Contractors come from a wide variety of industries with varying levels of understanding and practice in the management of workplace safety. With different levels of experience and knowledge of health and safety standards, managing overall workplace safety becomes complicated. When this happens, workers run a high risk of serious injuries.
Over the next 10 years, contractors will make up half of the American workforce. Safety advocates at the National Association for Environmental Management (NAEM) found that 75 percent of all companies recently surveyed shared a desire to strengthen contractor safety programs to ensure their compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates and increase worker safety.
How Can Industry Leaders Establish Stronger Safety Programs?
The need for stronger safety programs across industries that rely on contractors has been identified, but how can business leaders establish these universal standards? Five essential strategies can help all businesses increase the safety of their work environments.
- Training: Establishing strong training programs can significantly improve worker safety. Essential training should be offered to all employees and contractors before they begin working onsite. Clearly communicating safety expectations and emergency procedures is essential. Training should also provide instruction on the proper operation of all machinery and equipment required for the job. Workers must fully understand OSHA mandates for personal protective equipment, safety requirements, and reporting procedures. Testing and validation of training using credentials can also ensure that a worker has been properly educated before working onsite.
- Contract Stipulations: Contractual stipulations that require all workers to comply with federal, state, and local safety regulations help establish clear corporate policies on compliance with safety regulations. Stipulations can include corporate mandates for safety training and ongoing safety certification requirements. Some corporations go a step further in enforcing safety mandates by withholding payment until stipulations are met.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPI): KPIs are used to track contractor safety performance. Data on safety violations, workplace accidents and injuries, and lost time rates are used to validate compliance with corporate safety mandates. This system works best when supervisors and directors are held accountable for the performance metric. Regularly scheduled meetings with directors that include data analysis help motivate compliance and improvement.
- Audits and Post Project Evaluations: Ongoing contractor safety monitoring through on-site inspections and yearly evaluations, along with post project exit interviews, can help businesses evaluate the success of their safety programs. Corporations can evaluate contractor compliance and success with safety mandates while analyzing corporate needs for providing stronger risk management systems. The data from the audits and exit interviews can also be included on an industry database for other employers to access when choosing which contractors to hire for their next project.
- Third Party Providers and Technology Solutions: Research has shown that companies that rely on third party providers that offer technology solutions experience efficient data collection and analysis of their safety performance. Having a third-party provider track performance statistics and audits help employers focus on training and implementation of corporate safety policies. Technology is a valuable tool that allows third party providers and businesses to work together to enhance the strength of their safety programs.
Vineland Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Represent Contractors Injured on the Job
If you are a contractor that suffered a workplace injury, contact the Vineland Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law. We will review your case and obtain the benefits you rightfully deserve. Call us at 856-414-0010 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Vineland, Mt. Holly, and Camden County.