Construction Project Safety
If you’re new to safety, recently assigned as a corporate safety director or a small specialty contractor looking at safety policies for the first time this area is for you. The basics are divided into four areas written program, training, inspections and record keeping (including disciplinary records but we will discuss this later). If implemented fully these processes will establish basic compliance and allow you to defend against any citation issued by OSHA at the state or federal level. (Please note that most policies linked to are written to address federal OSHA, more stringent requirements may exist for your state, refer to the article about State vs Federal programs for more information.)
Let’s get started by developing a writen program.
Weekly Safety Training
Weekly Safety Training is known by many names on construction projects; tool box talks, tail gate meetings, weekly safety meetings, I’m sure there are others. Weekly safety training can keep topics fresh for the craftsmen on the project. There are a lot of free resources to download weekly safety training topics from. Click the link above to find a list to the ones we find the most helpful. If you need help getting started contact us, we can review your project six week look ahead schedule and suggest some relevant topics for weekly training. If are looking for custom safety meeting topics we can do that too. Regardless of where you get your topics weekly safety training should be delivered by your front line supervisors, leads, foreman, and superintends.
Pro Tip: Occasionally having a project manager step to the plate to deliver the safety meeting is a great way to build culture.
Monthly Safety Training
Monthly safety training sometimes called monthly safety stand-downs or monthly safety meetings can take many forms. The import thing to remember is get the meeting on the schedule and keep the training relevant to upcoming work. Scheduling monthly safety training in advance will ensure it happens when the constraints of the project begin to push everyone to longer hours. This is when the training is need most. Setting an hour aside each month to celebrate safely accomplishing project milestones really shows a commitment to safety. Click on the link above for more information about how to incorporate safety training in your master schedule.
Pro Tip: Many vendors and suppliers have trainers that will demo and train on their products onsite, schedule a product rep to train on their tool or product.
Annual Safety Training
Annual safety training is required by many of the OSHA standards. At the basic compliance level annual safety training for projects that have hearing conservation programs, hazardous waste operations and emergency response, respiratory protection program, hazardous communication, lead, asbestos and other hazardous materials. Beyond compliance annual safety training can be an effective way to sharpen project leads and front line supervisor with the skills necessary to manage project safety. Follow the link above to learn more about implementing an annual safety training program.
Pro Tip: State and Federal OSHA offers free consultation visits, many offer free resource training that you can host on your projects. Be sure to schedule as far in advance as possible.
Compliance Safety Training
There are many state and federal standards that require employers to train employees. Some of these regulations require "training" or "instruction," others require "adequate" or "effective" training or instruction, and still others require training "in a manner" or "in language" that is understandable to employees. The many requirements can be confusing making them difficult for employers to know what and when they need to comply. If you have a question about whether or not you need training or need to offer training to employees contact a construction safety expert.
Pro Tip: Many vendors and rental companies offer training as part of a rental and or service agreement. Contact your local rental company if they do not offer free training contact us and we will put you in touch with a vendor that does.
Instructor Led Construction Safety Training Available
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To help meet training requirements, OSHA created the Outreach training program, developed to promote workplace safety and health by providing access to training by DOL OSHA-Authorized trainers. Outreach training by DOL Authorized trainers helps employers meet many of the required training provisions under OSHA standards. There are a limited number of online training providers. Some are better than other, however most people in the construction industry do not perform well sitting in front of a computer for 10 or 30 hours of instruction. If you are looking for an Authorized outreach trainer in your area contact our team of construction safety experts for assistance. Follow the link above to learn more about instructor lead training for your project. We come to you because we understand the construction industry.
Construction project safety inspections are necessary to insure the project is meeting regulatory requirements. Regular safety inspections help management ensure that safe work practices are being maintained. They also serve as a data point to help the project management team know where to focus efforts. The type and frequency of inspections needed depends on the type and scope of work being performed. This section offers links to free construction safety inspection forms and resources.
There are many individual standards that require recordkeeping. OSHA regulation requires employers to record injuries and illnesses that are a result of the work. To determine what information needs to be kept and for how review the resources in this section.