Cement contractors and other types of cement codes that may apply to this: Concrete construction NOC; Concrete or cement work – floors, driveways, yards or sidewalks; Concrete pumping; Concrete work – incidental to the construction of private residents; Driveway, parking area or sidewalk – paving or repaving, guniting or shot-crete; Bridge or elevated highway construction – concrete; Swimming pool – installation, servicing or repair – below ground.
Description of operations: Cement and concrete contractors clear and level job sites, lay wooden or metal molds or forms, place mesh or reinforcement bars (rebar) as needed, and pour wet concrete into the forms. The cement or concrete must then cure (be kept moist so it dries slowly to maintain its strength), harden, and dry. Concrete is made of aggregate (sand and gravel), fluid cement (the binding agent), and water which may be mixed in transit or at the job site. Pigments, crushed glass, or small decorative stones may be added to the mixture or the poured concrete may be stamped into a pattern to achieve a designer effect. Many contractors specialize in flatwork such as basements, driveways, patios, parking lots, roads, and sidewalks. Others pour structures varying from foundations and footings to walls and bridge decking.
Common Insurance Terms
Property exposures at the contractor’s own location are generally limited to an office and storage of material, equipment, and vehicles. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems. The contractor’s yard may include piles of gravel as well as large mixing or batch plants that combine the ingredients for mixing cement or concrete and load them into trucks. The exposure is greatly increased if there are large drum mix plants or batch plants involving heat and flammable bitumen or tar. If repair work on vehicles and equipment is done in the building, fire hazards arise due to the storage and use of flammable gasoline and other fuel sources. If equipment and supplies are stored in the yard, they may be damaged due to wind, vandalism, and theft. Appropriate security measures must be in place including lighting and physical barriers to prevent unauthorized access.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty. Background checks should be conducted prior to hiring any employee. All orders, billing, and disbursements must be handled as separate duties and annual external audits conducted.
Inland marine exposure is from accounts receivable if the contractor bills customers for services, contractors’ equipment and tools, goods in transit, installation floater, and valuable papers and records for custom project plans, clients’ and suppliers’ information. Construction equipment and concrete mixed in transit are heavy and difficult to transport. The training of drivers and haulers, especially with respect to the loading, tie-down, and unloading, is important to avoid damage from overturn or collision. At the job site, hazards come from uneven terrain, from the abrasive or caustic nature of some of the materials, or from the sheer weight of the concrete as it may exceed the equipment’s load capacity. Tools and equipment may be damaged by dropping, and falling from heights, or being struck by other vehicles. The concrete forms lack identifying marks and must often be left overnight or longer at a site, increasing the exposure to vandalism and theft. Equipment may strike underground objects or utility lines during excavation or fall into mud, water, pits, or sinkholes. It may be damaged by rock, land, or mudslides or from fire due to overload. Materials and equipment left at job sites may be stolen or vandalized unless proper controls are in place. If the insured does guniting of foundation piles, the pressurized application should be well controlled. (Gunite is a protective cement/sand coating sprayed over wire mesh onto piles.) Copies of project plans should be kept at an offsite location for easier restoration.
Premises liability exposure is low at the contractor’s premises since visitor access is limited. Equipment and materials stored in the open may present an attractive nuisance to children.
At job sites, the contractor is responsible for the safety aspects of the entire project even after hours when there is no construction activity. Excavation, the operation of heavy machinery, and the weight of large mixers and mix-in-transit vehicles present numerous hazards to the public and to employees of other contractors, particularly when there is structural work. Hazards increase significantly in the absences of job site control, including spotters, signage, and barriers where appropriate. Injuries can occur from trips and falls over debris, equipment, or uneven ground. Excavation and digging can result in cutting utility cable, damaging property of the utility company and disrupting service to neighboring residences or businesses. A significant morale hazard may be indicated by the absence of detailed procedures to determine utility locations and to research prior uses of the land. Construction sites create an attractive nuisance hazard, especially if work is close to residential areas. Wet cement in particular attracts children and vandals. Safety barriers such as perimeter fencing may be needed, especially if the excavation work is complete but other construction has not yet started.
Completed operations liability exposures can be very high due to the injury and property damage that can result from improper mixing, installation, and curing. Concrete may collapse, crack, or rapidly deteriorate. The mixture of the cement, concrete, and curing agents must meet all engineering specifications. Quality control and full compliance with all construction, material, and design specifications is necessary. Hazards increase in the absence of proper record keeping of customer specifications, work orders, change orders, as well as inspection and written acceptance of finished work by the customer.
Environmental impairment liability exposures may arise from the waste generated in the fueling and cleaning of heavy equipment, include mix-in-transit containers. Allowing waste to accumulate either at the job site or in the contractor’s yard could result in contamination of air, ground, or water supply. Collection, transportation, and disposal of waste must meet all federal and state requirements.
Automobile exposures have catastrophic potential. Since mix-in-transit units are among the heaviest on the road, they can cause severe injury or damage even in apparently minor collisions. These units are awkward to handle while driving or in operation and are difficult to tow if they overturn or become stuck in mud. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained and the records kept in a central location.
Workers compensation exposures can be very high. Lifting strains and crush injuries may arise at every phase of the operations. From the clearing and excavation of the site, whether in land or water, to the laying of forms, to pouring of concrete, to the drying, curing, and completion of the project, frequent and severe losses can occur. Work done above water, below ground, or at heights can result in injury or death from collapse of scaffolds or trenches, drowning, falls, or being struck by falling objects. Other common hazards include cuts and puncture wounds from working with hand tools, foreign objects in the eye, and hearing impairment from cumulative exposure to high-decibel operations. Fine sand from the aggregate may cause eye injuries or lung disease such as silicosis. Pouring mix concrete from a mixer usually involves operations on top of the vehicle. The absence of proper guarding may indicate a morale hazard.
Minimum recommended coverage:
Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Contractors’ Equipment and Tools, Goods in Transit, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Umbrella Liability, Business Automobile Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Nonownership Auto, Workers Compensation
Other coverages to consider:
Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Cyberliability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Environmental Impairment Liability, Stop Gap Liability, Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) (Drones)
Reprinted with permission from the Rough Note’s Company copyrighted content.
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