Plumbing &
Mechanical

SAFETY PEER REVIEW

Plumbing & mechanical

The data you are about to review is based on 1,900 plumbing and mechanical contractors we’ve surveyed over the last five years.* We’ve divided the peer group into three size bands based on total revenue.

*1,799 as of March 2017

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Workers compensation

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Total Revenue Amounts for SIC 1711

< $10
Million

$10 - $50
Million

> $50
Million

Grand
Total

Hiring process in place for new hires

75%

83%

88%

79%

New hire orientation program 

75%

87%

97%

82%

Active drug testing program in place

69%

82%

91%

77%

Return-to-work (RTW) program 

29%

48%

73%

41%

RTW program (formal medical provider relationship exists)

49%

59%

72%

56%

RTW program (formal contact with injured employee)

49%

68%

80%

60%

Safety accountability program for supervisors

54%

64%

80%

59%

Aerial work platform operators are trained

79%

82%

82%

81%

EXPOSURES
INFORMATION
EXPOSURES
INFORMATION
Total Revenue Amounts for SIC 1541/1542

< $10
Million

$10 - $50
Million

> $50
Million

Grand
Total

Contractor frequently requires employees stay away from home overnight

3%

20%

27%

18%

Contractor provides group transportation (four or more employees) to work sites

5%

10%

18%

8%

Rapid expansion or reduction of operations

8%

12%

23%

11%

Expansion into new geographical areas

4%

8%

13%

7%

Planned or existing new ventures or operations

6%

7%

14%

7%

Confined space work performed

48%

63%

71%

57%

Contractor installs systems in hazardous locations

14%

17%

18%

16%

Contractor performs exterior work involving underground services

54%

66%

59%

62%

Contractor has fabrication shop in-house

59%

61%

78%

54%

EXPOSURES
INFORMATION

NEW HIRE ORIENTATION

It is easy for new hires to get lost in the shuffle. The likelihood of a new worker avoiding injury can be reduced by:
  • Proper safety orientation
  • Regular safety coaching from an effective mentor
  • Regular two-way communication from their immediate supervisor
View Construction New Hire Orientation Guide

DRUG TESTING PROGRAM

Substance abuse by employees can have a negative impact on the workplace. It can decrease productivity, increase errors, cause accidents (including motor vehicle crashes), result in absenteeism and create more turnover and medical costs. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, employees who use drugs are more than 3x likely to be involved in a workplace accident and 5x more likely to file a workers compensation claim.1, 2 Despite these figures, experts say that workplace substance abuse “is a problem for which a solution exists.”
View Drug-Free Workplace Guide
1 U.S Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. 14 short employer cost savings briefs.
2 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Drugs in the workplace: what an employer needs to know.

RETURN-TO-WORK PROGRAM

One of the most important tools for controlling workers compensation costs is an effective Transitional Duty program. Studies indicated that companies who do not employ a diligent return to work policy and procedure have difficulty effectively managing workers compensation costs.
View Managing Workers Compensation Loss Costs BulletinView An Employer’s Guide to Transitional Duty

OCCUPATIONAL DISEASE

Plumbing and mechanical contractors have exposures to the following hazardous physical and chemical agents in their day-to-day operations. Controls of these exposures are important to the overall health and safety of your employees.

  • Manganese while welding carbon steel
  • Hexavalent chromium while welding stainless steel
  • Lead during soldering
  • Copper while brazing copper piping systems

General liability

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Total Revenue Amounts for SIC 1711

< $10
Million

$10 - $50
Million

> $50
Million

Grand
Total

Contractor performs design work

31%

38%

55%

36%

Pre-job (site hazard analysis performed)

44%

58%

75%

53%

Pre-job (planning meetings held)

73%

84%

91%

80%

Pre-job (photos taken)

30%

38%

52%

35%

Pre-job (prequalification of subcontractors prior to hiring)

42%

60%

77%

52%

Pre-job (existing utility lines are located)

43%

54%

69%

50%

Corrugated stainless steel tubing installers are certified

16%

15%

24%

17%

Medical gas testers are certified

48%

38%

53%

41%

Equipment, operating and maintenance review conducted with owner

87%

85%

82%

84%

Written quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) program

29%

39%

57%

35%

Post-incident (claim mitigation training conducted)

31%

40%

62%

37%

Post-incident (incident reported to insurance carrier)

