Joe Black was ready to celebrate. He had just received the best
news a roofing contractor could expect from his insurance company.
After a recent job-site inspection, Joe's company, Black Roofing,
was deemed by its insurance company to be taking the necessary
steps to correct loss-control problems. Jerry, the loss-control
representative, stated in a report that a perceptible improvement
had occurred in Black Roofing's field operations.
Joe went on to read in the report that adherence to standard
safety practices was notably more stringent than in previous
surveys. Personal protective equipment (PPE) was being used; proper
clothing was being worn; ladders were being set up properly; and
fall protection and perimeter protection were in force. Crews
apparently were more aware of what was expected of them in terms of
safety practices—there seemed to be less hesitation to use
safety gear and work safely. Joe was most pleased to read Jerry
thought Black Roofing's crews worked exceptionally well as a
A few months ago, Black Roofing was on the verge of not being
renewed by its insurance company because of a poor loss ratio
caused by two severe workers' compensation losses during a
In the first loss, an employee fell 40 feet (12 m) to his death
even though a safety perimeter warning line was set up. The
employee had gone beyond the perimeter line and apparently stepped
off the roof. Black Roofing's insurer paid $330,000 for this loss.
The second loss occurred when an employee slipped and fell 30 feet
(9 m) while descending a ladder. The employee was in a coma, and
the insurer incurred...
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