How are your job sites looking? Are there any safety hazards in your work areas? Are there employees performing tasks unsafely? The OSHA construction safety standards, which also means OSHA laws, have a requirement called Accident Prevention Responsibilities. Under this subpart, the OSHA regulations state that the employer shall provide for frequent and regular inspections of the job sites, materials and equipment. So what does this mean that we/you should be doing. This means that all employees should be frequently scanning their work areas for hazards and if hazards are identified, we/you need to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate the hazards and/or to reduce the risk of the hazards. For example, when you arrive in the morning at your job site, you shouldn't just immediately grab a metal stud, a sheet of drywall, your taping bazooka, your paint spray gun, etc. and jump right into working with out assessing your work areas for hazards. What you should do is walk your work area and try to identify hazards. Ask yourself - what in here could hurt me or others, how could I get injured performing my tasks in this area, am I wearing the necessary personal protective equipment? If there are no hazards, then all good. If a hazard is identified, then you need to take prompt corrective measures to eliminate the hazard and/or to reduce the risk of the hazard if it cannot be totally eliminated. If the hazard is not within our scope or control and if you cannot easily eliminate the hazard, then you need to remove yourself from the hazard and report it to your Foreman. The Foreman will then notify his/her Superintendent and the general contractor so a hazard abatement plan can be implemented. In the meantime, the Foreman and Superintendent need to worn all employees that could be affected by the hazard to stay clear of the hazard until it is eliminated. These procedures not only apply to when you first arrive to work in the morning. These procedures apply to when you begin a new task or when you move to a different area of the job site. Also, job sites are fluid and hazards can pop up at anytime. Employees should be visually assessing their work areas for hazards throughout the day. It's really pretty simple and it really doesn't take much time at all. Just be aware of your surroundings and if hazards are present, do something about them to eliminate them.
If you have any questions about this, please contact your Superintendent our our Safety Director, Peter Graham.
Have a Safe Day!