Safety Best Practices: Securing Your Construction Site

Construction sites are inherently more hazardous than traditional workspaces. Because of these dangers, construction workers must abide by several safety regulations. These regulations help keep construction sites operational and secure. Below are several tips to help construction companies adhere to these regulations as well as promote a safety-driven job site.

Fall Protection

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires construction sites to implement fall protection. Failure to meet fall protection standards is the most common citation OSHA issues. It is also one of the top causes of construction worker injury and death. There are several steps workers and employers can take to minimize falling hazards.


  • Be aware of fall hazards on construction sites
  • Only work in areas with fully installed fall protection systems
  • Inspect personal fall arrest systems to ensure they are functional and intact


  • Provide fall protection systems for work areas with unprotected edges that are six feet above a lower level.
  • Examples of fall protection systems include guardrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems. However, guardrails are the only method that prevent falls; the rest prevent long
  • Fall protection also includes preventing workers from falling in holes as well as protecting them from falling objects. Employers can address these issues by sectioning off excavation areas and requiring workers to wear hard hats.


Well over half of construction workers make use of scaffolds. While scaffolds help workers perform their jobs, they also expose workers to fall hazards including falling objects as well as potential electrocution.  To reduce these risks, workers and employers should take the following actions.


  • Workers should wear appropriate safety attire while working on scaffolds. These include hard hats and non-skid boots.
  • Workers should only use scaffolds in good condition. Scaffolds covered in mud, ice, or water are not safe.
  • Workers should only ascend and descend scaffolding at the designated access points.


  • Supervise or assign a supervisor to oversee the assembling and disassembling of scaffolding. Supervisors should inspect scaffolding daily before workers begin to use them.
  • Only erect scaffolding on solid ground at least 10 feet away from power lines.
  • Scaffolding should have guardrails, midrails, and toe boards to ensure the safety of all construction workers.

A safe work environment is not only vital to completing a successful project it is also required by law. With the multitude of OSHA construction regulations, it can be difficult for employers to stay abreast of all safety standards. The Reilly Company can help your construction business navigate the necessary safety requirements to protect your company from injury claims and fines. To learn more about managing your construction risk, contact us.

Safe Driving Tips to Prevent Accidents

The rise of technology revolutionized the auto industry. Cars are now safer than ever. However, there are still a staggering number of car accidents each year, the majority of which are due to driver error. The best way to avoid an accident is to employ safe driving behaviors. Below are several safe driving tips to reduce incidents.

Drive with Traffic

Follow the speed of the other cars on the road. If there are multiple lanes, pick the one that suits the speed you wish to travel. Always remember that each lane farther to the left moves (or should move) faster than the one to its right. Also remember that in the US, cars coming from the left always have the right of way. When there are few or no other cars on the road, do your best to stay near the speed limit – setting your cruise control will help greatly with this.

Remove or Avoid Distractions

Distracted driving, like speeding, is a significant contributor to car accidents. As drivers’ attention spans shrink, the urge to talk, text, or check social media while driving increases. However, interacting with an electronic device behind the wheel reduces reaction time and pulls the driver’s attention away from the road. Because of this, many states passed laws banning the use of handheld cell phones. Even so, other distractions can prove just as lethal such as applying makeup, eating food, or chatting with other passengers. If drivers cannot remove distractions (such as other passengers in the car), they should take pains to reduce them. The best way to do so is to always keep their eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel.

Additional Tips

While following the speed of traffic and limiting distractions will improve driver safety, there are several other suggestions that can reduce the risk of accidents. Some examples include:

  • Wear a seatbelt
  • Do not follow other vehicles too closely
  • Do not drive with intoxicating substances in your system (this includes marijuana)
  • Do not drive drowsy
  • Take extra precautions in foul weather (i.e. slow down, increase following distance, etc.)
  • Perform regular car maintenance

Practicing safe driving techniques can help reduce the likelihood of an accident, but drivers can only account for their own behavior. Defensive driving can help, but sometimes accidents are unavoidable. The Reilly Company can help individuals assess their risk factors and determine if their car insurance coverage is adequate in the event of an accident. For more information on safe driving, contact us.

Equifax’s Cyber Insurance Not Enough to Contend with the Breach

As news broke of one of the biggest information hacks in history, Equifax became the new face of insufficient cyber security. The breach now serves as a cautionary tale for businesses everywhere. Most cyber attacks focus on small businesses, as they are often easier to hack into due to deficient cyber security. Larger businesses are harder to penetrate as they can afford to invest in the best cyber security available.

