OSHA Launches ITA and Extends Electronic Reporting Deadline

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) electronic reporting rule deadline has been extended until a proposed date of December 1st, 2017. The original deadline of July 1st, 2017 has come and gone as OSHA indicated that it would not be ready to receive electronic workplace injury and illness reports in time. OSHA states they are allowing affected entities sufficient time to familiarize themselves with the electronic reporting system, and to provide the new administration an opportunity to review the electronic reporting requirements prior to their implementation. For 2019 and beyond, all affected employers will be required to submit their required information by March 2nd. OSHA also launched the Injury Tracking Application (ITA) on August 1st, 2017. The ITA is a web-based form that allows employers to electronically submit their required injury and illness data from their 2016 OSHA 300A form.

The electronic reporting rule requires certain establishments to report information from their OSHA 300, 300A, and 301 forms electronically. Any establishment that has at least 250 employees or has between 20 and 249 employees and is part of an identified high-risk industry will be affected by this rule. OSHA’s secure website, that must be used to submit your electronic reports, will offer three submission options:

1. Manual entry;

2. Transmission of information via an application programming interface (API) that should accommodate most automated recordkeeping systems; and

3. Uploading a comma-separated values file (commonly referred to as a CSV file). A CSV file is a generic spreadsheet format that should be compatible with most spreadsheet programs, such as Microsoft Excel;

The electronic reporting rule allows OSHA to publicize the electronic data it collects on a public website. Due to this, the final rule also stipulates that certain personal identifying information such as the employee name, address, physician name or other health care professional, and where the treatment was given must be omitted from the electronic submissions. The intent behind this is so the public can use the information to learn about the health and safety hazards associated with working for specific employers.

All affected establishments should continue to record and report their workplace injuries as required by applicable laws and should continue to monitor these electronic reporting developments. If you would like more information or have any questions, please feel free to contact me at any time at 601-944-9737 or ssimpson@rossandyerger.com.

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MSA Indemnity Risk: A Key Driver of Insurance Rates and What You Can Do About It

Master Service Agreements (MSAs) are the “life-blood” for any Oil & Gas Service Contractor. Without the right MSAs, Contractors are without approved-vendor status and miss out on the opportunity to work with top tier Oil & Gas Companies. Therefore, Contractors seek to maximize the quantity of signed, quality MSAs. But what are the risks associated with this quest?

Simply stated, Oil & Gas Companies lower their own insurance premiums and self-insured exposures by systematically pushing risk to Contractors. The primary vehicle for this risk transfer is the indemnity section of an MSA. While a strongly worded MSA accomplishes the risk-reduction goals of the Oil & Gas Company, it is often done so at the expense of the Contractor. Carefully read of the indemnity sections of just one or two of your MSAs and you’ll quickly understand why your insurance premiums are so high.

Fortunately for the Contractor, there are alternatives, and MSAs are negotiable (if you have the right partnerships). Contractor clients of Ross & Yerger receive no-cost MSA review and negotiation services. Our firm has successfully negotiated hundreds of Oil & Gas Company MSAs on behalf of Contractor clients - leading to significant savings in the form of reduced insurance premiums and enhanced overall corporate value.

At Ross & Yerger, we examine each of our clients’ MSAs from 14 different perspectives. These 14 points are the primary drivers of risk and cost for Contractors, so successful negotiation of these points leads to insurance cost and risk reduction.

Does your insurance agent manage the indemnity risk of your MSAs in an effort to reduce your insurance costs and minimize your balance sheet (self-insured) exposure? If not, you’re paying too much for your insurance.

Contact Jacob Haralson (jharalson@rossandyerger.com, 601-944-0961) or Greg Maloney (gmaloney@rossandyerger.com, 601-944-0838) at Ross & Yerger today for a no-obligation assessment of your overall insurance and risk management program.

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Oil & Gas Service Contractors: Gain Market Share with PEC Training at No Cost

With less work around today, contractors have to do more than ever to elevate their company on the preferred vendor list to capture a shrinking pool of jobs.

