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Hazard Control Techniques for Contractors

Construction workers face safety risks each day on the job. This is why it is important for contractors to establish a system, which actively works to prevent hazards. We’ve compiled some techniques to help you keep your construction site safe for employees and clients.

There are 4 basic steps to remember when attempting to manage hazards at your construction site:

  1. Identify risks
  2. Assess risks
  3. Eliminate risks
  4. Control risks through best practice training and establishing safety procedures

During each phase of your project, from pre-bid to the job site, there are points to consider:

#1 Pre-Bid Risk Assessment

Create a safety plan in writing that identifies the work to be done and not to be done, along with a job site emergency plan. Make a note of any existing damage and document it with a photo.
If you are using subcontractors, check their qualifications. Also, request certificates of insurance, get named as an additional insured, and have them sign a hold harmless agreement.

#2 Bid Risk Assessment

Provide a written estimate to your potential client. Include: summary of existing damages and enforceable disclaimers. Make sure all parties involved sign the bid.

#3 On the Job Site Safety

Use your written job safety plan from step one. As part of this plan: complete a hazard assessment, assign responsibilities for staff members, conduct regular inspections, and hold everyone accountable with monitoring practices.
Additionally, always have first aid materials available onsite, provide staff with first aid training, and coordinate your plan with local emergency response teams.

#4 General Site Safety

There are many ways to ensure continued safety and precautions on your job site.

  • Secure the site using fences or barricades and provide limited access points to prevent people from wandering onto the site.
  • Post warnings and safety reminders throughout the site and keep areas clean and tidy.
  • Stay with site visitors at all times.
  • Work with local law enforcement to ensure codes and standards are followed, particularly when controlling traffic.
  • If you are excavating at a site, identify potential underground hazards. Additionally, if you must leave the excavation site unattended overnight, be sure to barricade and fence around it.
  • Using hazardous materials provides a greater risk to safety. If possible, use a non-hazardous option first. If this can’t be avoided, store hazardous materials in a protected area, limit the use as much as possible, and post warnings and enforce them.
  • For fire prevention, keep extinguishers available and work with the local fire department to implement any safety measures required.
  • Maintain machinery and tools and ensure they are functioning correctly before use.
  • Avoid property theft by securing high value items. Remove items from the site where practical.

Unfortunately, even with solid systems and procedures in place, accidents can still happen. So, what should you do if one occurs?

If the accident involves injury to a person:

  • Contact emergency services immediately and provide first aid until help arrives.
  • Use a written form to record the facts including: the date, time, conditions, preceding actions, cause and mitigating circumstances. Then, report the incident to your insurance company straight away.
  • Do not: force an interview, place blame or offer opinions.

If the accident involves property damage: 

  • Provide prompt remediation to avoid further damage, and secure the area.
  • Record the facts in writing (as per the list above) and attempt to figure out what failed.
  • Don’t offer opinions, and report the incident to your insurance company immediately.

As you can see, there are many opportunities for accidents to happen on a job site. This is why contractors need general liability insurance that protects them from common business risks. At Ianniello Agency, we can help you identify the appropriate coverage for your business. Give us a call today to discuss your insurance needs.

About Ianniello Insurance Agency

Ianniello Insurance Agency is Northeast Ohio’s premier provider of auto insurance, life insurance, home insurance, agribusiness insurance, farm insurance, business insurance and health insurance. You can count on our personalized service to meet your needs. We take our time to ensure there are no gaps in your coverage. We proudly serve Coshocton, Holmes, and Tuscarawas Counties. Get in touch today for a quote and follow us on Facebook to stay in touch!

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