June 2-6 has been designated national “Stand Down” for safety in construction week by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). And with today being the anniversary of the tragic Philadelphia Market Street building collapse, there is no better time to consider safety precautions that will protect workers and make job sites safer in any city.
The purpose of the Stand-Down is to raise awareness of preventing fall hazards in construction. During the week, OSHA hopes that construction companies, trade associations, and other employers and agencies will take the time to recognize hazards and steps they can take to eliminate risks. In 2012, approximately one third of construction fatalities were from falls. The agency is providing a host of educational and other materials on its website to help those who elect to participate make it a successful effort.
Here are just a few ways for anyone to make a workplace safer, from the largest of construction companies to independent and sub-contractors:
- Have a written workplace accident and safety awareness plan. It goes without being said that there dangerous elements to construction, however, you cannot assume that everyone understands safety risks and procedures. The simple act of creating a document of hazards and safety procedures is a big step in the right direction.
- Hold regular meetings with staff, supervisors and contractors, even once per year. Remind them of their role in maintaining a safe site and protecting themselves from harm, the tools or methods they can use to reduce risk and reinforce the importance of using them.
- Start an equipment log. Keeping a diary noting your purchase, regular inspection and maintenance of site machinery and tools lessens the risk of accidents due to faulty equipment.
- Discipline those who do not follow safety procedure or neglect to wear or use the right equipment. Not doing so can result in fines against your company or, worse, an injured worker.
All of us at Martin Law are advocates for safer work environments and the protection of employees and employers alike from accidents. If you have questions about anything contained in this post or another workers’ compensation question, call us at (215) 587-8400.