Insurance Inspector Coming !!

My insurance company wants to inspect my small metal/wood/welding shop in rented industrial space. I believe my setup is very safe and meets most (if not all) NEC, OSHA, etc. code. But I don't know how picky this guy is going to be. Perhaps he is going to make sure he finds something in order to justify his fee to the insurance company. Has anyone gone through this before? Care to share any tips which may not be obvious?

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Al, The list is long and overwhelming. However, most of these guys are looking for the simple stuff.

  1. Grinders, tool rest to far from wheel, no guards or face shields.
  2. Fire extinguishers not inspected each month - tag signed.
  3. Eye wash stations not clean, or a record of regular inspections.
  4. Extension cords used in permanent operation.
  5. Electrical outlets/switch plates missing or broken.
  6. No lock-out-tag-out program.
  7. Missing or non-existent safety program and poor record keeping of safety meetings/program, MSDS Community right -to-know, hazardous material manifests.
  8. Personal protection programs not complete. Face, eye, noise, respirators, ect.
  9. Safety devices tampered with or defeated. (Big NO NO)
  10. Cleanliness - housekeeping.

I hope this helps.


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of these guys are really out to help (both the insurance company who retained them and the business in my experience. Occasionally you'll find one who's a thwarted early-year OSHA inspector, but by and large the insurance guys are much more to tuned to reality. If, however, he does find an actual code violation you can be sure he'll flag it --of course, that's better than the actual OSHA or other regulatory inspector finding it...

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Duane Bozarth

I go through this once a year. In addition, make sure any three prong cords have the ground prong in place. Fans should be plastic housings or otherwise protected. He may want to see your employee training setup, when was the last fire drill, emergency action and fire prevention plans, and hazardous material communications program. Fork lift truck training, propane storage, chemical and solvent storage. Not to mention exit signs and good lighting

They are more interested in helping you be a safe employer rather that try to shut you down and raise premiums. Listen to the guy, show him anything he wants to see. My last inspector said he like to see a shop with music blaring and employees all but dancing as happy people are safe people.

Put the guards back on the machines and have safety glasses and hearing protection available even if not needed.

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Edwin Pawlowski

This sounds a bit too naughty for this time of year (a chance of getting coal and all), but a trick around here, IF your shop is otherwise in fine shape... leave the inspector a 'find'. A glaring, yet innocuous violation, like a blade-guard (which normally wouldn't be there at all) tied back with a string---> he finds it, you instantly fix it, and he's happy and out the door. The less they find, the harder they look. You have to make them feel like they are doing their job.

me bad

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What kind of insurance, workers comp, property, or general liability?

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Got flammable stuff, if so make sure it's properly sealed, or just remove it until he's gone!

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do not answer the phone do not answer the you can put them off. make excusese not to be there if you are one person shop use that time to clean up tell them you are getting ready to not tell them you machine plastic.tyay will find something and fix it i got bouts with the insurace inspecrors.One of them sent me a certified letter to stop harasing there answering machine or thay will prosicute me

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If you have tanks for cutting, welding etc. make sure they are properly secured in place and not just free standing.


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Frank Ketchum

Get rid of any flammables, whether liquid, paper, or cloth. If you use flammables, have them in a metal locker.

Go out right now and buy one of those testers that tell you if the socket is wired right. About $7 anywhere. Fix any that are not. Check your fire extinguishers to be up to date. Clean up. Have signs where you need signs. Any inspector can and will find something wrong. But if you give the impression that you are safety conscious, and working to provide a safe place, they will usually give you a little slack.

Tip: Shut up. Speak when spoken to, and don't elaborate on anything. Be sociable. Don't try to take him anywhere or keep him from going anywhere. Follow at a slight distance.

He is going to catch the obvious that you missed. But whether or not he goes into details depends on how anal he is and your attitude.

Steve (former BCSP safety man)

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You must have been in the military at some point? Best way to do well on an inspection....

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Doug Goulden

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Tim Killian

My insurance guy came in a while back I was swetting to. He came in the door a few steps and asked to see the smoke detector and the fire extingisher.And what was the total worth of the shop.This question is why they relly come buy. When he asks you the total worth of the shop give him the same amount your insured for.This is where the insurance companys screws you is with what they call coinsurance.For example if your shop is worth $100,000 and you can only aford $ 50,000 worth of insurance ,you have not met your coinsurance, So if your shop burns to the ground .The insurance company will say you are only %50 insured so %50 of 50,000 is $25,000 thats the most you will get.All insurance companys do this now ,so be carefull what you say whe he asks the total valu of your shop.Give him the same figure you ar insured for. Here is a link in alt cnc machines about coinsurance.

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All good sugestions here. I go through this a few times a year. My best strategy is to have everything as good as I can but I leave a few "Red Hearings" for him to find. Simple things and easy to fix like covers off of electrical boxes, chains around welding tanks unhooked, pile of debris in the middle of an isle, guard off of a machine.... Is't his job to find something wrong, make it easy for him or he WILL find something else!!!

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Tom Gardner

I never did that, never would even consider it. We try to maintain a save and clean shop even if no one is watching.

OK, so let him. He is trying to avoid claims and improve your operation. I'll take his tips and help.

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Edwin Pawlowski

My favorite was always the 'chuck key in the chuck of the drill press.'

"Oh my god, how did that happen! We'll have to get one of those self ejecting ones....."


Reply to
jim rozen

I have a 30,000' 100 yr.+ old building and there's no way an inspector won't find something. I'll bet you anything I could "FIND" enough wrong with your faculity to shut you down...depending on my mood.

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Tom Gardner


But, in general, that's not a productive approach/mindset...

Reply to
Duane Bozarth

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