Another Successful AEU Safety Committee Meeting

 

Submitted by:  Jimmy Burgin, Senior VP and Director of Loss Control for AEU

The AEU Safety Committee held its thirteenth meeting April 6 – 7, 2011 at the Charleston Historic District Embassy Suites in Charleston, South Carolina.  It was chaired by Mr. Steve Morris, AEU Senior Loss Control Manager.  The meeting was the most well attended of any AEU Safety Committee meeting, which is an indication of how valuable the Committee is to ALMA members.   

The Committee is working on a strain injury prevention safety guidance document for ALMA members.  The Committee reviewed a draft of the document and offered practical tip on prevention of strain injuries in their operations.   Next, Raphael Barrera with Esco Marine and Darren Warren with ICS Logistics provided updates of successful safety programs in place at their companies. 

The Longshore claims section focused on multi-employer worksites.  The discussion was presented in a live skit written by AEU Senior Vice President, Jack Martone.  The skit highlighted steps employers should take to guard against Longshore claims from employees of sub-contractors working at their facility.   

Roy Martin from Jeffboat and Mona Dixon from VT Halter Marine reported on recent OSHA inspections at their shipyards.  Both speakers shared information learned from their experience with the OSHA inspection process.

Elizabeth Luzuriaga and Kevin Mims from the law firm Luzuriaga Mims, LLP discussed occupational exposure claims and how safety professionals in marine cargo handling firms and shipyards can minimize risk. 

 The Shipyard and Marine Cargo Handling Sub-committees met the remainder of the afternoon.  Both had productive break-out sessions.

SHIPYARD SUB-COMMITTEE

  • Shipyard Tool Box Safety Meetings
  • Shipyard Small Business Plan
  • Safe Ship Fitting Practices
  • OSHA Inspections in Shipyards
  • Bridging Documents between Shipyard Labor Providers and the Primary Shipyard Contractor

MARINE CARGO HANDLING SUBCOMMITTEE

  • Gangway Talks for Marine Cargo Handling
  • OSHA Inspections in Marine Cargo Handling
  • Job Observation Forms for Stevedoring
  • Forklift and Yard Tractor Inspection Program
  • Stevedoring Safety Scoring System
  • AEU Terminal Traffic Safety Program

To conclude the meeting, Chairman Morris thanked everyone for participating and reminded the committee to submit ideas for the next AEU Safety Committee Meeting.  We look forward to the next committee meeting, which will be held October 11 – 12, 2011 in Mobile, Alabama.

Safety in Seattle

Submitted by: Jimmy Burgin, Senior VP and Director of Loss Control for AEU

The AEU Safety Committee held its twelfth meeting October 6 – 7, 2010 in Seattle and was chaired by Mr. Steve Morris, AEU Senior Loss Control Manager.  The meeting was the most well attended of any AEU Safety Committee, which is an indication of how valuable the committee is to ALMA members.   

AEU President & CEO Mike Lapeyrouse opened the meeting with a discussion of why companies must have good loss control programs and how loss control contributes to AEU’s success.   Mr. Matt Mayon, Safety Manager with Conrad Industries, gave the committee some insight into the Conrad Safety Steering Committee program and the successes the company has made.  Mr. Mayon urged ALMA members to implement this effective tool to build accountability into the safety process.   AEU Senior Vice President Larry Kangas discussed how coaching and counseling skills should be used to build safety culture at an organization.  

Next, the committee participated in an open panel on USL&H claims management.  Sitting on the panel were AERS Branch Manager, Will Scheffler and Senior Vice Presidents, Jack Martone and Donna Long.  The panel covered “Permanent Partial Disability and the Employer’s Burden to Show Suitable Alternative Employment”.  

Following a lunch provided by AEU, the committee was informed about recent issues in maritime crane safety.   Mr. Mike Parnell, a recognized industry expert in cranes and President of Industrial Training International, gave this interesting presentation.  He opined that OSHA’s new crane and derricks standard in the construction industry will not be carried over to maritime cranes.   He also discussed the proximate cause of several major crane related failures.  AEU’s Carl Halgren informed the group of OSHA’s new penalty structure, which means that if OSHA finds safety violations, employer penalties will be higher than previous amounts.   The Shipyard and Marine Cargo Handling Sub-committees met the remainder of the afternoon.  Both had productive break-out sessions.

