7 Crucial Ladder Safety Tips You Need to Know

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Ladder in a house waiting for someone to safely use it

Ladders are an essential tool for many tradespeople, but they can be dangerous if you don’t take the correct precautions. Ladder safety is critical to preventing accidents and injuries at work.

Each time you use a ladder, no matter what type of ladder it is or how tall it might be, ladder safety is key. We’ve compiled seven crucial ladder safety tips that will help keep your workplace safe! Read on to learn more.

1. Choose the Right Type of Ladder

Choosing the right kind of ladder for each project is the first essential step. Improperly using an appropriate ladder can be dangerous and lead to accidents, injuries, and even death. Ladder safety is especially crucial when working at heights above ground level.

Consider these four factors when choosing the right type of safe ladder for your project:

  1. Size and weight
  2. The height of the work surface above where you’ll set up your ladder
  3. How much space will surround the base of your working platform? Will there be obstructions such as overhead wires or branches?
  4. Will your ladder need to lean against a wall?

There are many different kinds of ladders for various purposes, but the most common ladder types include step ladders, extension ladders, ladders made for working with a partner, and many more. For electrical work, use a fiberglass ladder.

2. Ladder Setup is Key

Ladder safety begins before you even use one. Make sure that when you set up a ladder for use, there are no obstructions surrounding its base and you only use it on a solid, level surface. In addition, make sure your ladder is the right size and weight to safely hold you and that it is in good condition before you get started.

Inspect the ladder for frayed or broken parts, corrosion, and any other damage that might make it unsafe to use. Also, remember to check that locks are secured on ladders that are adjustable or extendable. A step ladder must be fully open and the hinges must be locked.

3. Be Mindful of the Weather and Other Potential Hazards

If you need to go up a ladder in severe weather, have someone hold the ladder for you. In high winds, avoid using a ladder at all. Never use ladders on snow, ice, or if they are wet. Ladder accidents are very common in the rain or snow, so be sure to only use ladders under safe conditions.

In addition to the weather, be mindful of other potential hazards. If you need a ladder in an area where there are power lines or if your ladder will come into contact with live electrical wires, turn off the power before going up the ladder and stay away from any standing water that is near where you’ll be working.

Ladder accidents involving electricity can cause burns as well as serious injury or death so it’s important to take these precautions seriously. You should also plan ahead for traffic safety when using ladders on roadways by making sure someone else controls traffic.

This ensures no one drives past too closely while you’re on the ladder. Also, avoid placing yourself directly under telephone and cable lines which could break and fall causing injuries such as fractured bones.

4. Climb a Ladder the Right Way

Climbing a ladder may seem like common sense to most people, but there is actually a right and wrong way to do it. As you climb the ladder, keep three points of contact: both hands and one foot, or two feet and one hand. Face the ladder and keep your body anchored between the rails.

Avoid skipping steps while climbing up or down the ladder. Ladder rungs are there for a reason, and you should always use them as such. Leaning or climbing up or down sideways on the ladder can cause it to tip over.

5. Don’t Overreach

Avoid reaching beyond the rails. If you placed your ladder a bit too far to the left or right of your work area, you may be tempted to reach it by stretching your arm or leaning over the ladder’s side rails. Not a good idea!

If you overreach while on a ladder, it can tip over and send you tumbling down. To stay safe, climb down if you cannot reach your target area from a centered position. Make your way down then reposition your ladder.

6. Have Only One Person on the Ladder at All Times

If you ask a buddy to climb up behind you to hand you tools or materials might cause the ladder to buckle, sending one or both of you flying backward. A ladder should only have one person on it at a time, with the exception of ladders with two sides. These ladders are designed to support two people, one on each set of rungs.

Wear a belt, apron, or pouch to carry tools and materials. If you need to lift big, heavy, or awkward objects, pull them up using a rope and bucket.

7. Don’t Walk Underneath the Ladder

This may sound more like a silly superstition than a safe ladder tip, but it’s an essential safety tip to always follow. Walking underneath a ladder that someone is using exposes you to all sorts of risks. Falling objects or accidentally shifting the ladder and sending someone crashing down are a couple of potential risks.

Ladder rungs can be slippery and unstable. So you don’t want to stand under or too close to the ladder. To keep safe, stay within arm’s reach of the ladder while someone else is using it.

Essential Ladder Safety Tips

Whether you’re a professional or DIYer, it’s important to be aware of the risks that come with working on ladders. These seven must-have ladder safety tips will help keep you safe and on top of your game when climbing up ladders. If these pointers don’t do enough for you, have an expert review what else can be done to prevent accidents so your work is not jeopardized by unforeseen events.

We offer insurance policies designed specifically for people who are at risk while working above ground – including those using ladders! For more information about our coverage options contact us today.

Michigan Drivers: $400 per vehicle refunds coming soon

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blue piggy bank on blue car waiting to be filled by the $400 refund checks from MCCA to Michigan drivers

Following the recent November vote to support Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to issue refund checks to Michigan drivers, the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) has finalized its plan to distribute these funds. Careful analysis by the MCCA revealed that of their $5 billion surpluses, about $3 billion was safe and able to be distributed back to policyholders. This amount was selected to maintain funds for future use while still giving policyholders the highest possible refund.

What does this mean for you, the policyholder? The MCCA’s official plan is to provide Michigan drivers with a $400 per vehicle refund. These refunds are scheduled to be sent out during the second quarter of 2022 by your insurance carrier.

