Sign up Calendar Latest Topics Donate
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
RustyCas

Avatar / Picture

Admin
Registered:
Posts: 1,809
Reply with quote  #1 
I have a client that is requiring me to be a member of ISNetworld.  Essentially this is an online database/clearing-house for contractor related documents and adherence, for the convenience of the client, and supposedly for me.  My client doesn't seem to care that I'm not really a contractor, that I'm not licensed or insured as a contractor.  They say that because I work (collect vibration data, do the occasional alignment) in a room with ammonia-related equipment, that I have to comply with the ISNetworld requirements. 

I only have this one client that is requiring this, though I have a couple of others where I monitor ammonia compressors (and do alignments).  I'd never even heard of ISNetworld before this, and I have several Fortune 500 clients (but yes, since I've been in their plants so long, I'm a little "under the radar" when it comes to regulatory stuff).

Do any of you have experience with this?  Is it as bad as I fear it's going to be?  Is it just a formality, and not that bad?  Should I just tell them "No, I'm not going to do this.  Take it or leave it?"   This is a good client, but I'm and old dog and not really interested in learning a lot of new tricks.

__________________
"The trend is your friend"
MarkL

Avatar / Picture

Sr. Member
Registered:
Posts: 1,120
Reply with quote  #2 
I Have two clients who use something (I think is) kinda similar to this, more or less documentation handling company, this US Multinational required (Our client) requires us to deal with the 'documentation handling company'  or we have great difficulty getting paid..more or less., so we  effectively get charged for the pleasure of dealing business with this document company, they expect us to do nonsensical online qualification courses despite us already having all our health and safety stuff up to code. This company you mention Rusty sounds similar..and in my humble opinion if anything like...waste of your time and patience, but alas the customer has you over a barrel with them. 
HuskerTim

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 48
Reply with quote  #3 
This motor shop does subscribe due to the requirements of several customers...its the only way we can get onsite to do work.

I don't work directly with the ISNW info so I cannot give specifics, in this shop there seems to be a lot of red tape/paper shuffling that goes along with it...
John from PA

Sr. Member
Registered:
Posts: 963
Reply with quote  #4 
ISNetworld has an online calculator to calculate the "fee" which for a single employee firm is $780 the first year ($100 set up) and $680 thereafter.  Ask you client if they will pay the fee since no other customer requests "membership" in the organization.
WWST

Sr. Member
Registered:
Posts: 86
Reply with quote  #5 
We do wireless vibration system installs for one of our fortune 500 customers. They require us to have this system in place. Since we are new, with no safety/health stats, it has taken us awhile. To get a high enough "grade" we had to hire an approved safety consultant to put together our safety program and line up with what they want to see. It is costing us close to $10,000 just to set up and document.
Beatnik

Sr. Member / Supporter
Registered:
Posts: 183
Reply with quote  #6 
We use Cognibox, it's similar but it's specifically for Health and safety trainings. When we started using it, few companies were. Now it's almost impossible for a contractor to go in a big company in Québec without it. IMO it's good for both sides. Before, a contractor had to follow all the safety trainings at all their clients. Now their trainings made in a company recognized by Cognibox will be accepted everywhere. Companies save tons of money in trainings. Outside extreme emergencies we won't deal with someone who doesn't have it. I highly doubt that you could say no and keep the contract.


Things like that are why it's so hard to stay small in today's context. Those things aren't free and require time and energy. Just being paid is a big pain now, you have to justify everything and you will have to wait months for paiments.


Danny Harvey

Sr. Member / Moderator / Supporter
Registered:
Posts: 1,401
Reply with quote  #7 
My experience is the same as Bill's. The payout wasn't as high, but if you factor my time in is wasn't much cheaper.

You will need a new safety manual with sections specific to the requirements given by your client to ISNet.  You'll have to have sections about dozens of things that don't really apply to what you do. You will have to have a safety officer and committee, regular safety meeting where information on safety is shown, tool box safety meetings every day, safety posters.........

I got mine from US Compliance who was quite cooperative in giving me credit for the $800 manual they had just completed for me due to one clients requirements and applying it to the $2400 cost of a manual compliant with what my client spec'd to ISnet. There are plenty of other places out there.

Then there are substantial on-going fees to ISnet and US Compliance.  

In my case, it wasn't even my client who required it.  It was the company that I used to work for at this site.  They own the property and now lease it to my client after having spun them off.  

I made so much noise and was so specific in telling them exactly how much my clients lease requirements were costing them that they appealed to the lease holder and got the requirement removed.  After I got finished changing everything. 

I have worked at this site continuously since 1996 at my company and we have served them since 1988.  I have been working at this site since the late 70's in various capacities.  I've been to Train the Trainer courses, dozens of safety courses and Tappisafe programs for this site.  

So now I'm a member with no client requirements. I do have other clients who are members but I have waivers from those and if I tell them that I'm a member, they will probably make me jump through a new bunch of hoops.

ISnet will tell you that you will benefit from this because there are dozens of big companies that will be beating your door down with business because you are in their safety program.  It might help if you are trying to get in the door but I haven't had anyone call me yet because of ISNet.

This kind of thing is ridiculous.  People complain about regulations hurting small businesses.  If all we had to do was comply with OSHA regulations, that would be easy.  I've had all the required OSHA training and then some. We have some sort of site-specific safety training at every location.  Those are the most valuable in helping us maintain our 45 man year perfect safety record and I never complain about having to repeat them annually.