SHIPYARD SUB-COMMITTEE

  • Shipyard Tool Box Safety Meetings
  • Shipyard Small Business Plan
  • Safe Ship Fitting Practices
  • OSHA Inspections in Shipyards
  • Bridging Documents between Shipyard Labor Providers and the Primary Shipyard Contractor

MARINE CARGO HANDLING SUBCOMMITTEE

  • Gangway Talks for Marine Cargo Handling
  • Review of OSHA’s RoRo Safety Guidance Document
  • OSHA Inspections in Marine Cargo Handling
  • Safety Committee Structure in Marine Cargo Handling
  • Marine Cargo Handling Small Business Plan

The second day of the meeting began with a presentation from T.C. Kurtz of Check-6 Safety Systems, who is also an ALMA member.   Mr. Kurtz outlined how his company is bringing critical behavior issues into the oil and gas industry.   Chairman Morris provided the committee with a copy of AEU’s Strain Injury Prevention program and asked the committee to write a guidance document on strain injury prevention. 

For the final meeting presentation, ALMA member Hitrak Staffing, Inc.’s Dr. Paul Friedman discussed best methods to conduct employee placement screening.  To conclude the meeting, Chairman Morris thanked everyone for participating and reminded the committee to submit ideas for the next AEU Safety Committee.  We look forward to the next meeting, which will be held April 6 – 7, 2011 in Charleston, South Carolina.

NMSA Recognizes AEU for Safety Expertise

 

 

 

 

 

 

The National Maritime Safety Association (NMSA) Annual Meeting was held last week in New Orleans at the Windsor Court Hotel June 23-25, 2010.  AEU is honored to have had our Senior Vice President and Director of Loss Control, Jimmy Burgin, moderate a panel discussion on Safety and the Next Generation: Shipyards v. Marine Cargo Handling at the meeting.  The panel included John Belcher, Regional Director of Loss Control with Cooper/T. Smith Stevedoring, Matt Mayon, Director of Safety with Conrad Industries and Steve Morris, Senior Loss Control Manager with AEU.

Jimmy Burgin has more than 20 years’ experience in maritime loss control.  He has served on the National Maritime Safety Association’s Technical Committee for fourteen years and six of those years served as Chairman of NMSA’s Technical Committee.   NMSA named Burgin the 2007 Man of the Year on March 28, 2008, recognizing him for his dedication in achieving safety in the marine cargo handling industry.

The National Maritime Safety Association (NMSA) represents the marine cargo handling industry in the United States in safety and health matters arising under various statutes, including the Occupational and Safety Health Act.

Longshore Act Question Number 2 – Where Can I Buy Longshore Act Insurance?

This is an important question, because there are serious consequences in the law if the maritime employer fails to meet the insurance requirement in section 932 of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.   Fortunately, there’s a straightforward, uncomplicated answer.

Question:  Where can I buy the coverage?

Answer:  The American Equity Underwriters, Inc. (AEU), RSA Battle House Tower, 11 North Water Street, 32nd Floor, Mobile, AL  36602.  AEU manages a large group self-insured trust fund, the American Longshore Mutual Association (ALMA).

And, before I forget to mention it, there are also at present 348 insurance carriers authorized to write Longshore Act coverage by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Once again, it’s important to make sure that your carrier is authorized by DOL under section 932 of the Longshore Act.  We’ve previously discussed corporate officer joint and several liability, election of remedies available to the injured worker if the employer is uninsured, and possible criminal prosecution for the uninsured employer.  And if your insurance carrier is unauthorized, then you are an uninsured employer.

So, the first step is to be sure that you are dealing with an organization that is licensed by DOL.

Then, make sure that insurance coverage is in the proper form.  Your Longshore coverage will either be in the form of the regulatory required (20 C.F.R. Ch. 703) or otherwise DOL approved Longshore Act endorsement affixed to a standard state act workers’ compensation policy, or a DOL approved stand alone Longshore Act policy.  If your form of policy or endorsement does not conform to the regulatory language, or has not been approved by DOL, then you have raised an unnecessary question about your coverage.

Be sure that your insurance agent is aware of these considerations or have him call me if there are any doubts whatever. It’s very important.

Shameless self promotion alert:  In my opinion, The American Equity Underwriters, Inc., offers the best claims and loss control services in the maritime insurance market.