Harvesting is trying to get going…… and the late start, fruit quality issues, and current market conditions make us long for the hot, slow days of July!

Posting, Worker Information, and Transportation is again going to be the focus of enforcement by the U.S. and Florida Departments of Labor. The change to the Migrant & Seasonal Protection Act as amended in 1995 now states that part of the worker information – terms & conditions of employment has to disclose the workers’ compensation information. This information must include the name of the insurance carrier, the policy holder, the name and telephone number of each person to be notified of an injury or death, and the period of time in which a claim must be reported. U.S. DOL enforcement personnel have told us that the WH-516 – Worker Information – Terms and Conditions of Employment poster would meet this requirement, provided it was given to every worker upon hiring. The enforcement officials went further to state that if they ask the worker if they were given this information in writing and the worker states “no”, that only a form signed by the worker at the time of hire stating he has received the form would “save” the employer from citation. Additionally, enforcement personnel will be looking for unauthorized vehicles and drivers and will be closely scrutinizing timekeeping in the field. (29 CFR Part 500)

With the summer recess we lose some of our skills….. claims reporting being a very important one! Please remember claim reporting while training any new staff – although you may have been fortunate to not have had claims recently, the time to discover your lack of claim preparedness is NOT after the accident happens. Please remind all staff of your claim reporting requirements and procedures, and keep important numbers (like ours!) posted for easy access. We have several handouts to help with claim reporting and to use when training new employees – just call our loss control staff with your requests. And don’t think the job is done with the initial report – it is just beginning! The follow-up by you and your staff is the most important part of any claim. We need you to be involved with your injured employee – after all, you have a better relationship with the injured employee than an insurance adjuster they have never seen will have! Follow-up information that is necessary is what the doctor/clinic/hospital found, if the employee needs additional follow-up care or an appointment with a specialist/doctor, and the employee’s work status (light duty, no work until _____, etc.). We also need to know any special problems your injured worker might have like transportation issues or language problems. We can handle all problems given advance notice. Our mission is to get this employee back to work as soon as possible – but we cannot do that without your help.

Farm Labor Contractor (Crew Leader Card) Registration is at its peak at this time of year. The Farm Labor Testing and Registration Office of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation in Tallahassee oversees the requirements of MSPA / Crew Leader registration for the State of Florida as well as Region 4 of the U.S. Department of Labor. This office is a hard working group but they can only do so much work in one day! This means that you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to submit renewal applications or documents. Two tips that will help with the process: 1) place a cover sheet on all documents listing the crew leaders’ name and social security number that it pertains to and 2) send all the documents at one time. Please call us here at CHAPP with questions or come by for your registration needs!

We hope everyone has a Blessed, Safe and Happy Thanksgiving! We would appreciate any ideas for topics, comments on our information, and any questions you may have! Please call us at (800)242-7898 or e-mail us at wwurth@chappinc.com . Remember: working safely pays dividends!