But these go so far beyond any regulatory requirements that they become a burden to comply with.  I was given a choice.  Comply with my clients landlords requirement or loose my oldest and one of my most valuable clients.  I was lucky in that they value my services enough to allow me to recoup the loss.  I wonder how many are.

Oh, yeah.  Here's another point that can be a problem.

When you have to submit your Experience Modification Rate, you probably won't have one because your premium is insufficient for the company that issues them to do so.  You can get a letter of non-qualification from NCCI that should be accepted. (I'm pretty sure that, even if your premium is sufficient, you won't have one if you have a perfect safety record because it requires division by 0 to calculate it.)
RustyCas

Avatar / Picture

Admin
Registered:
Posts: 1,809
Reply with quote  #8 
Is the "Experience Modification Rate" tied to Workman's Comp Insurance? Cause I don't carry that and never have. In Arkansas, as the owner/employee I'm not required to carry it. I have a relative who is a WC specialist, and he advised me not to carry it - said its next to impossible to get them to pay anything to someone in my situation.

My client said I had "to be a member of ISNetworld" (but made no mention of all the requirements) so I joined up and paid the $780 fee. Now it's going to cost me thousands, and many hours of time?

There are a lot more small fish in the sea than big fish. I think I'm going to throw this "big fish" back in the water and just move along.

__________________
"The trend is your friend"
JohnJ

Member
Registered:
Posts: 66
Reply with quote  #9 
Rusty,

Before you drop your customer, ask them to waive that requirement since you are a sole proprietor. I do work in a refinery that wanted me to join ISNetworld and I refused unless they agreed to pay the costs including extra training that OSHA requires employers (OSHA does not require a sole proprietor to have any training unless you have employees). The refinery agreed to waive that requirement but there regulations require them to escort me.  They must feel it is worth the cost of an escort to keep me working there.

Also, I'm surprised you don't have to have worker comp insurance.  Most of the companies I work for require workers comp even if you state does not require it for sole proprietors.

Regards,
John J

Danny Harvey

Sr. Member / Moderator / Supporter
Registered:
Posts: 1,401
Reply with quote  #10 
Don't dump your client on my say so.

Yes the EMR is tied to WC insurance.

Every one of my clients requires w-c insurance.  I don't even know if Virginia requires it or not.

Since you have joined, you should now log on to their site and start the questionnaire section where you register and answer a whole lot of questions about what you do and how your company safety department is structured.

Then you will need to submit insurance certs, OSHA logs, your safety manual that outlines your safety program and some other things.

Then ISnet will review your documents and give you a grade based on the requirements given to them by your common client.

It will be an F.

They will tell you how to make it an A. 

One thing my client had was an opportunity to request a variance from the ISNet requirement.  It was rejected on the grounds that they just reject requests for variances but the opportunity was given.
John from PA

Sr. Member
Registered:
Posts: 963
Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danny Harvey
Every one of my clients requires w-c insurance.  I don't even know if Virginia requires it or not.


See https://gtm.com/household/resource-center/workers-comp-requirements/ for state by state listing.  
JohnJ

Member
Registered:
Posts: 66
Reply with quote  #12 
It really doesn't matter what the state requires.  If you want do work for another business, you have to meet their insurance requirements or get a waiver.  I started adding myself several years ago to my worker comp insurance when a very good customer required proof that I was covered on my workers comp insurance as a sole proprietor when Kansas doesn't require workers comp on sole proprietors.  It was either comply or not work there.  It is always a CYA situation with nearly all companies anymore and it is hard to blame them with all the law suits these days.

Regards,
John J
RRS_Dave

Sr. Member / Supporter
Registered:
Posts: 216
Reply with quote  #13 
I have myself covered under Ohio WC. I would have to open another account if I add employees. I had a WC number for years and then found out (through the same client that requires I belong to ISN) that if something happened to me on their job site, my WC wouldn’t cover it. I then changed my account and covered myself as a proprietor and all is good. Costs me a lot more but I bill em for every big cost there is. I bill for the ISN fee also, and list it as such. I want them to know how much it’s costing them for this crap. I have a safety manual also. I was telling Rusty that in one of my chapters (I don’t remember what section it was on) you had to list the penalty for non compliance of the policy. I said that “ my wife will take me in the back yard and beat me about the head and shoulders with a 2X4 for losing the business". They accepted it
RustyCas

Avatar / Picture

Admin
Registered:
Posts: 1,809
Reply with quote  #14 
I guess my customers have the good sense to let me decide for myself if I want to buy insurance that I am never likely to collect on, even if I'm hurt.  As I said, my cousin's husband is a WC specialist, and he advised me not to carry it -- he said it's nearly impossible for someone in my situation to collect on a WC claim.

As a one-man business, I am always "working without a net" so to speak.  If I get hurt, I don't work, and I won't get paid.  I think that helps me be more careful.  But I have decided to "toe the line" and try and get compliant with ISN.  I don't think it will be as expensive as I first thought.  I heard from a small cooling tower company that I balance fans for, and they said it wasn't so bad (well, the owner was extremely negative about ISN, but his son, who handles all the paperwork was very helpful and said it wouldn't be so bad).  We shall see.  

Thanks for all the input!

__________________
"The trend is your friend"
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.