Over the past year, OSHA has been cracking down on contractors that violate fall safety standards. While it’s critical that all workers adhere to OSHA rules to avoid fines, but building teams should concentrate chiefly on making the job site safe even if that means going beyond what OSHA requires. That’s the advice being dispensed by the Associated General Contractors of America in a series of training workshops, and it is sound advice.
Every job site is different and comes with its own set of challenges. Contractors might have to purchase additional equipment, set different priorities, or provide additional education to ensure safety. Employee education, in fact, is the key to job safety, especially when it comes to fall protection.
Instead of telling someone they need to wear a harness because OSHA says so, explain the risks of falling and how the equipment will protect a worker from injury that would affect him or her for the rest of their life. Supervisors should be aware that some workers may not report unsafe conditions for fear of being reprimanded for not doing their jobs. Training should emphasize that it is everyone’s job to make sure that the work site is safe.
Time constraints often complicate matters. The best time to make safety plans is during the design phase, but that is often not possible. So, as soon as plans reach a contractor’s hands, they should plan safety measures and be ready to implement them from day one.