Georgia Association of Public Insurance Adjusters
(GAPIA)

OSHA Standards Apply to Insurance Adjusters

Posted by Chip Merlin, Esq., Merlin Law Group

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards apply to all insurance adjusters. I am in my second OSHA class because I was curious how these standards impact costs of construction. My hunch is that many adjusters have no clue about all the standards and fail to make cost estimates which comply with federal law.

My learning also lead to the realization that many activities done routinely by insurance adjusters investigating claims certainly are not being done OSHA compliant. Adjusters routinely investigate roofs for hours without safety equipment to prevent falls. This is illegal. Adjusters will walk through burned homes and buildings without safety equipment to protect their lungs. This is illegal. Even dumb attorneys like me are required to follow these safety standards when investigating losses.

I came across a handout regarding training for adjusters to help prevent falls.

Within the last years time several “Rope & Harness” / Personal Fall Arrest assisted roof inspection schools have emerged on the claims adjuster training circuit, some added on to Independent Adjusting companies, some to established or new adjuster training schools and some emerging as entirely new training schools all together. The fact of the matter is that all of these schools have developed in a response to the now undeniable need for the claims industry to improve on Department of Labor statistics that put property adjusters at nearly four times the injury rate of the average construction worker (78 injuries per million site working hours verses 22 injuries per million site working hours for the general construction industry).

All insurance companies, independent adjusting companies, and public adjusting firms have to comply with these standards. I am certain the vast majority do not comply with these laws which help protect our own safety. My prediction is this will change and occupational safety will become commonplace. It makes good sense to be safe and provide a safe workplace for everybody.