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Monthly Archives: July 2018

5 Major Construction Trends

In order to stay competitive and set your construction firm up for success, the following are five major construction trends to follow this year:

  1. Technology advancements—The construction industry is notoriously slow at adopting new technologies. However, firms may soon have no choice but to pivot their business practices, as 3D printing, cloud applications and drone usage will likely boom.
  2. Modular and prefabrication construction—In 2017, modular and prefabrication construction grew in popularity due to its cost effectiveness and efficiency. This trend will likely continue, especially when you consider that material prices aren’t expected to fall.
  3. An increased focus on safety—The construction industry is consistently ranked as one of the most dangerous. Following higher levels of scrutiny, expect a continued focus on crafting better safety procedures and utilizing more safety technology.
  4. Continued labour shortages—Labour shortages in the construction industry are nothing new and will likely continue to plague firms across the country. With a small pool of qualified candidates, firms may struggle to find enough skilled craft workers to meet growing demands.
  5. Sustainability—Over the last few years, firms may have noticed a greater emphasis on green products and construction practices. Sustainability will be important throughout 2018, and companies that fail to consider their environmental impact may lose out on new projects.

Organizations can’t always predict what factors will have the greatest impact on future business. However, with the above trends in mind, companies can avoid major risks and ensure they remain competitive.

© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved

Employment Practices Liability Insurance

From hiring new workers to assigning duties, each of your decisions affects employees in a unique way. Although these actions are critical to running your business, they also create exposures that could lead to costly claims by employees or governmental regulators. Even if they are not warranted, claims for wrongful employment practices can disrupt operations, damage your business’s reputation, hurt employee morale and negatively impact your bottom line.

Thankfully, businesses can rely on employment practices liability (EPL) insurance to protect against a wide range of wrongful employment practices claims, including wrongful termination, discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation.

Claims Scenario: Litigation Frustration

The company: An auto dealership that relies heavily on the performance of its salespeople

The challenge: A Toronto-based auto dealership employs a number of salespeople who, when performing at a high level, contribute greatly to the company’s bottom line. One such salesperson, who had put up great numbers in the past, saw a marked decline over the last few years. In addition, this salesperson had become increasingly hostile toward customers.

After frequent warnings and poor performance reviews, the salesperson was let go. However, this salesperson quickly fired back with a wrongful dismissal lawsuit, claiming they had been fired based on their age. Cases like these often fetch well over $100,000.

EPL insurance in action: One of the key benefits of EPL insurance is how it responds to actual and alleged acts. In the example above, EPL insurance can provide ample defence cost coverage, which, in turn, protects the organization and its directors and officers.

What’s more, the type of claims EPL policies respond to are vast. In fact, EPL insurance can help organizations fight claims related to breaches of contract, wrongful terminations and non-compliance with employment laws.

Claims Scenario: Take All Complaints to Heart or Get Taken to Court

The company: A small health club with only a few employees

The challenge: A local health club employs just 10 workers, most of whom are male. While the staff members seem to get along from the employer’s perspective, one of the female trainers expressed private concerns to her manager.

Specifically, the female employee felt uncomfortable with the way her male peers spoke to each other when they were around her. In addition, she felt that she was unfairly overlooked for a recent promotion due to her sex.

Because the employer felt this employee wasn’t being treated any differently, they didn’t take any corrective action or address any of her behavioural concerns. As a result, a sexual harassment lawsuit was quickly filed against the company.

EPL insurance in action: Sexual harassment cases are becoming increasingly common and can affect businesses of all sizes. While organizations need to take reports of harassment seriously, EPL insurance can help organizations respond effectively to claims.

Furthermore, many policies provide additional resources companies can use to boost their risk management practices. Notably, EPL insurance can connect businesses to human resources consultation, which can be invaluable when avoiding legal action.

Benefits of EPL Insurance

  • Coverage for alleged acts—EPL insurance not only protects organizations from actual wrongful acts, but alleged acts as well. Specifically, EPL coverage can safeguard an organization from claims related to discrimination, harassment, retaliation and wrongful termination.
  • Timely responses to lawsuits—Employees suing their employers is common, and organizations will want to be prepared. This is especially important when you consider that there is no cap on how much a jury can award and that settlements in employment-related cases can easily reach six figures.
  • Access to legal help—Strong EPL policies provide the insured with access to legal resources. This can prove invaluable if you need advice quickly.
  • Risk management strategies—While employment-related lawsuits can arise at any time, organizations that take the time to implement basic risk controls are better equipped to avoid claims altogether. Many insurance companies provide access to risk management training and human resources consulting. These services can greatly reduce the likelihood that your company is sued by an employee.