Contractor clients of Ross & Yerger are able to rise to the top of bid lists by taking advantage of our in house PEC SafelandUSA and SafeGulf training services for all their employees. We provide these services to our clients at no cost other than the cost of the testing materials ($45). Not only does this elevate our contractor clients in the eyes of their customers, it also reduces risk, reduces insurance cost, and maximizes their Risk Management Investment return (RMI).

A contractor’s RMI is defined as the approximate 12% commission paid on every insurance dollar to its insurance agent in exchange for valuable Risk Management services – services that reduce cost and risk.

What are you receiving in return for your RMI dollars?

To schedule an appointment time for your Risk Management ROI analysis, please contact Jacob Haralson at Ross & Yerger at jharalson@rossandyerger.com or 601-944-0961.

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Dedicated Oil & Gas Team Designed to Improve your Risk Management Return on Investment

How Our Dedicated Team of Experts Can Help You Increase Your Risk Management ROI

In a recent newsletter, we talked about how oil and gas (O&G) service companies need to maximize every dollar of revenue they earn by ensuring an appropriate return on all investments. This includes your investment in O&G insurance.

About 12 cents of every dollar spent on O&G insurance premiums is commission. This 12 cents can also be viewed as your investment in risk management. So the question becomes: What kind of risk management return on investment (ROI) are you generating?

A Question Worth Considering

Few O&G service companies have ever thought about this. Worse yet, neither have most providers of O&G insurance. But at Ross & Yerger, we believe that generating a high, quantifiable risk management ROI is the most important service we can provide to our clients.

We do this by providing at no additional cost, a wealth of resources and added value. One of these resources is the expertise of a dedicated team of oilfield risk management specialists.

As a client of Ross & Yerger’s Oil & Gas Services Division, you will work with a dedicated team of eight O&G professionals. They are experts at driving down O&G risk and the costs associated with this risk. Team members’ functions include:

  • Overall stewardship of the account
  • Day-to-day servicing of COIs
  • Contractual risk management analysis
  • Safety and training assistance
  • Claims management

A Stark Contrast

Compare this to most other O&G insurance providers, which provide their clients with an insurance agent and a customer service rep. These employees may or may not specialize in the O&G industry.

In fact, this is one of the greatest frustrations faced by many O&G service companies. It’s not uncommon for them to call their insurance agent with a question, problem or concern that the agent can’t help them with. Oil and gas is a very specialized industry — if an insurer isn’t dedicated to O&G on a full-time basis, it won’t be equipped to provide the highest level of service to its clients.

Our experienced team of O&G specialists is 100% dedicated to oil and gas services — it’s all they do. This enables us to bring a tremendous amount of added value to the relationships with our O&G clients, thus reducing insurance costs and increasing risk management ROI.

To learn more about risk management ROI and how your O&G service company can benefit from this unique approach to risk management, please contact Jacob Haralson today!

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Construction Contracts Legal Seminar Recap - September 28, 2016

On September 28, 2016, Ross & Yerger Insurance, Inc. hosted a seminar to discuss the implications of this law featuring Michael Thompson and Judson Sanders, attorneys at the law firm Taylor, Wellons, Politz & Duhe.

The construction industry depends on teamwork. An owner teams with an architect to design a project and a general contractor to execute the project. The general contractor uses subcontractors to carry out the work. At the core of these relationships are contracts specifying what is expected and required from each party.

In 2012, Louisiana created a new wrinkle in this process when it passed R.S. 9:2780.1.

Michael and Judson’s analysis of this new law is that it could add much needed clarity to Louisiana’s prohibition against one party transferring its negligence to another. Also, there’s some precedent on how the law will be interpreted based on the construction industry changes being tacked onto the current Louisiana Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act, which has been in place for decades.

In general, one party can’t push its liability onto another party unless several conditions are met:

  • The assumed liability is supported by insurance and only up to the required limits of insurance;
  • Any request to be an additional insured requires the party providing additional insured coverage to be partially at fault;
  • The party paying for protection pays the cost of this required insurance.

The established oilfield law requires the party seeking protection provide definitive and conclusive proof it paid the entire cost of this insurance coverage, and the oil & gas insurance market has responded with specific endorsements to provide this proof. We’re still in the early stages of this rule being applied to construction, and are waiting to see if Louisiana courts will interpret the proof of payment requirements for construction contracts the same as they do for oil & gas contracts.

