Safety Tips for Joisted Masonry Businesses

5 Common Areas for injuries among Masons and tips to prevent each risks. 

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Joisted Masonry is an industry that deals with construction and repair of exterior walls made of brick, concrete, concrete block or stone.  The roof, floors, and their supporting joists, beams, and columns are combustible wood construction. Employees who engage in these activities work at an elevated amount of risk of injury. Preparing a business

5 Common Injuries of Joisted Masonry Employees

Lower Back Injuries

People who work in the joisted masonry industry are constantly using their backs in difficult positions. Preventention of lower back injuries starts with providing employees with proper safety gear, monitoring their use of said gear, and focusing on posture when lifting heavy objects.

Skin Irritations

Masons are exposed to a number of dangerous chemicals.  Continual wetting and drying of the skin, as well as handling some particular substances will cause the skin to dry out, flake, split and crack. Dermatitis is the most common cause of occupational contact dermatitis. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Dermatitis is a common condition that has many causes and occurs in many forms. It usually involves itchy, dry skin or a rash on swollen, reddened skin. Or it may cause the skin to blister, ooze, crust or flake off”.

Falls from Height

According to OSHA, “Falls are among the most common causes of serious work related injuries and deaths”. These types of injuries do not happy frequently, but when they do they are often severe. Having a plan to keep employees healthy at height and making sure all employees are executing that plan is the best way to prevent catastrophic injuries from occurring.

Exposure to Flammable or Combustible Material

In order to prevent unnecessary exposure to chemicals it is important to segregate and store incompatible chemicals separately. If there are chemicals that are not used frequently, store them separate from tools and equiment that is used on a daily basis. Tell your employees what is and is not harmful. If at all possible use chemicals that are not dangerous to your employees whenever possible.

Exposure to Electricity

Electricity is the second lead of cause of death in the construction industry behind falls from height. In the construction industry, more than 600 deaths occur annually and more than 30,000 non-fatal shocks occur each year. Masonry businesses can prevent this from occurring by properly training and adequately supervising all staff when electricity might be a risk. 

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4 Tips to Creating a Culture of Safety at your Masonry Business

Plan ahead and prepare

For any safety plan, the first step to creating a culture of safety is to plan ahead and prepare. Once a business takes the first step to prepare for safety, the business is well on its way towards creating a safety plan that will work. 

Create a safety plan and follow it

Now simply having a meeting and announcing that safety is a concern is not enough. Creating an actual plan that addresses the truth risks your employees face is the best way to implement a safety plan. Talking long and honestly with multiple stakeholders about the actual problems the employees face is a great way to determine what you need to address. 

Get employee involvement in the creation of the Safety Plan

After a business determines what risks the employees face, the business must next determine how to address those risks. Getting involvement from employees at all levels of the organization is the best way to coem up with the ultimate safety plan. Involving low level employees as well as mid-management is crucial to get buy-in from all levels. Employees will be more eager to focus on the safety plan if they believe they are part of the process of creating it. 

Create a safety committee

Creating a safety committee is a great way to continually evaluate the successes and failures of the safety plan. This committee should have employees at all levels of the organization in order to get buy in throughout all levels of employees. regular keetings of this committee are necessary in order to address any and all problems that arise. 

Oregon Workers Comp Rates are Declining in 2020

Next year, Oregon Businesses will Experience the 7th Consecutive Year of Decreasing Rates

Beginning the Oregon businesses will be enjoying an average rate cut of 8.4 percent. This is in addition to a decline of 9.7 percent for Oregon Workers Compensation Rates in 2019. The decline over the past 7 years has added to an overal decline of 45 percent from 2013 to 2020. With these new rates, businesses will pay $1.02 per $100 of payroll. This amount is down from $1.11 in 2019.

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2020 Workers Compensation Rates in Oregon are some of the lowest in the country. According to a 2018 study by the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS), the average amount businesses in Oregon pay for Workers Compensation Premium is ranked 46 out of 50 states. Cameron Smith, the Director of The DCBS said, “The steady decline in workers’ compensation costs is about more than just the numbers. It demonstrates the hard work of employers, workers, insurers, and government to maintain essential worker protection programs and robust benefits for injured workers while keeping business costs low.”

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Florida Workers Compensation Rates Are Declining in 2020

Workers Comp Premium In Florida will be cheaper in 2020

In 2020, Workers Compensation Rates are going to be 7.5 percent less compared to Florida Workers Comp Rates 2019. This represents the third consecutive year of declining workers compensation insurance premium. This is a larger decrease compared to the recommended decrease of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI). According to officials with NCCI, the decrease is due to improving technology, safer workplaces, better risk management, and a long-term shift from manufacturing to service sectors.

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Florida Workers Compensation Rates Volatility

Volatility has been constant in the workers compensaiton market for the past five years. Fortunately, Florida Workers Comp Rates in 2020 are moving in a positive direction.  The uneasiness within the workers comp market really began in 2016. 2016 is when the Florida Supreme Court made two rulings that impacted the workers compensation system. Those two court cases were  Castellanos vs. Next Door Company and Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg. Additionally, the state legislature in Florida also passed Senate Bill 1402.

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Castellanos vs. Next Door Company

Castellanos vs. Next Door Company was a court case that overruled a previous 2009 decision. The 2009 decision limited the amount a judge could award for attorneys fees in workers compensation lawsuits. Because of these limitations, most of the amount awarded went to legal fees. After the Castellanos vs. Next Door Company Ruling, judges merely had to use the previous fee schedule as a recommendation, but depending on the situations surrounding each case they could award more or less for attorney’s fees.  This court case accounted for 10.1 percent of the average statewide increase.

Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg

Westphal vs. City of St. Petersburg was a court case that dealt with the 104-week statutory limitation on temporary total disability benefits. This ruling made the statutory time period unconstitutional. The ruling extended this time period to 260 weeks. Because of the additional 156 weeks, insurance carriers expect to pay out significantly more for these types of claims. This court case accounted for 2.2 percent of the entire increase in 2017.

Senate Bill 1402

The final issue that caused workers comp rates to rise in 2017 was Senate Bill 1402. This was related to updates within the Florida Workers’ Compensation HCPR Manual. This bill accounted for the final 1.8 percent increase on premium for workers’ compensation in 2017.