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Construction Insurance Bulletin


By March 1, 2012No Comments

Nearly all areas on a construction job site are dangerous. To help keep workers as safe as possible on these work sites, the National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration have developed several guidelines. Every construction company must show diligence in enacting best practices for construction safety and follow regulations. The following paragraphs detail some of the most important issues and their guidelines.

Safety Meetings
A safer workplace is likely to come from workers interested in understanding the safety rules and abiding by them. To build the value of safety in workers’ minds, companies need to discuss their individual safety policies, federal laws and state laws. By discussing them instead of simply reading them, it is easier for companies to help workers absorb the information. Discussions also help workers understand why each law, rule and procedure is in place. Another way to help employees better understand these concepts is to hold an interactive safety meeting with all workers before starting a specific project. During this meeting, encourage them to ask questions that will enhance their understanding of each safety rule.

Although ladders are found on most job sites, the safety issues surrounding them are often ignored. When selecting a product, it is best to buy one constructed from material that is suitable for the intended job. If possible, choose aluminum. This substance boasts considerable strength, and it is light enough to carry easily. However, aluminum conducts electricity, so it is best to use a fiberglass ladder for jobs that involve working with electrical wires. It is also essential to purchase a ladder that is rated to hold the amount of weight it will be supporting. This rating is posted on the ladder itself. To make an extension ladder as safe as possible, angle it by pulling it back one foot for every four feet of height.

This large piece of equipment is found on many job sites today. If it is not handled properly, scaffolding is one of the biggest reasons for safety problems. OSHA released several guidelines that workers and supervisors should follow to make the work environment safer whenever scaffolding is used. The wooden planks must be in place at all times, and the scaffolding should always be at least 10 feet from power lines. Guardrails and toe boards must be secured in place at all times. OSHA also released regulations stating that qualified engineers must examine scaffolding before its initial use. It must also be checked on a regular basis after the initial inspection. The company safety officer should be in charge of developing a schedule for these required inspections. It is essential to review the entire set of OSHA regulations regarding scaffolding to ensure that all legal obligations and safety requirements are met.