Editor’s note: The following is an interview with Ashley and Seth Pietsch of Integrity Insurance & Bonding, Inc. as they share their thoughts on fall maintenance for contractors. You can watch the video or scroll down to read the transcript below.
Hello everyone. This is Karen Edwards. I'm the editor at RoofersCoffeeShop® (RCS). And I am being joined today by Seth and Ashley Pietsch from Integrity Insurance and we're going to talk about this month's influencer topic, which is do you do fall inspections for your customers. And I was curious since Ashley and Seth focus on insurance, and don't do rooftop inspections per se, what their take on this would be. So, Seth, welcome.
Seth Pietsch: Well, thank you, Karen. Thanks for it. Thank you for having us. Yeah, so we don't actually perform the actual inspections ourselves. However, here in the Pacific Northwest and Oregon, our go-to workers' comp carrier, they have a partnership on the workers' comp side. It's a group retrospective rating plan that they partner with the Associated General Contractors, and so SAFE Corporation and the AGC. When you're a member of the AGC, and you have to be approved, not everybody can just be a part of this and get this benefit. But when you are a member of the Associated General Contractors, and you are approved to become part of the group retrospective rating plan, you get designated loss control services that are provided through the loss control representatives at the Associated General Contractors. So, I've been on multiple inspections and safety meetings and different loss control meetings with the AGC representatives and the clients that I represent. Just to go over, part of it is fall protection requirements, different toolbox safety, toolbox topics, whatever that might be, they have designated safety protocol that they want all members to follow. And being on the roofing side, they tend to have a higher exposure to potential injuries just because of the heights that they work at. So, the AGC is particularly hard on roofing contractors, and it's not easy for roofing contractors become members and be eligible for the workers' comp benefits. But they, specifically, go out and do the inspections and do the recommendations. And I've been involved with those many, many times. And when possible, I try to steer as many contractors, including roofing contractors, towards the Associated General Contractors, just because they have the expertise to be able to do industry-specific trainings and safety trainings for those clients.
Karen Edwards: So rather than, most contractors are going out and doing rooftop inspections for their customers, for maintenance or getting it ready for the season. But this sort of flips that around and is letting the contractor inspect their practices and processes that they have in place. I'm curious, what has the feedback been from contractors that you have connected with this program?
Seth Pietsch: Well, they tend to really enjoy it. They get a lot of different benefits. One is you get significant workers' comp reductions in premium and retro returns. So that's obviously an incentive for any contractor to be involved with the Associate General Contractors here in Oregon because of the workers' comp premium benefits. But also the majority of the contractors that are in the Associated General Contractors truly care about their trades. And they want to make sure that they're in compliance, and with OSHA changing guidelines and rules and everything all the time, there's a lot of moving targets. So this way, it's just a lot easier for everybody to be informed of OSHA changes and safety requirements, whatever height that is to be required to be tied up on the roof. All that stuff is a moving target, so having clients involved and being part of those safety programs, it helps everybody involved because now you're not at a higher risk of having OSHA violations or anything like that. And then a lot of times, depending on what state you're in, you can view what contractors have had OSHA violations or issues with their Construction Contractors Board, whatever state you're in. So not having red flags be raised can also help your revenue out because now people want to work with you when they know that there's not issues that you're bringing to the table or you've been cited or fined by OSHA or the Construction Contractors Board.
Karen Edwards: It's a good topic. The timing is right because this month is OSHA's National Safety Stand-Down where they encourage contractors to participate, examine their safety, and even get certificates for their participation in it. So thank you for providing that information for us.
Seth Pietsch: Absolutely.
Karen Edwards: All right. As always, thank you guys. And until next month. We'll see you.