Having made a commitment to safety the first step toward compliance is creating a written safety program.
I’m not talking about the one you got from a previous employer 15 years ago where the company name has been “whited out” several times and recopied like 10 times. Or the one your brother in law got at a seminar his electrical company sent him to in 1994. Nor the one you got on line for $49.95.
You must have a living document, prepared by a safety professional that is written specifically for your company and the trades or types of work you perform and build. There are many on-line sources for manuals but you absolutely should not settle for a generic one. It will be cheap – but it might be totally worthless if you find yourself defending your company in court or with OSHA should your company or an employee or a subcontractor be involved in a serious workplace accident.
If you use an online provider, be sure the safety professional responsible for preparing your manual interviews you in order to fully understand your company’s services or trades, size, number of employees, geographic area served and the types of contracts you work under.
This information is necessary to assure your plan addresses all trade specific OSHA regulations as well as any state specific standards or laws that might apply to your organization. He or she will also advise you how to compile project specific Incident Prevention Plans (IPP) to satisfy regulatory, insurance / surety and or contractual safety compliance.
We’re not talking about thousands of dollars here – but just like construction you get what you pay for. A simple Google word search for Construction Safety Plan or similar will provide a long list of Safety Professionals developing safety plans for our industry. Before you commit be sure to check their references and be certain you understand the deliverables they provide. Be sure you are provided a final copy in Word that you own and can edit as needed.
This is the second of a series of article published by Kent Leighton and The FlatRock Group to help companies understand the importance of Safety in their Construction Operations and how simple it is to create and deploy a successful OSHA Compliant Safety Program.
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