the FMCSA consider to be an agricultural commodity? Here are a few of the categories: non-processed food, feed, fiber, livestock and insects. The complete list can be found on the FMCSA website (www.fmcsa.dot.gov).
If your company falls into any of the above categories, you will be required to comply with 49 CFR 395.1(k)(1) for hauling an agricultural commodity, but an exemption does exist after being extended a few years ago. A 150-air mile radius (172.5 road miles) where if the driver hauling agricultural commodities stays within that distance, he or she is exempt from DOT HOS rules regardless of the distance between the source and final destination or place of delivery.
What happens if the driver crosses the 150-air mile radius? If a driver hauling agricultural commodities proceeds across a 150-air mile/172.5 road miles radius from the original pickup point or source, the driver is now subject to the HOS rules for the remainder of the trip or to the destination point (essentially, drivers will be hitting the reset button on their day). This is concerning because the accumulation of hours from that particular day can also have a negative effect on the driver. For example, if the driver has already been on the clock for 7 hours prior to leaving the 150-air mile radius and then crosses over a threshold, that driver can now drive up to 11 hours for the remainder of the day, resulting in 17 hours of total drive time. Even if the driver returns unladen, he or she is still subject to the HOS rules until returning within the 150 air-mile radius in which the trip began. If you decide to take the exemption, it is recommended that an internal tracking system be developed where driver hours are continually monitored to ensure that they’re not tasked with excessive hours behind the wheel. Excessive driving and prolonged hours can negatively affect a driver’s ability to operate the vehicle in a safe manner, resulting in several adverse risk factors.
Many agricultural commodity haulers have concerns about whether or not their drivers have to employ the use of ELDs to be in full compliance with these regulations. The answer is not immediately clear. Again, if the driver transporting agricultural commodities travels outside a 150-air mile/172.5 road mile radius, the driver is then subject to the federal HOS rules, including the use of an ELD. There is a key exemption that could apply, but many employers are not aware of how they work. If a driver is required to record hours of service, no more than eight out of any given 30 calendar days, then the driver isn’t required to use an ELD and can opt to use paper logs instead. This is driver-specific and occurs on a rolling 30-day period, not month by month. This driver can record his or her time on paper logs and is not required to utilize an ELD. Also, if the vehicle was manufactured before the model year 2000, the agricultural hauler would not be required to use ELDs and can use paper logs.
Benefits of Contingent Business Interruption Insurance
Provided by Zywave
Even a brief business interruption can carry significant cost for an organization, often leading to serious reputational damage or longterm closures. Standard business interruption policies are vital in these instances, providing protection against a variety of common interruptions, including natural disasters, equipment damage and vandalism. But what happens when one of your suppliers or customers experiences an interruption that derails your operations?
Contingent business interruption (CBI) insurance is a crucial protective element of a commercial insurance policy and has a number of unique benefits that can help counteract this looming business challenge:
Coverage beyond standard business interruption policies. Unlike traditional business interruption insurance, CBI allows businesses to transfer the risk of certain losses to the property of a third party instead of solely compensating the policyholder for a loss resulting from damage to its own property.
Reimbursement for a number of expenses. In many cases, it is not necessary that the customer or supplier be totally shut down to trigger CBI insurance. When in place, CBI insurance can help employers cover ongoing expenses—like payroll and rent—should the insured’s revenue stream be impacted by interruptions at a third party.
Protection for a variety of scenarios. In the policy itself, the covered third-party property may be specifically named, or the coverage may simply blanket all customers and suppliers. There are a variety of scenarios where this type of coverage is useful:
- When an insured business depends on a single supplier or a handful of suppliers for materials.
- When a business relies on a single or a few key customers to purchase goods or services.
- When a business depends on a nearby attraction or neighboring commercial operation for customers.
- Want to Learn More About CBI Insurance?
To truly understand your CBI insurance needs, it’s important to first assess your exposures. CBI exposures will differ depending on the industry you operate in, but are most common in manufacturing, retail, hospitality and professional services.
Contact your Gallagher advisor for more information.
This Risk Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice. © 2019 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.
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