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Course 800 - Introduction to Construction Safety Management

Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Working with Contractors

Introduction

Contractors

Construction contractors are responsible for ensuring that all work under contract meets or exceeds the OSHA standards in addition to complying with the company’s safety and health standards. The contractor is responsible for ensuring safe work performance of employees and subcontractors.

Construction contractors provide a variety of construction services, including:

  • building construction and maintenance activities
  • utilities and infrastructure construction
  • grounds maintenance
  • training and consultation
  • installation, testing, calibration, repair, and maintenance of equipment and instruments

All of these work activities must be performed safely and in accordance with the applicable safety codes, standards and regulations.

1. Construction contractors are responsible for ensuring that all work under contract meets or exceeds the OSHA standards in addition to complying with _____.

a. the subcontractor's policy
b. the company's safety and health standards
c. NEBOSH standards
d. EM-385-1-1

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Involvement Begins Before the Project Starts

It's important that the employer communicates about safety in all phases of the construction project. From the time the project is first conceived until it is finished, safety must be an important part of the development and planning process.

During the Pre-Award phase, requirements are developed, solicitations are sought, contractors are selected and contracts are awarded. Key safety related efforts during this phase include:

  • consideration of a contractor’s past performance during the contractor selection process,
  • establishment of appropriate safety and health requirements in contract specifications, and
  • inclusion of applicable safety and health clauses.

2. Requirements are developed, solicitations are sought, contractors are selected and contracts are awarded during the _____.

a. post-award phase
b. construction phase
c. concept phase
d. pre-award phase

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The Pre-Bid Meeting

In the pre-bid meeting, contract safety requirements should be discussed, including:

  • site specific safety plan
  • designated safety representative identification and requirements
  • daily pre-work coordination meetings
  • safety enforcement policies and procedures
  • drug screening
  • identification of potential hazards
  • defining hazard control responsibilities

3. Which of the following topics should be discussed in a pre-bid meeting?

a. Designated safety representative identification and requirements
b. Pre-phase work plan discussion
c. Past safety performance
d. Requirements for safety talks, worker, and supervisor training

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The Pre-Mobilization Meeting

During the pre-mobilization meeting, the following should be discussed:

  • contractual safety requirements
  • site-specific safety plan
  • pre-phase work plan discussion
  • requirement for daily pre-task meetings
  • requirements for safety talks, worker and supervisor training
  • confirm assignment of safety responsibilities
  • roles, responsibilities, accountability and authority of the owner, general contractor and all contractor personnel

4. Which of the following topics should be discussed in a pre-mobilization meeting?

a. Designated safety representative identification and requirements
b. Daily pre-work coordination meetings
c. Roles, responsibilities, accountability, and authority
d. Drug screening

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Contractor Selection Criteria

It's traditional to select construction contractors based on three criteria:

  • low bidder
  • lower bidder
  • lowest bidder that can start now

However, in a world-class construction company that understands the importance of safety, they will not make a decision based solely on cost. They will use the following criteria:

  • Total Days Away, Restricted, or Job Transferred Rate (DART) should be below national average
  • Total Case Incidence Rate (TCIR) should be below the national average
  • Experience Modification Rate (EMR) of less than 1.0 for past three years, and improving.
  • Past safety performance
  • Site-specific safety plan development
  • Key management and worker training and experience

5. World-class construction companies that understand the importance of safety, will not make a decision based solely on _____.

a. costs
b. DART
c. TCIR
d. EMR

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DART Rate

The "DART" (Days Away, Restricted, or Job Transferred) is incident rate used in all industries. The DART Rate is the number of injury and illness cases that resulted in employee days away from work or job transfer or restrictions (cases on the OSHA 300 log with either column H or I checked) multiplied by 200,000 divided by total hours worked by all employees during the year. You can compute the DART using the following equation:

DART Rate

On construction sites, the total number of hours worked will include your own employees, temporary employees, contractor employees directly supervised by you, and all contractor/subcontractor employees. The 200,000 figure in the formula represents the number of hours 100 employees working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year would work and provides the standard base for calculating incidence rates.

For example, if an employer reported 10 work-related injuries and illnesses in 2019 that resulted in days away, restricted, or transfer, and all employees worked 1,000,000 hours that year, then the 2019 DART Rate for that employer would be (10 x 200,000) ÷ 1,000,000 = 2.

6. What is the DART Rate ((N ÷ EH) x 200,000) for a company that recorded 7 work-related cases and a total of 100,000 hours worked by employees during the year?

a. 3.5
b. 14
c. 11.2
d. 8.25

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Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR)

The Total Case Incident Rate, or "TCIR" is a common method used to report workplace injuries. It is different from the DART Rate only in the types of injuries measured. The DART Rate measures only DART cases, while the "TCIR" includes all of the work-related cases.

The Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR) is defined as the number of work-related cases per 100 full-time workers during a one year period. This number will be total annual injuries and illnesses (N) of your own employees plus all contractor/subcontractor employees times 200,000 divided by the total number of hours worked (EH).

