Safety Week 2019: Understanding & Promoting General Contractor Safety

11 June 2019
Safety-Week

As a general contractor, it’s crucial to secure the safety of your team. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 971 fatal occupational injuries within the construction industry in 2017. By employing thorough safety policies, general contractors can better mitigate risk onsite and improve their EMR safety scores.

General contractors must follow strict guidelines to secure the safety on construction sites. As part of Safety Week 2019, we’ll introduce you to general contractor safety guidelines and the importance of keeping your workers safe:

Why is General Contractor Safety Important?

A construction site without proper safety procedures can be risky and dangerous. Construction workers work with heavy equipment and machinery as well as dangerous tools that when not handled properly can cause significant harm and even death.

If proper safety procedures are not followed according to legislation, you, as a contractor, could be subject to fines and even jail time. This is why it’s crucial to align your safety procedures with OSHA Safety and Health Regulations for Construction. Guidelines of this kind will keep your workers safe and help you avoid expensive fines.

Who is Responsible for General Contractor Safety?

According to the OSHA Safety and Health Regulations for Construction, the primary contractor is responsible for on-site safety.

In addition to that, OSHA states “to the extent that a subcontractor of any tier agrees to perform any part of the contract, he also assumes responsibility for complying with the standards in this part with respect to that part…With respect to subcontracted work, the prime contractor and any subcontractor or subcontractors shall be deemed to have joint responsibility.”

Overall, the general contractor and any subcontractors present are thoroughly responsible for the onsite safety of their employees.

OSHA General Contractor Safety Policy

OSHA-General-Contractor-Safety-Policy

OSHA provides guidelines for proper and legal safety practices within construction. These guidelines promote safety within construction operations to create a safer and healthier workplace.

These recommended practices provide guidance for the following:

  • Management leadership: Management is responsible for improving workplace safety and setting expectations for proper safety policy.
  • Worker participation: All workers must understand their safety role, identify any flaws within the current workplace safety, and effectively carry out safety procedures.
  • Hazard identification and assessment: Proper procedure must be in place to identify, report, and investigate potential hazards.
  • Hazard prevention and control: Ongoing identifications and elimination of workplace hazards are necessary to control risks.
  • Education and training: All workers should be trained thoroughly in safety procedures and how to recognize workplace hazards.
  • Program evaluation and improvement: Processes should be put in place to observe performance and identify shortcomings within current safety procedures.
  • Communication and coordination for employers on multi-employer worksites: General contractors, as well as subcontractors and staffing agencies, are committed to promoting the safety of workers by communicating hazards thoroughly.

Tips for General Contractor Safety Policy

Tips-for-General-Contractor-Safety-Policy

Be Aware

It’s crucial to constantly be aware of potential hazards within a construction site as a general contractor as well as a worker. Understand the risks associated with certain hazards and keep constant eyes on all risk areas.

Train Employees Thoroughly

In order to employ proper site safety, your workers need to be trained extensively. All workers should be familiar with OSHA guidelines before even stepping foot on the worksite. Refresh their knowledge with ongoing safety training sessions every month or so.

Enable Proper Communication

By supplying your workers with proper communication tools and enabling communication to report safety risks, you can reduce the risk of injury significantly. Constant communication throughout a job site helps to report risks in real-time and reduce the chance of injury.

Make Sure Equipment is Functioning Properly

Equip your workers with the finest functioning and properly tested equipment. By providing them with the best equipment, you’ll avoid potential injuries.

Employ Proper Supervision

As with any operation, supervision is key to making sure a project runs smoothly. A strong supervisor is critical to enforcing safety standards throughout every level of an operation.

General contractor safety is an extreme matter that should never be taken lightly. Follow these tips and use OSHA’s guidelines to guarantee a safe and functioning worksite for your employees. For a safe general contractor you can trust, reach out to Focus today!

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