Construction and Contractors: Smart Strategies for Risk Management and Accident Reduction

It is probably stating the obvious that a construction site is a dangerous place to work, but that does not mean that you can’t adopt some solid strategies that allow you to operate an effective risk management strategy and keep accidents to a minimum.

A firm like Rosen and Ohr will often be called into action when there is a compensation claim to sort out following an accident, but it makes sound business sense to try and be proactive rather than reactive when it comes to keeping construction workers and contractors as safe as possible.

Keeping accurate records

Keeping an accurate record of any accidents and incidents is always going to be part of your risk management strategy, but it should also be remembered that you also have a new OSHA recordkeeping rule to adhere to.

The final rule was introduced in May 2106 and it requires all establishments to electronically submit detailed information from their OSHA injury and illness records. Nothing has materially changed in the level of information being made available, but it does represent a noticeable shift in how easily accessible this information will now become.

It is therefore advised that you ensure that your procedures comply with these new requirements and that you are keeping accurate and correct records.

The right approach to risk management

To have an effective risk management policy in place, you have to first identify the potential risks relevant to your business and then work on developing strategy and a set of procedures that allows you to manage and minimize those potential issues.

Any risk management program can only be truly effective if it becomes part of the corporate culture of your business and all of the people working with you and for you, are made aware of the standards and procedures that everyone has to work to in order to enjoy as safe a working environment as possible.

Operating to OSHA safety standard guidelines should mainly be viewed as a minimal requirement rather than the standard to work to. The way that this is achievable is to create a health and safety policy that is as robust as possible, which is then communicated to everyone working on site.

It also requires an ongoing culture of on-site training and a regular review of safety methods and issues, which can be raised at scheduled safety briefings held on a regular basis.

Enjoying a strong reputation

Any business will want to try and develop a strong reputation for providing a good service and other positive attributes, and it also has plenty of advantages if you can gain a good reputation for safety.

Everyone connected with the industry knows that construction involves a diverse range of potential risks, a point confirmed by the fact that according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, construction accounts for close to 20% of all recorded workplace fatal injuries.

The accident rate statistics for the construction industry have recorded a noticeable and welcome drop in numbers over the last few years, in comparison to previous highs, but there is never any room for complacency, especially when you consider that the average cost of a fatality is estimated to be about $4 million.

Chloe Briggs is a workplace risk assessor for the construction industry, travelling to various sites each week checking safety precautions. She writes on the topic for industry, news and business blogs.

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