Many construction companies can expect to see an increase in demand over the next few months. The new year often brings a higher demand for house remodels and renovations. Some homeowners may even find it difficult to hire contractors in a timely manner. This leads to the temporary employment of new contractors for larger business. Although additional contractors can help keep up with the extra business, it is important to follow the same safety trainings and regulations for these newer contractors. One poorly trained contractor can lead to a multi million dollar lawsuit for a company.
Encourage the same training as full time contractors It is likely that you put your regular employee?s through an extensive training process. Your temporary and part time contractors and contractor helpers should also be put through this same process. Training is one of the easiest steps that a project manager can do to prevent injury or an accident on the job. In fact, training is one of the parts of OHSA?s three step process. OHSA uses a three step process to prevent dangerous falls and save lives. The steps are, plan, provide, and train.
Test your contractors You may or may not have tested your current contractors on the safety lessons they were trained. It may be even more important to test your part time and temporary employees, as they are likely more rushed to begin work. You may also feel more rushed, attempting to get them on projects as they continue to grow. Regular testing of your contractors, however, ensures that they are up to date on the safest fall arrest training.
Regularly maintain equipment Sometimes accidents and injuries occur solely on the shape of the equipment. If a piece of equipment is faulty, it does not matter how prepared and knowledgeable the contractor is. Regular maintenance and upkeep of dangerous construction equipment is important in a secure fall protection system. If you notice any minor problems with a piece of equipment, do not use it until it is inspected.
Test your equipment It is just as important to test your construction equipment, as it is to test your contractor?s knowledge. A secure fall protection system requires regular testing of the equipment. OHSA even has testing standards on the proper testing of construction equipment. According to OHSA, during the testing of all fall arrest systems, a test weight of 300 pounds (plus or minus 5 pounds) should be used. This ensures that most men will be safely protected from a fall.
Install safety nets and other safety equipment Even with proper training and the best construction equipment, accidents can still happen. Use safety nets around any high rise areas and enact a fall protection system, ensuring that everyone is prepared in the event of a fall. Safety nets can be used to lessen the fall exposure when working where temporary floors and scaffolds are not used and the fall distance exceeds 25 feet.
Pair new contractors with seasoned ones Contractors who have been working in the industry for many years are likely to pick up additional safety habits along the way. They are likely to learn safety as a second nature to the job. Fall protection courses can only teach the person how to prevent accidents, but it does not give hands on, practical skills. An experienced contractor can be extremely helpful, in addition to a fall protection system, to instill safety habits onto a new or part time worker.
The demand for contractors is expected to increase over the next few months. Many contracting companies will be hiring part time or additional temporary contractors to keep up with this demand. Additional safety precautions will need to be taken, with the increase of new workers. Safety courses need to include fall protection knowledge and material handling and a standard fall protection system need to be in place, with everyone fully aware of it.