The NECA West  

Safety Group Report

July / 2008

 NECA News


Safety Focus On....Ladders! 

One of the leading causes of large losses through the NECA West ADR program involves ladders.  So, we thought we'd take a few minutes to review basic ladder safety. 
The three most common causes for ladder accidents are: (a) ladders in poor condition (damaged ladders should never be used), (b) improper selection (know the weight and height limitations of your ladder), and (c) improper use.  In general, our accidents occur from improper use.
A few examples of current ladder claims are: 

  • Descending a ladder too quick, slip and fall Current Claim Cost: $290,000
  • Overreaching (instead of moving the ladder) Current Claim Cost: $195,000
  • Ladder slipped out from underneath contractor Current Claim Cost: $180,000
  • Stepping off ladder wrong, twisting ankle Current Claim Cost: $115,000
  • Descending ladder, twisted knee Current Claim Cost: $100,000

A claim today affects your Workers' Compensation premiums for the next 3 to 5 years.  So, to help reduce those WC premiums (and to provide a better workplace for our contractors), let's focus on safety!  Encourage your contractors to slow down when descending ladders, take the extra time to safely move the ladder (don't hop it, don't overreach), don't carry tools / equipment while climbing a ladder (use tool belts or a rope to pull the equipment to you), and ensure that the surface you are placing the ladder on is stable and free from obstruction.


NECA West joins the Heat Illness Prevention Network   

NECA West has joined the Heat Illness Prevention Network (HIP Network).  The HIP Network is a voluntary public / private partnership established to increase awareness of both employers handshake reversedand employees of the hazard of heat illness and the importance of heat illness prevention measures to prevent fatalities and serious illnesses in California workplaces.  HIP Network members work together to help prevent heat illness in workplaces throughout California in partnership with the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) by providing timely information to employers and employees.
Stay tuned to find out what you can do to help limit the effect of the summer heat on your employees!


Proper Payroll Record Keeping Can Reduce WC Premiums
Keeping detailed records that clearly show the start and stop times, hours worked, job duties, and wage rates can help you take advantage of the lower-rated classification.  If you are paying your employees by piecework, you must keep a record of start and stop times and the hours worked for each employee to qualify for lower-rated classification.  If you do not keep a time log of the start and stop times and hours worked, your insurance company's workers' compensation auditor will assign all payrolls into the highest-rated classification as the WCIRB permits.  Since these wage rates are subject to verification at the time of audit through a valid source, maintaining a verifiable record is necessary and helps you utilize the system.
Accurate records and correct payroll reporting can help reduce the possibility of unexpected premium owed at the end of the policy period.  Remember, your ability to utilize the lower-rated construction classification will depend on your ability to provide original timecard with start and stop times for all construction employees at the payroll audit.  Failure to provide these records could result in increased premium cost.



State Fund Files A 3.5% Premium Decrease

The State Compensation Insurance Fund filed a July 1, review numbers2008 revision to its rating plan, which it anticipates will result in a 3.5% reduction in collectible premiums.  While base rates will remain unchanged, State Fund has expanded its merit rating and claims-free discount plans to lower rates for policies with superior safety records.  The new rate filing will affect new and renewal workers' compensation policies with an effective date on or after July 1, 2008.
For a full copy of the press release, please contact us at


electrician at work



Looking for Information

on Workers' Comp Insurance? 


To apply for the NECA West Workers' Compensation ADR program you may request a quote from BOTH carriers:


NECA West Captive ADR Program

Betsy Moore, WC Underwriting

General Agency Services, Inc



NECA West State Fund ADR Program

Don Knutsen, WC Underwriting




Wire spool


Objectives & Benefits of NECA ADR


  • Reduce Workers' Compensation Claim costs
  • Reduce employers' costs
  • Improve benefit delivery
  • Promote safety
  • Promote labor-management cooperation
  • Create more jobs for union members


  • Reduce loss costs
  • Reduced litigation
  • Shorter claim cycle times
  • Better medical care
  • Faster return to work


Safety Expert System Software 

A great tool that NECA developed is the "Safety Expert System Software".  This is a customizable product that provides a comprehensive approach to safety, the computer program places you in control of your company's safety program.  It provides you with basic modules on the safety topics affecting electrical contractors today. 


Within each Safety Topic section you will find a Compliance Guide, Safety Checklists, Employee Training Guide, Safety Activities, Safety Talks (great to print out and take to a job site), and a Test.  You can customize each of these documents for the types of job sites you generally encounter; and it includes a basic Records system that allows you to track employee training, disciplinary action, accident reports, etc.
The "Safety Expert System Software" is available from the NECA online store at