A question posed during the Georgia Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (GAPIA) Conference was:

Who pays for the cost of the construction workers safety equipment?

One public adjuster said that insurance company claims adjusters deny this expense saying that construction employees are required to have these items as part of their standard equipment.

Here is the law:

In this final rule, OSHA is requiring employers to pay for the PPE used to comply with OSHA standards, with a few exceptions. OSHA is promulgating the final rule for three primary reasons. First, the rule effectuates the underlying requirement in the OSH Act that employers pay for the means necessary to create a safe and healthful work environment. This includes paying for the requirements in OSHA’s safety and health standards. Second, the rule will reduce work-related injuries and illnesses. It is thus a legitimate exercise of OSHA’s rulemaking authority to promulgate ancillary provisions in its standards that are reasonably related to the purposes of the underlying standards. Third, the rule will create a clear policy across OSHA’s standards, thus reducing confusion among employers and employees concerning the PPE that employers must provide at no cost to employees.

1. The OSH Act Requires Employer Payment for PPE OSHA is requiring employers to pay for PPE used to comply with OSHA standards in order to effectuate the underlying cost allocation scheme in the OSH Act. The OSH Act requires employers to pay for the means necessary to create a safe and healthful work environment. Congress placed this obligation squarely on employers, believing such costs to be appropriate in order to protect the health and safety of employees. This final rule does no more than clarify that under the OSH Act employers are responsible for providing at no cost to their employees the PPE required by OSHA standards to protect employees from workplace injury and death. (Emphasis added)

Construction should always be done properly. “Properly” would obviously include that it be done legally. The legal method of doing construction requires contractors to pay for, at times inspect, and usually train their construction workers so the construction work is done safely. Regulated insurance companies required to follow the law should not be advocating for and supporting illegal construction through illegal and lowball estimates.

  • shirley heflin

    Dear Mr. Merlin:

    It’s really annoying and infuriating to see carriers engaged in tactics aimed at denying payment of construction worker’s safety equipment. Said safety equipment could include items to reduce the severity of a roof piece falling down on them, glass shard(s) falling on them, mold inhalation, etc. Behavior like this not only shows an insurance company’s disregard for their Insured’s best interests, it also shows their grave indifference to human life.

    Respectfully,
    SHIRLEY HEFLIN
    Tampa, FL