Learn More About EPL Insurance

Business leaders make decisions each day on a range of issues including things like hiring, firing, compensation, promotions and the work environment. Every one of these decisions impacts your employees and, depending on the outcome, could result in a claim related to wrongful employment practices.

Claims for wrongful employment practices are on the rise and often lead to business interruptions and costly claims. In order to truly protect your organization, it’s critical to seek EPL insurance. To learn more, contact your insurance broker today.

© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved

Ontario Amends Boiler and Pressure Vessel Regulation


Ontario’s Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA) is introducing new regulations governing boilers and pressure vessels (BPVs), effective July 1, 2018. Among the changes, businesses will have to follow a new process to secure a certificate of inspection (COI) for BPVs. COIs are documents issued to BPV owners after they pass a periodic inspection. COIs also legally authorize BPV owners to operate the devices.

Who’s Impacted?

The new rules, which are based on amendments to Ontario’s Boilers and Pressure Vessels Regulation, are designed to keep residents safe by ensuring that BPVs are designed, installed, operated and maintained in accordance with applicable codes and standards. In addition, the amendments enable the TSSA to keep a database of all regulated BPVs, including their location and safety status.

Notably, these changes affect the following stakeholders:

  • Individuals and businesses who own BPVS regulated under the Boilers and Pressure Vessels Regulation
  • Insurers licensed to underwrite BPV equipment
  • Third-party inspection providers

What’s Changing and Why?

The new BPV standards include the following provisions:

  1. The new process requires BPV owners to work directly with the TSSA. The TSSA will issue a COI to BPV owners after they pass a periodic inspection and submit a Record of Inspection. COIs are valid throughout the inspection cycle of a BPV device, which can range from 12 to 36 months.
  2. Owners of BPVs will be required to pay a COI fee to the TSSA for each device they own. These fees range from $40 to $115 depending on the frequency of inspections. A triennial audit fee of $4,100 will apply to insurers who underwrite boiler and machinery insurance in Ontario. It should be noted that The Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company of Canada will continue to conduct periodic BPV inspections at no additional charge to owners.
  3. The TSSA will maintain a database of device-specific periodic inspection information from both insurers and TSSA inspectors. This will allow the TSSA to track the status of BPVs and any notable incidents. Furthermore, the TSSA will be able to share timely safety information with the public.
  4. The TSSA will implement an audit and attestation program to provide oversight of periodic inspections conducted by insurers.

These provisions were not only introduced to improve communication between BPV owners and the TSSA, but benefit public safety as well.

BPVs are used across a variety of industries, including, but not limited to, power, manufacturing, agriculture and forestry. In the event that a BPV is installed or operated in an unsafe manner, equipment failures, leakages and ruptures can occur. These events can lead to major health and safety hazards, like poisonings, suffocations, fires and explosions. This is particularly concerning, as BPVs are common in populated structures like apartments, condominiums, malls, office space, hospitals, retirement homes and schools.

To learn more about the changes, read these fact sheets provided by the TSSA.

© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved

Only 4 in 10 Businesses Have Data Breach Policies in Place

Last year, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada (OPC) ordered a telephone survey—2017 survey with Canadian businesses on privacy-related issuesof around 1,014 Canadian businesses. The goal of this survey was to learn how knowledgeable organizations are on privacy issues and requirements, understand the types of privacy policies and practices they have in place, and determine their privacy information needs.

The following were some key findings from the survey:

  • Only 4 in 10 companies surveyed have policies or procedures in place in the event of a breach.
  • When asked to rate their level of concern regarding a future data breach, the results were split. Overall, nearly half (48 per cent) expressed at least a moderate level of concern while 50 per cent expressed low or no concern at all. The OPC said that this data indicates concern over data breaches has decreased among Canadian businesses over previous years.
  • Around 68 per cent of respondents placed an emphasis on protecting their customers’ personal data. In addition, according to data from previous OPC reports, consumer concern about privacy breaches remains high. In fact, 85 per cent of Canadians indicated that news reports about privacy breaches affected their willingness to share personal information.

Among other things, the OPC survey illustrates a disconnect between organizational beliefs regarding data protection and the existence of real privacy policies. Despite continued, high-profile cyber breaches and increasing customer concern, many companies surveyed remain complacent with their level of security.

The OPC will use these survey results to enhance its outreach efforts and more effectively guide organizations on their privacy responsibilities.

© Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved



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