General Contractors and Safety on the Construction Site

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that every year there are nearly 1,000 fatal occupational injuries on construction sites—that doesn’t include the many non-deadly incidents. It is absolutely critical for general contractors to ensure the optimal safety of their crew, and Shield-Safety offers a number of supplies to enhance safety on all types of job sites. However, the first step is making sure comprehensive safety policies are in place, routinely updated, and regularly visited. This is the number-one way to mitigate any risks on dangerous job sites.

Most general contractors manage teams that work with heavy machinery, equipment, and potentially dangerous tools. It’s the job of a general contractor to do everything possible to make sure their crew is safe, and if this doesn’t happen you may be subject to fines and possibly jail. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) posts safety procedures specific to various industries including construction. This can be a great tool when revisiting and/or drafting your safety policies.

Who’s in Charge of Construction Safety?

OSHA states that the primary contractor is in charge of all on-site safety, adding that, “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.” Some of the primary rules OSHA offers specifically for contractors include management leadership and declaring that “management” is responsible for not only maintaining workplace safety but improving it.

OSHA dictates that every worker has to understand their role as it applies to safety, as well as pinpoint any flaws in regards to the current workplace safety situation. Hazard identification is also covered by OSHA, which calls for “proper procedures” to identify, investigate, and report possible hazards. This segues into hazard prevention and management, which OSHA demands an ongoing identification and removal of any workplace hazards that might be found.

Help for General Contractors & Safety Training

OSHA and Shield-Safety are two key partners every general contractor should have on their side. OSHA requires all workers to be routinely trained in safety protocols, including undergoing education on recognizing hazards. Additionally, both general contractors and subcontractors are required to be dedicated to promoting worker safety. How can you do this? Proper program evaluation, updates, and communication are key. 

It’s a must for contractors to be always aware of potential hazards on their site. Knowing the full risks connected to each hazard and keeping a watch on workers needs to be the underlying “flow” of the workday. Comprehensively training employees is also necessary not just to further reduce the risk of injury and/or death, but also to increase your peace of mind as a contractor. Everyone should know the latest OSHA standards prior to starting work, and regular training sessions are great refreshers. 

When you have the right safety tool on-site, that’s yet another way to reduce risks and injuries. Shield-Safety supplies professional-grade tools to help keep you, your worksite, and your workers safe. Contact us today to customize an order specific to your needs and industry.