Insurance companies are expecting the money from MCCA by March 9, 2022, and will have 60 days after the transfer of funds to issue refund checks.

It has yet to be seen how the refunds will be sent to policyholders. While MCCA is encouraging the insurance companies to send a check, some may look to issue a credit on your insurance premium. Stay tuned for updates.

You will not need to take any action. This is all expected to happen automatically if you had a policy in force as of October 31, 2021.

Refunds will go to those with motorcycle policies too, but not ones that are on storage policies, according to the Department of Insurance and Financial Services.

As you probably already know from living in Michigan, we are known for our high insurance rates. If you would like a refresher on the last update to MCCA Policies, you can read our blog here that breaks down the basic changes.

For FAQs about Michigan’s No-Fault Law, check out our blog here, or if you are unfamiliar with any insurance terms such as Personal Injury Protection Coverage (PIP) we also have a glossary.

The Ultimate End of Year Checklist for Small Business Owners

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Pencil checking off checklist items

We can all agree that keeping a business afloat in a competitive market is quite tricky. It’s even sad that more than 20 percent of new businesses don’t get to celebrate their first anniversary. You have to reevaluate your business goals every year for continued success.

Make an end-of-year checklist that you can use to measure and analyze the strides your business made. Reviewing this checklist will allow you to finish the year strong and set your company up for success. Check your income statements and cash flow statements to review your profits.

So, where should you start when preparing an end-of-year checklist? Here are seven aspects of your business that this checklist should cover.

Review and Update Your Business Goals

If you like starting the year by setting revenue goals, include them in your year end checklist. Check whether your revenue streams have been constant and investigate the factors that slowed them down.

Use your employees’ input, customer feedback, and your financial statements to assess your business goals. Focus on both strengths and weaknesses you had when trying to achieve these goals. You should also create a top-level plan for your new goals to achieve them.

Think about tax planning at the end of your financial year to save tax-related expenses and fines. You may write off bad unpaid debts and prepay for services your business needs as part of tax planning.

Review your commercial insurance to ensure that the coverage meets your company’s needs. The coverage should change with the growth or expansion of your business.

Take an Inventory Count as Part of Your End of Year Checklist

An inventory count allows you to identify products that sell well and those that don’t. You can use this data in assessing whether you’ll exchange the low-selling inventory with something else.

Take time to investigate any significant discrepancies in your inventory to avoid huge losses. Remember to document your inventory procedures to prevent errors and omissions. You may switch to an automated inventory management system for accurate and reliable inventory counts.

If your small business sells merchandise, makes purchases, or produces, you should maintain an inventory. This ensures that your business has enough products to cater to customers’ demands.

Review Your Vendor Information

Ensure that you have accurate and updated information on your suppliers or vendors. You should also list any new partnerships you established with them in your business end of year checklist. The sets of information may include a contact name, email address, and phone number.

If you still have time, negotiate better deals with other vendors to save operational costs. You should also file and send 1099 forms to your company’s subcontractors and vendors before the IRS deadline. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) will use 1099 forms to evaluate non-wage transactions and payments between your business and subcontractors.

Assess Your Staffing Needs

As you take inventory of your employees, determine whether you need to hire more people in the coming year. You should also have a budget to support the extra workforce that you want to bring on board. Create new roles to maximize your workers’ unique talent for productivity.

Consider reviewing your benefits and compensation plans to ensure that they’re active and competitive. You may also update your employee and payroll information for former or new employees.

You can determine your staffing needs by evaluating the business flow and engaging with your human resource managers. Pay close attention to the customer experience to assess whether the customer support team is highly equipped for this role.

Reflect on Your Business Successes

Tracking your company’s accomplishments allows you to focus resources on profitable ventures. Your employees will also feel motivated every time you celebrate achievements made by them.

Document your achievements and share them with your workers, clients, and suppliers. You should also recognize outstanding performers at your workplace with gifts or promotions to boost productivity.

You may run your end-of-year financial reports to determine the profits and losses made. Insights given by these reports can allow you to rethink your business goals for continued success. Involve a competent accountant when preparing and reviewing these documents to get great value from them.

Audit Your Business Website

Run your site’s URL through an online site audit tool to assess its clickability rates. You also need to identify and fix any SEO problems lingering on your site. SEO-related issues like keyword stuffing and improper formatting may make your site fail to be visible to your target audience.

With the help of a web designer, analyze your site’s design and user experience. Ensure that the menu is easy to use and load speeds are ideal for visitors to stay longer on the site. You should also check whether the website content covers your customers’ needs.

When looking at the site’s design, ensure that the texts and images align with the ideal formatting requirements. The audit should also focus on how your website drives traffic from your social media pages. You should include links to your social media pages on your website and vice versa.

Back Up Your Business Files

Create backups of your company’s files, including creative briefs and valuable emails, to prevent data loss. You should also back up your client information and accounting documents in secure cloud storage. Encourage your employees to save essential documents on the cloud and external hard drives as you prepare for a new business year.

Have at least three copies of the backed-up data if you lose the files to fire or hacking. You should also store the files in several formats (cloud, tape, or disk) for easier access.

Need a Review of Your Commercial Insurance?

It’s pretty tricky to balance work-related tasks and family responsibilities as the year comes to an end. Making an end-of-year checklist for business can help you keep track of these tasks. The checklist can also set you up for success and productivity in the coming year.

Reviewing your commercial insurance should be part of your business end-of-year checklist. You can count on use for property-casualty coverage suited for businesses like yours. We can help you find the ideal coverage for your company.