It's not easy to develop a customized safety program for your contracting business that effectively works for you and your employees. Sometimes it's difficult to know where to start your program and how to focus your efforts. Hopefully these organizations can provide the guidance your company needs.
A number of government bodies and associations specialize in safety programs that meet the needs of certain construction industry segments or help companies become compliant. Here are a few options you can consider when creating or improving your safety program.
- The OSHA Construction Safety & Health Course covers all you need to know to be OSHA compliant. This 10-hour program is designed to review the major construction safety challenges, including worker health and physical risks, hazard communication, personal protective equipment, fire protection and prevention, safety signage, material handling, hand and power tools, welding, scaffolding, fall protection, cranes, motor vehicles, excavations, concrete/masonry construction, steel erection, cofferdams/caissons, demolition, blasting, power distribution, overhead protection, and stairs and ladders. At the end of the course, participants are eligible to obtain the OSHA Certification Card. A number of vendors offer this training, so contact OSHA directly at www.osha.gov to find a certified trainer in your area.
- The American Society of Concrete Contractors' (ASCC) Safety Manual specifically was written with the concrete contractor in mind. Reviewed by members of the ASCC Safety Council, it includes safety and health regulations, how to effectively implement a safety program, and safety bulletins. The third edition incorporates the latest OSHA regulations and features a comprehensive table of contents to quickly get to the information you seek. For pricing, go to www.ascconline.org.
- Jobsites often require some type of excavation so it's important to know all the hazards involved. The Construction Safety Council provides free Excavation Competent Person Training, which reviews trenching and excavation safety, as well as OSHA regulations and standards. Visit www.buildsafe.org where you can launch the interactive course in your Web browser.
- The Roadway Safety Awareness Program offers a review of common highway and road construction hazards, as well as prevention measures. Provided by the Federal Highway Administration, the program covers the following topics: fall hazards, flagger safety, night work, electrical hazards, noise hazards, operator safety, health hazards, working outdoors, runovers and backovers, struck or crushed personnel, sprains and strains, and trenching. Additional information can be found at www.cdc.gov.
- OSHA's On-Site Consultation provides small businesses a free service to identify safety and health hazards to improve overall safety performance. After participating in the program, businesses can seek the recognition and benefits of the Safety and Health Achievement Recognition Program (SHARP). With this cooperative relationship, contractors receive continuous advice and assistance on improving their safety and health programs. Learn more at www.osha.gov.
Accidents do happen, even with a comprehensive safety program put in place. Train your employees in the basics of Emergency Care, from The National Safety Council. Covering first aid, CPR, automated external defibrillation, and bloodborne pathogens, the course enables your employees to act responsibly in the case of an accident. Visit www.nsc.org.