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Construction Job Safety, by Corinne Maddox, CCM, CFM

Construction safety programs are beneficial to all parties involved in the construction process - tenant, landlord, design consultants, general contractor, subcontractors and suppliers. Fortunately, most projects have no deaths or serious injuries, but those that do are tragic, as well as very costly. For serious accidents, all parties involved are usually drawn into the litigation, resulting in heavy legal costs and huge time commitments. Minor and frequent accidents cause poor morale, inefficient and poor workmanship, and excessive costs. Here are some measures you can take:
  1. Develop a Safety and Health Policy that includes prevention and risk awareness training, accident/injury reporting and investigations, protective equipment use and training, first aid training, drug testing, smoking restrictions and posting safety rules.
  2. Assign a Safety Coordinator and include safety as a topic for your regular construction meetings.
  3. Consider your contractors' Safety Policy and safety record before awarding the contract.
  4. Inspect job sites for common problems such as barricades, scaffolds, excessive debris, safety equipment (such as fire extinguishers, eye protection, first aid kits and hard hats), ventilation of toxic and flammable materials, and other unsafe or unhealthy conditions.
  5. Review safety regulations, regulatory inspection reports and all accident investigation reports (OSHA: 29 CRF Part 1926 governs construction).
  6. Enforce policies and establish incentives for low accident rates.
  7. Housekeeping often establishes the safety attitude and should be required by everyone.

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