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:
All of these work activities must be performed safely and in accordance with the applicable safety codes, standards and regulations.
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:
In the pre-bid meeting, contract safety requirements should be discussed, including:
During the pre-mobilization meeting, the following should be discussed:
It's traditional to select construction contractors based on three criteria:
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:
The "DART" (Days Away, Restricted, or Job Transferred) is another incident rate used in all industries. The DART Rate is the number of CASES with 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 covered. You can compute the DART Rate using the following formula:
On construction sites, the total number of hours worked by all employees will include your own employees, your temporary employees, and contractors directly supervised by you plus all contractor/subcontractor employees.
The Total Case Incident Rate, or “TCIR” is a common method used to report workplace injuries. It is defined as the average number of work-related injuries incurred by 100 workers during a one-year period. This number will be total injuries and illnesses of your own employees plus all contractor/subcontractor employees. 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.
The TCIR is typically calculated as follows:
For example, if an employer with 50 workers reported 10 injuries in 2013, and workers in that industry worked 1,000,000 hours that year, then the 2013 TCIR for that employer would be:
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.
The contractor, the owner, general contractor, project manager, site superintendent, and safety manager, should all have:
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 that are involved in the construction phase should do the following:
The general or head contractor on site should do the following:
Subcontractors on site should do the following:
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