57%

64%

77%

61%

Post-incident (crisis management program in place)

7%

14%

36%

12%

CRT (contractor manages contractual liabilities - higher and lower tier)

39%

46%

64%

43%

CRT (contracts signed prior to work start)

57%

73%

91%

67%

CRT (subcontracts contains insurance requirements for subcontractors)

56%

74%

89%

67%

CRT (subcontract addresses indemnification between parties)

50%

66%

78%

59%

CRT (purchase orders used to hire subcontractors)

67%

83%

96%

76%

INFORMATION
INFORMATION

DESIGN WORK

Collaborative construction teams, an increasingly popular trend in the industry, can expose contractors to professional liability issues such as:

  • Construction Management Liabilities
  • Faculty Design
  • Subcontracted Design Errors
View Design Build Background

POST INCIDENT - CLAIM MITIGATION

The purpose of an accident investigation is to discover the causes of the accident and to take corrective action. Several factors affect the accuracy of accident investigations: the timeliness of the initial report, management’s assistance in the accident investigation process, and adequate training of anyone involved in the investigation.

< $10
Million

$10 - $50
Million

> $50
Million

Grand
Total

Investigations documented

72%

85%

93%

80%

Cameras available on jobsites

72%

78%

88%

76%

Near misses investigated

31%

487%

71%

41%

View Accident Investigation - Your Company's PolicyView Accident Investigation Risk Management Guide

CONTRACTUAL RISK TRANSFER

Through Contractual Risk Transfer (CRT), a business seeks to identify and to manage its contractual liabilities arising out of business relationships with other contractors, owners, architects, and engineers.
Effective risk transfer can save you money by lowering your overall cost of risk and keeping you competitive in the markets in which you operate. Because your business may be a party in a number of contractual relationships at any one time, it is essential to control the type and magnitude of the liabilities you may assume via a contract. Conversely, you should look for opportunities to ensure that where legally possible, you manage your risk by having others contractually assume their proportionate share of liability.
View Contractual Risk Transfer for Contractors

INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS

Including insurance requirements within your contractual agreements is an essential component of managing the contractual risk transfer process. Two important elements which should be addressed include requiring Additional Insured (AI) status and Primary Non-Contributory status. Just requiring the coverage isn’t a guarantee that you’ll get what you’ve asked for. Not all AI forms are built the same, with many endorsements varying from carrier to carrier. You should verify that coverage satisfies your requirements by obtaining Certificates of Insurance and getting a copy of your subcontractors’ AI endorsements.

< $10
Million

$10 - $50
Million

> $50
Million

Grand
Total

Certificates of insurance obtained from subcontractors

77%

87%

94%

83%

Copy of additional insured endorsements obtained from subcontractors

34%

50%

54%

43%

Require primary non-contributory status

38%

58%

69%

49%

View Contractor’s Liability: The Hidden Facts

STATE SPECIFIC INDEMNIFICATION LANGUAGE

Indemnity allows one party to take legal responsibility for another party. There are generally three different types of indemnification agreements:
  • Broad (Type I) – Indemnitor must indemnify the indemnitee for all losses even if caused by the sole negligence of the indemnitee.
  • Intermediate (Type II) – Indemnitor must indemnify for losses caused in whole or in part by any act, omission or violation of the indemnitor.
  • Limited (Type III) – Indemnitor must indemnify, bu tonly to the extent caused by the negligent acts or omissions of the indemnitor.
A majority of states have enacted anti-indemnity laws which limit the amount and kinds of liabilities that can be transferred from one party to another through a contract. Many of these statutes limit the amount of negligence that can be transferred through indemnity provisions by permitting only intermediate or limited forms of indemnity.
1 This information is for general purposes only. None of it constitutes legal advice, nor is it intended to create any attorney-client relationship between you and the author. While the effort was made to provide accurate and authoritative information, please note that the information contained herein is only updated periodically. You should not act or rely on this information concerning the meaning, interpretation, or effect of particular contractual language or the resolution of any particular demand, claim or suit without seeking the advice of your own attorney. Travelers and the writers and editors expressly disclaim any responsibility for damages arising from the use, application or reliance upon the information contained herein.
View State by State Survey of Anti-Indemnity Statutes

QUALITY CONTROL

Quality control is an important step in the construction process. Contractors with a comprehensive formal QC program can provide valuable information after a loss occurs which may help in a claim investigation.

