Many accidents can be prevented when employees take personal responsibility for workplace safety. The company, in turn, needs to be mindful and consistent about creating and maintaining a safe working environment, and encouraging their teams to do the same.
Contractors should focus on creating a culture that values safety, including regular safety meetings, reports about accidents or injuries, and proper procedures everyone should follow.
Prevent Losses on the Job Site
- Use employment applications and check references of prospective employees. (Applications available at most office supply stores.)
- Provide written safety rules and enforce them. Safety rules should be based on OSHA, or other government agency safety requirements and accepted industry practices.
- Employees should have similar job experience, or be provided training in any job they may be assigned.
- Assign responsibility for safety to a supervisor or foreman.
- Hold regular safety meetings.
- Conduct periodic safety inspections.
- Review the safety practices of all subcontractors you have hired. Be sure they meet the same standards you have established.
- Have a first aid kit available.
- Post emergency phone numbers and have a phone available to summon help in the event of an emergency.
- Have fully charged, easily accessible, portable fire extinguishers.
- Provide protective equipment such as safety glasses, hearing protection and hard hats.
- Secure equipment and materials left on the job site. Lock tools in boxes and secure large equipment with chains. Limit tools and materials left on the site as much as practical.
- Practice good housekeeping! Remove scrap and debris daily. Limit the accumulation of sawdust.
- Follow precautions for welding and other hot work. Shield or wet combustible surfaces. End such operations at least 30 minutes before leaving the site unoccupied.
- Temporary heating units should be UL/AGA approved. Follow manufacturer’s suggested precautions and provide adequate clearance from combustible material.
- Have procedures for reporting and investigating incidents and accidents. Lessons learned even from “near misses” may help to identify ways to avoid future accidents.
- Require proper use of ladders.
- Limit the exposure of adjacent properties to damage and comply with all building and environmental codes.
How can you make sure you’re covered? Look to Merchants and our contractors programs that provide flexible coverages to meet the needs of today’s contractors. Talk with your independent insurance agent to learn more.