Michael and Judson discussed R.S. 9:2780.1 as an evolving issue that each contractor may choose to address a little differently than the next based on their risk tolerance and specific goals. And, contractors will need both attorneys and insurance agents who are aware of the implications this new law could have on the enforceability of their contracts and who are staying on top of new developments.

Contact information:

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Do You Know Your Risk Management ROI?

PROBABLY NOT, BUT YOU SHOULD: HERE’S WHY

In today’s challenging oilfield environment, Oil & Gas service companies need to maximize every dollar of revenue in order to protect profits and remain viable. This means ensuring that every investment dollar is generating an appropriate, quantifiable return — from oilfield equipment to research and development to employees out in the field and in the office.

One area that many O&G service companies overlook when it comes to gauging return on investment is insurance and the commission dollars allocated to the insurance agent. Many O&G service companies view insurance only as a sunk cost for which they will only see a return if they have a claim. However, this is a very narrow way of looking at insurance – one that severely limits your potential return on this large and important investment.

WHAT IS YOUR RISK MANAGEMENT INVESTMENT?

About 12 cents out of every insurance premium dollar (12%) is allocated to your insurance agent in the form of commissions. Think of these commissions as your Risk Management Investment, or RMI.

So the question is: What are you receiving in return for your RMI? Very few O&G service companies have ever considered this question — much less come up with a satisfactory answer.

Well, it’s time to change the way you think about the role your insurance agency plays in your business. It’s time to demand much more in exchange for those large commission dollars (RMI). This starts with determining your own Risk Management ROI and demanding that your insurance agent show you how the investment of those commission dollars translates in to maximum ROI.

LOOKING AT INSURANCE DIFFERENTLY

At Ross & Yerger, maximizing your Risk Management ROI is at the heart of everything we do. We view insurance for O&G service companies differently than other agencies. For example, our practice is not limited to the simple practice of “quoting” insurance. More importantly, in addition to utilizing our clout in the insurance market, we work with our clients to manage the factors that determine the cost of insurance. When risk levels are lowered as the result of our services, insurance costs fall as well. If the investment of your commission dollars fails to accomplish the goal of significant risk and cost reduction, then it’s time to find a new insurance agency.

In exchange for the commission dollars (RMI) we receive, we produce a high, quantifiable ROI for our clients by providing a wealth of resources and added value at no additional cost. In no particular order, some of these resources include:

  • Dedicated staff of oilfield risk management specialists
  • PEC SafeLand and SafeGulf training services
  • A proprietary Corporate Automobile Safety & Risk Management program
  • Review and Negotiation of MSA indemnity and insurance provisions
  • Cradle-to-Grave contractor management service (ISNet ®*, PEC’s SSQ, PICS, etc.)
  • Written OSHA and Safety program development
  • Online OSHA and Safety training programs
  • OSHA 300 Recordkeeping software
  • Complex Claim advocacy
  • EMOD Management, Verification and Projection

In short, we are investing our commission dollars into these and other resources in order to reduce your insurance costs and increase your Risk Management ROI. This is a different way of looking at insurance: from the perspective of “how can we produce a quantifiable Risk Management ROI for our clients?” rather than “how much commission can we earn?” What is your agent’s ultimate goal?

RAISE YOUR EXPECTATIONS

As an O&G service business, you should expect a Risk Management ROI of well above 100%. Otherwise, your insurance expenditures are just sunk costs for which you are significantly overpaying.

Very few O&G service company owners have any idea what their Risk Management ROI is — and if they did know, they would be very disappointed to learn that it’s probably well below the breakeven point.

At your request, we will provide you with a no-cost, no-obligation Risk Management ROI analysis that will quantify your current Return on your commission dollar Investment. Then we’ll demonstrate how partnering with us and taking advantage of our portfolio of no-cost Risk Management services will significantly boost your Risk Management ROI and decrease future insurance costs, leading to enhanced profitability and elevated standing with your best customers.

To schedule an appointment time for your Risk Management ROI analysis, please contact Jacob Haralson at Ross & Yerger at jharalson@rossandyerger.com or 601-944-0961.

* ISN® and ISNet® are registered trademarks of ISN Software Corporation.

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