I’ve been associated with the construction industry for some 40 years I am amazed how little many contractors know about OSHA Standards, how devastating an accident can be to all involved, and how simple safe jobsites and OSHA compliance can actually be.
A comprehensive safety program is paramount for every contractor or subcontractor.
You have a moral and ethical responsibility to protect human life & limb.
It is part of your legal contract with your insurance–surety company in exchange for them providing you liability insurance and bonding.
Accidents cost money. Direct and indirect cost to the injured, possible litigation with injured, possible OSHA fine, project delays and increased insurance cost due to an increased insurance modifier.
A Safety Program can make you money. Insurance carriers provide premium credits that go right to your bottom line. Most States requires insurance carriers to rebate a percentage of the premium cost for WC policies to companies that have written safety programs and an even greater rebate for a Drug Free Workplace program.
It’s the Federal Law – Not understanding the OSHA standards and observing then daily could cost you 10’s of thousands of dollars, you could lose your company or even find yourself serving prison time.
The Federal law requires employers to provide their employees, subcontractors and site visitors working conditions that are free of known dangers. Employers are also required to provide safety training to their employees and keep records regarding workplace training, accidents and injuries.
The actual OSHA Act enacted in 1970 states:
SEC. 5. Duties
(a) Each employer – (1) shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees; (2) shall comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under this Act. (b) Each employee –
shall comply with occupational safety and health standards and all rules, regulations, and orders issued pursuant to this Act which are applicable to his own actions and conduct.
This might sounds scary – But Compliance is not as hard as you might think. My intent in presenting this information is to provide you a common sense approach to compliance and view safety as a process where you:
Educate yourself, implement a safety program, train your employees, inspect your jobsites and equipment, rectify safety issues and keep records regarding safety training and accidents. But most of all — apply common sense.
OSHA is not the enemy nor are they out to get you. They were created due to our own inability to govern and police ourselves, regarding jobsite safety, as an industry. It is my hope that as you review this information you will find OSHA a fair and honest addition to your management team and learn how to partner with them to assure your company is a safe place to work.
This is the first 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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