General Contractors manage a variety of important considerations as they supervise a building’s construction, including budget, materials and schedule.
They also must ensure compliance with a wide range of regulatory requirements, from environmental standards to legal employment practices. But by far one of the most important concerns a General Contractor must control is safety.
The federal government considers construction safety a highly significant concern. Over the past few years, incidents involving vehicles or equipment have been the primary source of construction workplace injuries. Other hazards that result in job site injuries include electrical shock and caught-betweens as well as falling and falling objects. The best approach to maintaining a safe job site is a good strategy of planning, training and inspections.
Planning allows workers to avoid problems before they occur. The crew should do a pre-task planning every day before work starts and assess the tasks to be performed. This helps identify and eliminate hazards, or provides an opportunity for the General Contractor to engineer them out. This strategy takes place before the project starts and repeats every morning on the job site.
Because each job site presents its own unique hazards, the planning varies by location, but the general process of continues planning remains the same. On a strategic level, a safety plan must always be in place.
Training is anther important component of a successful safety plan. One basic reason training is important is due to the constant evolving nature of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Manufacturers constantly produce new or improved PPE in response to identified needs in the marketplace and as a result of evolving OSHA standards, therefor workers and contractors must stay current on what is available.
Inspections – A major component of a successful safety program is to self-inspect. Safety representatives and superintendents are on the job site several times a week, observing work processes, documenting procedural violations and potential hazards, and implementing corrective actions. Often, these inspections result in procedural changes that are incorporated into the daily pre-task planning.
Implementing the successful safety program requires a great deal of work on all levels of the project and the results are well worth the effort. At Green Future Construction, our safety program gives us a big advantage in the marketplace and our A+ rating with the insurance companies reduces premiums considerably, allowing us to be more competitive in our bids. They recognize that a safety-conscious General Contractor reduces their potential liability for lawsuits.
Most importantly, on a moral level, we want our workers to be safe. We want them going home in the same condition they came to work in. Thus, our safety program provides cost benefits, marketing advantages, operating efficiencies, and it is fundamentally the right thing to do.
In time we have learned that the greatest challenge in maintaining a safe job site is attitude. Getting people to recognize the inherent risk of working on a construction site is a big part of what we have to do every day. It’s easy to cut corners on safety, so we drill this attitude time and again
Copyright 2011 Green Future Construction