< $10
Million

$10 - $50
Million

> $50
Million

Grand
Total

Individual responsible and accountable for QA/QC

70%

76%

79%

74%

Photograph, monitor, document critical aspect of the job

61%

67%

78%

65%

Documents retained for full statute of repose

77%

83%

89%

81%

View Quality Assurance and DocumentationView Water Intrusion and Mold Amplification: Prevention and Remediation

Auto

Include a sentence that introduces this sub-topic.

Total Revenue Amounts for SIC 1711

< $10
Million

$10 - $50
Million

> $50
Million

Grand
Total

Light truck (driver hiring and screening program in place)

46%

54%

75%

51%

Non-regulated fleet (contractor completes initial motor vehicle
record (MVR) review at hiring)

93%

95%

95%

94%

Non-regulated fleet (contractor reviews MVRs annually)

78%

81%

93%

79%

Regulated fleet (contractor has MVR criteria of high-risk driver which substantially meets Travelers’ criteria)

13%

26%

57%

22%

Contractor has policy restricting electronics use while driving

50%

59%

69%

55%

Fleet controls (family or spouse vehicle use policy)

5%

6%

7%

6%

Telematics (PPT/Light trucks) (Data shared with drivers to influence behavior)

19%

23%

29%

22%

Non-owned auto (employees use personal vehicle for business)

28%

42%

65%

37%

INFORMATION
INFORMATION

DRIVER SELECTION AND SCREENING

Why is driver selection and screening important to your company? There are several reasons:
  1. Reduce losses
  2. Minimize liability in the event of a serious loss
  3. Prevent customer relation and personnel problems
For more in-depth discussion on how driver selection and screening achieves the goals listed above and what practices you can implement as part of your driver selection and screening process, see the guide in the below link.
View Commerical Driver Selection and Screening Guide

MOTOR VEHICLE RECORDS (MVR) POLICIES

Vehicle operations can create substantial risk for any organization. A best practice for reducing this risk is to allow only safe drivers to operate vehicles for your organization Evaluating MVRs is an essential part of this process. A study conducted by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI)1 shows that a past record of moving violations and accidents is linked to an increased crash risk.
Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) Policies
1 Predicting Truck Crash Involvement: A 2011 Update Summary, American Transportation Research Institute, 2011

WHAT IS TELEMATICS

From data recorders and global positioning systems (GPS), to black boxes and cameras, technology capable of gathering information on vehicles and drivers continues to grow every year. As these devices become telematics devices – capable of transmitting data from the vehicle to a fleet manager, the possibilities for using these devices expands even further. The use of vehicle telematics is the next step in improving the safe operation of motor vehicle fleets. By using this technology and the wealth of information it can provide, fleet and risk managers will have data that can aid in developing specific programs that can positively modify driving behavior.
View Coaching Drivers With Vehicle Telematics

NON-OWNED VEHICLE CONTROLS

Vehicle operations can create substantial risks for any organization. These risks occur when employees drive an organization’s vehicles, as well as vehicles the organization does not own, such as the employee’s personal vehicle or rental cars. Many organizations have controls in place to reduce accidents among their own fleet of vehicles, but they often do not apply these same controls to non-owned vehicles used for business purposes. They may feel they are not responsible for accidents that occur in vehicles they do not own or that the insurance policy on the non-owned vehicle will cover accident costs, which may not be the case.
View Non-Owned Vehicle Controls Technical Bulletin

Key Resources

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Workers Compensation

Construction New Hire Orientation
Technical Bulletin A0277
Managing workers compensation loss costs - from the heart
Technical Bulletin PIM1002
Drug Free Workplace It's Everyone's Business
GS330

General Liability

Accident Investigation - Your Company's Policy
Technical Bulletin 10304
Contractual Risk Transfer for Contractors
Technical Bulletin A0270
Contractors Liability: The Hidden Facts
Technical Bulletin 100503
Quality Assurance and Documentation 
Technical Bulletin A0482

Auto

Motor Vehicle Records (MVR) Policies
Technical Bulletin 724
Coaching Drivers with Vehicle Telematics
Technical Bulletin A0428
Driver Selection and Screening
Technical Bulletin 716

Plumbing &
Mechanical