However, as Equifax is learning the hard way, investing in cyber security does not mean businesses do not need cyber liability insurance. Equifax has several insurance policies covering cyber security, general liability, crime, and much more. However, untangling which policy will payout for the hack will take time, and the coverage is likely not going to be enough to account for the expense.

Cyber liability insurance is not the only policy plaguing Equifax. Their property and business interruption insurance is likely inadequate to compensate for the losses they are encountering and will experience in the coming weeks. They are also contending with investigations at the state and federal level as well as a potential multi billion-dollar class action lawsuit.

Understanding the Breach

Hackers were able to achieve such a massive breach by taking advantage of a U.S. website application weakness. Equifax discovered the breach in late July and immediately engaged a cyber security firm to halt the attack. However, the breach began several months prior and accessed up to 143 million individuals’ private information. Equifax also commissioned the firm to discover what data the hackers compromised and how to prevent such an attack in the future. In the meantime, Equifax created a website to allow individuals to determine if the breach included their personal information. Equifax is also offering free credit monitoring for a year.

Risk Retention

In the aftermath of the breach, many are wondering why Equifax’s cyber liability coverage is insufficient. It comes down to risk retention. It is a risk management technique where a company plans to accept certain losses. Some examples include high deductibles or not investing in insurance on purpose. However, Equifax’s situation is more complicated. What insurance policies and how much coverage they choose varies depending on availability, cost, and perceived threats. The attackers struck during a period of insufficient coverage as part of Equifax’s risk retention strategy.

Assessing and Addressing Cybersecurity Risks

Business owners need to evaluate their cyber security situation and manage any gaps in their coverage. Even if a business owner believes their coverage is sufficient, they need to reevaluate their policy from time to time. For example, many business owners believe their business liability insurance protects them in the event of a cyber attack, but this is often not the case. In addition, business owners need to adjust insurance policies as technology changes and businesses grow to ensure they have sufficient coverage.

Understanding Cyber Threats

The latest buzzword related to cybersecurity is breach, but that is not the only type of cyber threat businesses face. Below are some of the most common cyber threats business owners may encounter.

  • Data breach. Data breaches, such as the one Equifax is dealing with, happen after a security measure fails. Hackers access private data such as credit card numbers or social security numbers and use them without permission. Businesses that lose their customers’ data face high penalties, investigations, and more.
  • Hackers use this type of attack to target smaller businesses. They install malware onto a company’s devices and demand payment to remove it.
  • Third party data. This scenario applies whether your business handles a third party’s information or if your business engages a vendor to handle sensitive data. For example, if your business hires another company to safeguard sensitive data, cyber policies will still payout if hackers compromise the company.

The best way for businesses to protect themselves from cyber risks is to discuss their insurance options with an expert. The Reilly Company can help businesses assess and mitigate cyber risks as well as secure the best coverage pricing for policies. No business is impervious to cyber attacks; to learn more about protecting your company from cyber threats, contact us today.

Hiring Law & Ethics and Employment Practices Liability

Finding and hiring talented employees is a difficult enough task by itself. Reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, and determining which individual is the best fit takes time, and time equals money. However, recruiters and employers also need to consider the legal aspects of hiring if they want to avoid a discrimination lawsuit. Employers need to take pains during every step of the hiring process to ensure they are beyond reproach. For example, a poorly worded job posting or interview question can open a company up to a discrimination claim.

Interview Process

The interview process is rife with discrimination traps. While an interviewer needs to determine the best candidate for the job, the way they ask questions can come across as discriminatory. For example, say a job position requires the candidate to be available at all hours of the day. Assuming a working parent cannot meet this obligation is discriminatory. Asking questions such as, “Do you drive your child to and from school?” opens the door to a lawsuit. Instead, employers should make job listings clear and state in no uncertain terms what the work hours and expectations are.

Reference Checks

Calling job references can create discrimination headaches as well. A simple rule of thumb is this: if an employer cannot ask the question during an interview, they cannot ask it of a reference either. For example, if an interviewer noticed an applicant had a physical disability, they cannot ask previous employers about it. Instead, employers can ask about the applicant’s job performance, attendance, etc. These are legal and legitimate questions to help determine which candidate is the most qualified for the position.

Any individuals involved in the hiring process needs to be aware of all potential discrimination concerns. Employers who face discrimination lawsuits not only lose time and money spent on defense, their reputation suffers as well. To learn more about hiring best practices, contact The Reilly Company. We can help you avoid legal snares and reduce the risk of discrimination litigation.