Use of the TCIR to report workplace injuries allows comparison of accident and injury statistics across industries, among industry segments, and from one year to the next. You can calculate the TCIR using the following equation:

TCIR

For example, if an employer reported 10 work-related injury and illness cases in 2019, and they worked 1,000,000 hours that year, then the 2019 TCIR for that employer would be (10 x 200,000) ÷ 1,000,000 = 2.

7. What is the TCIR ((N ÷ EH) x 200,000) for a company that recorded 75 work-related cases and a total of 3,000,000 hours worked by employees during the year?

a. 10
b. 15
c. 2.5
d. 5

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Experience Modification Rate (Mod Rate or EMR)

The Experience Modification Rate (EMR) has strong impact upon a business. It is a number used by insurance companies to gauge both past cost of injuries and future chances of risk. The lower the EMR of your business, the lower your worker compensation insurance premiums will be. An EMR of 1.0 is considered the industry average. (Source: Safety Management Group).

According to the Michigan Construction Users Council (MCUC), the following EMR chart indicates the relative effectiveness of a contractor’s CSMS.

0.30 - 0.71 = Superior – Distinguished results
0.72 - 0.81 = Effective – Impressive results – Obvious commitment
0.82 – 1.04 = Average – Within industry norm
1.05 – 1.29 = Inadequate – Conspicuous past problems
1.30 – 2.05 = Poor – Lack of safety involvement

As you can see, safety is a serious consideration when choosing contractors to work on the construction project. Using this criteria will not only result in selecting a higher level of contractor safety, it will also result in selecting a contractor that will be more professional in all aspects of the contracted work that will be performed.

8. Which Experience Modification Rate (EMR) is considered much better than an industry average?

a. 2.50
b. 1.50
c. 0.50
d. 1.00

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Key Players

The contractor, the owner, general contractor, project manager, site superintendent, and safety manager, should all have:

  • adequate safety management training
  • previous experience on similar type construction projects
  • previous experience on projects of similar size
  • a history of success on previous projects

All managers on the construction site should be competent in safety management. Workers should be competent in the work they are performing. Heavy equipment operators should all be able to show written documentation providing proof of competency. Also, a trained on-site healthcare provider or nurse should be present on large projects (more than $75 million).

Project Designers

Project designers that are involved in the construction phase should do the following:

  • identify the impact of changes in your design on the health and safety of those involved in the project
  • provide sufficient information on health and safety associated with your design and planning to those who need it, so they can conduct the necessary training if needed
  • cooperate and coordinate with the contracted parties, and, where appropriate, other designers/advisers involved in the project
  • provide ongoing advice and information, if requested, regarding the head contractor’s health and safety plan (such as by advising of any changes to planned activities)
  • make sure other designers/advisers and contractors continue to carry out their duties and co-ordinate with others on the project (such as by asking for regular written activity reports or holding site meetings)

9. The contractor, owner, general contractor, project manager, site superintendent, and safety manager should meet all of the following criteria EXCEPT _____.

a. adequate safety management training
b. previous experience on similar type construction projects
c. completion of the OSHA's 10-hour safety training
d. a history of success on previous projects

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Head Contractors

The general or head contractor on site should do the following:

  • develop and carry out a site-specific health and safety plan
  • make sure any contractor engaged to carry out construction work is competent and has made suitable provisions for health and safety
  • obtain and check site-specific safety plans from subcontractors
  • make sure the co-ordination and co-operation of subcontractors regarding:
    • information and on-site activity (such as site meetings, site procedures)
    • appropriate communication arrangements between contractors on site for health and safety
    • arrangements for discussing health and safety matters with people on site (such as setting regular toolbox/tailgate meeting times)
    • incident and accident reporting
  • make sure training for health and safety is carried out
  • make arrangements to monitor health and safety performance (such as reports, audits and inspections)
  • make arrangements to pass on information from the client or designer/adviser to other contractors and employees (such as activity reports)
  • make arrangements to control visitor access, including such things as delivery of materials

10. Who is primarily responsible to make sure any contractor engaged to carry out construction work is competent?

a. Subcontractor
b. Head contractor
c. Owner
d. Project manager

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Subcontractors

Subcontractors on site should do the following:

Investigation
  • develop a site-specific safety plan for your work activity
  • identify the hazards of your work, assessed the risks arising from them, and told the head contractor and client about how these risks will be controlled
  • obtain evidence of the training and competence of your subcontractors and employees
  • keep the head contractor informed of any dangerous incident or accident
  • provide the head contractor with the information needed for health and safety management
  • cooperate with the head contractor and other contractors on health and safety matters
  • follow any directions of the client or head contractor so that they can meet their obligations
  • provide information and training to your employees on site

11. Who is responsible for developing a site-specific safety plan for activities on the worksite?

a. Subcontractor
b. Head contractor
c. Owner
d. Project manager

Check your Work

Read the material in each section to find the correct answer to each quiz question. After answering all the questions, click on the "Check Quiz Answers" button to grade your quiz and see your score. You will receive a message if you forgot to answer one of the questions. After clicking the button, the questions you missed will be listed below. You can correct any missed questions and check your answers again.

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