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Credit Card Incident Response Policy Template

To address credit cardholder security, the major card brands (Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express) jointly established the PCI Security Standards Council to administer the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) that provide specific guidelines for safeguarding cardholder information.  Use the template below to handle breach, theft and fraud related to credit card transactions. Download

Commercial General Liability Exclusions j. (5) and j. (6) Are Not the Same

Denial of Commercial General Liability Coverage (CGL) coverage for certain types of property damage claims made against contractors or other repair or service business frequently cite exclusions j. (5) and j. (6), or as Randy Maniloff1  has named these exclusions, the “double js.” Put another way, these exclusions are appropriately labeled “double js” because if an insurer is citing one… Read More »Commercial General Liability Exclusions j. (5) and j. (6) Are Not the Same

Furnace Safety Tips

  • tips

Clean Or Change Furnace Filters Regularly. Replace disposable filters. Wash, brush or vacuum permanent filters. Check The Exhaust Vent From The Furnace. Clear obstructions such as leaves or animal nests from the vent pipe. Keep roof exhaust vents clear of snow. Inspect The Blower Motor With The Power Off. Vacuum any accumulated dirt. If the owner’s manual calls for it,… Read More »Furnace Safety Tips

Fleet Safety Program

For organizations that operate vehicle fleets, it’s important to have a formal, effective safety program. It establishes the policies and procedures that are needed to ensure a safe work environment for your employees. It can also help protect against liability for vehicle accidents – a significant exposure for most fleets – and helps control accident costs. To be effective, a formal… Read More »Fleet Safety Program

How to Onboard and Train Employees into a Safety Culture

How to Onboard and Train Employees into a Safety CultureOnce you attract and hire qualified job candidates to your open positions, having an onboarding and training process can help employees work safely and effectively. A continuous onboarding program will help orient employees not only to the functional details of employment, such as appropriate safety procedures, but also to the safety culture of the organization.

Employee retention strategies, such as onboarding and training programs, can also help protect the considerable time and expense invested in recruiting and hiring new employees. According to the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment (IRLE) at the University of California at Berkeley, the costs of replacing an employee are approximately 9% of an employee’s annual wage. In addition to any lost productivity and institutional knowledge, those costs include recruitment, selection, the costs of learning on the job and any separation costs.Read More »How to Onboard and Train Employees into a Safety Culture

Prepare RV for Winter to Prevent Claims in Spring

If you have made the decision to end your camping season for the winter, you’ll need to perform some routine preventative maintenance on your RV to avoid expensive repairs in the spring. Depending on where you live, winterization can be done at a local RV dealership for a nominal fee, but many RVers opt to handle these duties themselves. This handy checklist should… Read More »Prepare RV for Winter to Prevent Claims in Spring

3 Problems Motor Carriers Face with the SMS Model

Motor Carrier
The Miscommunication and Misuse of Motor Carrier Data

When assessing the safety of a commercial auto operation, there is more freely available information today than ever before. As with all data that is easily accessible in the information age, there are people trying to capitalize on how this information is used. In a prior article, CAB Usage in Underwriting Truckers, we discussed how insurance companies and underwriters utilize this data to try and better determine the safety culture of an operation. However, the use and interpretation of this data is not limited to the insurance industry, which is leading to disputes over the measurements gathered and the availability of data.

First, let’s quickly establish what data we’re talking about. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) created the Safety Measurement System (SMS), the source of this data, and its associated scoring methodology as part of the CSA 2010 initiative. The intent of the initiative was to make the roadways safer by identifying those trends in motor carriers that might show a direct connection to loss frequency. Determinations for trends and scores are based on the aggregated history of all DOT violations that are discovered during the roadside inspection of a motor carrier, and it is this violation data – ranging from a cracked windshield to speeding in a school zone – that is the focus of the current dispute.

The Problem with the Data
1. The relative scale on which a motor carrier’s SMS score is determined suggests that there will always be a subsection of motor carriers (10%) on the road that are deficient and should be removed from the roadways. Without question, the intent of the SMS model is to make the roadways safer, and eliminating those motor carriers who are presenting a greater hazard to the public by their actions is one of the best ways to go about doing this.  However, without establishing a true baseline by which motor carriers can be judged, a situation is created where the same operation which has been deemed acceptable today may be deemed deficient at the next review. Similarly, an operation in one peer group may be deemed acceptable while an operation with the same history in a separate peer group would be deemed deficient.
The strongest argument in support of the relative scale is that the flexible nature encourages motor carriers to constantly better their operations, and that the number of new entrants into the market will offset the percentages that are being removed from the roadways. Were peer groups not a factor in the model, the argument would have a stronger footing, but with its inclusion in the model, there is still an inconsistency whereby the same quality risk may be deemed both acceptable and unacceptable based solely on the peer group in which they fit.

2. The methodology used to determine the severity weights for each violation has been brought into question by insurers and associations that represent motor carriers, as the stated score isn’t necessarily indicative of an accident. The most frequently cited example of a questionable score is a seat belt violation – where a driver failing to wear his or her seat belt is assigned a severity weight of 7, and considered a greater indicator of accident frequency than violations such as following too close, failing to yield right of way, and failing to obey a traffic control device.Read More »3 Problems Motor Carriers Face with the SMS Model

Smoke and heat detection systems inspection, testing and maintenance

Smoke and Heat Detection Introduction

This article focuses on inspection, testing and maintenance (ITM) requirements for smoke and heat detection systems. Fire detection systems can provide early detection and notification of a fire emergency; therefore, it is essential that they are maintained appropriately.

This article also assumes that the smoke and heat detection systems are UL Listed or FM Approved systems and have been properly installed by reputable, certified, alarm system contractors. ITM programs cannot overcome poor system design or installation deficiencies.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Standard 72, National Fire Alarm Code, is the recognized standard for ITM of fire alarm equipment. For complete information on ITM of devices other than smoke and heat detectors covered within this bulletin, refer to NFPA 72, your equipment manufacturers operational/ maintenance manual or your Risk Control consultant.

This blog post is intended to familiarize building owners and/or persons responsible for fire detection systems about the necessary ITM of smoke and heat detectors. It is also intended as a guide on how to conduct ITM, ITM frequencies, and potential consequences for not having an ITM program for detection systems.

Smoke and heat detector differences
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July is Eye Injury Prevention Month

Did you know that an estimated 1,000 eye injuries occur in American workplaces every day? The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) found that almost 70 percent of the eye injuries studied occur from falling or flying objects, or sparks striking the eye. The BLS also reports that approximately three out of every five workers injured were either not wearing eye… Read More »July is Eye Injury Prevention Month

Swimming Pool Insurance and Risk Management Guide

Summer is just around the corner. Weather permitted and people are rushing to swimming pools for fun, workout, recreation. If your facility manages swimming pool (including HOAs), take a moment to review this guide as using swimming pools and spas involves a certain amount of risk. You do not want an accident to spoil the good times patrons have come… Read More »Swimming Pool Insurance and Risk Management Guide