Work in the Construction field is one of the riskier jobs for the construction workers especially when the project is big; therefore it is always advisable to take precaution before any unwanted incident take place at the construction site. Any accident causes to a worker at the job site leads to the loss of most valuable asset of the business that is ‘worker’, financial loss and reputation to the company.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued construction guidelines called ‘Recommended Practices for Safety and Health Programs in Construction’. OSHA is an agency of the US Department of Labor. The guidelines aimed to help the construction industry employers to develop proactive programs to keep the workplaces safe for the construction workers. These recommendations are mainly aimed for small and medium-sized contractors who usually lack the safety and health specialist on staff.
Safety and health programs help employers to find and fix workplace hazards before injuries, illnesses, and deaths take place. The implementation of safety guidelines at construction site help in reducing financial difficulties these events can cause for workers, their families and their employers.
"The recommendations outlined in this document will help contractors prevent injuries and illnesses on their construction sites and make their companies more profitable," said Dr. David Michaels, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health.
According to the OSHA, Establishing a safety and health program at your job site is one of the most effective ways of protecting your most valuable asset: your workers.
Losing workers to injury or illness, even for a short time, can cause significant disruption and cost to you as well as the workers and their families. It can also damage workplace morale, productivity, turnover, and reputation.
Important recommendation for construction companies
Management Leadership - Top management demonstrates its commitment to eliminating hazards and to continuously improving workplace safety and health. Managers at all levels must ensure safety and health a core organizational value, establish safety and health goals and objectives, provide adequate resources and support for the program, and set a good example.
Worker Participation - All workers must understand their roles and responsibilities under the program. Workers should be encouraged and have means to communicate openly with management and to report safety and health concerns or suggest improvements, without fear of retaliation.
Hazard Identification and Assessment - An initial assessment of existing hazards, exposures, and control measures is followed by periodic inspections and reassessments, to identify new hazards. Any incidents are investigated with the goal of identifying the root causes.
Hazard Prevention and Control - Controls are selected according to a hierarchy that uses engineering solutions first, followed by safe work practices, administrative controls, and finally personal protective equipment (PPE). A plan is developed that ensures controls are implemented, interim protection is provided, progress is tracked, and the effectiveness of controls is verified.
Education and Training - All workers should be trained to understand how the program works and how to carry out the responsibilities assigned to them under the program.
Program Evaluation and Improvement - Control measures are periodically evaluated for effectiveness and processes must be established to monitor program performance, verify program implementation, and identify program shortcomings and opportunities for improvement.
Communication and Coordination for Employees - General contractors, contractors, and staffing agencies commit to providing the same level of safety and health protection to all employees.
To know the detail guidelines, please visit the OSHA website.
The major four benefits of implementing the recommendation are 1) Improvements in production and quality, 2) Better employee morale, 3) Improved employee recruiting and retention, and 4) a more favorable image and reputation (among customers, suppliers, and the community).
Even Indian construction companies or small and medium contractors can follow these recommended guidelines to avoid any unwanted incident and ensure smooth functioning at the project site. These recommendations would not only ensure workers safety but also help in timely project completion, creating brand value and help in making companies profitable.
Source: Information has been obtained from OSHA